Hong Kong shares seen higher; local developers in focus
HONG KONG, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start higher on Monday, tracking an Asia-wide bounce, with the bigger moves expected among local property developers and Chinese companies in the thick of the third-quarter earnings season. Hong Kong introduced new property cooling measures, including a 15 percent tax on overseas buyers, to curb a rise in prices to increasingly unaffordable levels, Financial Secretary John Tsang said on Friday. China Telecom, CITIC Bank, Haitong Securities, Jiangxi Copper and Guangzhou Pharmaceutical are among Chinese companies expected to report third-quarter earnings later in the day. China's industrial profits rose 7.8 percent in September from a year earlier to 464.3 billion yuan ($74 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday, up from a 6.2 percent drop in August. On Friday, the Hang Seng Index shed 1.2 percent to 21,545.6, slipping from 2012 closing highs recorded the day before and snapping 10-day and seven-week winning streaks. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.3 percent and South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.2 percent at 0045 GMT. FACTORS TO WATCH: * China posted a capital and financial account deficit of $71.0 billion in the third quarter, the second straight quarter of deficit, as investors pulled funds from the world's second-largest economy amid global economic turbulence. * China may apply a sliding scale to taxing stock dividends in a bid to encourage long-term investment, the China Securities Journal reported on Monday, citing unidentified government officials. * China's Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, posted a 9.4 percent fall in third-quarter profit after its petrochemical business swung to a loss due to the slowing Chinese economy, offsetting hikes in gasoline and diesel prices. * China Construction Bank Corp (CCB), the country's No.2 lender, posted a third-quarter net profit of 12 percent, beating estimates, as interest income grew after the central bank allowed lenders to set their own loan rates. * Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (AgBank), the country's No.3 lender by market value, posted a third-quarter net profit gain that beat estimates as the bank cut the amount of cash set aside to cover bad loans. * China Life Insurance Co Ltd , the world's largest insurer by market value, has posted its first quarterly loss since 2008 due to big impairment losses from a sluggish domestic stock market. * China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd (CPIC) said its third-quarter net profit was down 59 percent at 497 million yuan. * Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, China's second-largest automaker, posted a 30 percent drop in third-quarter net profit as consumers shunned cars made by Japanese-Chinese ventures amid a territorial row between the two neighbours. * China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd , the country's largest coal producer, posted a 7 percent drop in third-quarter net profit, as a slowing Chinese economy cut into coal demand. * Yanzhou Coal reported a third-quarter net loss of 79.6 million yuan. * Zijin Mining said its third-quarter net profit was down 10 percent at 1.2 billion yuan. * China Southern Airlines said its third-quarter net profit was down 29 percent at 2.2 billion yuan.
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