HONG KONG, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start
the week higher on Monday on the back of gains in regional
markets, but the upside is likely to be contained as investors
await cues from a batch of earnings reports from heavyweight
Chinese financial firms later this week.
Last Friday, the Hang Seng Index closed down 0.2
percent at 21,863.51, while the China Enterprises Index
of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.4 percent. Both
benchmarks suffered their worst week since mid-June, down 2.9
percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.1
percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.6 percent at
Agricultural Bank of China , Ping An
Insurance Group and the Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China are among
companies scheduled to announce earnings next week.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China Construction Bank Corp, the country's No.
2 lender, posted a 9.7 percent rise in second-quarter net
profit, slightly beating expectations as interest margins held
* Asia's largest refiner Sinopec Corp posted a 22
percent rise in second-quarter net profit, helped by better
refining margins after China introduced measures to let domestic
fuel prices follow the international market more closely.
* Sinopec Corp's 160,000-barrel-per-day refinery
in the southern island province of Hainan is undergoing a major
overhaul that will end in late September, a company source said
* BYD Co Ltd , the Warren Buffett-backed
company best known for electric cars, said its first half
net profit rose 26 fold, helped by strong auto sales and an
improvement in its solar cell business.
* Sinopharm Group Co Ltd, China's largest
pharmaceutical products distributor, said its first half net
profit rose to 1.15 billion yuan from 958.9 million yuan in a
year ago period.
* Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd has joined a list of
potential Chinese suitors interested in buying Glencore Xstrata
Plc's $5 billion-plus Las Bambas copper mine in Peru,
underscoring the Chinese government's desire to plug a shortage
* China's Baoshan Iron & Steel, the country's
biggest listed steelmaker by market value, posted a 61 percent
fall in first-half net profit on narrowing margins.
* China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd , the
country's largest coal producer, said its first half net profit
was down 4.8 percent at 24 billion yuan.