HONG KONG, June 11 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares are poised for a higher start on Monday following Chinese economic data released at the weekend that was not as bad as some feared, as well as a bailout plan for Spain's banks, raising the appetite for risky assets.
The Hang Seng index fell 0.9 percent on Friday, dragged down by Chinese banking shares, as a surprise interest rate cut last week raised concerns that the latest batch of monthly data from China might be much worse than forecast.
Inflation in China eased further and industrial output remained sluggish but exports and imports for May were much stronger than expected.
An agreement between euro zone finance ministers on loans to help Spain's battered banks at the weekend was also expected to push markets higher.
Japan's Nikkei was up 1.8 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI rose 1.7 percent in early trading.
STOCKS TO WATCH:
* Drinks giant Diageo is looking at a potential listing of its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange to help boost its expansion plans in Asia, part of its overall drive into fast growing emerging markets.
* Volkswagen plans to nearly double its production in China in the next few years to 4 million vehicles, according to a management board member who was recently appointed to head the group's operations in the country.
* Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has signed an agreement with China Unicom to sell almost half its stake in the company back to China's No.2 telecom operator, Telefonica said in a stock market notice on Sunday. Telefonica will sell more than one billion shares to China Unicom for around 1.1 billion euros ($1.62 billion).
* The head of Cathay Pacific, one of the world's largest cargo airlines, said freight activity remained weak, signalling little change so far in the economic climate.
* Chinese auto firm Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile has made an improved 5 billion crown ($700 million) bid for bankrupt carmaker Saab, Swedish media reported on Friday.
* Shares in pharmaceuticals companies are seen to be a focus as China has overhauled parts of its intellectual property laws to allow its drugmakers to make cheap copies of medicines still under patent protection, an initiative likely to unnerve foreign pharmaceutical companies.
* The architect and leader behind two of the world's largest IPOs is leaving banking to take on a government post with China's central bank, according to a source on Friday. Agricultural Bank of China, the country's No.3 lender, said its executive director and executive vice president, Pan Gongsheng, had resigned with immediate effect.
* China will cut fuel prices by nearly 6 percent from Saturday in the second reduction this year and the largest since late 2008, an official with a state-owned oil company said, as crude prices fell further since the last fuel cut in May. But the fuel price cut could hurt refiners such as China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec Corp) , which face refining existing supplies of more expensive crude.
- Beijing Enterprises Holdings Ltd AGM
- China Strategic Holdings Ltd AGM
- China Water Property Group Ltd EGM
- CST Mining Group Ltd EGM
- Henderson Investment Ltd AGM
- Henderson Land Development Co Ltd AGM
- Luoyang Glass Co Ltd AGM in China
- Sundart International Holdings Ltd final results
- Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd AGM
- Zhejiang Expressway Co Ltd AGM in China
- China M2 money supply for May (10-15)
- China new yuan loans for May (10-15)
- China outstanding loan growth for May (10-15)
- UK RICS housing survey for May
- Italy GDP final for Q1
- Germany wholesale price index for May
- Japan consumer confidence index for May (Reporting by Vikram Subhedar and Donny Kwok; Editing by Paul Tait)