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Updated: 2013-04-18 05:31

(China Daily)

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State Grid eyes stake in New Zealand power utility

China State Grid Corp and AMP Ltd are among companies considering buying Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP's stake in a New Zealand utility, said three people with knowledge of the matter. Indicative offers for the 42 percent stake in Powerco Ltd, the country's second-biggest electricity and gas distributor by customers, are due this month, two people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Barclays Plc is advising Brookfield on the sale, which may fetch as much as NZ$450 million ($381 million), the people said. Access Capital Advisers, a Sydney-based fund manager with about $2.6 billion in assets, is also considering a bid for Powerco, the people said. QIC Ltd, an Australian investment fund, owns the rest of Powerco.

Xiamen bank gets nod for commercial transition

Xiamen International Bank has been given approval from the industry regulator to transform itself from a joint-venture bank into a local commercial bank, the first lender to complete such a transition in China. Following the transition, foreign investors' stakes in the bank dropped to 24.93 percent from 61.75 percent. Meanwhile, the bank introduced 56 new investors and boosted its capital by 5.612 billion yuan ($900 million). Established in 1985, it was China's first joint venture bank.

Vanke and Keppel Land sign partnership agreement

China's largest property developer, China Vanke, has signed a strategic partnership deal with Keppel Land to develop properties in Singapore and China. The first project under the partnership will be a condominium development in Tanah Merah in Singapore, where a wholly owned subsidiary of Vanke will acquire a 30 percent stake from Keppel for about S$135.5 million ($110 million). Led by Keppel, design and development of the project is under way. The project is due to be launched in the second half of this year.

Property developers consider dollar bond sales

Xinyuan Real Estate Co is believed to be considering a sale of dollar-denominated bonds as yields on Chinese debt in the US currency fall this month, according to industry sources. The moves comes as two other developers are also expected to announce the sale of yuan notes this week. Xinyuan Real Estate plans to meet investors in Hong Kong, Singapore and London on Thursday to discuss a possible debut offering, while India's REI Agro Ltd and PT Japfa Comfeed Indonesia have also hired banks for possible dollar sales, separate people said.

Interest rate swaps rise from 5-month low

China's five-year interest-rate swaps rebounded from their lowest level in almost five months after better-than-forecast US housing data suggested the world's largest economy is improving. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares snapped a two-day loss after new-home construction climbed in March to the highest level in almost five years, Commerce Department figures showed. The five-year swap fell seven basis points in the first two days of the week after China reported on Monday that its gross domestic product increased 7.7 percent in the first quarter, less than market expectations.

China Southern may run A380 flights to Sydney

China Southern Airlines Co, the nation's only operator of Airbus SAS A380s, may fly the superjumbo to Sydney, as the carrier's eight-month talks with Air China Ltd to cooperate on Beijing-Paris services remain stalled. Southern is studying the feasibility of operating the A380 to Sydney from its base in Guangzhou, said Chief Financial Officer Xu Jiebo. Services to the Australian city with the double-decker jet may begin as early as October if talks with Air China collapse, he added. Beijing-based Air China has historically controlled routes in the Chinese capital.

Rubber heads for 5-month low as China demand falters

Rubber declined for a fourth day on Wednesday, heading for a five-month low on concerns that a slowing economy and rising inventories in China, the biggest buyer, will reduce demand for the commodity. The contract for delivery in September lost as much as 1.2 percent to 254.5 yen a kilogram ($2,590 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures, which lost 7 percent in the past three days, plunged to 247 yen on Monday, the lowest since Nov 15. Rubber stockpiles at Qingdao, China's largest hub for the commodity, rose to a record 366,900 tons by April 15.

ThyssenKrupp urges China's steel industry consolidation

China's steel makers, suffering huge losses due to overcapacity, are being encouraged to consolidate by the chairman of German multinational conglomerate Thyssenkrupp AG. Commenting on a new study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which showed there was more than 200 million tons of overcapacity in China's steel industry, he said, "there are very successful steel manufacturers in China, and normally they do not need my advice. But in Europe, on a regular basis, the steel industry needs consolidation, especially when there is overcapacity."

Ministry to change pig slaughtering regulation

The Ministry of Commerce will step up its efforts and continue tightening regulations on the country's pig slaughtering industry this year, an official from the ministry said on Wednesday. Wang Zhengang, deputy director of the Department of Market Supervision, said the ministry will continue raising the entrance threshold for companies to participate in the sector, as a way of enhancing meat safety. Wang told a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday, "we halted the operations of several thousand small companies last year, which could not meet the state's regulations."

Qianhai Equity Exchange targets 1,000 participants

The Qianhai Equity Exchange, a new Shenzhen-based trading platform for innovative financial services, plans to start operating in May, and attract 1,000 participants by the end of 2013. Its chairman, Hu Jizhi, said the exchange will significantly reduce the cost of fundraising for SMEs, possibly to as little as 10 percent of that on main stock exchanges. Hu said it plans to become a market-oriented fundraising platform alongside stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen and commercial banks. He hopes to gain listings for 3,000 enterprises within three years, and 10,000 in six years.

Tests rule out another oil spill in Bohai Bay

Tests conducted by a marine environmental watchdog have ruled out another Bohai Bay oil spill. Fears of a spill grew after fishermen in East China's Shandong province detected oil slicks on April 10. According to statements on the North China Sea Branch of the State Oceanic Administration website, oil samples taken from offshore and coastal areas in Hebei and Shandong provinces were found not to originate from Bohai Bay, where a major oil spill occurred in June 2011, with tests showing the slick was made up of fuel oil.

China Daily-Agencies