Hong Kong shares may ease, HSBC's Ping An deal in focus
HONG KONG, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start lower on Wednesday, after Wall Street retreated from last week's rally and companies started to report results for the fourth quarter.
On Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index ended down 0.9 percent at 23,111.2, its lowest this year after a strong start to 2013. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slumped 2.2 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.48 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI edged up 0.1 percent at 0043 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* HSBC's sale of its $9.4 billion stake in Ping An Insurance to Thailand's CP Group has been thrown into jeopardy after state-run China Development Bank voiced concerns over funding for the deal, sources told Reuters.
* Top Asian refiner Sinopec Corp plans to build a three million tonne-per-year terminal in east China to import liquefied natural gas, parent company Sinopec Group said on Tuesday.
* Top Chinese oil and gas producer PetroChina Co Ltd pushed its domestic crude oil output above 110 million tonnes in 2012 for the first time in 17 years, while also achieving its fastest annual output growth in more than a decade.
* Pharmaceutical stocks can be a focus as China will cut prices of about 400 drugs for respiratory diseases, fever and pain by up to 20 percent from February, in a move to make medicines, including some products from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, more affordable.
* Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd said all allegations relating to its nancial information as reported by Ming Pao Daily News are false and misleading. Trading in the shares will resume on Wednesday.
* Chinese iron ore concentrate producer China Hanking Holdings Ltd said it had agreed to buy the assets of Southern Cross Operations - a gold mining property in Western Australia, from St Barbara Ltd for A$22.5 million ($23.59 million), as the Chinese firm expands its resource portfolio.
* Genting Hong Kong Ltd said the proposed initial public offering of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd began on January 8 and the price will be between $16 and $18 per ordinary share. It intends to list on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
* TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd said it expected to record a loss in the financial results for both the three months and the year ended in December 2012 due to a fall in the average unit selling price and gross profit margin for feature phones amid a price war with competitors. It said 2013 would remain challenging.