HONG KONG, May 24 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may start flat on Thursday ahead of a preliminary survey of manufacturing activity in China expected later in the day, which will provide fresh clues on the state of the slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
Short selling accounted for 14.7 percent of total bourse turnover, suggesting a better-than-expected HSBC China flash PMI, expected at 0230 GMT, could spur a short squeeze.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index and the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong each shed 1.3 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.1 percent and South Korea's KOSPI was flat as of 0101 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Sino-Forest Corp, parent of Greenheart Group Ltd, said on Wednesday it is reviewing fraud charges leveled against it by the Ontario Securities Commission and considering what steps, if any, it ought to take in response to the allegations.
* Strong sales in China helped Lenovo Group Ltd post a 59 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, meeting analyst expectations, as the world's No.2 PC maker begins to diversify more aggressively into smartphones, tablet PCs and smart TVs.
* Wynn Macau Ltd launched on Wednesday at a bank meeting in Macau a $1.5 billion two-tranche syndicated financing for a new project on Macau's Cotai Strip, banking sources said.
* PetroChina will boost its natural gas purchases from Central Asia by as much as half this year even as it is unable to fully pass on import costs to consumers due to state price controls, the country's largest energy company said.
* China is rolling out sweeping brokerage reforms to nurture future global investment banks that officials hope could eventually compete with the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, a regulatory document showed. Chinese brokerages such as CITIC Securities Co and Haitong Securities Co are still minnows compared with global giants, and will also need freer and more developed capital markets at home and consolidation of their fragmented sector before they are likely to develop global scale and reach.
* Trading in Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd has been suspended on Wednesday after the company said the Court of Criminal Instruction in Macau had accepted the accusation against the company's chairman Joseph Lau Luen-hung for committing offences of bribery and money laundering in relation to the acquisition of a land in Macau and the case will be remitted to the Court of First Instance of Macau for trial in due course. For statement click http://www.hkexnews.hk/listedco/listconews/sehk/2012/0523/LTN20120523593.pdf
* Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co Ltd said it has not received any notice from the China Securities Regulatory Commission or the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on any investigation into the accounting or other matters of the company. It said it is of the view that its acquisition of the intangible assets of Shanghai Asia Pioneer is conducted in full compliance with the regulatory requirements in China and Hong Kong and is in the interest of company and its shareholders as a whole. For statement click http://www.hkexnews.hk/listedco/listconews/sehk/2012/0523/LTN20120523575.pdf
* Children wear maker Boshiwa International Holding Ltd , which delayed its publication of annual results as auditors resigned, said it has resolved to appoint Zenith CPA Limited as the auditors with effect from May 23 to fill the vacancy following resignation of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Trading in the company's shares will remain suspended until further notice. For a statement, click http://www.hkexnews.hk/listedco/listconews/sehk/2012/0523/LTN20120523521.pdf
* China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd said it has commenced work on the acquisition of certain assets from its controlling shareholder Shenhua Group Corporation Ltd, including equity interests or assets of China Shenhua Coal Liquefaction and Chemical Co Ltd and Shaanxi Shenyan Coal Co Ltd. The acquisition will be funded by proceeds from the initial public offering of A shares. For statement click http://www.hkexnews.hk/listedco/listconews/sehk/2012/0523/LTN20120523496.pdf (Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)