HONG KONG Feb 1 Hong Kong shares could start
higher on Friday, ahead of the release of data that is likely to
show China's economy expanded at its fastest pace in nine
The median forecast of 14 economists polled by Reuters put
China's official purchasing managers index (PMI) at 50.9 for
January, up from December's 50.6.
On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index shed 0.4 percent
from Wednesday's 21-month closing high to end at 23,729.5
points, leaving the benchmark with a gain of 4.7 percent for the
month of January. It has risen 0.6 percent so far this week.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.3
percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.2 percent
at 0041 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China will draw up policies aimed at speeding up the
transfer of rural land as part of efforts to improve efficiency
and promote large-scale commercial farming, China National Radio
said, citing a major policy document issued on Thursday.
* Global air travel demand growth will slow again this year,
but freight markets will recover from a decline in 2012, the
International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.
IATA's members include major airlines such as Air France KLM
, British Airways, Delta and Air China
* The world's largest trading house Glencore
is fast turning itself into a Russian oil
trade leader from an outsider by mending fences in just one year
with Rosneft, the Kremlin's national energy champion.
* Hotel-casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd, parent of
Wynn Macau Ltd on Thursday posted a quarterly profit
that was below Wall Street's estimates as its share of the Macau
* PCD Stores (Group) Ltd said its controlling
shareholders have agreed to sell a 39.53 percent interest of the
Hong Kong-listed firm to Beijing Wangfujing International
Commercial Development Co Ltd's wholly-owned Belmont
Hong Kong Ltd for for HK$1.997 billion, giving rise to an
obligation for Belmont to make a mandatory general offer for all
the outstanding shares PCD Stores. Completion of the deal is
subject to approval by Chinese authorities.
* China Power International Development Ltd said
it expected a substantial increase in net profit attributable to
equity holders for 2012 due to a big rise in hydropower
generation and the carryover effect of the upward tariff
adjustments to the on-grid tariff of coal-fired power generation
from the previous year.
* Fufeng Group Ltd said it expected to register a
notable decrease in net profit for 2012 due to a lower gross
profit margin as the average selling price of its main product
monosodium glutamate fell and an increase in interest expenses.
* Foxconn International Holdings Ltd said it would
form a 51 percent-owned joint venture with RadioShack
Corporation to jointly distribute consumer electronics
products in Greater China.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Richard