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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

Private Role in Industry Private Role in Industry(0)

The Cabinet announcement Monday appeared to apply only to Chinese investors, not foreign companies, and gave no details of their possible role in politically sensitive areas such as energy. It also promised to help private companies invest more abroad.

Private companies generate the bulk of China’s new jobs and wealth and analysts warned that concentrating so much money on less dynamic state-owned companies might lead to economic problems later.

Analysts said the impact of Monday’s announcement will not be clear until ministries say how each industry will be affected.

Monday’s announcement included a five-page list of areas where the government promised to increase access for private investment. They ranged from building airports, hospitals, schools and water systems to setting up financial institutions.

In energy, private companies will be encouraged to partner with state oil and gas companies to “co-exploit” reserves, the statement said.

Beijing also will support a role for private investors in major science and technology projects, another sensitive area, the statement said.

Private companies will be encouraged to invest abroad and regulators will treat every investment entity equally, the statement said. Chinese foreign direct investment has surged in recent years, but much of that is spending by state companies on oil and other resource assets while investment by private entities is low and growing slowly.

Source : Konaxis

China’s South Locomotive Malaysia Deal China’s South Locomotive Malaysia Deal(0)

South Locomotive, listed on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges, said the contract value equalled about 8.6 percent of its total sales for 2009.

Source : Konaxis

Foxconn China Pay Increase Foxconn China Pay Increase(0)

The extent of price hikes will differ according to products, C.L. Huang, vice president of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., parent firm of Foxconn, said at a news conference Wednesday night. She did not name the clients.

The Taiwanese firm announced in June two raises, more than doubling the basic worker pay to 2,000 yuan ($293) a month for Chinese workers who make iPhones, iPads and other brand-name electronics for corporations including Apple Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

The raises followed 10 worker suicides at the Foxconn compound in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Labor activists have linked the suicides to unduly harsh conditions at the plant, where more than 300,000 people are employed.

Foxconn has become the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics goods mainly because of its ability to cut down costs by mass producing.

It’s unclear whether an increase to Foxconn’s charges would result in higher prices for electronics goods like computer laptops or gadgets like the iPad. But fierce competition among electronics companies is likely to keep retail prices down while in the case of Apple, it is selling so many iPads and iPhones it can probably absorb higher costs from manufacturing without raising prices.

Huang said Foxconn will also cover the wage increases ? to become fully effective in October ? by speeding up factory automation programs.

She also said Foxconn’s Shenzhen compound will produce higher value-added goods while shifting low-margin production to inland factories where wages are lower.

Source : Konaxis

Impreza XV Vehicle Impreza XV Vehicle(0)

Fuji already sells four models in China; its sales rose 95.9 percent to 35,348 units in 2009, Nikkei said.

Source : Konaxis

Hyundai Heavy Wheel-Loader Factory Hyundai Heavy Wheel-Loader Factory(0)

The plant, to be completed by April 2011, will have an annual production capacity of 8,000 units, the Ulsan, South Korea-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Hyundai Heavy aims to sell more than 10,000 wheel loaders annually in China within five years, the company said.

The Korean company will also seek to expand into Brazil, Middle East and Africa, it said, without providing details.

Source : Konaxis

China’s Economic Growth Slows China’s Economic Growth Slows(0)

A statistics bureau spokesman, Sheng Laiyun, said despite the decline, growth is “very high” and within the government’s target range. The official growth target for the year is 8 percent, which analysts say China easily should achieve.

Sheng said lower growth would help Beijing’s effort to boost domestic consumption and reduce reliance on resource-intensive investment and exports to drive growth.

June growth in factory output slowed to 13.7 percent, down from May’s 16.5 percent rise. Growth in retail sales and investment in factories and other fixed assets also eased.

June exports rose 35 percent over a year earlier but analysts expect Europe’s debt crisis to crimp trade. A survey earlier by a Chinese business group found manufacturing activity in June fell for a third month as foreign orders declined.

June inflation eased to 2.9 percent over a year earlier, falling back below the government target of 3 percent for the year after prices rose 3.1 percent in May.

Also Thursday, the government said foreign direct investment in China rose 39.6 percent in June over a year ago to $12.5 billion.

Thursday’s data also showed investment still is growing faster than retail spending despite efforts to promote domestic consumption. Retail sales rose 18.2 percent in the first half but spending on factories and other fixed assets jumped 25 percent.

Source : Konaxis

Huadian Energy Heilongjiang Huadian Energy Heilongjiang(0)

Huadian expects a 148 million yuan loss in the first half on a surge in coal prices, the Chinese electric company said in a separate statement.

Source : Konaxis

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