Hong Kong shares may rise, but gains seen limited before Fed

HONG KONG Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:08am GMT

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HONG KONG Jan 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start higher on Tuesday, but gains may be limited ahead of more U.S. economic data and the end of a Federal Reserve meeting later this week that could offer fresh clues on the continuation of its stimulative policies.

On Monday, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 percent to 23,671.9, though it failed again at chart resistance at about 23,708, its peak on May 31, 2011. This level has stymied gains on the benchmark for more than a week.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.2 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.4 percent as of 0047 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* Goldman Sachs launched on Monday a sale of about $1 billion worth of Hong Kong-traded shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), according to a source with knowledge of the deal. Goldman, looking to reduce further its stake in the world's largest bank, offered the shares at HK$5.77 each, equivalent to a discount of 3 percent to Monday's close of HK$5.95.

* The Aluminium Corporation of China (Chalco) warned it would seek legal redress if Mongolia breaks what it says is a loss-making coal supply deal.

* GOME Electrical Appliances Holding, backed by private equity firm Bain Capital, expects it made a loss last year because of a slowdown in China's economy and an unprofitable e-commerce business, the company said on Monday.

* Sun Art Retail Group Ltd overtook rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc to become the No.1 hypermarket operator in China by supporting the local economy and counting on consumer loyalty to Chinese brands, said a major shareholder.

* New mortgage loans drawn down in Hong Kong totalled HK$18.9 billion ($2.44 billion) in December, down 10.8 percent from a month earlier, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) data showed on Monday.

* Visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in December rose 15.1 percent from a year earlier to 4.78 million, data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) showed on Monday.

* PICC Life said its majority owner PICC Group , along with other existing shareholders, has agreed to invest 4.502 billion yuan more in the company. This involves a placement of 5.628 billion shares, but will not alter existing stake percentages.

* Wing Lee Holdings said it expects a significant increase in net profit for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012 due to a significant increase in the fair values of investment properties it holds.

* Greentown China Holdings Ltd said it would issue $400 million of 8.5 percent senior notes due 2018, raising proceeds to refinance short term debts and for general corporate purposes.

* Frasers Property (China) Ltd said it plans to raise about HK$690 million in a share placement to fund its property development projects.

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