News in review Friday, July 5 to Thursday, July 11

Updated: 2013-07-12 12:24

(China Daily)

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News in review Friday, July 5 to Thursday, July 11

News in review Friday, July 5 to Thursday, July 11

Friday_____________________ July 5

Retail industry will grow steadily

China's retail industry will maintain sustainable growth in the medium and long term despite the country's slowing economic growth, commerce officials said.

China's retail sales increased 12.6 percent year-on-year from January to May, a pace slower than the 14.3 percent growth seen in 2012 or the 17.1 percent increase in 2011, according to the ministry.

The central government outlined that the country's retail sales will grow 15 percent annually to 32 trillion yuan ($5.22 trillion) in 2015 from 18.12 trillion yuan in 2011.

(Photo 1)

Ikea working on solar-power for its stores

Ikea Group, the Swedish home furniture giant, is working with Chinese solar company Hanergy Holdings Group Co Ltd on a grid-connected solar power generation project for all of the Ikea stores in China and Ikea's selected suppliers.

The partnership will also expand to the global market. Starting this month, Hanergy will sell solar-power generation equipment to Ikea's customers in the UK.

According to Ikea, the thin-film photovoltaic panels already installed on the rooftops of five Ikea stores in Beijing, Shenzhen, Dalian, Nanjing and Shenyang, once put into operation, will provide 10 to 15 percent of all the electricity needed to run the stores.

Monday______________________ July 8

Job seekers for overseas work must be cautious

Chinese people who want to work abroad should sign proper contracts, receive safety training, research their destination countries thoroughly and only work through companies qualified to supply staff abroad, experts say.

Huang Leping, director of the Beijing Yilian Legal Aid and Research Center of Labor, an NGO dedicated to providing free legal aid for workers, suggested Chinese people planning to work overseas be cautious about employers or intermediary agencies that only give verbal promises about pay and benefits.

He also suggested workers choose to work for companies with licenses for foreign labor cooperation and sending workers abroad, because only qualified companies can go through the necessary procedures for obtaining working visas.

Eco-city research is booming

Research and development work relating to the development of eco-cities, smart cities and clean energy by foreign companies is booming in China, due to large market demand and government policy support.

"Chinese cities have a very good environment for R&D, they are rapidly changing, and there is a lot of desire for innovation and wanting to know about the latest developments," says Chris Twinn, senior sustainability consultant with Arup, a UK-headquartered engineering consultancy.

Developing new solutions for eco-city development has been one of the most promising areas for companies, says Twinn.

The concept of the eco-city, founded in 1975 in the United States, is used to describe cities built in balance with nature. China has ambitious plans to build 300 eco-cities, Qiu Bao-xing, vice-minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said in 2011.

Tuesday_____________________ July 9

Fortune 500 list includes 95 Chinese companies

A total of 95 Chinese companies are on the list of Fortune 500 companies with combined gross revenue of $5.2 trillion, or 17 percent of the Fortune 500's total revenue.

The Fortune magazine list showed that in 2012 China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group) had the largest revenue among all Chinese companies, $428.17 billion. China National Petroleum Corp was close behind, with annual revenue of $408.6 billion. Sinopec Group ranked fourth and China National Petroleum ranked fifth, each up by one spot from the previous year.

Globally, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is the largest company in annual revenue, with $481.7 billion. Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Exxon Mobil Corp took the second and third spots. Sinopec was fourth and China National Petroleum was fifth, and State Grid Corp was seventh.

Besides 10 Taiwan or Hong Kong-headquartered corporations, there are 85 Chinese mainland-headquartered companies, mostly State-owned Enterprises. Most are concentrated in the energy, resources, banking and telecommunication sectors.

China is No 3 in M&A in Africa

China is the world's third-largest country doing mergers and acquisitions in Africa, favoring the oil and gas sector, according to a report.

The country made 49 M&A deals totaling $20.8 billion in Africa since 2003, following the United Kingdom with $30.5 billion and France with $30.47 billion, according to the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

As of this year, more 2,000 Chinese companies have invested in Africa.

Chinese dealmakers favor the natural resources sector with $8.1 billion invested in oil and gas across three deals and $6.7 billion invested across 19 deals in metals and mining over the last 10 years, and their preference for these sectors will likely continue, said the report.

News in review Friday, July 5 to Thursday, July 11

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co, one of China's largest insurance companies, has bought the headquarters building of Lloyd's of London for 260 million pounds ($388 million). A glass-and-steel building that opened in 1986, it had been owned by German asset management fund Commerz Real. Commerz Real bought the building, home to the world's leading insurance market, for 231 million pounds in 2005. Lloyd's lease on the site expires in 2031. Provided to China Daily


___________ July 10

IMF cuts economic-growth forecasts

The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for China's economic growth this year and next.

The Fund forecast 7.8 percent GDP growth for the world's second-biggest economy in 2013 and 7.7 percent in 2014 - a reduction of 0.3 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively, from its April report.

For the global economy, the IMF now sees 2013 growth of 3.1 percent and 2014 growth of 3.8 percent, both down 0.2 percentage points from the forecast three months ago.

"My impression is the country where there is the largest risk in terms of large decrease in growth is China," IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard told a news conference on Tuesday about the Fund's latest quarterly World Economic Outlook.

The IMF decreased its forecast for all five BRICS nations -Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - and cited factors particular to each, with "unproductive investment" the culprit in China, Blanchard said, alluding to an imbalance between investment and consumption.

Alibaba wants IPO to fund acquisitions

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said that money raised through a potential share-listing will fund acquisitions to expand services of the country's biggest e-commerce company.

Jonathan Lu, who took over the helm as CEO from legendary founder Jack Ma two months ago, said in Hong Kong that he has "a lot of stuff he wants to buy" and the timing of the company's IPO will depend on whether he has a good acquisition target.

At the moment, Alibaba has no schedule for the IPO and the button is in Jack Ma's hand on how, when and if the company goes public, Lu added. He hinted the location will either be Hong Kong or the United States. (Photo 3)

Thursday_________________ July 11

Consulate hosts students who survived crash

About 70 students and their teachers who survived the Asiana Flight 214 crash landing in San Francisco that killed two other Chinese students gathered at the Chinese general consulate in the city.

Yuan Nansheng, consul general in the city, hosted a dinner for them on Wednesday and encouraged them to be brave and strong.

Eighty of the 138 Chinese passengers who were on the flight have arranged to stay at the Crowne Plaza, a hotel near the airport. The rest have left the city, heading either back to China or to other US cities.

With the assistance of the consulate general in San Francisco, Chinese students who survived the crash had video conversations with their families back in China on Tuesday. (Photo 4)

US senators express concern over Smithfield deal

Two foreign-trade experts said the proposed purchase by Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd of pork processor Smithfield Foods Inc would be good for China and, in the short term, Smithfield shareholders and executives but bad for America's economy and consumers.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry heard from the experts on Wednesday. It was the first chance for US lawmakers to debate the proposed takeover, with most expressing apprehension about the deal's impact on American food supplies, agricultural exports and cross-border transfer of sensitive technologies.

News in review Friday, July 5 to Thursday, July 11

The size of Shanghai's permanent resident population last year reached 23.8 million, making it the most populous city in the most populous country in the world. Shanghai has an officially registered population of 14 million but, according to estimates, it's also home to 9 million migrants, said Ding Jinhong, director of East China Normal University's School of Social Development.Yan Daming / for China Daily

News in review Friday, July 5 to Thursday, July 11

(China Daily USA 07/12/2013 page8)