What's news

Updated: 2013-05-28 06:52

(China Daily)

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 What's news

Retail giant closes

Customers walk past empty shelves on Saturday at an electronics store in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, owned by Yamada Denki Co Ltd. The biggest Japanese electronics appliance retailer has announced it will shut down its Nanjing store on June 1 due to sluggish sales performance. Photo by Wang Shengtao / for China Daily

China, NZ start talks on currency convertibility

China and New Zealand are in the early stages of negotiating the direct convertibility of each other's currencies, but an agreement is likely to be some way off. The talks were initiated during New Zealand Prime Minister John Key's visit to China last month, his spokeswoman Lesley Hamilton said. New Zealand's exports to China jumped 32 percent in the first quarter, surpassing shipments to Australia for the first time, led by dairy products, logs and meat. New Zealand targets NZ$20 billion ($16.2 billion) in two-way annual trade with China by 2015 from about NZ$15.2 billion in the fiscal year ending March.

Club Med receives $699m offer from staff, investors

France's Club Mediterranee SA has received a takeover bid from its management and the two largest shareholders, Axa Private Equity and Fosun International Ltd, that values the all-inclusive tour operator at 540 million euros ($699 million). The bidders are proposing 17 euros for each share, according to a statement on Monday, 23 percent more than the closing price on March 24. Club Med rose as much as 25 percent in Paris trading, the most in more than two decades.

Oil drops on Chinese economic outlook

West Texas Intermediate crude fell for a fifth day on Monday, the longest run of declines this year, as China signaled it may allow slower economic growth. OPEC is expected to keep supply unchanged at a meeting this week. Futures slid as much as 1 percent in New York, extending a 2 percent drop last week. China, the world's second-biggest oil consumer, won't sacrifice the environment to ensure short-term growth, President Xi Jinping said last week.

Coal prices slip further in wake of lower PMI

Chinese power-station coal has fallen to its lowest price in almost four years as the nation's manufacturing shrank for the first time in seven months, and hydropower output increased. Spot coal with an energy value of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogram at the port of Qinhuangdao, the benchmark grade for the country, slid to a range of 600 yuan ($97.96) to 615 yuan a metric ton on Sunday, according to data from the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association.

Laws being drafted to cover e-commerce industry

China's first e-commerce legislation is being drafted to regulate a market worth 1.1 trillion yuan ($175 billion), according to government sources. Legislation covering online transactions and services was put on the agenda by two legislative bodies under the 12th National People's Congress, said Liu Hongliang, head of the department of market regulation at the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. The law is expected to tackle malpractices such as unfair competition, lack of intellectual property rights protection and tax evasion.

Fixed-asset investment to be 'stable': Think tank

China will find it difficult to maintain high investment growth in future, government think tank the State Information Center said on Monday. Investment growth is expected to be stable, with a predicted increase of 21 percent, the center said. Investment growth in real estate may reach 18.2 percent. "Policy will not focus on strengthening stimulus or accelerating investment, but emphasize an adjustment of the investment structure, as well as improved efficiency and quality," the center said.

Leading toy retailer opens five new outlets

Toys "R" Us, the world's leading toy retailer, opened five new stores in China on Saturday, bringing its total in the country to 34 stores. Two of the new outlets are in Beijing, in Golden Resource Shopping Mall and Dreamport in Haidian, doubling its number of stores in the capital. Toys "R" Us, headquartered in New Jersey, made its foray into the Chinese market in 2006 by opening a flagship store in Super Brand Mall in the Shanghai Pudong New Area.

Nationwide labor law training program launched

Beijing Foreign Enterprise Human Resources Service Co Ltd, often referred to as FESCO, has joined with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to launch a nationwide labor law training program. Under the program, a team of government officials, lawyers, HR consultants and HR executives will spend four months in 20 cities around China giving lectures to more than 5,000 HR managers from domestic and foreign companies. The team will also be available for consultations. Interactive activities will be held, focusing on the newly revised labor law.

Industry profits increase 9.3 percent in April

Industrial company profits picked up in April to 437 billion yuan ($71 billion), an annual increase of 9.3 percent after 5.3 percent growth in March, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed on Monday. During the first four months, total industrial revenue was 1.61 trillion yuan, up 11.4 percent from a year earlier. However, the pace was slower than the 12.1 percent increase since January to March, the NBS reported. Yu Jianxun, an economist with the national statistics agency, described the April net income growth as "stable".

Govt to invest some forex reserves in US real estate

China is studying the possibility of investing a portion of its $3.4 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves in US real estate, according to two sources close to the situation. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange began the study after seeing signs of a recovery in the US property market, they said. China may acquire properties, invest in real estate funds or buy stakes in property companies, but safety of the investments will be the top priority, said the people, who didn't elaborate on a timetable or other details. China has already established an operation in New York to make alternative investments in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

China Daily -Agencies

(China Daily USA 05/28/2013 page14)