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China Industrial Growth Slows China Industrial Growth Slows(0)

Growth in spending on factories, real estate and other fixed assets in the first seven months of the year fell to 24.9 percent, down from 25.5 percent for the first half, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.

Retail sales rose 17.9 percent, down from 18.2 percent growth for the first half of the year.

The consumer price index, or CPI, rose 3.3 percent over a year earlier, its fastest rate this year as summer flooding wrecked crops and disrupted shipping.
The jump was driven by a 6.8 percent surge in food costs. But analysts expect inflation to fade quickly.

A statistics bureau spokesman said the declines in economic indicators for July were “not big” and could be positive for official efforts to improve China’s economic efficiency. He gave no sign the government plans to change policy.

The central bank reported Wednesday that total lending by China’s banks fell to 532.8 billion yuan ($78.7 billion), down nearly 12 percent from June’s 603.4 billion.

Also in July, growth in exports fell to 38.1 percent from June’s 43.9 percent. Australian miners and other companies that have enjoyed a windfall from Chinese demand have warned that their sales growth will slow.

Source : Konaxis

China Car Demand Eases China Car Demand Eases(0)

After last year’s breakneck growth in sales, consumers are holding back as China slows down and massive government stimulus measures including car-buying incentives are scaled back, they say.

But foreign automakers are still confident in the Chinese market, with some boosting production capacity as they bank on increased long term demand from the nation’s expanding middle class.

Auto sales totalled 9.02 million units in the first half, up 48 percent from a year ago, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Sales have slowed since the start of the year, from a 124 percent on-year increase in January to just a 17.2 percent jump in July, but 2010 sales are still forecast to top 15 million units — about a 20 percent on-year increase.

Chinese automaker BYD Co. — backed by US billionaire Warren Buffett — nevertheless cut its 2010 sales target by 25 percent to 600,000 after achieving only 36 percent of its original target of 800,000 units in the first half.

US auto giant Ford — which just sold struggling Swedish brand Volvo Cars to China’s Geely Group — in July posted a 6.3 percent drop in passenger car sales in China, but remains optimistic.

General Motors, which has a greater presence in China than Ford, said its sales had grown 22.2 percent year-on-year in July, after selling more than 1.2 million units in the first half of 2010, up 48.5 percent from a year earlier.

Honda Motor, which aims to boost annual production in China by nearly 30 percent to 830,000 vehicles by 2012, said Friday its July auto sales in China rose 12 percent from a year earlier to 56,688 units.

Source : Konaxis

Gome Planning Legal Action Gome Planning Legal Action(0)

Gome filed a writ of summons in the High Court of Hong Kong against Huang for a claim for damages, the company said in a statement to Hong Kong?s stock exchange Thursday.
Huang, also known as Wong Kwong Yu, was in May sentenced by a Beijing court to 14 years in prison after being found guilty of bribery and insider trading. The SFC accused Huang and his wife of stock-market fraud in August last year.

The arrest and conviction “caused a great deal of uncertainty for the company,” Gome said. This “has had, and to some extent continues to have, a significant adverse effect on activities, and in particular the ability to access capital.”

Huang and wife Lisa Du Juan, are being investigated by Hong Kong?s Securities and Futures Commission for allegedly having Gome buy back shares in 2008 to help them repay a HK$2.4 billion ($309 million) personal loan. Huang still owns 34 percent of Gome, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Source : Konaxis

Acer Second-Largest Asian PC Maker Acer Second-Largest Asian PC Maker(0)

Acer will operate Founder?s planning, marketing and supply chain management, with the Beijing-based PC maker operating Acer?s after-sales service, it said in a statement on its website. The companies will jointly develop products aimed at the China market, it said.

Acquisitions in the U.S. and Europe failed to boost Acer?s share in Asia where it trails Lenovo Group Ltd. and Hewlett- Packard Co. Joining with Founder will also help achieve Acer?s goal to be No. 3 in China, Acer said.

Acer was sixth in China with a 3.9 percent share in the first quarter, trailing Lenovo in the top spot, while Founder was fourth at 7.6 percent, according to data from IDC.

Combined China revenue will climb to $2.5 billion next year, Acer said in the statement. China accounted for 5 percent of revenue last year, Stella Chou, a public relations spokeswoman said.

Acer had 13 percent of the global computer market in the second quarter, trailing Hewlett-Packard Co. on 17.4 percent, according to Gartner Inc. Acer?s rank in Asia Pacific will climb to No. 2 with 12.3 percent as a result of the Founder cooperation.

Source : Konaxis

Huayi 50 Movie Theater in China Huayi 50 Movie Theater in China(0)

The company, which opened its first two cinemas in the past two months, aims to add about 50 theaters within three years and may spin off the business, Wang, 40, said in an interview this week. The Beijing-based studio has also held talks to collaborate with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., founded by Huayi Vice Chairman Jack Ma, he said.

The producer of the country?s highest-grossing film aims to ease the shortage of theaters that Wang says is hampering growth in the nation?s movie industry. While China has quadruple the U.S. population, it has almost 20 percent fewer theaters and box-office receipts were less than a 10th the estimated $10.6 billion generated in the U.S. and Canada last year.

Huayi may open an additional five theaters this year alone, Wang said.

Wang said Huayi may seek to market its film merchandise online and has consistently been in talks to collaborate with Hangzhou-based Alibaba. He declined to comment on specifics.

Source : Konaxis

Unused Plots in China Unused Plots in China(0)

The banking regulator will use the list to conduct a risk assessment, the Beijing-based newspaper reported. About 80 percent of the unused plots may be repossessed by the government, according to the report.

The provinces of Hainan, Jiangsu and the cities of Beijing and Guangzhou have the most unused land, accounting for almost a fourth of all the unused plots, the newspaper reported.

Source : Konaxis

China Property Policies China Property Policies(0)

China should stabilize market expectations by keeping its policies consistent, strengthen property curbs in some cities and increase housing supply during the second half of this year, Wang Yulin, a researcher at the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, was cited by the newspaper as saying.

China introduced tougher measures this year, including higher mortgage rates, lending curbs, and bans on third homes in an effort to rein in the country’s robust property market.

The Shanghai Securities News reported in a separate article on Monday that government real estate curbs have strained developers’ cash flow, forcing some smaller firms to sell stakes for liquidity.

Source : Konaxis

Li Ka-shing buys EDF Li Ka-shing buys EDF(0)

The Hong Kong utilities and roads company said in May it is on EDF?s shortlist of bidders for three distribution businesses in the U.K. EDF?s U.K. assets have a value of about 4 billion pounds, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Chief Operating Officer Andrew Hunter said on March 4, adding that?s not necessarily the size of the company?s bid.

Cheung Kong Infrastructure said last year it was in detailed talks to buy more than 10 projects in North America and the U.K. and has a HK$10 billion ?war chest? for acquisitions. The company has invested in gas, water and road assets in Australia, Canada and the U.K. to counter slowing growth in the power distribution market in Hong Kong.

The company Thursday reported a 48 percent drop in first-half net income HK$2.03 billion ($261 million) after making a one-off gain last year selling assets.

Source : Konaxis

Chalco, Rio Tinto Guinea Project Chalco, Rio Tinto Guinea Project(0)

Chinalco in March signed a non-binding accord to pay $1.35 billion for a stake in Rio Tinto?s Simandou iron ore project in Guinea. The state-owned company is “watching closely” for opportunities to invest in other projects abroad, including Oyu Tolgoi, a Mongolian copper venture between Rio and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., Xiong Weiping, chairman of both Chinalco and Chalco, as publicly traded Aluminum Corp. is known, said on March 29.

Chalco and Rio will sign an agreement for the development of a large iron-ore mine in Guinea, the Shanghai Securities News reported, without saying where it got the information.

Chinalco would fund the purchase of a 44.65 percent stake in Simandou, described by Rio as the world?s ?top? undeveloped iron-ore deposit, by financing development over the next two to three years, London-based Rio said March 19. Simandou has 2.25 billion metric tons of iron ore resources, Rio said on March 15.

Rio stated in March it had spent $600 million on exploration and development of Simandou after saying in 2007 that it may invest at least $6 billion.

Rio is working to repair relations with Chinalco, its largest shareholder, which were soured last year when Rio scrapped a $19.5 billion investment by the Chinese company and four Rio employees were arrested in Shanghai.

Source : Konaxis

Weight Watchers China Weight Watchers China(0)

Increasing affluence and a lack of nutritional education make the country ripe for expansion of the New York-based company?s weight-loss programs, according to Chief Executive Officer David Kirchhoff, 43. The company opened its first Chinese outlet in Shanghai in 2008 and now has five centers there.

The company has had to negotiate cultural differences in its effort to gain brand recognition and respect among Chinese consumers, Kirchhoff said. Weight Watchers assigns points to foods based on calories, fat and fiber, and a client gets a certain amount of points per day.

The Chinese version of the program incorporates images to show how big servings should be, Kirchhoff said. Researchers spent time in restaurant kitchens throughout China to compile a list of standard ingredients in many traditional dishes to give approximate point values, he said.

The China business is a joint venture with Paris-based Groupe Danone SA, 51 percent-owned by the weight-loss company.

Weight Watchers hasn?t released revenue or profit from its China operations. North America accounted for about 65 percent of the company?s sales of $1.4 billion in 2009. The U.K. and Europe made up about 31 percent.

“We?re in the process of identifying the right business model that will allow us to profit in China,? said Kirchhoff. ?Without knowing exactly what that is, it would be an arbitrary exercise to forecast profit at this time.?

Source : Konaxis

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