Qunar

China Business Briefs 16/4/14

There won’t be a posting of the business briefs tomorrow, as I am flying to Beijing (in about three hours) for a two week visit. I will try to keep on posting once there, but visits and reunions may take precedence.

I am looking forward to seeing Iain Shaw and co, former staff of the Beijinger (and former colleagues of mine) who are starting up The Cleaver Quarterly, a magazine on Chinese food around the world. Check out their kickstarter thing here if you’re interested.

Economy Finance Auto Infrastructure Energy Telecoms Property Travel Tech Agriculture Retail Healthcare

Economy

China’s first quarter GDP grows 7.4% – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn China’s economy grew 7.4 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed on Wednesday.

The NBS said that preliminary data showed the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 12.8213 trillion yuan ($2.08 trillion) in the first quarter.

The figures suggest growth in the world’s second-largest economy in the beginning of year 2014 was stable and that the economy was generally in good health, as Chinese authorities promoted reforms, innovation, restructuring and improvement of people’s well-being, according to the NBS.

Chinese incomes continue surging in Q1 – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn The average per capita disposable income rose 11.1 percent year on year to 5,562 yuan (908.82 US dollars) in the first quarter. Deducting inflation, the actual growth was 8.6 percent, according to the NBS.

The income gap between urban and rural residents narrowed with the actual income growth in rural China 2.9 percentage points higher than that in its urban areas in the first quarter, according to the NBS.

China’s Economic Growth Slows to Six-Quarter Low After Credit Reined In – Businessweek China’s expansion moderated to the weakest pace in six quarters and property construction plunged, testing leaders’ commitment to keep reining in credit as risks mount of a deeper slowdown.

Gross domestic product rose 7.4 percent in the January-to-March period from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Beijing, compared with the 7.3 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Industrial production and fixed-asset investment trailed projections.

China’s expansion slows as property construction falls | Money | The Malay Mail Online Gross domestic product rose 7.4 per cent in the January-to- March period from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Beijing, compared with the 7.3 per cent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Industrial production and fixed-asset investment trailed projections.

The weakest first-quarter property-investment growth since 2009 signals credit is tight and demand is faltering, adding to economic and default dangers as Premier Li Keqiang grapples with risks from shadow banking and local-government debt. A deeper slowdown would put pressure on leaders to expand stimulus or limit the pace of changes intended to give market forces a bigger role in the world’s second-largest economy.

Chinese Police Confront Trust Investors Demanding Repayment – Bloomberg Chinese investors demanding their money back from a troubled 973 million-yuan ($156 million) high-yield product in Shanxi province were confronted by police in front of a China Construction Bank Corp. (939) branch.

People wearing white masks with the words “despicable bank” and “pay back our money” were among at least 30 investors facing special-forces officers in dark uniforms in Taiyuan city, about 521 kilometers (324 miles) southwest of Beijing. The nation’s second-largest bank is the custodian of the Songhuajiang River No. 77 trust, which missed six payments as of last month, according to the Economic Observer.

Electricity, Steel Hint at Economic Uptick in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ Official data shows China’s economy in the first quarter grew at its slowest pace in 18 months, but two proxies point to some resilience.

Electricity output—an indicator favored by Premier Li Keqiang over gross domestic product—and crude steel production grew faster in March than in the preceding two months. In addition, steel output in March hit a record high, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

China’s slowing growth potential minefield for leaders – The Globe and Mail Slowing growth presents a potential minefield for Chinese leadership, whose chief concern is maintaining a rising standard of living for its own people. To that end, officials have sought to discount the value of GDP as a measure of well-being, instead deliberately underscoring other statistics. “Maybe a more important thing to look at is employment and income,” said Mr. Sheng. And those numbers still look good. The first quarter saw 3.74-million urban jobs created, slightly more than the year before. Rural income is up 10.1 per cent, while urban salaries swelled 7.2 per cent. At the same time, consumer price index growth of 2.3 per cent has allowed many of those gains to flow in to consumer pockets, rather than back into groceries.

Slowdown curbs Q1 lending activity – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn Money supply growth decelerated further in March amid a reform-induced economic slowdown, according to figures released on Tuesday by the People’s Bank of China.

The central bank said that the expansion of M2, a broad measure of money supply, slowed to 12.1 percent year-on-year from 13.3 percent in February. The market consensus was for an increase of 13 percent.

Slower deposit growth, which limits banks’ ability to lend, was a factor. Yuan deposit growth fell to 11.4 percent year-on-year in March from 12.5 percent in February.

Higher-value exporters survive turmoil in market[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn Higher-value Chinese exporters are more immune than low-cost manufacturers in the face of market turmoil from such things as weak demand, exchange-rate fluctuations and rising costs, said exhibitors at the Canton Fair that opened on Tuesday.

China not Currency Manipulator: US Treasury-Caijing “China’s currency yuan, or renminbi (RMB) appreciated on a trade-weighted basis in 2013 but not as fast or by as much as is needed,” the US Treasury said  in the latest semi-annual Report to Congress on International Economic and  Exchange Rate Policies.

According to the report, the yuan appreciated by 2.9 percent against the US  dollar in 2013, and China’s current account surplus declined to 2.1 percent of  gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, down from 2.3 percent of GDP in 2012 and  from a peak of over 10 percent in 2007.

Yangtze River Delta becomes epicentre for China credit risk | South China Morning Post Suzhou, an ancient city in Jiangsu province 100 kilometres west of Shanghai, lives in legend as one of China’s most beautiful, famous for its elegant gardens and charming canals.

More recently, it became an industrial powerhouse, sitting at the heart of the Yangtze River Delta region that, along with the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong, drove the mainland’s economic boom.

Now it is ground zero for a painful corporate deleveraging that has tacit government approval. A third of all loan delinquencies come from the region, and credit is getting harder to come by.

Finance

Citic Pacific to Pay $36B for Parent’s China Assets – Bloomberg The steelmaker and property developer will pay 49.9 billion yuan in cash and issue almost 16.6 billion shares at HK$13.48 each, according to a Hong Kong exchange filing today. Citic Group Corp. will hold 75 percent of Citic Pacific following the transaction and a share sale by the Hong Kong company, it said.

The transaction comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping advocates the most sweeping changes since Deng Xiaoping’s liberalization in 1978, including loosening yuan trading and allowing more private investments in state businesses. The deal gives Citic Pacific a stake in China’s largest brokerage, as well as banking, energy and infrastructure assets.

China Money Network − S&P Downgrades Fosun International’s Credit Rating Shanghai-headquartered Chinese privately owned conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. has been downgraded by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services because of the company’s increasing leverage level as a result of its acquisitions, according to a notice issued by S&P.

Fosun’s long-term corporate credit rating is downgraded to BB from BB+ with stable outlook.

BRIEF-Ping An Insurance’s Jan-Mar premium income totalled 108 bln yuan | Reuters Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd

* Says January-March premium income totalled 108 billion yuan ($17.37 billion)

Source text in Chinese: link.reuters.com/tan58v

BRIEF-China Life Insurance’s Jan-Mar premium income totalled about 132.2 bln yuan | Reuters China Life Insurance Co Ltd

* Says January-March premium income totalled about 132.2 billion yuan ($21.25 billion)

Source text in Chinese: link.reuters.com/tet58v

Auto

Volvo likely to become China’s next official car brand: report|Companies|Business|WantChinaTimes.com **I wonder what % of Audi’s revenues come from China** China’s president Xi Jinping, who visited the Chinese-owned Volvo car plant in Ghent, Belgium on April 1 during his European trip, seems to have become the best spokesman for the automobile brand after a photo of him and the Volvo XC60 model was published. Volvo could likely become the new choice for official cars in China, according to the Guangzhou-based Time Weekly.

Infrastructure

SOE accounting puzzle blurs frugality drive – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn **Article repeated from Xinhua – evidently CRCC’s arse is being kicked** Many Chinese state-owned enterprises(SOEs) that were under fire last year for exorbitant “reception” fees hid the item in their latest financial results, renewing public concerns over their sincerity to cut extravagance.

China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd. (CRCC), one of the country’s largest construction companies, spent 837.5 million yuan (135.1 million U.S. dollars) on receptions in 2012. The company was punished following public outrage over the alleged abuse of state assets.

In its 2013 financial report released in late March, CRCC canceled the item called “receptions” in its accounting statement. Meanwhile, the item named “management fees,” which included the sub-item “receptions” in the 2012 report, surged by nearly 2.2 billion yuan last year.

World’s longest plateau rail tunnel completed – People’s Daily Online The Xinguanjiao Tunnel, the world’s longest plateau rail tunnel on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, was completed on Tuesday, local authorities said.

Spanning 32.645 km, the tunnel was finished on Tuesday afternoon, making it the longest rail tunnel in China, according to Zhi Changying, an official with the China Railway Tunnel Co. Ltd. (CRTC), a partner in the project.

Sierra Leone Sports: Bo stadium handed over to Salone « Awoko Newspaper Renowned Chinese company, Xinjiang Beixin construction and Engineering Group Company Limited on Friday April 11th handed over the four thousand seater stadium to government through the Ministry of Sports.

Before the handing over ceremony, one of the Engineers Tai Xie who also doubles as interpreter told Newday that they started the construction of the Stadium on the 25th of December 2008 and they finished the project on 25th December 2013 spanning over a five year period.

Energy

China Natural Gas Output Rises in March to Highest in Two Years – BloombergNatural gas output in the world’s largest energy consumer rose 7.6 percent to 11 billion cubic meters last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing show today. That’s the highest since March 2012. NBS didn’t release output figures for January 2013 because the data was distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Chinese government sees expanding gas supply as a way to curb air pollution that has frequently exceeded limits recommended by the World Health Organization. The National Energy Administration said in its work plan in January that gas output is forecast to rise 12 percent from a year earlier to 131 billion cubic meters this year.

China State Grid Considers Dollar Issue Amid State-Giant Sales – Bloomberg State Grid Corp. of China, the nation’s largest power distributor, is considering a dollar-denominated bond offering following sales from other government-backed giants.

The company will meet investors in the U.S. and Asia from April 21, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. China Petrochemical Corp., known as Sinopec Group and parent of Asia’s largest oil refiner, raised $5 billion selling securities April 2 in Asia’s biggest dollar bond offering in a decade.

China builds up nuclear power grid – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn “China will install another 800 gigawatts of capacity for nuclear power, about 70 percent of which will use our technology for steam turbines and other key components,” Chen Chaoming, vice-president of Nuclear China-Alstom Thermal, told reporters in Beijing during the 13th edition of Nuclear Industry China, organized by the Chinese Nuclear Society.

“Despite the post-Fukushima delays,” he said, referring to the Japanese disaster of three years ago, “China’s nuclear market has a huge potential for growth. Basically, it is because China’s nuclear industry is still at a nascent stage. Power generated by nuclear plants accounts for less than 2 percent,” he said.

PetroChina Company Ltd.: Notice of Annual General Meeting for the year 2013 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an annual general meeting of PetroChina Company Limited (the “Company”) for the year 2013 (the “Annual General Meeting”) will be held at 9 a.m. on 22 May 2014 at Beijing Oriental Bay International Hotel, 26 Anwai Xibinhe Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing.

PLN teams up with Chinese firms on marine project | The Jakarta Post State owned electricity company PT PLN has teamed up with three Chinese companies — Technology Intern Shijiazhuang Enric Gas Equipment Co. Ltd, Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute of CIMC and PT Enviromate Technology International Cui Li — to develop marine transportation of compressed natural gas (CNG) in Indonesia.

The marine CNG transportation project, which will transport CNG from Gresik, East Java to Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, via a CNG vessel, is the first project of its kind in the world.

Telecoms

Huawei world’s top communications equipment supplier in 2013|Companies|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Drawing from China’s huge mobile communications market, Huawei became the world’s largest communications equipment supplier in 2013, overtaking Ericsson, according to the Chinese-language CBN Weekly.

The company raked in net profits of US$3.47 billion on sales of US$39.5 billion in 2013, compared with US$1.9 billion and US$35.3 billion for Ericsson. Cisco was third.

Property

China First-Quarter Home Sales Post Decline on Tight Credit – Bloomberg The value of homes sold fell 7.7 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($177 billion) in the three months to March from the same period a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The last time home value sales dropped in the first quarter was in 2012. New property construction declined to 291 million square meters (3.1 billion square feet) in the quarter.

Is glut developing in retail building sector?[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn Despite a rapid growth in retail sales, less-experienced developers could soon be learning a hard lesson from a market with a supply glut, says a retail property trend report released by Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest privately held real estate services company.

The report forecast that the new supply of commercial properties in 30 cities that it monitors will total 75 million square meters, and a peak of new supply with more than 20 million sq m will flood the market this year.

Hoping for Price Rises? Here’s the Harsh Reality, CCTV Tells Home Buyers – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s latest message about the property market is simple and aimed at the man on the street: The home you’ve bought isn’t a one-way bet. Deal with it.

That message has been pumped out through China’s state broadcaster as part of Beijing’s efforts to curb people’s enthusiasm for homes as an investment tool. Such appetite for property has driven economic growth, but also led to imbalances in the country’s economy and social tension.

Hebei Hopes to Turn Cities into Satellites by Pushing Them into Beijing’s Orbit – The housing market in Baoding heated up after media reports that provincial officials in Hebei want to develop some cities into satellites of Beijing, and Baoding might host some central government offices.

A Hebei official has said the idea is still just that, and that the central government has not approved anything.

However, the plan shows the province is enthusiastic about developing its economy, and has identified problems in the capital – overcrowding, heavy traffic and terrible air pollution – as problems it could use to its advantage.

Travel

WeChat Adds Air Ticket Booking Service | TechNode WeChat’s m-commerce offerings has added flight booking service that is provided by LV.com (formerly 17u.cn), a Chinese online travel service Tencent has a stake in. Payments, of course, are supported by WeChat Payment.

Firms decline to comment on merger rumors – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Ctrip.com International and Qunar.com Inc, two Chinese NASDAQ-listed online travel service providers, both declined to comment Tuesday on market rumors that they will merge in a deal that would create an online travel service giant with a market capitalization of over $10 billion.

The rumors, as reported by China Business Journal over the weekend, claimed that search engine giant Baidu Inc, the majority shareholder in Qunar, will swap its shares in Qunar for Ctrip shares, resulting in Baidu taking a controlling stake in Ctrip.

Sikorsky Helicopter Receives Chinese Nod – Analyst Blog – NASDAQ.com **UK political buffs may remember Sikorsky from the Westland affair** Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a unit of  United Technologies Corp. (UTX), declared that its S-76D aircraft has received China’s  certification, jumpstarting its delivery to Chinese customers.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued a validation type certificate for the helicopters, which will  support expansion of Sikorsky’s operations in a potentially  profitable market and strengthen its foothold in the Chinese market.

Tech

Alibaba Plans Hong Kong-Style Fee as Carrot for IPO Banks – Businessweek Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is planning to award about one-third of the fees for its initial public offering in the form of incentive bonuses to coax better performance from underwriters, people with knowledge of the matter said.

China’s largest e-commerce company plans to pay at least 1.1 percent of the total IPO proceeds in fees, two people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Estimates of Alibaba’s valuation suggest the company could raise as much as $18 billion in the sale, making the potential fee pool almost $200 million. While the e-commerce giant is preparing for an IPO in New York, performance incentives are common in Hong Kong and have been used by companies including Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.

China’s Alibaba sees profit double ahead of long-awaited IPO As the tech world awaits Alibaba’s US IPO, here are some new financial figures to chew on. The Chinese ecommerce juggernaut pulled in US$3.06 billion in revenue in Q4 2014, which is up 66 percent on the same period a year before. Alibaba’s Q4 net income hit $1.36 billion in net income in Q4, which has more than doubled (up 110 percent) from the previous year.

Alibaba’s Q4 numbers were boosted by the popularity of China’s equivalent of Cyber Monday, which happens every November 11. On that day, Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao marketplaces saw $5.7 billion spent by shoppers in just 24 hours.

Baidu enters China’s mobile payments war with Baidu Wallet Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), the Chinese tech giant best known for its search engine, announced yesterday it will roll out a new mobile wallet app called Baidu Wallet (baidu qianbao), reports Jinghua.cn (via Techweb).

Like its main rivals from Alibaba (Alipay) and Tencent (Tenpay and WeChat Payments), Baidu Wallet serves as a Swiss army knife for the average Chinese consumer’s finance needs. By binding bank cards to the app, users can transfer money to friends’ accounts, top up their SIM cards, pay for virtual goods in video games, purchase movie tickets, and buy goods from any vendor that accepts Baifubao, Baidu’s third-party payment solution.

Agriculture

Noble Group to sell stake in agriculture unit for US$1.5b – Channel NewsAsia China’s largest grain trader COFCO Corp will buy a 51 per cent stake in Singapore-listed Noble Group Ltd’s agriculture business unit for US$1.5 billion, Noble said on Wednesday.

The two companies plan to form a partnership that will link COFCO’s grain processing and distribution business with Noble Agri’s agricultural unit.

Noble Group Limited – Did it sell the agriculture business at right price – which of the brokers is right? – Yahoo Singapore Finance After failing to spin off its agriculture business in 2011 it has now again plans for an IPO after divesting majority stake to COFCO. The question still remains whether this segment deserves better valuations.

Retail

An Overview of China’s Retail Industry | China Briefing News Underpinned by the steady rise of household income, China’s retail market has become one of the most lucrative and rapidly growing in the world. China is currently the world’s second largest retail market, and Asia’s largest. It is expected to surpass the U.S. to become the world’s largest retail market by 2016. After years of accelerated growth and annual expansion rates of 10 percent or more, China’s growth in 2013 slowed down to 7.7 percent – level with the figure for 2012. This slowdown in growth is consistent with China’s effort to carry out a major overhaul aimed at weaning its economy off its decades-long reliance on heavy industry, export-oriented manufacturing, state-driven investment, as well as investment in infrastructure. Meanwhile, to rebalance the nation’s economy, policymakers are attempting to shift towards a more consumption- and service-driven model, hoping to foster and sustain more productive growth over the next decade and beyond.

Reaching for the red | China Economic Review This is a characteristic trait seen in previous emerging markets like Japan that eventually opened up their palates to other varieties, notes Guilllame Delglise, CEO of Vinexpo, a global wines and spirits exhibition, but it will take time for the same to happen in China.

In an interview during a recent visit to Shanghai, Delglise, who was previously Asia Pacific director for Laurent-Perrier, also told China Economic Review that officials in Beijing are not inclined to serve champagne to their guests, and explained why that might be good for marketers of bubbly as they chase affluent urban youngsters at fancy nightclubs.

Healthcare

China Money Network − TPG, Fosun’s Privatization Target Chindex Receives Higher Takeover Proposal NASDAQ-listed Chindex International, Inc., the operator of high-end United Family hospitals in China, says the company has received a superior take-private proposal from an unspecified financial bidder, according to a company release.

The new bidder is willing to pay $23 per share for all outstanding American Depository Shares (ADS), valuing the company at around $414 million.

Posted from Diigo.

Advertisements

China Business Briefs 6/1/14

ECONOMY

China draws up new rules to curb shadow banking risks – FT.com The draft regulations, a copy of which was obtained by the Financial Times, mark an attempt by the government to better co-ordinate regulation of the country’s shadow banks, but also indicate a more permissive official stance than many observers had anticipated.

China approves pilot plan to set up 3-5 private banks | Reuters China has approved a pilot scheme allowing the setting up of three to five private banks, the regulator said on Monday, in a step to boost financial support for cash-starved smaller firm

Chinese leaders have pledged to open up the banking sector, now dominated by big state-owned lenders, to private investors to help boost competition and increase lending to small firms, who are often neglected by the big banks.

Diverse ownership to boost SOE reforms – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns Ding Yifan, deputy director of the Institute of World Development under the State Council’s Development Research Center, said a communique, issued after a key meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, set diverse ownership as the future development direction.

The move is a result of complaints about SOEs’ low efficiency and them receiving too many favors from government, said Ding in a program on Chinese reforms aired on Sunday on China Xinhua News Agency Network Co. Ltd. (CNC).

The three big listing themes in 2014 | South China Morning Post While Hong Kong’s equity market may have yet to shake off its holiday lethargy, IPO Watch is casting a glance back into 2013 to explore three important issues that may serve as a guide for stock picking among this year’s listing hopefuls. At least one of the trends is likely to emerge as the defining issue of the city’s listing market in 2014.

China to strengthen delisting rules – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn More issues need to be made clearer concerning the legal basis for delisting in such cases, the definition of a major violation, and the approach for delisting, Monday’s Shanghai Securities News quoted Xiao Gang, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, as saying.

Half of delistings in recent years in China were voluntary due to companies’ strategic restructuring or privatization, according to Xiao. He added that delisting will become a neutral mechanism, under which rule breaking or legal violations will not be tolerated.

China’s “Big Four” Banks Extend New Loans of CNY180B in December-Caijing China’s biggest four banks extended 180 billion yuan of new loans in December, while new deposits attracted by the state-owned banks surged 1.2 trillion yuan in the same month, reported by the Shanghai Securities News.

With money supply well above target, there is a good chance that banks are cautious in extending loans as planned, said Lu Zhengwei, chief economist with Industrial Bank. Chinese banks all together lent 8.4 trillion yuan in the first 11 months of this year, leaving 600 billion for December if they follow strictly of the full year target of 9 trillion yuan.

China Wages Seen Jumping in 2014 Amid Shift to Services: – Bloomberg Lu Ting, a Hong Kong-based economist for Bank of America, said in an e-mail that he sees wage growth of 11 percent this year after an estimated 10.7 percent gain in 2013. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. analysts said in interviews that they predict 10 percent to 15 percent increases.

China’s ruling Communist Party is pushing for pay increases to retain public support and to accelerate the nation’s shift away from polluting and capital-intensive manufacturing to a more services-driven economy. In minimum-wage increases so far announced for 2014, workers in Shenzhen in Guangdong province get a 13 percent boost and the gain for those in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, is 15.6 percent.

Govt campaign to ensure migrant workers’ wages – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said in a statement that five working teams will be sent to eight provinces including Zhejiang and Hubei to inspect employers’ salary payments to migrant workers as well as local governments’ related supervisory work.

The statement said that the campaign will urge local authorities to take effective measures to ensure migrant workers get paid in full before the Spring Festival, which falls on Jan 31.

Regional Conflicts in the South China Sea Could Rival the Middle East One Day The South China Sea reportedly holds 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That might actually only tell half of the story as the US Geological Survey estimates that as much as 22 billion barrels of oil could lie underneath the seabed. Unfortunately, there’s no clear way to define who “owns” these resources, as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei all believe some, or all, of these resources belong to them.

This is in fact one reason why nearly a third of all global crude oil passes through the South China Sea each year. The combination of potentially disputed oil underneath the sea, as well as its importance in the global oil trade makes this region a potential future hotbed for conflict. Clearly, peace in the South China Sea is vital to maintain regional stability.

Futures market records major increase |Markets |chinadaily.com.cn Combined trading volumes in the futures market in 2013 jumped to 2.06 billion contracts, 42.15 percent year-on-year growth, the CFA said.

China’s Financial Futures Exchange’s trading volume jumped to 190 million contracts in 2013, an 84.22 percent increase with trading value of 141 trillion yuan, representing an 85.92 percent year-on-year increase.

Rising home prices send China’s ‘Rat Race’ scurrying underground | Reuters That’s pushing more and more newly arrived urbanites underground. Of the estimated 7.7 million migrants living in Beijing, nearly a fifth live either at their workplace or underground, according to state news agency Xinhua. Beijing’s housing authority refuted this statistic, saying in an email to Reuters that a government survey last year found only about 280,000 migrants living in basements and that only a small percentage of Beijing’s basements were being used as dwellings.

Foreign Banks Are Optimistic on China Reform, Ernst & Young Says – Businessweek “With gradual and successive financial reforms taking place in China, foreign banks are optimistic about their future in China,” Ernst & Young said in a statement in Shanghai today after surveying 38 overseas lenders. Respondents expect a “modest improvement” in their performance over the next three years, the New York-based accounting firm said.

Foreign lenders are struggling to expand their market share of less than 2 percent in the world’s second-largest economy, where banking assets more than doubled since 2008 to 147 trillion yuan ($24 trillion) as of Sept. 30. Global banks face government restrictions on adding branches and offering products as local rivals churn out record profits.

China’s domestic and outbound tourism to keep growing in 2014|Economy|News|WantChinaTimes.com The report made a positive prediction for 2014, forecasting that both the number of tourists and their spending will increase. The number of people traveling abroad may reach as high as 114 million, a 16% hike from 2013, and their spending will increase by at least 18%, according to the report. In terms of country-wide travel, the number of domestic tourists is estimated to reach 3.58 billion, while they are forecast to spend 3.2 trillion (US$528.8 billion).

Luxury cigarette prices fall after Beijing ban|Economy|News|WantChinaTimes.com Prices of luxury cigarettes have been slashed in Beijing following the Chinese government’s ban on extravagant official spending, reports the Beijing Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League in Beijing.

Taobao lures Russian shoppers – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Russians, especially young people, have increasingly been buying goods from China. Taobao data showed about $2 million worth of goods were sent to Russia in February. The figure doubled in May.

China’s Leaders Move to Rein In Steel Mecca – WSJ.com In the past two months, the local government in Hebei, a province roughly the size of Oklahoma that produces a quarter of China’s steel, has orchestrated a parade of furnace shutdowns. The head of its top steelmaker has resigned. Mills are scrambling to switch to more fuel-efficient material.

Chinese leaders are telling the province that its measures aren’t enough. Spurred in part by severe pollution that drifts from Hebei to next-door Beijing, the central government has set a goal of lopping off nearly a quarter of the province’s steelmaking capacity.

China to open tech niches to foreign investors – MarketWatch China will open information services and data storage services to foreign investment in the free trade zone, according to a notice posted on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Foreign ownership cannot exceed 50%.

Online data processing will be opened to foreign investment, but foreign ownership cannot exceed 55%. So will virtual private networks, though foreign ownership in these will be limited to 50%.

The 2014 Outlook for the People’s Bank of China – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s central bank needs to get a mix of offense and defense right in 2014. On the offense, People’s Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan was brought back for a third term by China’s top leaders, despite Mr. Zhou having reached the bank’s retirement age of 65. Mr. Zhou’s mission: to put in place a reform agenda that stalled under China’s former leaders.

On defense, the PBOC must decide how to slow China’s escalating debt, which has grown so rapidly over the past five years that it reminds Chinese and foreign economists alike of the credit bubbles that eventually burst in the U.S., Europe and other parts of Asia. First, the PBOC must decide what to do. Boost interest rates? More tightly regulate so-called shadow lenders, such as trust companies and informal lenders, which work out complicated deals with the banks to hide risky loans?

China’s growth is a contradiction, but that’s how we like it | China Economic Review China Economic Review has compiled a list of the best predictions for 2014 while also assuring readers that the world will look at China with awe, antipathy, disgust and envy all at once this year.

Private businessmen crimes rise – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Private entrepreneurs were found guilty of, or had allegedly committed three-quarters of 357 publicly reported entrepreneurial crimes in the country over the past year, the results of an annual Chinese entrepreneur crime report showed over the weekend.

China Evaluating Tax on Foreign Exchange & Capital Flows | China Briefing News China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) – the regulatory body that oversees all movements of capital out of, and into the country has called for an “in depth study” on the potential imposition of a so-called “Tobin Tax” – a tax on all spot conversions of one currency into another. Named after the Nobel Prize winning economist James Tobin, the tax was originally meant to be used for curbing short term round trip excursions into another currency to prevent deliberate destabilization of national currencies being wrought by market traders.  China however seems to be evaluating its use as a means to control currency flows even as the Chinese RMB is being liberalized.

What’s Trust in China Got To Do With Our Success? Integrity and caring build trust in China. We should be doing that with our workers in China, but we should also insure or direct reports and other important positions have that. Trust in China is worth big money. It makes teams go and must come from top leaders.

China IP infringement As China lawyers, we are all too frequently contacted by our clients who need help dealing with IP infringement in China. As a first step, we analyze the situation and propose a course of action.  The following is an amalgamation of memoranda, done so as to convey both what goes on out there and how to deal with it.  Most importantly, however, it is intended to provide a path towards preventing IP infringement through proactive trademark and copyright registrations.

Video: Ice Festival preparations hot up in Harbin, China – Telegraph According to organisers, the festival is one of the largest in the world stretching to 6,458,400 square feet.

COMPANIES

China Railway Group chairman dies – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns The chairman of China Railway Group Ltd Bai Zhongren died at his home Saturday, Securities Times reported Sunday.

The company’s spokesperson has confirmed the information, but said the company’s operations were normal, the report said. The report also said that Bai had been suffering depression for years, without disclosing the reason why he died.

China Railway Group President Bai Zhongren’s Death From An Unspecified Accident Might Be A Suicide: Local Media However, China Business News, a local newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said that the 53-year-old jumped to his death from a fourth-story window at his home, after suffering from depression in recent months due to his company’s mounting debt.

China Railway Shares Plunge After Company President’s Death – Wall Street Journal – WSJ.com The shares of China’s second-largest construction contractor by revenue after China Railway Construction Corp. fell as much as 7.2% in Hong Kong on Monday, then recouped some of the losses, to end 4.1% lower at 3.75 Hong Kong dollars (US$0.48) per share. It was the lowest close since July 15.

China Harbin Bank Seeks to Raise $1 Billion Via Hong Kong IPO – WSJ.com If it gets listing approval from Hong Kong’s stock exchange, Harbin Bank would be the fourth Chinese bank to go public in Hong Kong since a wave of offerings kicked off in November. Chinese banks have been raising money through Hong Kong IPOs as a way of replenishing their capital amid tighter regulatory requirements, and as bad loans increase while the economy slows.

In December, Hong Kong was home to a $3 billion offering by China Everbright Bank, the country’s 11th largest bank by assets, in what was the city’s biggest IPO of 2013. Everbright Bank’s IPO came just weeks after two smaller Chinese banks, Huishang Bank Corp. and Bank of Chongqing, raised about $2 billion in total in November.

In China you can now hail a cab and pay the driver on WeChat That was fast – just days after Chinese tech giant Tencent (HKG:0700) threw some cash into the massive series C funding round for taxi-hailing app Didi Dache, WeChat, Tencent’s behemoth messaging app, has added a feature that lets users hail a taxi on-demand using Didi’s network.

Alibaba and Sina Weibo partner up to bring Weibo Wallet to mobile The introductory splash-screen for the updated Sina Weibo app – now at v4.2 – tells users they can make payments within Weibo for any product that someone shares or links to within the app. It promises that “paying online is just a tap away.” A “Wallet” section now appears in the “Me” area of the Sina Weibo app. However, it’s poorly implemented right now, and there’s no explanation of how to connect this new Weibo Wallet to any e-payment service or bank card.

Oil Tycoon Denies Hu Yaobang’s Family Is Linked to His Business – Oil tycoon Wang Letian says that the family of former Communist Party general secretary Hu Yaobang was not linked to his deals for oilfields.

Wang bought several fields in 2008 in the northwestern province of Shaanxi from state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) via an intermediary, Zhou Bin, the son of a former top leader. Zhou is currently embroiled in a corruption investigation.

Wang said that he paid for the oil fields and buying them through an intermediary was a choice he made only reluctantly because private oil companies had no access to productive reserves.

China Mobile Probes Loss-Making Exit From Hong Kong TV – Bloomberg China Mobile Communications Corp., the parent of the world’s largest phone company, is probing a decision by its Hong Kong unit to exit the territory’s television market at a loss one year after introducing service.

China Mobile is investigating whether the transaction meets its internal guidelines as well as regulations of China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the company said in an e-mail today. The sale involved a unit that owned spectrum to broadcast mobile television service in Hong Kong, the company said, without identifying the buyer.

CNOOC to close new energy unit – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn China’s third-largest national oil company decided to end one of its renewable energy subsidiaries, according to media reports, as the country’s lackluster new energy market continues to struggle with limited demand and high production costs, analysts said Sunday.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) plans to dissolve its subsidiary CNOOC New Energy Investment Co, a Beijing-based firm which mainly explores and produces several forms of renewable energy including wind power, coal-based clean energy and biomass energy, the Beijing-based Economic Observer newspaper reported Friday.

Dalian Wanda building theme park to rival Shanghai Disney Resort|WantChinaTimes.com China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, plans to spend 30 billion yuan (US$5 billion) to build a theme park to rival the Shanghai Disney Resort as he explores possibilities for the future of his property development company, reports the Beijing News.

“I’m targeting Disney. I never have blind faith in foreigners. I will prove that a tourism project built by the Chinese can compete with the so-called famous brands from the United States,” Wang said.

Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., Energy Corp. of America plan Marcellus wells – Pittsburgh Business Times The biggest coal company in the world, China’s state-owned Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., is making a big commitment to drilling for natural gas in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Shenhua is making a $90 million investment in a joint venture with Energy Corporation of America to drill for natural gas in Greene County.

SINOPEC Engineering Group Co Ltd : Sinopec plans to build $3.1bn plant | 4-Traders Sinopec Engineering Group said it has entered into a deal to build a $3.1 billion plant in northern China to turn coal into petrochemicals, as China seeks to reduce its reliance on petrochemical imports.

Sinopec Engineering will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction of the 18.67 billion-yuan project in Inner Mongolia, which it said would be the largest of its kind in the world.

Taking off – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Cathay Pacific Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways, is one of several companies betting on a sharp increase in air freight in coming years.

The company spent HK$5.9 billion ($760 million) in 2013 to build a new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport. It now has the capacity to deal with 2.6 million tons of goods annually, taking the total annual freight capacity at Hong Kong International Airport to 7.4 million tons.

Qunar Jumps on Mobile User Growth as Ctrip Tumbles – Bloomberg Qunar, based in Beijing, rallied 11 percent on Jan. 3 to the highest level since its U.S. debut in November. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most traded Chinese stocks in New York slid 1.5 percent, capping a 2.5 percent slump last week. Ctrip.com, China’s biggest online travel agency, led declines on the gauge with a 7.9 percent retreat.

In China, Crowd-Funded Concerts Are Catching On With Fans – China Real Time Report – WSJ On a recent weeknight in Beijing, about 800 people gathered at a club in downtown Beijing to watch a performance by pop singer Li Quan and Li Daimo, a singer made popular by the “Voice of China” TV show. At home, several hundred more participants were tuning into the concert live from their computers or smartphones.

The concert was organized by Xiami, a Hangzhou-based online music portal owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, in its first such initiative using crowd-sourced funding via Alibaba’s Taobao online shopping platform.

China,Germany,Japan,United Kingdom : CHINA launches SHANGHAI INSTITUTE OF MARINE INSURANCE | 4-Traders China launches its first marine insurance association called the Shanghai Institute of Marine Insurance.

The association s members include Chinese insurers Ping An Insurance (PAI), People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) and China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC).

Foreign companies, including Lloyd’s, Sumitomo Mitsui and Allianz are also members.

Honda says Dec China auto sales up 60 pct y/y | Reuters Honda Motor Co Ltd and its two local joint ventures sold a record 101,465 automobiles in China in December, up 60.4 percent from a year earlier, the Japanese automaker said on Monday.

AMEC plc : Amec Gets 6-Year Nexen Petroleum UK EPC Contract | 4-Traders AMEC PLC, an international engineering and project management company, said Monday it has been appointed by Nexen Petroleum U.K. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd., to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for their North Sea offshore assets.

Li Ka-shing to spin off Hong Kong electricity distribution unit – FT.com Li Ka-shing’s power generation and supply group will set up the first test of Hong Kong’s equity markets for 2014 when it begins marketing the spin-off of its local electricity distribution business to investors on Monday.

It is the biggest listing in the city since AIA’s $20.5bn sale in 2010 and the largest anywhere in Asia since Japan Airlines’ $8.5bn deal in September 2012, according to Dealogic.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Used This Strategy to Win Over China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) employs a tactical marketing strategy that always helps the company to succeed even when it was expected to fail. While entering a new market which presents both challenges and opportunities the company does rush to cut deals with market leaders. Instead, it actually goes for the smaller players.

Minsheng uses aircraft business to expand overseas | South China Morning Post While many of the big names in mainland banking have expanded overseas by opening branches or acquiring foreign assets, China Minsheng Bank has adopted a different approach and is building its brand through aircraft leasing.

Its Minsheng Financial Leasing unit, one of the first five mainland financial leasing companies with a banking background to be approved by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, has recently expanded its private jet leasing to commercial aircraft after setting up Minsheng Commercial Aviation in Hong Kong.

Interview: Innovation key to success of Lenovo – Xinhua | English.news.cn “Lenovo’s innovation lies in its technology, products, business model and cultural management. Its name, which was changed from Legend in 2003, is a combination of ‘legend’ and ‘novo’, a Latin word meaning new,” Yang told Xinhua during an interview.

In 2013, Lenovo ranked first in the PC market taking 17.7 percent of market share worldwide. It is welcoming the post-PC era with 4G technology, Internet development and multiple terminal devices, said Liu.

Firms’ Acquisition Fight Shows How Rules for Overseas Investments Are Changing – A recent acquisition battle between two Chinese companies over a Cayman-registered semiconductor firm has shed light into the China’s changing overseas investment approval system.

Why NEXON’s BNB Failed to Accuse Tencent’s “QQ堂” of Copyright Infringement? | Bridge IP Law Commentary In recent years, there is serious plagiarism in the field of online games. Considering that online game acts as computer software, however, laws protect its “code” other than game mode and method. The case in today’s post will disclose this principle for us.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 27/12/13

ECONOMY

‘Home’ Chosen as Mainland’s Chinese Character of the Year; Taiwan Chooses ‘Fake’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ **For “nearly three years”? It’s a lot longer than that** In Mainland China, residents have been plagued for nearly three years with surging home prices, prompting both the central and local governments to implement a number of measures in attempts to cool the market. Data from November showed that the growth in home prices is tapering, but the trend has been weighing on people enough to justify fang (), or home, as the choice for Chinese character of the year. As the Beijing Evening News reported, the character was an “easy choice” because so many people are facing the same problem: rent hikes and spiraling prices that are putting the dream of owning their own home out of reach for many average Chinese.

China outlines measures to protect small investors – Xinhua | English.news.cn **Yet no word of what this “slew” contains** China’s cabinet on Friday outlined a slew of measures which may better protect the interests of small and medium investors in the capital market.

Small and medium investors are the main player in the country’s capital market, but their interests are prone to the infringement, said a document issued by the State Council.

Chinese Banks’ NPL Ratio Climbs to 0.97Pc by End of Q3: Report -Caijing **Oh really? How much are bundled over with new loans?** The NPL ratio was at 0.95 percent at the end of 2012, when outstanding NPLs jumped to 492.9billion yuan before soaring to 563.6billion yuan nine months later, China Chengxin International Credit Rating Co., Ltd. (CCXI) said in its 2013 ratings report on China’s banking industry.

Shanghai starts simulated trade in equity options – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns Simulated trading began on Thursday morning, the SSE confirmed to China Daily, and more than 60 securities firms took part.

The shares of Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd, SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, the China 50 ETF and the Shanghai SSE180 ETF were used in the exercise.

Regulator Has Eyes on Popular Online Investing, Sources Say – Virtual stores touting high-yield funds have been extremely popular with retail investors this year because they promise returns much higher than bank deposits, with some exceeding 10 percent. The benchmark interest rate for a one-year deposit is of 3.25 percent.

Fund management companies, licensed independent fund sellers, news websites and Internet companies have joined the game, and some of their marketing tactics apparently worry the CSRC.

China’s Economy: Five Barometers of Change in 2014 – China Real Time Report – WSJ **I would also look at occupancy rates of real estate, both residential and commercial** Here are five places to look in the new year for signs of just how serious China’s leaders are about change – and how well the economy is handling it.

China says satellite network to be big asset, others can use it too | Reuters China’s homegrown satellite navigation system will bring untold economic, social and military benefits and other countries in Asia are welcome to use it, the director of China’s satellite navigation agency said on Friday.

The year-old Beidou satellite navigation system is a rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russian GLONASS. Beidou’s 16 satellites serve the Asia-Pacific but the number of satellites is expected to grow to 30 by 2020 as coverage expands globally.

China Money Rate Slides as PBOC Adds; Yuan Gains to 20-Year High – Bloomberg The seven-day repurchase rate tumbled 252 basis points since Dec. 20, the biggest decline since July 2011, to 5.08 percent in Shanghai, a daily fixing from the National Interbank Funding Center showed. The gauge of funding availability in the banking system fell 25 basis points, or 0.25 percentage point, today.

The yuan strengthened beyond 6.0700 to the dollar for the first time, touching 6.0670 before trading 0.1 percent higher at 6.0686, China Foreign Exchange Trade System prices show. That’s a 0.04 percent gain since Dec. 20. The PBOC raised the yuan’s reference rate by 0.17 percent to 6.1050 per dollar today, the strongest since a peg to the greenback ended in July 2005.

 

How they fell: The collapse of Chinese cross-border listings | McKinsey & Company Do these IPOs—and three others this year—mark a broader return of Chinese cross-border listings in the United States? It’s too early to tell; after all, Qunar’s listing was the second from a reputable company in a well-understood industry.1 And 58.com fit neatly into the sweet spot of US tech-industry analysts. These are among the first major Chinese listings in the United States after more than 100 Chinese companies were delisted or suspended from trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2011 and 2012 as a result of fraud and accounting scandals. The fallout of that episode, which destroyed more than $40 billion in value, continues to reverberate through the investment community and in subsequent lawsuits.

China Banks Keep the Fees Flowing – WSJ.com By one estimate, Chinese banks will require about $320 billion in additional capital—including from bonds, hybrids and equity issuance—over the next five years, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Of that, a sizable amount could be through IPOs, which in Hong Kong pay between 1.5% and 3% of the deal’s size as fees to underwriters.

COMPANIES

General Motors recalls 1.5 mn Buick, Chevy Sail cars, Ford too hits Kuga alarm in China – Financial Express **Who oversees quality control? Shocking** Shanghai General Motors Co Ltd, GM’s venture with SAIC Motor Corp, will recall about 1.46 million Buick and Chevrolet models produced locally due to issues with a bracket that secures the fuel pump, the country’s quality watchdog said on Friday.

Separately, the watchdog said Ford Motor Co’s joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd will recall close to 81,000 of its Kuga cars over a steering part.

Tech in China 2013: Chinese Tech Stocks Recovering? **Would not see this as a trend** Two Chinese tech stocks SouFun Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: SFUN) and Qihoo 360 Technology (NYSE: QIHU) ranked No. 2 and No. 4 respectively of the top 10 best-performing tech stocks by total return in the US stock market in 2013, according to this Forbes post published on December 23th (The writer doesn’t believe there will be any changes in the ranking by the New Year’s Day).

China’s banks are coming – this time for real | Reuters **Because the domestic market is going to get rough for them** In 2013, China’s lenders abroad mostly stuck with what they knew – servicing Chinese companies. But there were firsts. Agricultural Bank of China started clearing yuan trades in the United Kingdom, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China issued a yuan-denominated UK bond. Those niche markets can still grow fast: the yuan is now the second most-used trade currency after the U.S. dollar.

Takeovers are the logical next step. A dream pairing of ICBC and UK-based emerging market lender Standard Chartered may be too complex, despite the latter’s sliding valuation. But majority stakes in markets where Chinese companies trade and invest make more immediate sense. China Construction Bank set the tone by buying a stake in Brazil’s BicBanco in November. Africa and Eastern Europe may see similar deals. Even oil-rich Iran could be a target in a future sanctions-free world.

Japanese govt warns against Baidu input – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Japan’s National Information Security Center (NISC) and Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology advised 140 institutions including government departments, universities, and research centers not to use the input software developed by Chinese Internet company Baidu Inc, sina.com reported, citing Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

Alipay Wallet to Launch 8.0 Edition and An English Version Alipay, the mobile payment and service provider of Alibaba Group, will launch an 8.0 version of Alipay Wallet mobile app in the coming January. The biggest change with the update is that merchants can move physical loyalty cards onto the platform. Previously Alipay Wallet released a WeChat Official Account program that merchants can have users subscribe to their digital loyalty programs; for instance, you’ll receive deals or coupons by Starbucks after subscribing to its Alipay Wallet account.

Deutsche Boerse Agrees to Collaborate With Bank of China – Bloomberg The two companies agreed on a memorandum of understanding to promote the development of the offshore renminbi market in Europe, the exchange said in a statement today. Deutsche Boerse will help Bank of China gain access to European capital markets through its branch in Frankfurt, and the two will co-operate on investor education and business development.

Why did Alibaba and Jingdong apply for telecom licenses? **Vertical integration** For one thing, Alibaba and Jingdong, as the country’s two largest e-commerce firms, both sell a lot of phones. In their view, selling products and services that typically accompany phones – mobile data and call minutes, mainly – could be an easy avenue through which a few extra dollars can be earned. Customers might purchase a brand-new Samsung Galaxy S4 on Taobao and subsequently select a service package from Net.cn just before the final checkout page.

Leaked photo emerges of a 7-inch Xiaomi tablet When we interviewed Xiaomi founder Lei Jun in October 2012, he stated clearly that the startup phone-maker was not working on an Android tablet. But that was 14 months ago. A leaked image this week claims to show a 7-inch Xiaomi tablet (pictured), suggesting that Xiaomi might have been swayed by the success of budget tablets like the original Nexus 7.

Overseas dealmaking: China scores – FT.com Juxtapose the Apollo/Cooper fiasco against Shuanghui’s $5bn purchase of American pork processor Smithfield. In spite of congressional scepticism of Chinese motives – a headwind that Indian buyers do not face – the largest Chinese takeover of a US company passed scrutiny. Shuanghui secured financing of $7bn and is poised to list its shares.

BRIEF-China Railway Construction’s unit signs road, undersea tunnel project in Malaysia for $1.2 bln – Yahoo Singapore Finance China Railway Construction Corp Ltd

* Says unit signs road and undersea tunnel project in Malaysia for $1.19 billion

The Himalayan Times : Melamchi project gets a new life – Detail News : Nepal News Portal The government terminated the contract with the China Railway 15 Bureau Group Corporation and China Machinery Industry Construction Group Inc (CRCC) on September 25, 2012 after their failure to perform as per the signed agreement. The CRCC could build only a 6.5-km stretch of a tunnel in three years though it had signed a deal with the Melamchi Water Supply Development Board, a government undertaking, on February 19, 2009 to complete the construction of a 27.5-km-long tunnel at a cost of Rs 4.28 billion by September 2, 2013.

allAfrica.com: Uganda: 2013 – Tax Battles, Refinery Plans Shaped the Oil Story (Page 1 of 3) Tax battles in London, government’s issuance of the country’s first production licence to Chinese oil giant, Cnooc, accusations and counter accusations of ‘meagre’ compensation rates to people living around the refinery site, and the request for qualifications for oil refinery shaped the country’s oil and gas sector this year.

Sinopec Engineering to build $3.1 bln coal-to-chemical plant | Reuters Sinopec Engineering Group  said it has entered into a deal to build a $3.1 billion plant in northern China to turn coal into petrochemicals, as China seeks to reduce its reliance on petrochemical imports.

Sinopec Engineering will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction of the 18.67 billion-yuan project in Inner Mongolia, which it said would be the largest of its kind in the world.

Chinese firm to build expressway in Serbia – People’s Daily Online Shandong Hi-Speed Group of China has stated to construct the E763 expressway project, which is a section of Pan-European traffic corridor, in Belgrade. The project, totaling 50.9 kilometers, is worth 334 million U.S. dollars. This is the first infrastructure project that China has implemented within the framework of the loan agreement for central and eastern Europe; it is also Serbia’s first expressway project undertaken by Chinese firm.

Govt weighing Chinese offer on SEZ in Ctg | FIRST PAGE | Financial Express :: Financial Newspaper of Bangladesh The Chinese company China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) completed the feasibility study earlier this year and showed interest in construction of the tunnel. It also placed its proposal to the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA), which forwarded it to the Economic Relations Division (ERD) so that necessary steps are taken for arranging the fund through government-to-government (G2G) negotiation.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 25/11/13

(Reuters) – Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng denounced the United States as “irresponsible” on Sunday after Washington accused China of jeopardizing a deal that aims to cut tariffs on technology products, saying Washington had disappointed participants in the talks.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Thursday that China’s demands to exempt more than 100 products from a technology trade deal risked leading to a breakdown in the negotiations.

As I see more and more production lines in China equipped with robots and not workers, as I read about the modularization of housing construction and presumably the reduction in needed workers, and as I write about the impact of e-retail in eliminating many physical retail locations and related jobs, I do increasingly wonder where the next wave of jobs is going to come from, and what skills people will require to fill them.

Residents in Heze, a third-tier city in Shandong province, were angered last week after they discovered they would have to turn over their homes to the local government. Officials in Juancheng county are offering a scandalously low compensation rate for land that they plan to clear, add basic utilities to, then turn around to a property developer at a steep profit. Residents there say they refuse to move.

Incidents such as these are commonplace. They occur as local governments, entrusted as the sole purveyor of rural land, look to finance regional development with the proceeds of land sales. However, reforms underfoot may soon edge local governments out of the rural land market.

China Central Television (CCTV) ­reported Sunday that major real estate companies are behind on payments of land value-added tax (VAT) amounting to more than 3.8 trillion yuan ($623.58 billion) for the period between 2005 and 2012.China’s real estate companies should have paid a total of 4.6 trillion yuan in land value-added taxes between 2005 and 2012 but only paid 0.8 trillion yuan, CCTV reported, citing Li Jinsong, a Beijing lawyer and certified tax agent.

An explosion at a China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386) oil pipeline and the nation’s deadliest spillage since at least 2005 may threaten the government’s efforts to lure investment to state-controlled industries as President Xi Jinping called for improved industrial safety.

The Nov. 22 accident at the Huangdao district in the eastern city of Qingdao killed at least 52 people, Xinhua News Agency reported. Sinopec, as China Petroleum is known, said yesterday it was still investigating the cause of the blast, which happened after crude oil leaked from a 27-year-old pipeline into Qingdao’s municipal rainwater pipe network.

When Samsung Electronics Co’s Galaxy Gear launch in early September created a hype around the potential market for smartwatches, it was certain that we would soon see cheaper versions from Chinese competitors.

Now, ZTE Corp., mainly known for its telecom equipment but also a smartphone maker, plans to launch a smartwatch in the second quarter of next year, according to Lu Qianhao, head of the Shenzhen-based company’s handset marketing strategy.

Earlier this month Cisco CEO John Chambers admitted in an earnings call that political dynamics were stymieing his company’s long march into Huawei’s backyard.

Asked whether the recent U.S. spying scandal was affecting overseas business, Chambers said it was having an impact, particularly in China, which is Cisco’s biggest emerging market country but represents less than 5 percent of its total revenue.

BEIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — Shares of Sinopec, China’s top refiner listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, opened to tumble on Monday following Friday’s deadly oil pipeline blasts in east China’s Shandong Province.

A-share of Sinopec in Shanghai opened at 4.85 yuan (79 U.S. cents) per share, down 3.96 percent from Friday’s closing price.

A group led by Aluminum Corp. of China has abandoned its bid for Glencore Xstrata Plc (GLEN)’s Las Bambas copper project in Peru, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Chinalco, as the state-owned aluminum producer is known, decided to drop out rejecting a proposal by the Chinese government that it be a minority partner in a combined bid led by China Minmetals Corp., said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private.

Mobile device chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. expects to continue growing in China, but Chief Executive Paul Jacobs acknowledged U.S. restrictions on Chinese companies and revelations about surveillance by the National Security Agency are impacting its business in the fast-growing country.

Evergrande bid for a piece of land with 20.84 ㎡building area in Chaoyang  District, Beijing on Thursday for CNY5.14billion, a premium of 30 percent over  the original auction price.

This is the third plot the group bought in the capital city this year,  raising the aggregate investment to CNY12.7billion in its first year marching  into Beijing’s property market.

One of the key questions is if China Mobile and Apple were to announce their partnership would the 200,000 TD-LTE base stations that it plans to have in place by the end of the year, which could handle 4 million active users, be enough for the initial iPhone demand. At least one analyst believes that 10% of China Mobile’s users, or about 76 million, could be potential customers. Note that as of September 2013 Apple has sold a total of 421 million iPhones worldwide since it was launched over six years ago.

The COMAC America Corporation aims to further COMAC’s relationship with local civil aviation authorities, aerospace companies and academic institutions, mainly in areas such as airworthiness certification, civil aircraft development and educational training, said Jin Zhuanglong, chairman of the COMAC.

“Chinese civil aviation market is the No.1 booming market…The fast-growing Chinese civil aviation industry is now becoming an indispensable force to world aerospace industry,” Jin said, adding that China is embracing an era of mass aviation with its remarkable air transport growth.

Muddy Waters NQ Short Call Fails to Freeze Chinese IPOs

Chinese companies are selling shares in New York at the fastest pace in two years less than a month after short seller Carson Block’s call spurred a 62 percent plunge in Beijing-based NQ Mobile Inc. (NQ)

Three Chinese companies have debuted on U.S. bourses this month, raising $345.4 million, the most since May 2011, when six companies listed $1.3 billion of shares. 500.com Ltd., an online sports lottery service, raised $75.2 million in an initial public offering. Sungy Mobile Ltd., which makes applications for Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software, sold 7 million shares at $11.22. 58.Com Inc. (WUBA), an online marketplace similar to Craigslist, and travel agency Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd. (QUNR) have sold shares above their price targets since Oct. 30.

BEIJING, Nov 22 (Reuters) – As China struggles to rid cities of choking smog, one of the early priorities for Beijing’s economic reforms will likely be to force state-run PetroChina to allow private producers fair access to natural gas pipelines.

Without fair access to the distribution network, independent producers have no incentive to develop the country’s vast gas reserves to their full potential. Already the world’s fourth-largest gas user, China’s leaders want to boost domestic output to accelerate the substitution of cleaner-burning gas for coal to fuel power and heating.

Sina will soon launch a service to enable Weibo users to make online payments on credit, Dai Geng, vice GM of Sina Payments, told Nandu reporter (in Chinese).

Zhong An, the online-only insurance company jointly founded by Alibaba, Tenent and Ping An, will provide coverage for defaults on payments.

Posted from Diigo.

China Financial Results 19/11/13 – LightInTheBox, Qunar, Trina Solar, Xueda Education, China Housing & Land, China Digital TV, China Xinyia Fashion

LightInTheBox Holding Co., Ltd. Reports Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results

  • Net revenues were $68.1 million, an increase of 33.4% from $51.1 million in the same quarter of 2012, primarily driven by an increase of 74.7% in total number of customers served in the third quarter of 2013.
  • Gross margin increased by 160 basis points to 43.9% from 42.3% in the same  quarter of 2012.
  • Adjusted operating loss (non-GAAP) was $2.5 million, compared to an  adjusted operating income of $0.4 million in the same quarter of 2012.
  • Net loss was $2.4 million, compared to a net loss of $1.0 million in the same quarter of 2012.
  • Adjusted net loss (non-GAAP) was $1.9 million, compared to an adjusted net loss of $0.2 million in the same quarter of 2012.
  • Revenue attributed to repeat customers increased 92.0% to $23.8 million from the same quarter of 2012.

Qunar Reports Unaudited Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results

  • Total revenues for the third quarter of 2013 were RMB241.1million (US$39.4  million), an increase of 57.5% year-on-year.
  • Mobile revenues for the third quarter of 2013 were RMB35.3 million (US$5.8 million), an increase of 386.0% year-on-year, representing 14.6% of total  revenues.
  • Total number of web and mobile users for the 12-month period ended  September 30, 2013 was 218.2 million and 46.7 million, compared to 173.8  million and 16.1 million, respectively, in the 12-month period ended  September 30, 2012.
  • Gross profit for the third quarter of 2013 was RMB191.4 million (US$31.3 million), an increase of 50.5% year-on-year and 39.0% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Operating loss for the third quarter of 2013 was RMB36.4 million (US$5.9 million), compared to RMB8.1 million in the corresponding period of 2012 and RMB29.7 million in the second quarter of 2013.

Trina Solar Announces Third Quarter 2013 Results

  • Net revenues were $548.4 million, an increase of 24.4% from the second  quarter of 2013
  • Gross profit was $83.4 million, an increase of 62.9% from the second  quarter of 2013
  • Gross margin was 15.2%, compared to 11.6% in the second quarter of 2013
  • Operating income was $6.0 million, compared to an operating loss of $23.9 million in the second quarter of 2013
  • Operating margin was 1.1%, compared to negative 5.4% in the second quarter  of 2013
  • Net income was $9.9 million, compared to a net loss of $33.7 million in  the second quarter of 2013
  • Earnings per fully diluted American Depositary Share (“ADS” and each ADS represents 50 of the Company’s ordinary shares) was $0.14, compared to loss per fully diluted ADS of $0.47 in the second quarter of 2013

Xueda Education Group Reports Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results

  • Total net revenues increased 14.2% to $79.4 million from $69.5 million.
  • Gross profit increased 74.3% to $23.2 million from $13.3 million.
  • Gross margin increased 1,000 basis points to 29.2% from 19.2%.
  • Net income attributable to Xueda Education Group increased to $1.2 million  from -$3.6 million.
  • Diluted net income attributable to Xueda Education Group per American  Depositary Share (“ADS”) was $0.02, compared to -$0.05.
  • Non-GAAP diluted net income attributable to Xueda Education Group per ADS was $0.04, compared to -$0.05.

China Housing & Land Development Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results

  • Total revenue in the third quarter of 2013 was $24.8 million compared to  $57.8 million in the second quarter of 2013 and $28.7 million in the third  quarter of 2012.
  • Gross profit decreased to $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2013 compared to $17.6 million in the second quarter of 2013 and $6.5 million in the third quarter of 2012. Third quarter 2013 gross margin was 19.8%,  compared with 30.4% in the second quarter of 2013 and 22.5% in the third quarter of 2012.
  • Operating loss was $0.7 million in the third quarter of 2013 compared to operating income of $8.5 million in the second quarter of 2013, and operating income of $2.5 million in the third quarter of 2012.
  • Net loss attributable to the Company in the third quarter of 2013 was $0.8 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, compared to net income of $5.9 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2013 and $1.6 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2012.

China Xiniya Fashion Limited Reports 2013 Third Quarter Financial Results

  • Revenue during the third quarter of 2013 decreased 6.7% to RMB389.8 million, from RMB417.9 million in the third quarter of 2012; within the prior guidance range of (7)% to (2)%.
  • Gross margin was 29.7% in the third quarter of 2013 as compared to 34.5% in the third quarter of 2012.
  • Profit before taxation during the third quarter of 2013 decreased 88.4% to RMB8.7 million, from RMB74.8 million in the third quarter of 2012.
  • Net profit in the third quarter of 2013 decreased 89.4% to RMB6.0 million, from RMB56.4 million in the third quarter of 2012.
  • Earnings per ADS were $0.02 in the third quarter of 2013 as compared to $0.16 per ADS in the third quarter of 2012; within the prior guidance  range of $0.01 to $0.06 per ADS.
  • Xiniya’s network of authorized retailers had a net reduction of 23 retail outlets in the third quarter of 2013; consisting of 78 new retail outlets opened and 101 retail outlets closed. As of September 30, 2013 the total  number of authorized retail outlets was 1,635.

China Digital TV Announces Unaudited Third Quarter 2013 Results

  • Net revenues in the third quarter of 2013 were US$23.1 million, representing a 13.5% increase from the same period in 2012 and a 26.9% increase from the second quarter of 2013.
  • China Digital TV shipped approximately 4.76 million smart cards in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 3.84 million in the same period in 2012 and 3.58 million in the second quarter of 2013.
  • Gross margin in the third quarter of 2013 was 74.0%, compared to 75.8% in the same period in 2012 and 76.7% in the second quarter of 2013.
  • Diluted earnings per American depositary share (one ADS representing one ordinary share), or ADS, in the third quarter of 2013 were US$0.08, compared to net loss US$0.19 in the same period in 2012.

China Business Briefs 8/11/13

China is on the cusp of its 4G rollout, but handset maker Huawei doesn’t want smartphone owners getting complacent. The company just announced it will invest $600 million into 5G research and development.

The money will be spread out over four years. The end goal is a 10Gbps broadband connection by 2018. That’s 10 times faster than 4G and a whopping 5,000 times faster than 3G, which most of the Chinese smartphone-owning population is currently connected to. To give you an idea of how fast that is, Huawei CEO Eric Xu says, “5G mobile networks with the peak data rates of over 10Gbps will allow people to download high-definition movies in one second.”

Record-breaking milestones have become routine in the breathtaking development of high-speed railways in China, known as gaotie. In just five years, since the first one connected Beijing with the nearby port of Tianjin in 2008, high-speed track in service has reached 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles), more than in all of Europe. The network has expanded to link more than 100 cities. In December the last section was opened on the world’s longest gaotie line, stretching 2,400km from Beijing to Shenzhen, on the border with Hong Kong (see map). The network has confounded some sceptics who believed there would not be enough demand. High-speed trains carry almost 2m people daily, which is about one-third of the total number of rail passengers.

China’s exporters had a good month in October, with shipments up 5.6% from a year earlier, far better than the 1.5% growth forecast by economists. That was enough to more than double China’s monthly trade surplus to $31.1 billion, despite strong imports. Matched with decent performance from other East Asian exporters, that suggests that an upturn in demand from the U.S. and Europe is helping support the Chinese economy, which has had a wobbly year. But it may not be out of the woods yet.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.1 percent to 2,106.13 at the close, adding to a 2 percent loss this week. China’s exports rose 5.6 percent in October, compared with a median estimate for 1.7 percent growth in a Bloomberg News survey. The yuan was poised for a weekly advance as the central bank raised the reference rate on anticipation the Communist Party meeting will lead to further economic reforms.

According to Yahoo Finance, over the past 10-odd years since the start of 2003, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) has gained 8.4% per year

Blue chips like Jardine Matheson Holdings (SGX: J36), Singapore Exchange (SGX: S68), and United Overseas Bank (SGX: U11) have had average annualised returns (including dividends) of 23.5%, 20% and 8.8% respectively in the same period.

Standard Bank said in July it was exploring closer cooperation with its biggest shareholder Industrial & Commercial Bank of China on its global markets and commodities businesses.

Qunar, a travel search and service provider, went listed on the NYSE last week. Its shares soared 89% on the first day of trading. As Qunar became more than a search engine when it built a transaction system in 2012, it is believed it will eventually become direct competitors of existing online travel agencies such as Ctrip and eLong. With that concern, in early this year, a handful of online travel services, including Ctrip and eLong decided to stop working with Qunar. But later they resumed cooperation with Qunar. One the reasons is the traffic on the search service is too high to ignore.

Now Qunar’s market cap is a little less than half of that of Ctrip who is still the largest player in online travel in China. When asked about the potential competition with Qunar on the earnings call for Q3 2013, James Liang, chairman and CEO of Ctrip, said it’s more of competition on air ticket but more of partnership on hotel, for Qunar’s hotel inventory mostly depends on third-party suppliers.

But like what it has done on air ticket, Qunar also possibly can build partnership directly with hotels rather than travel agencies or other third parties. Mr. Liang thinks what can eventually differentiate Ctrip from Qunar is the quality of service — it sounds it doesn’t have any technological advantage.

China looks set to snap up over 350 million new smartphones this year. So what brands are Chinese people buying? How much do they spend on 3G? Who are these people exactly? What OSes do they prefer?

Alibaba’s foray into the world of fund management—through a money-market fund-like investment product called Yu’E Bao, or leftover treasure—has so far been a huge success. The lingering question, however, is how exactly it works.

One of Yu’E Bao’s appeals is that it gives customers the convenience of a demand deposit—they can withdraw their funds whenever they like—with returns similar to wealth-management products or other longer-term deposit options like CDs, which typically lock the funds for three to six months.

Posted from Diigo.