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Updated: 2013-01-16 07:27

(China Daily)

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New house sales surge in major cities in recent weeks

New house sales have increased in major Chinese cities in recent weeks, as consumers expect prices to rise further, according to new industry figures. The number of newly built housing units sold in 54 major cities soared 103 percent year-on-year in the first 13 days of 2013, reaching 104,800 units, according to figures from the Hong Kong-based real estate agency Centaline Group. During the first two weeks of the year, more than 90 percent of 40 major cities monitored by the China Index Academy posted larger housing transaction numbers than a year earlier.

Nation generates more power from clean energy

Electricity generated from clean energy resources in China rose 28.5 percent year-on-year in 2012 as the nation moved to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. China generated 1.07 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity from clean energy resources last year, accounting for 21.4 percent of the country's total electricity output, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission said on Tuesday. The share showed an increase of 3.9 percentage points from a year earlier, the commission said in a statement. Solar power generated in 2012 soared 414.4 percent year-on-year to 3.5 billion kWh and wind power jumped 35.5 percent to 100.4 billion kWh, according to the statement.

Kunming to host national bioindustry convention

The 7th China Bioindustry Convention, the largest annual event for the biotechnology industry in China, will be held in Kunming from June 20 to 23. The dates were announced by the event's organizing committee at a news conference on Monday. The event will serve as a means of offering networking and partnership opportunities to research organs and enterprises in the industry, said Yang Shengli, director of its organizing committee.

Officials cancel banquet bookings in Zhejiang

Several high-end restaurants in Zhejiang province have seen booking cancellations from local government departments, at a time that used to be the peak season for official banquets to celebrate Spring Festival, the local newspaper Xiandai Jinbao reported. The cancellations resulted from new rules released by the central government to combat corruption by banning luxury banquets, the report said. Some government officials in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, said that, under the new rules, their guests will now eat in government canteens instead of high-end restaurants.

ADB extends $275m loan to finance green transport

The Asian Development Bank has extended a $275 million loan to China to help its bus operators shift their fleets to cleaner fuel. The Manila-based lender said on Tuesday that the loan will be given to five top-tier financial leasing companies in China to finance leased buses that run on cleaner fuel such as compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas, as well as electric and hybrid buses. The financing program is expected to lease at least 5,000 clean buses by 2018, to be deployed in key Chinese cities.

Macao's forex reserves reach $16.6b in December

The preliminary estimate of the Macao Special Administrative Region's foreign exchange reserves amounted to 132.5 billion patacas ($16.6 billion) at the end of December 2012, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Monetary Authority of Macao. The reserves for December increased by 0.5 percent over the revised value of 131.8 billion patacas for the previous month, the figures indicated.

Suning to apply for virtual network operator license

Suning Appliance Co, China's largest electronics retailer, plans to apply for a virtual network operator license to offer value-added telecom services, the company said on Tuesday. The company plans to offer value-added services attached to the cell phones it sells in its brick-and-mortar stores, as well as on its online channels, said Yao Zhengyuan, marketing manager of Suning's Shanghai operations. The decision to enter the telecom market was bolstered by a recent government directive to "open key telecom areas to private entities", according to a notice published on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Jan 8.

Subaru maker targets 6% sales increase for 2013

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, the maker of Subaru cars, targets a 6 percent increase in global sales, spurred by the introduction of a new Forester SUV model and demand for its Impreza and XV crossover vehicles. Deliveries will probably rise to 750,000 in 2013 from 706,612 last year, the carmaker said on Tuesday in a statement. Sales in China, which posted their first rise in four months in December, will climb about 32 percent to 57,500 units. Fuji Heavy's December sales in China rose by 20 percent, Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, Fuji Heavy president, said at a news conference in Tokyo.

Modern Dairy jumps, as Mengniu confirms talks

Share prices of China Modern Dairy Holdings Ltd surged to an almost 20-month high after China Mengniu Dairy Co, the country's biggest dairy producer, confirmed it has been in talks to acquire the supplier. Modern Dairy jumped 9.9 percent, the highest close since June 2011. China Mengniu dropped 2.1 percent. "We have been talking, but haven't made any good progress," Frank Ning, chairman of Mengniu, said after delivering a speech at a Hong Kong conference on Monday. Buying Modern Dairy would give Mengniu more control over its milk supply as concerns about safety in the nation's dairy industry linger. The Ma'anshan-based Modern Dairy supplies Mengniu with unpasteurized milk.

Nickel pig iron output to rise 25% as costs decline

China's nickel pig iron output in 2013 may rise 25 percent more than previously forecast as costs decline, curbing nickel imports, Japan's top producer of the metal said. China's output of nickel pig iron, a substitute for low-grade ore from Indonesia and the Philippines, will reach 300,000 metric tons in 2013, said Toru Higo, general manager of nickel sales and raw materials at Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Sumitomo's October projection was for 240,000 tons. Nickel, used for corrosion resistance in stainless steel, has fallen 11 percent in the past 12 months.

Yuan approaches 19-year high before data release

China's yuan approached its strongest level in 19 years ahead of data forecast to show the world's second-largest economy halted a seven-quarter slowdown. Its gross domestic product expanded 7.8 percent in the three months ended Dec 31 from a year earlier, up from a 7.4 percent increase in the previous quarter, according to the median estimate of 53 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. The People's Bank of China raised the yuan's reference rate by 0.01 percent to 6.2691 per dollar on Tuesday. The currency is allowed to trade as much as 1 percent on either side of the daily fixing.

Stocks advance to 7-month high on earnings outlook

Chinese mainland's stocks rose to their highest level in seven months after Citigroup Inc said earnings have bottomed out and Guosen Securities Co forecast a rebound in profits. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed at 2325.68 points on Tuesday, up 13.94 points, or 0.60 percent, from the previous close. Satellite-navigation companies led the advance.

China's high-speed railway boom to continue in 2013

About 5,209 km of new high-speed railways will be put into operation in 2013, 2,738 km more than last year, the global financial services provider UBS AG forecast. In 2012, about 250 standard sets of high-speed trains were delivered in China, and UBS projected the Ministry of Railways will place new orders for 400 trains this year following the completion of the high-speed railway network. According to UBS estimates, 60 percent of the trains will operate at maximum of 200 km per hour, and the rest at up to 300 km per hour.

Construction firm sets up southern branch in Zhuhai

China Communication Construction Co Ltd on Monday established a southern investment branch in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, where it has invested 38 billion yuan ($6.11 billion) into infrastructure construction projects. The company plans to set up one of its financial centers in Zhuhai's Hengqin new district to expand its capital and financial business, guide investment into industry projects and promote cooperation between central State-owned enterprises and local governments.

China Daily - Agencies

(China Daily 01/16/2013 page14)