HONG KONG Jan 14 Hong Kong shares may start slightly softer on Monday on concern over corporate earnings after companies including global exporter Li & Fung Ltd warned of lower profits in a challenging operating environment.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.4 percent last Friday after higher-than-expected China inflation triggered profit-taking in recent outperformers, snapping a two-week winning streak.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan was closed, South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.16 percent at 0059 GMT and Australia's benchmarket index added 0.15 percent.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Consumer goods exporter Li & Fung Ltd warned of a 40 percent fall in full-year 2012 core operating profit, hit by ongoing restructuring costs and an additional provision tied to its U.S. business for which it appointed a new chief.
* Citic Telecom is to buy a 79 percent stake in a Macau telecom company, Companhia de Telecomunicações de Macau SARL (CTM), from Cable & Wireless Communications and Portugal Telecom for $1.2 billion, giving the Chinese company greater access to fast-growing Macau.
* China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corp Ltd (CSR) , one of the country's two leading train makers, has signed deals worth 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in China and other emerging markets, including Argentina and Nigeria.
* China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd , the country's largest coal producer, said on Friday that it has won an auction of a shale gas block in southern China, part of its efforts to further integrate its energy business.
* CNOOC Ltd is a step closer towards restarting China's largest offshore oilfield after the government's top economic planning agency approved a development plan for the Penglai 19-3, a company official said.
* China's largest polysilicon and wafer maker GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd said it expexted to record a substantial loss in 2012 due to anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the United States, the impact of the European debt crisis on solar farms financing, and impairment and provisions to be made against inventory and production facilities.
* Agile Property Holdings Ltd said it planned to issue subordinated perpetual capital securities, raising $687.4 million net proceeds to fund purchase of new land sites and for refinancing and working capital purposes. For statement www.hkexnews.hk/listedco/listconews/sehk/2013/0113/LTN2013011301 3.pdf
* China's top footwear retailer Belle International Holdings Ltd said it recorded 3 percent same store sales growth in its footwear business and 10 percent growth in sportswear in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Our top photos from the past week.