Hong Kong Shares May Start Flat, Sun Hung Kai Earnings Eyed

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Hong Kong shares may start flat on Thursday, tracking sluggish Asian markets, with focus on local property giant Sun Hung Kai interim earnings later in the day.

A man talks on mobile phone in front of panel displaying Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong

Hong Kong shares may start flat on Thursday, tracking sluggish Asian markets, with focus on local property giant Sun Hung Kai interim earnings later in the day.

It is forecast to report its first decline in annual underlying profit since the company started releasing core profit numbers in 2005, according to analysts.

On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index ended down 0.2 percent at 22,937.1 points in its first daily loss since Sept 4. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.6 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia at 0058 GMT, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.3 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was flat.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* Russia's United Company Rusal and U.S.-based Alcoa are urging the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing owned London Metal Exchange, the world's biggest marketplace for industrial metals, to match its U.S. rival, the CME Group, in providing data about the make-up of investors positions.

* Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd said it has bought a 35 percent stake in Italian high-end menswear maker Caruso Spa for an disclosed sum, marking its first investment in the luxury sector in Europe.

* The London Taxi Company on Wednesday restarted production of the famous black cab, six months after the business was saved by Chinese car maker Geely.

* Property group CIFI Holdings (Group) Co Ltd said it would issue an additional $225 million 12.25 percent senior notes due 2018, raising capital for refinancing its debt, fund property projects and for general corporate purposes.

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