Hong Kong shares seen slightly higher

HONG KONG Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:51pm EST

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HONG KONG Dec 13 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares were set for mild gains on Thursday after the benchmark hit a 16-month high in the previous session, with concern over the U.S. fiscal crisis tempering foreign investors' optimism about China.

The Hang Seng index closed up 0.8 percent at 22,503.4 on Wednesday, while the China Enterprises index of top listed mainland firms jumped 1.5 percent.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged to keep interest rates low until at least 2015 and extended the central bank's asset purchase programme, but re-iterated that monetary policy won't be enough to offset damage from the "fiscal cliff".

Elsewhere in Asia, a weak yen pushed Japan's Nikkei up 1.2 percent, while South Korea's Kospi was up 0.4 percent at 0030 GMT.

STOCKS TO WATCH:

*BaWang said it was seeking more than HK$560 million in compensation for losses and other expenses because of reports published by Next Media in July 2010, according to The Standard.

* Citic Bank said it had received approval to become a QFII and insurance fund trustee.

* CLP Holdings said it was placing 120.3 million shares at HK$63.25 each, a 5.88% discount to their last close.

* Eyang Holdings said Ernst & Young quit as the company's auditors, citing internal control weakness.

MARKET EVENTS

- China Bio-Med Regeneration Technology Ltd H1 results

- China Zenith Chemical Group Ltd AGM

- Continental Holdings Ltd AGM

- Midland IC&I Ltd EGM

ECONOMIC DATA

- South Korea BOK monetary policy meeting

- South Korea Export and Import price growth for Nov

- Philippines Central bank policy meeting

- UK CBI Industrial trends for Dec

- US jobless claims

- US Producer prices for Nov

- US Retail sales for Nov

- US Business inventories for Oct

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