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Updated: 2013-03-01 07:00

(China Daily)

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MGM China sees Macao casino VIP business pick up

MGM China Holdings Ltd, the Macao casino venture between a daughter of gambling mogul Stanley Ho and MGM Resorts International, said business from VIP gamblers has picked up after the Lunar New Year holiday. Business from VIP, or high-stakes gamblers, has seen a "strong comeback" after the holiday that ended on Feb 17, Bill Hornbuckle, chief marketing officer of MGM Resorts, told reporters in Macao on Wednesday. High-rollers from the Chinese mainland curbed spending amid a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy last year.

Regional targets cut in sign debt concerns heeded

Almost half of China's provinces are setting their growth sights lower in the wake of the central government's emphasis on the quality of expansion over speed, a sign of an increased focus on tackling rising debt. Fourteen provinces have set lower targets for gross domestic product expansion this year than in 2012 and the other 17 left their goals unchanged, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. The weighted average target has dropped to 9.9 percent from 10.3 percent, Citigroup Inc calculated. Scaling back regional politicians' growth-at-any-cost attitudes may limit China's rebound from its weakest expansion in 13 years.

Sohu Video profits to come from copyright investment

Sohu Video, the online video business of Web portal Sohu Inc, plans to achieve profitability in 18 months through continued copyright investment. Charles Zhang, Sohu chairman and CEO, said on Wednesday the company aims to gain the top spot in video traffic this year by buying hit TV series, movies and entertainment shows, with a focus on American dramas. The announcement followed a partnership between Sohu Video, Star Group Ltd and Zhejiang Satellite TV to recruit contestants for the popular music talent show The Voice of China, through Sohu's exclusive online channel.

Nation may shelve natural gas pricing systems

Natural gas pricing systems being tested in two Chinese provinces will probably be shelved and won't be expanded to the rest of the country, according to Wood Mackenzie Ltd. The systems aren't working as intended and the nation will instead see government-regulated price increases for the fuel this year, Gavin Thompson, a principal consultant for Asia Pacific Gas & Power at Wood Mackenzie, a London-based energy consultant, said on Wednesday. China, the world's biggest energy user, plans to encourage more efficient use of cleaner-burning gas to curb pollution.

Haier Electronic closes online shopping platform

Chinese electrical appliance giant Haier Electronic Group Co Ltd has closed its online shopping platform Argos.cn, which opened just three months ago, Chinese media reported on Thursday. The Investor China newspaper attributed the closure to the withdrawal of Argos' main investor British Home Retail Group. Haier partnered with British Home Retail last year to explore the Chinese market through multiple channels. Argos.cn used a website, a mobile phone application and offline outlets to explore the Chinese market.

Focus Media raises 23 percent of buyout loan

Focus Media Holding Ltd, the subject of China's biggest leveraged buyout, received commitments in syndication for 23 percent of the loan required to finance the transaction and extended the period for attracting investors, two people familiar with the matter said. Lenders have pledged about $250 million in marketing of the $1.075 billion loan that the buyers, led by Carlyle Group LP, need to buy the Shanghai-based advertising company, said the people, asking not to be identified because the details are private.

Shanghai to speed up development of Lingang

Thirty guidelines have been issued by the Shanghai municipal government to help Lingang, a satellite city on the southeastern tip of Shanghai, build a more livable and enterprise-friendly city, sources said. The Lingang area plays an important role in the overall development of Shanghai, and the municipal government has provided solid policy support for Lingang to attract talent from high-end manufacturing and innovative industries, Xiao Lin, vice-director of the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, told a news conference Thursday.

Aircraft engine project set to be established soon

A project to boost Chinese aircraft engine research and development is before the State Council for approval, and is expected to be established soon, the China Securities Journal reported on Thursday. The project will involve an investment of at least 100 billion yuan ($16.1 billion), which will be used for research and development of an engine and related materials. Two subsidiaries of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China - Shenyang Liming Aero-Engine Corporation Ltd and AVIC Xi'an Aero-Engine Ltd - will lead the project, and some research institutions will also participate.

Power demand to rebound in 2013: Electricity Council

Power consumption is poised to rebound from last year and coal prices will fluctuate around current levels as the economy of the world's biggest energy user accelerates, according to the China Electricity Council. Power use will increase by 6.5 percent to 8.5 percent this year to as much as 5.33 trillion kWh, the council, a group of the nation's biggest electricity providers, said in a statement on Thursday. Consumption gained 5.5 percent to 4.96 trillion kWh in 2012, it said.

China Daily - Agencies

(China Daily 03/01/2013 page14)