Hong Kong shares set to open higher on robust China PMI

HONG KONG Sun Sep 1, 2013 9:05pm EDT

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HONG KONG Sep 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start the week higher on Monday, after China's upbeat factory activity data raised hope that a sharp economic slowdown in the world's second-largest economy may have halted.

China's factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than a year in August with a jump in new orders, official data showed on Sunday.

On Friday, the Hang Seng Index ended up 0.1 percent at 21,731.37, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.3 percent.

On the day in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 1.1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.2 percent at 0047 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China will raise subsidies for cleaner forms of electricity from Sept. 25, the state planning agency said on Friday, in a move that could help thermal power plants meet the country's tough new air pollution standards.

* HSBC Holdings will stop offering wealth management products in Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon as the British lender continues to exit small or insufficiently profitable operations globally as part of a strategic review, the bank said.

* Guoco Group Ltd swung to a HK$6.3 bln yearly net profit from a HK$1.3 billion net loss last year.

* Chinese conglomerate Fosun has denied Italian press reports it was interested in buying into Italian fashion house Versace, which is mulling the sale of a stake to help fund growth.

* Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) , the country's top aluminium producer, posted a first-half net loss of 623.8 million yuan ($101.9 million), hurt by lower prices and oversupply in the world's top producer and consumer of the metal.

* Engineering construction company China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd said its first half net profit rose 46.6 percent at 4.7 billion yuan.

* China Railway Group Ltd , which is a leading builder of railways, highways and other big-ticket projects, said its first half net profit jumped 45.9 percent to 3.5 billion yuan.

* China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd , one of China's top three carriers, said its first half net profit fell 28.2 percent to 621.9 million yuan.

* Liz Milan, head of the London Metal Exchange's Asia business stepped down this week, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing confirmed on Friday, the latest casualty of a clean out by the exchange of former LME management.

* Chinese construction equipment maker Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd reported a 48.6 fall in its first-half earnings.

* China's largest bulk shipper, China COSCO Holdings Co Ltd , is confident of turning a profit for the full year of 2013 after reporting a narrower first-half net loss as the global dry bulk market improves in the second half.

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