Hong Kong shares may start higher on Wall Street record

HONG KONG Tue May 7, 2013 6:27am IST

HONG KONG May 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may start higher on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street's strength on solid earnings and a brighter economic outlook.

On Monday, the Hang Seng Index rose 1 percent to 22,915.1 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong gained 1.4 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 2.7 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.2 percent as of 0045 GMT.

The U.S. S&P 500 closed at another record high on Monday.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China's cabinet has called for the drafting of detailed plans to help achieve full convertibility of the yuan , raising the prospect of accelerating reforms to free up the currency eventually.

* HSBC is expected to almost double first-quarter profits to about $8 billion on Tuesday, helped by a fall in costs and bad debts and showing the benefits of a three-year restructuring that is nearly complete.

* About 500 striking workers at a port operated by billionaire Li Ka-shing's Hutchison agreed to a 9.8 percent pay rise on Monday, ending one of the city's longest-running industrial disputes that has diverted traffic from the world's No. 3 container port.

* Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, controlled by the family of gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, posted a 12 percent year-on-year increase in first-quarter net profit, buoyed by strong interest from cash-rich Chinese gamblers.

* BG Group said on Monday it has signed a binding $1.93 billion agreement with Chinese oil firm CNOOC to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) and for an equity stake in BG's Queensland Curtis LNG project in Australia.

* China Vanke, the country's largest real estate developer, said on Monday it sold 12.4 billion yuan ($2 billion)of property for the month of April, up 67.6 percent from the previous year.

* Vale SA , the world's largest iron ore producer, obtained a government environmental operating license for a rail line to the S11D expansion at its giant Carajas mine in the Brazilian Amazon, according to a securities filing on Monday.

* Home appliances retailer GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd said it expects to record an increase in profit for the first quarter of 2013 compared with the year-ago period due to higher sales.

* Sports shoe maker Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd said its performance in the first three months of 2013 worsened significantly compared with a year earlier due to rising costs and lower operating efficiency. It said its results for the first interim period are expected to be adversely and materially affected.(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Donny Kwok; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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