News in review Friday, Feb 22 to Thursday, Feb 28

Updated: 2013-03-01 12:35

(China Daily)

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News in review Friday, Feb 22 to Thursday, Feb 28

Friday ___________________________ Feb 22

US mall operator does second deal

Taubman Centers Inc, a major US mall operator, is doing a second joint venture with Beijing Wangfujing Department Store (Group) Co Ltd, one of China's largest department store chains, to open a shopping center in Zhengzhou, Henan province.

Taubman invested $35.5 million and will have a majority interest in the project along with the Chinese firm, while Maple (Zhengzhou) Real Estate Development Co will have a minority stake.

The multi-level mall, which will be anchored by a Wangfujing Department Store, is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2015. It will have a supermarket, cinema screens, a children's play area and a mix of international and local middle to high-end brands. It will also offer food and beverage services.

In August, Taubman and Wangfujing announced their first mall project in Xi'an, which is expected to open in the third quarter of 2015.

Last year, China's shopping centers for the first time beat department stores in terms of revenue, said Guo Zengli, president of the China Shopping Center Development Association, adding that half of the top 10 retailers measured by revenue in 2012 were shopping centers.

The number of Chinese shopping centers increased to 3,100 in 2012 from 400 in 2001. Guo estimated that the figure will climb to 4,000 in 2015. (Photo 1)

News in review Friday, Feb 22 to Thursday, Feb 28


_____________________ Feb 25

Chinese women want luxury goods

Bags, dresses, shoes and accessories.

That's what 68 percent of Chinese women who took part in a survey say they want to buy when it comes to luxury goods. Nearly half of Chinese urban women intend to buy luxury goods this year, the report showed.

The survey of 4,043 20-to-45-year-old women in 30 first to fifth-tier cities by France-based market research company Ipsos was done last August to October.

What does luxury mean to those surveyed? High quality, said 42 percent; 29 percent said it represents expensive; 23 percent said it denoted a certain lifestyle; and 21 percent said it's a status symbol.

In another Ipsos survey covering 66,000 women aged between 12 and 64 in 88 cities and rural areas; 42 percent of the respondents chose individuality as the main motivation when buying luxury goods.

Tuesday_____________________ Feb 26

Sinopec in $1 b oil deal in Oklahoma

Sinopec Group is making its second oil and gas purchase in Oklahoma.

The subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp will pay $1.02 billion for 50 percent of Chesapeake Energy Corp's stake in the oil and gas field and will form a joint venture with the US company. The all-cash sale is for half of 850,000 acres (344,000 hectares) in Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime formation, currently owned by Chesapeake.

The Mississippi Lime formation is familiar ground for Sinopec. In January 2012, the Chinese producer agreed to pay $2.5 billion to Devon Energy Corp - based, like Chesapeake, in Oklahoma City - for a third of the US company's overall stake in five oil and gas fields, including the Mississippi Lime.

Chesapeake has been seeking a buyer for the 425,000 acres as it sells assets to meet a cash shortfall and reduce debt.

Chesapeake has already sold about $1.7 billion in development stakes to CNOOC Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp, for a share of operations in the Eagle Ford and Niobrara shale gas formations in Texas and Wyoming, respectively. The Eagle Ford deal was announced in January 2011, Niobrara in October 2010. (Photo 2)

Wednesday___________ Feb 27

San Francisco seeks $1.7b development loan

San Francisco is close to reaching terms on a $1.7 billion loan from China Development Bank for two major housing complexes in the city, according to Mayor Ed Lee. A US-led consortium is developing the project.

"We are trying to conclude final details with them; hopefully it will be within the next 30 days," the Chinese American mayor told China Daily. The complexes will convert two former US Navy installations into as many as 20,000 residences and also include a sports arena and office buildings.

Lee's first of two trips to China this spring will be in April and will include stops in Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou and then his ancestral village in Taishan, Guangdong. He plans to visit Shanghai on his second trip, scheduled for July.

Bernanke: monetary policy benefits China

China and other countries are benefitting from the US Federal Reserve's use of bond buying as a stimulus tool, said Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee that monetary policy in pursuit of domestic goals shouldn't be seen as a "currency war" but rather a "positive sum game".

"If all the major economies that need support provide stimulus and extra aggregate demand, that's mutually beneficial," he said.

"Because, for example, China depends on the strength of Europe and the US as their export market. That's a positive-sum game, not a zero-sum game," he added.

Bernanke also said that the Federal Reserve is not engaged in a global currency war, and said that expansionary monetary policy is not a "beggar thy neighbor" policy.

Thursday_________________ Feb 28

Media Markt will close all stores

Media Markt China Ltd is joining a number of foreign retail giants that have withdrawn from the Chinese market.

The electronic products chain owned by Germany's Media-Saturn Holdings and Foxconn Technology Group will close its seven stores in Shanghai on March 11, a senior company official said.

The chain entered the Chinese market in November 2010 and expected to open more than 100 stores across China by 2015.

Media Markt is the latest foreign-based retail company to exit China. In 2011, US-based Best Buy Co Inc said it would close its nine stores across the Chinese mainland and its regional retail headquarters in Shanghai. French construction group Compagnie de Saint Gobain pulled out its La Maison brand, and US-based Mattel Inc - the world's largest toy maker by revenue - closed its six-story flagship store in Shanghai.

Analysts said those companies leaving China don't necessarily indicate a failure of Western retail models, but only show their inability to better understand the Chinese market.

Yuan is 13th most-used payment currency

China's yuan is the 13th most-used currency for global payments, surpassing the Russian ruble and Danish krone.

Use of the yuan in January increased 24 percent from December, enabling it to take 0.63 percent of global payments, an all-time high, according to SWIFT, a messaging system used by international banks.

The euro remains the leading world-payments currency, followed by the US dollar, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

News in review Friday, Feb 22 to Thursday, Feb 28

News in review Friday, Feb 22 to Thursday, Feb 28

A panda-themed hotel - reportedly the first of its kind in the world - is opening at the foot of Emei Mountain in Southwest China's Sichuan province. Rooms at the Haoduo Panda Hotel are decorated with panda pictures and cuddly toy pandas sit on the beds, tables and chairs. The staff dresses in panda costumes and parade through the halls and wait on guests. Liu Zhongjun / for China Daily

News in review Friday, Feb 22 to Thursday, Feb 28

(China Daily 03/01/2013 page8)