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Updated: 2013-01-29 07:25

(China Daily)

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Stricter rules needed on drug approvals, report says

China needs more stringent requirements for the approval of generic versions of biologics, complex drugs made from living cells, to ensure their safety and effectiveness, according to an industry report. Generic copies of biological drugs can be registered as new products in China with fewer testing requirements than originals, according to the report, led by the R&D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee, which represents drugmaking giants including Roche Holding AG and Pfizer Inc.

China's SME development index rebounds

An index measuring the growth of China's small and medium-sized enterprises rebounded in the fourth quarter of 2012, for the first time in eight quarters. The SME development index, produced by the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, rose 3.3 points to 90.8. However, the association suggested the index remained at a low level and a strong recovery is hard to predict, despite its stabilizing. It showed the sub-index for industrial firms climbed 1.6 points to 88.1, ending a downward run since the second quarter of 2010.

Industrial profits show China's economy recovering

Chinese industrial profits climbed for a fourth consecutive month in December, adding evidence that the world's second-largest economy is gaining steam. Profits at industrial firms with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan ($3.17 million), climbed 17.3 percent year-on-year last month to 895.2 billion yuan, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The growth, however, eased from November's 22.8 percent increase and October's 20.5 percent rise. Chinese industrial companies recorded negative profit growth in each of the first eight months last year, apart from March, when a 4.5-percent rise was registered.

Slowing revenue is credit negative, Moody's says

The annual reports by local authorities last week, which expected slower revenue growth and a possible rise in debt to finance China's urbanization initiatives, have been deemed "credit negative" by Moody's Investors Service. The agency said: "The reports are credit negative for Chinese banks because more debt at already debt-laden financing vehicles would deteriorate the asset quality of banks' loan portfolios. Taking on more debt would add to their already high indebtedness through the activities of their financing conduits, local government financing vehicles."

Profits surge expected for Huaneng Power

Huaneng Power International Inc, the publicly traded unit of China's largest electricity producer, expects a surge of more than 340 percent in annual net profits in 2012 from the 1.27 billion yuan ($202.2 million) in 2011. In a preliminary statement filed on Monday, it said the estimate is based on the carryover effect of the tariff adjustments in 2011, falling coal prices in 2012, and effective cost controls by the company.

DBS launches renminbi index in Hong Kong

DBS Bank Ltd has launched a renminbi index in Hong Kong, offering a strategic tool for policymakers, businesses and investors to track the usage and acceptance of renminbi among Hong Kong companies, as well as sentiment toward future renminbi adoption, the company said in a statement. It said the index aims to serve as the first benchmark to measure the pace of renminbi internationalization in Hong Kong. For the fourth quarter of 2012, the index value was 54.9 and all future readings of the index will be analyzed against that.

Steady trade finance growth expected by HK banks: Fitch

Fitch Ratings has predicted that trade finance services by banks in Hong Kong will continue to grow steadily and become more dependent on the Chinese mainland. In addition, banks will continue to expand their non-trade related China businesses as the two economies further integrate and domestic lending remains muted, it said in a report. "This could increase banks' risk profiles and pressure ratings, unless managed prudently," the agency warned.

China Daily - Agencies

(China Daily 01/29/2013 page14)