Hong Kong shares seen steady ahead of China trade data

HONG KONG Wed Jan 9, 2013 8:03pm EST

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HONG KONG Jan 10 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start weaker on Thursday after Chinese loan growth and money supply December data came in weaker than expected, and with monthly trade data expected later in the day.

China's export growth is set to rebound from a three-month low in December, although the recovery is likely to be feeble as U.S. and European demand for Chinese goods is still far below levels that would herald a convincing revival.

On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.5 percent to 23,218.5, with chart resistance next seen at 19-month highs set last Thursday at about 23,400 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong climbed 0.9 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.6 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.2 percent at 0042 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China, the world's top energy consumer, will more than double its installed solar power capacity this year from 2012 and will raise installed wind power capacity by nearly 30 percent, the government said on Wednesday.

* China has ditched an annual export quota system for metallurgical coke, used to make steel, the customs office said, a move that could send their exports higher amid sluggish demand at home.

* China's insurance regulator is expected to reject HSBC's sale of its $9.4 billion stake in Ping An Insurance to Thai conglomerate CP Group, media reports said on Wednesday.

* Towngas China Co Ltd said it would sell 150 million new shares at HK$6.31 each, or a 4.1 percent discount to the previous close, to third party investors, raising about HK$930 million ($120 million) net proceeds to fund future investments.

* Agile Property Holdings Ltd said it planned to issue U.S. dollar-denominated subordinated perpetual capital securities, raising capital for purchase of new land sites, refinancing and for working capital.

* Hopson Development Holdings Ltd said it planned to raise capital to refinance existing debt and to fund construction costs.

* Shui On Land Ltd said its wholly-owned China Xintiandi Ltd will start operations on March 1. The unit will focus on premium retail, office, entertainment and hotel properties in affluent urban areas in mainland China.

* Huadian Power International Corp Ltd said the power it generated in 2012 amounted to 156.94 million MWh, up 4.1 percent from a year ago, and on-grid electricity sold was 146.72 million MWh, an increase of 4.18 percent.($1 = 7.7520 Hong Kong dollars)

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