HONG KONG, March 25 Hong Kong shares could start
the week higher on Monday, with Chinese retailers in focus as
sector bellwethers such as Belle, GOME and
Li Ning post their 2012 results.
Li Ning is expected to report a net loss of close
to 1.1 billion yuan ($177 million) on Monday, according to
Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate, after spending as much as $288
million to buy back unwanted inventory from its distributors.
Turnover is forecast to have dropped 16 percent last year to
around 7.5 billion yuan.
Other notable corporate earnings expected on Monday include
Agile Property, China Longyuan Power, Datang
International Power, Henderson Land and PICC
Combined profits of China's state-owned firms rose 9.7
percent in the first two months of 2013 from a year earlier,
data showed on Friday, a sign of gradual economic recovery as
profits had fallen 5.8 percent last year from 2011.
But China's economy is struggling with surplus production
capacity and risks to the financial system, Vice Premier Zhang
Gaoli said on Sunday, warning that failure to extend reforms
would consign the country to years of low-quality growth.
Separately, China should increase its home ownership tax on
those with three or more properties to target speculators, Hu
Cunzhi, vice minister of Land and Resources said on Saturday.
The Hang Seng Index shed 0.5 percent to 22,115.3 on
Friday, while the China Enterprises Index of the top
Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.4 percent. On the week,
they lost 1.9 and 1.1 percent, respectively.
Elsewhere in Asia on Monday, Japan's Nikkei was up
1.2 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 1.4
percent at 0038 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China Petroleum and Chemical Corp
, which reported a 12.8 percent fall in 2012 net profit
due to a drop in revenues from its upstream and chemicals
businesses, has agreed to set up a joint venture with its parent
company to buy $3 billion worth of oil and gas assets held by
the latter in a bid to improve its profitability.
* China Construction Bank, the country's No.2
lender, said its 2012 net profit rose 14 percent, its slowest
annual profit growth as a publicly listed company, hit by the
country's attempts to rein in state-owned lenders'
* China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd , the
country's largest coal producer, posted a 6.6 percent rise in
2012 net profit, roughly in line with forecasts, despite
stagnating coal demand as the firm leveraged its integrated
* BYD Co Ltd said it expected to book
between 100-140 million yuan ($16.10-22.54 million) net income
in January-March, up sharply from 27 million yuan a year
earlier, thanks largely to rising car sales.
* Commodities trading house Glencore is
shunting more of the world's surplus copper into the Malaysian
port of Johor, extending a strategy to lock up metal to earn
lucrative warehouse rentals and premiums, industry sources say.
* CNOOC Ltd, which last month completed a $15.1
billion takeover of Canada's Nexen, has been hit by a Canadian
oil glut that is depressing prices for Canadian crude, a senior
executive said on Friday.
* Anhui Conch Cement said its 2012 net
profit declined 45 percent from a year earlier to 6.3 billion
* China National Building Material said 2012 net
profit dropped 30.4 percent from a year earlier to 5.6 billion
* China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd
said its 2012 net profit fell 39 percent to 5.1
* China Yurun Food Group said it posted a 2012 net
loss of HK$605 million.
* Sinopharm Group Co Ltd, China's largest
pharmaceutical products distributor, said its 2012 net profit
surged 26 percent to 1.97 billion yuan.