Outlook rosy for HK ahead of Fed decision on interest rates Hong Kong stocks appear in a good position to add further gains this week, but enthusiasm for mainland shares could be cooled by expectations of Beijing tightening the purse strings on its booming economy. Regional markets hit record highs again last week, emboldened by the market's recovery from the August sell-off. But mainland investors are worried that the most recent figures showing inflation at a 10-year high will encourage Beijing to raise interest rates and take other measures to limit money supply. Those expectations could check the bullishness of bidders for mainland shares. However, central bankers in Beijing will have to weigh their options carefully, as the US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is meeting on Tuesday and is widely expected to cut the key overnight federal funds rate by 50 basis points. Lower interest rates should help ease the credit crunch banks are now experiencing over there and are seen as a positive factor for Asian economies. US regulators and policymakers will be kept busy mopping up the mortgage crisis for some time to come, especially as bad credit keeps popping up around the globe. Northern Rock, a British mortgage lender, had to go to its central bank last week for help after revealing its credit holdings and it warned that profits would be well below earlier predictions. Other policymakers to watch for this week are the Bank of Japan, which on Wednesday will announce any interest rate changes after its two-day policy meeting. Taiwan's central bank is expected to make a policy statement on Thursday. While they may choose to raise rates to mop up excess liquidity, the opposite move by the US may convince them to sit still for the moment. The Bank of England and the European Central Bank are also meeting or releasing information this week, but no rate changes are expected from them. Firms line up to sell shares With the stock market again attracting investment dollars, companies are lining up to sell shares and cash in on the lofty sentiment. China Construction Bank will be marketing its 58 billion yuan offering soon, and the market could be pressured by the sheer size of the offering. China Shenhua Energy's application to float nearly 70 billion yuan in A shares will be reviewed by the Shanghai Stock Exchange today. Kingsoft, a mainland software and online game operator, will today launch its sales pitch to raise about US$130 million through a Hong Kong share offering. Also starting up the marketing machine is Soho China, a property developer aiming to raise US$1 billion. Aoyuan Corp, another mainland property developer, will tomorrow launch its share offering, which it hopes will raise up to HK$4 billion. Hidili Industry International Development will start trading on Friday. The coal company is hoping to raise US$525 million, and given the massive oversubscription it will likely hit its target. There is a raft of other mainland coal companies that want to come to the market, so they will be watching Hidili's debut for tips. Property developer Sino-Ocean Land Holdings, which was set up by state-owned China Ocean Shipping and Sinochem Corp, will be pricing its HK$12 billion offering on Thursday. Those property companies had better hurry and tap the market for some cash, because land in Hong Kong isn't getting any cheaper. A Tai Po residential site will go under the hammer today and it is expected to sell for more than HK$4 billion, in line with recent record high prices for land in the New Territories. Watch Wheelock Properties, which triggered this sale, put in an aggressive bid for the Pak Shek Kok site as it has this year lost out on the previous four sites it has triggered the sale on. An Aberdeen site it put a bid on, and therefore triggered an auction for, will go to auction on October 15.