HONG KONG Jan 17 Hong Kong shares may hold steady in a recent trading range on Thursday, with investors looking to rotate into laggards ahead of a slew of fresh China data on Friday, including fourth-quarter GDP growth.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1 percent to close at 23,356.99 points, retreating further from the 23,400 level that has proved an obstacle for much of the past two weeks. It has traded in a 430-point range since the start of the year.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.8 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.1 percent at 0100 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Struggling Japanese TV-maker Sharp Corp is in the final stages of talks with Lenovo Group Ltd to form a television operations partnership in China the Nikkei reported.
* Hong Kong-listed oil trader and shipping firm Brightoil Petroleum (Holdings) Ltd warned on Wednesday that it expected to post a loss in the second half of 2012 due to depressed shipping market conditions and a narrowing of margins on bunker fuel.
* Chevron Corp said it entered into production-sharing contracts with Chinese offshore oil company CNOOC Ltd for two exploration blocks in the South China Sea as the U.S. oil company looks to grow in the Asia-Pacific region.
* Chinese property developer Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd said it planned to sell one billion new shares in a top-up share placement at HK$4.35 each, or a 6.5 percent discount to the previous close, raising HK$4.35 billion net proceeds for debt repayment and for working capital.
* Yuexiu Property Co Ltd said it is proposing a note issue to raise a total of $846.7 million to refinance indebtedness and for general corporate purposes.
* Shanghai Industrial Holdings Ltd said it plans to issue HK$3.9 billion zero coupon convertible bonds due 2018 with conversion price at HK$36.34 per share, raising proceeds to fund future capital expenditure and for investments in the infrastructure business.
* Sunshine Oilsands Ltd annouunced a C$390 million 2013 capital budget focused on initiating thermal production.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)