HONG KONG, Nov 21 Hong Kong shares may start slightly higher on Wednesday, although lingering concerns over fixing the U.S. "fiscal cliff" are likely to crimp turnover. Chinese equipment maker Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery Group Co Ltd is set to launch an up to $350 million Hong Kong stock offering on Wednesday, joining a number of companies lining up to raise funds before the end of the year. On Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index closed down 0.2 percent at 21,228.3. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 0.6 percent. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.8 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.4 percent at 0052 GMT. FACTORS TO WATCH: * Shareholders in Xstrata prompted the resignation of the miner's chairman on Tuesday as they voted through a $31 billion takeover by trader Glencore but twice snubbed a controversial pay plan to retain key managers. * China's CNOOC is still discussing Canadian demands on jobs and investment as it negotiates terms for its $15 billion bid for oil and gas producer Nexen Inc, a source familiar with the negotiations said on Tuesday. * China Resources Gas Group Ltd said on Wednesday it would sell 160 million new shares to its controlling shareholder, CRH (Gas) Ltd at HK$16.95 per share, raising HK$2.7 billion ($348 million) to fund the acquisition of downstream city gas distribution businesses in China. * Agricultural Bank of China Ltd, China's No.3 lender, said on Tuesday it had received regulatory approval for its purchase of 51 percent of insurer Jiahe Life for 2.59 billion yuan. * Angang Steel Co Ltd said it would sell its 45 percent interest in Tianjin Angang Tiantie Cold Rolled Sheets Co. Ltd to the company's controlling shareholder Anshan Iron and Steel Group for 1.18 billion yuan ($189 million), as it aims to focus on developing its domestic sales and distribution network.* China Gas Holdings Ltd said it expected to record a significant increase in net profit for the six months to end-September due to a better-than-expected operating performance.* CITIC Pacific Ltd said it would acquire a 99.2 percent equity interest in Shanghai Xintai Property Co Ltd, which owns two pieces of land in Shanghai World Expo site, for 1.24 billion yuan.($1 = 6.2326 Chinese yuan)
The Pentagon releases photographs linked to allegations of abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.