HONG KONG, Jan 22 Hong Kong shares may hover at a 19-1/2 month high on Tuesday as investors brace for expected policy easing from the Japanese central bank, with turnover likely subdued due to a holiday in the United States. On Monday, the Hang Seng Index closed down 0.1 percent at 23,590.9, after hitting its highest since June 1, 2011 on Friday. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong inched up 0.1 percent. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.2 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.1 percent at 0028 GMT. FACTORS TO WATCH: * China will push forward market-based reforms on interest rate systems as well as on the currency regime, state radio quoted outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao as saying on Monday. * HSBC Holdings named a former auditor of the bank as its new head of global regulatory compliance on Monday in the latest move by Europe's biggest bank to beef up its compliance functions. * Great Wall Motor Co Ltd , China's top manufacturer of sport utility vehicles and pick-up trucks, said its net profit for the year that ended Dec. 31, 2012 jumped 65.7 percent from the year before. * Sany Heavy Equipment International Holdings said its net profit for the year that ended Dec. 31, 2012 dived 34.4 percent from the year before.* Air China said it has received formal approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission for a non-public issuance of no more than 192,796,331 new A shares. This approval will expire six months from Jan. 21, 2013.* Citic Securities , China's largest listed brokerage, said it plans to raise no more than 40 billion yuan in aggregate by tapping onshore and offshore corporate debt instruments, including bonds, subordinated bonds and structure notes. The term of each on- and off-shore debt instrument shall be no longer than 10 years with a single term or a hybrid type with multiple terms. Citic plans to use the proceeds to meet business operation needs, adjust its debt structure, supplement working capital and make project investment.* Property developer Sunac China Holdings Ltd said it would sell 300 million new shares at HK$6.70 each, or a 6.8 percent discount to the previous close, in a top-up share placement, raising HK$2.01 billion to fund its development and for general working capital.* Vanke Properties Overseas Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of China Vanke formerly known as Winsor Properties, said it expects significant declines in both its 2012 profit and net assets from the year before.* Mongolian Mining Corporation said it expects to record a loss for full year 2012, compared to a profit recorded in 2011. The company added that it is continuing with coal export shipments from Mongolia to China and recent media reports about interruption of coal supply are not related to its operations.* Guangzhou Shipyard International Co Ltd said it expects unaudited 2012 net profit to decrease by about 80 to 99 percent from a year earlier.* China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd said coal production rose 1.6 percent in December 2012 and 7.8 percent for the whole of 2012, from a year earlier. Total coal sales jumped 36.6 percent in December, while rising 20 percent in 2012, both also from a year earlier.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Stephen Coates)
The Pentagon releases photographs linked to allegations of abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.