Hong Kong shares may start the week lower

HONG KONG, August 19 Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:19pm EDT

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HONG KONG, August 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start lower on Monday tracking weakness on Wall Street and following losses in previous sessions as investors await further direction from U.S. and European data.

On Friday, the Hang Seng Index ended down 0.1 percent at 22,517.8 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong edged up 0.1 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.2 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.4 percent at 0102 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China's Ministry of Public Security and a cabinet-level research centre are preparing to investigate IBM Corp, Oracle Corp and EMC Corp over security issues, the official Shanghai Securities News said on Friday. It comes as Beijing probes Western drugmakers over allegations of bribery and over-pricing.

* Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, which is preparing for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, has bought a minority stake in online shopping company ShopRunner, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

* Chinese brokerage Everbright Securities Co Ltd faced tough sanctions from regulators as it apologised for a glitch in its computer systems that caused a spike of more than 5 percent in domestic stock indexes last week.

* Rusal on Monday posted a net loss of $439 million for the first half of 2013, with a Q2 recurring net loss at $208 million.

* Hong Kong-listed Netdragon Websoft Inc said on Friday it will drop plans to list its appstore unit 91 Wireless after selling it to China's top search engine Baidu Inc for $1.85 billion, the biggest acquisition deal in China's IT sector.

* Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, controlled by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, has received at least seven offers for its Hong Kong supermarkets business, ParknShop, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

* China Merchants Bank Co Ltd , a leading retail bank in China, said its first half net profit rose 12.4 percent to 26.3 billion yuan.

* Swire Pacific Ltd said on Friday Christopher Pratt will retire as chairman of the company and its units, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, Swire Properties Limited and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO).

* Parkson Retail Group Ltd, which operates a network of department stores across China, posted a 38 percent drop in first half net profit at 324.7 million yuan.

* Hong Kong-listed China Resources Land Ltd on Friday bid 10.9 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) to buy a commercial site at a $45 billion financial centre the Chinese government is building in the southern boom town of Shenzhen.

* Ethiopia signed an $800 million deal with China's ZTE on Sunday to expand mobile phone infrastructure and introduce a high-speed 4G broadband network in the capital Addis Ababa and a 3G service throughout the rest of the country.

* Mining investor Chaoyue Group Ltd said it would buy a Chinese stainless steel and copper products producer from a third party, Chung Ming Metal Resources Holdings Limited, for HK$10 billion as it expands its investment portfolio. The deal will be settled by a combination of cash, issue of new shares and convertible bonds. Trading the shares will resume on Monday.

* Shopping mall developer Renhe Commercial Holdings Co Ltd said it expected to record a loss for the first half of 2013 as compared to a profit a year ago, due to a decrease in net valuation gain on investment properties.

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