HONG KONG Feb 27 Hong Kong shares may bounce
from a two-month low on Wednesday, tracking gains on Wall Street
after comments by the U.S. Federal Reserve reassured investors
about its stimulative policies and positive U.S. housing data.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strongly defended the
Fed's bond-buying stimulus before Congress on Tuesday, assuaging
worries that monetary policymakers might be getting cold feet.
Esprit Holdings, Hong Kong Exchange, New
World Development and casino operator SJM Holdings
are among a slew of companies due to report corporate
earnings later in the day.
On Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index fell 1.3 percent to
22,519.7, its lowest close since Dec. 21. The China Enterprises
Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slid 2
Both benchmarks are now negative on the year, with the Hang
Seng down 0.6 percent and the China Enterprises down 2.9
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.2
percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.4 percent at
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Asia's No. 3 insurer, AIA Group Ltd, reported a
27 percent rise in the value of new business last fiscal year,
helped by growth in Thailand and Singapore. AIA's net profit
rose 89 percent to $3.02 billion.
* China's Ping An Bank has banned its branches
from approving home loans as banks turn cautious on the
country's frothy property market, where prices are again zooming
towards record highs.
* Hong Kong commercial bank Bank of East Asia Ltd
said its 2012 net profit rose 39 percent to HK$6.1 billion.
* China's gross domestic product will grow at an annualised
rate of about 8 percent in the first quarter of 2013 while the
consumer price index will rise around a yearly 2.6 percent, the
China Securities News said, quoting the State Information Centre
(SIC), a leading government think tank.
* Russia's United Company RUSAL Plc, the world's
biggest aluminium producer, said law enforcement agencies were
visiting its Moscow office on Tuesday in an investigation over a
tax claim against a subsidiary company.
* Chinese television maker TCL Multimedia Technology
Holdings Ltd said its 2012 profit attributable to owners of the
parent jumped 101 percent year-on-year to HK$911 million, while
sales of LCD TVs increased 43 percent year-on-year to 15.53
* Birmingham International Holdings Ltd said it
was still in talks with some interested parties on the sale of
its subsidiary, Birmingham City Plc and Birmingham City Football
* Chinese air conditioner maker Chigo Holdings Ltd
said it expected to record a profit for 2012, from a loss in
2011, due to a fall in the cost of goods sold. This was partly
offset by a drop in the amount of subsidies received in 2012
under the Chinese government's energy-saving scheme.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Richard