HONG KONG, Jan 21 Hong Kong shares could start
weaker on Monday, slipping from a 19-1/2 month high with
corporate earnings coming back into focus after a series of
profit warnings from Chinese companies over the weekend.
China's second-largest telecom equipment maker, ZTE Corp.
, warned of a net loss of up to 2.9 billion
yuan ($466.58 million) for 2012 due to non-renewed contracts and
Last Friday, the Hang Seng Index gained 1.1 percent
at 23,601.8, its highest since June 1, 2011. Gains on Friday
covered the gap on the chart that opened between June 1 and 2,
2011, something the benchmark has struggled to do since the
start of the year.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.7
percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.5 percent
at 0048 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Oman has awarded Hong Kong's Hutchinson Whampoa
a 50 million rial ($130 million) contract to build and operate a
port terminal in the northern industrial city of Sohar, a
statement from Port of Sohar said on Saturday.
* China Minsheng Bank's net profit
rose 34.5 percent last year to 37.56 billion yuan ($6.04
billion), the lender said in a preliminary earning report filed
to the Shanghai stock exchange on Saturday.
* China Vanke Co Ltd, the country's largest
property developer by revenue, plans to move trading of its
foreign currency shares to Hong Kong from Shenzen, joining an
exit from the mainland's moribund B-share market.
* HSBC Holdings Plc agreed to pay $249
million to end a case-by-case review of past foreclosures in the
U.S., regulators announced on Friday.
* China Shipping Container Lines Co Ltd (CSCL)
said on Friday that it expects to post a net profit
of 520 million yuan ($83.7 million) for 2012 as the container
shipping market improved. This compared with a net loss of 2.74
billion in 2011.
* South African power utility Eskom has withdrawn its
objections to commodities trader Glencore's
takeover of miner Xstrata, removing one of the potential
hurdles to the $33 billion deal.
* Central China Real Estate Ltd said it proposed
to issue U.S. dollar denominated senior notes raising proceeds
to fund property projects and to repay debt.* Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Ltd said it would
issue $250 million 11.25 percent senior notes due 2018 raising
capital to repay debt.* Brighttoil Petroleum (Holdings) Ltd said
National Development and Reform Commission has approved the
overall development plan for the Tuzi Gas Field on December 31,
2012. Located in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Tuzi Gas
Field has cumulative gas extraction of 14.1 billion cubic metres
in a production period of 20 years.* GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd said the
retail outlets operating under the brand of "GOME" in Hong Kong
do not form part of the group and the operations and results of
the Hong Kong stores will not have any impact on the operation
and financial position of the group.* Chinese sports brand 361 Degrees International Ltd
said it estimated its profit for 2012 to decrease by
about 40 percent as compared to 2011, as a high inventory level
and retail discounting pressure weighed on performance and led
to a decrease in sales volume, pressure on gross profit margin
and higher selling expenses.* Department stores operator PCD Stores (Group) Ltd
said it expected to record a notable decrease in 2012
net profit due to an increase in the depreciation and
amortization expenses and operating expenses, a decrease in the
management consultancy service income and an increase in
employee benefits expenses.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Stephen