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Hong Kong shares set for flat open or slight rise

HONG KONG, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares were set for a flat to slightly higher open on Tuesday with investors focused on China's domestic markets for direction, after the International Monetary Fund said China's growth was expected to weaken to 7.8 percent this year.

The Hang Seng index snapped a five-day rise on Monday as sentiment was dented by mainland markets turning lower after a week-long holiday. The Hang Seng closed down 0.9 percent while the China Enterprises index of top locally listed mainland firms fell 1.3 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.4 percent while South Korea's Kospi was up 0.1 percent as of 0040 GMT.

STOCKS TO WATCH:

* ZTE Corp , targeted in a draft U.S. Congress report as a potential security threat, could once again see its shares under pressure as expansion plans are put on hold.

* Dutch bank and insurance group ING said on Monday it has agreed to sell its 33.3 percent stake in Chinese investment management firm China Merchants Fund for 98 million euros ($128 million) to the two other joint venture partners, China Merchants Bank Co Ltd and China Merchants Securities Co Ltd .

* Hutchison 3G, a unit of Hutchison Whampoa , will seek to convince doubting EU regulators of the merits of its 1.3-billion-euro ($1.70 billion) bid for France Telecom's

Orange Austria subsidiary at a private hearing on Wednesday, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

* Department store operator Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd said on Tuesday it is exploring the possibility of a separate listing for its Hong Kong and China property businesses on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

* Sinopec Corp's Qilu refinery is closing on Monday a 160,000 barrels-per-day crude unit for a planned 25-day maintenance, an industry official said.

(Reporting by Vikram Subhedar and Donny Kwok)

((vikram.subhedar@thomsonreuters.com)(+852 28436975))

Keywords: MARKETS HONGKONG CHINA STOCKS/PREOPEN