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Updated: 2014-11-19 07:07

(China Daily USA)

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China Railway wins 14 project bids

China Railway Group Ltd, one of the country's two biggest railway builders, said on Tuesday its units had won 14 construction contracts worth 24.2 billion yuan ($3.95 billion). The contracts include the Huaihua-Shaoyang-Hengyang rail line in Hunan province, with an overall value of 6.48 billion yuan, and a 2.18 billion yuan deal for the Binzhou Railway in Heilongjiang province. China Railway Group said that the value of the 14 bids amounted to 4.3 percent of the company's operating revenue in 2013. China approved construction of five rail projects worth 152.7 billion yuan on Monday, in the latest sign that the government is lifting investment to tackle slackening economic growth.

Slowdown 'hits labor market'

China's economic downturn has extended into the fourth quarter, which has worsened the labor market and increased pressure on policymakers to boost growth, Standard Chartered Plc said on Tuesday. Based on a sample of companies, the bank said the impact on employment began with slower wage growth over the past six months, driven by cooling manufacturing and housing investment. "This has now extended to rising layoffs and plans to freeze wages in 2015. A continually softened labor market may drag down consumption and further decelerate overall economic growth", it said.

ANZ, Chinese bank in financing deal

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd signed two memorandums of understanding during President Xi Jinping's visit to Canberra that will extend its relationship with the China Development Bank and boost available finance for the development of new mineral resources projects. The cooperation with CDB will support further high-quality direct investment in Australia by Chinese enterprises, and the Chinese government's objective of increasing transparency and accountability for its outbound investments. Another MOU with CDB, Aurizon Holdings and Baosteel Corp details cooperation for the potential development of the proposed West Pilbara iron ore project.

Fosun wraps up Roc Oil deal

Chinese conglomerate Fosun International's wholly owned subsidiary Transcendent Resources has closed the acquisition of Australian independent upstream oil and gas company Roc Oil Co Ltd for 2.36 billion yuan ($385 million). The takeover of Sydney-listed Roc Oil will give Fosun 92.6 percent of its shares, as well as oil assets in Australia, China, Malaysia and the United Kingdom's North Sea oil region. Fosun has businesses in real estate development, mining, pharmaceuticals and retail. This is the first time that the Hong Kong-listed private company is attempting to develop business in the overseas energy sector.

Offshore yuan holding rules eased

The People's Bank of China has approved a pilot program allowing some domestic institutional investors to buy offshore yuan-denominated products, the official Shanghai Securities News said, as China pushes ahead with internationalizing its currency. The PBOC has approved the Renminbi Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor program, the newspaper reported on Tuesday, without saying which institutions would be qualified to participate. To elevate the yuan's status as a global currency, China has established offshore yuan centers from Sydney to London, signed swap lines with countries in the Middle East and allowed foreign companies in China to move yuan funds across borders with greater freedom.

Cotton imports fall 42% in October

China imported 81,900 metric tons of cotton in October, down 42 percent year-on-year and the lowest level since January 2009. It was also the first time monthly imports of the fiber dropped below 100,000 tons since October 2010. October imports fell after harvests in key exporting nations - India and the United States - were delayed, while importers had fewer quotas this year to bring in cotton at a lower tariff, said a trade source who declined to be identified.

BOC places $5.2b in preferred shares

Bank of China Ltd, the nation's fourth-biggest lender by market value, sold 32 billion yuan ($5.2 billion) of preferred securities on Tuesday in a private placement to yield 6 percent, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Bank of China said in September it won regulatory approval to sell as many as 600 million preferred shares, with the first 320 million to be completed within six months, according to a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The issue will help the bank shore up its capital buffers.

Equities decline as link fever wanes

Chinese mainland stocks dropped, with the benchmark index declining for a fourth day, as enthusiasm toward an exchange link with Hong Kong waned and falling home prices added to concerns that an economic slowdown will deepen. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 2,456.37 points, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index slid 1.2 percent. Both indexes declined on Monday after initially rallying as the link between the two cities debuted.

JD.com sinks most after sales forecast

JD.com Inc sank the most since its United States debut after Asia's second-largest e-commerce operator provided a fourth-quarter sales forecast that disappointed investors. JD.com's American depositary receipts tumbled 7.4 percent on Monday in New York, the biggest drop since its May initial public offering. JD.com said fourth-quarter revenue will be between 32 billion yuan ($5.2 billion) and 33 billion yuan. The range was in line with an average analyst estimates. It came after the shares had jumped 7.1 percent on Nov 12 after the company said orders for Singles' Day more than doubled from last year.

Agreement gives eBay sellers support

United States-based eBay Inc signed a strategic agreement on Tuesday with the Shanghai-based Winit Corp, which supports cross-border e-commerce companies, that will strengthen the comprehensive warehousing services available to eBay sellers. Winit will provide eBay sellers with one-stop, cross-border supply chain solutions, supported by overseas warehousing, big data and a focus on optimizing buyers' experience. Services will range from international shipping and overseas warehouse management to last-mile delivery. Value-added consulting services based on big data will also be offered to sellers.

Kemira reveals plant in Nanjing

Finland-based Kemira Oyj announced plans on Tuesday for a new facility in the Nanjing Chemical Park, which will add production capacity of about 100,000 metric tons annually and provide a wide range of chemical products for paper and pulp manufacturing. Kemira plans to invest $100 million in the new plant, which will be the largest of its kind in Asia. China's demand for pulp and paper chemicals has grown at a fast pace in the past decade, driven by booming business in the packaging, tissue and printed paper businesses, but growth has been slowing as people read news online and use less print.

Alipay-Paybang JV to boost e-commerce

Alipay, China's largest e-payment company, is to set up a company in Australia to boost bilateral e-commerce. Alipay, a unit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, will cooperate with Australian payment firm Paybang to offer tailor-made payment solutions. The new company is expected to help Australian businesses and merchants gain more access to Chinese consumers. The announcement came after China and Australia signed a landmark free trade agreement in Canberra, Australia on Monday. China is Australia's largest two-way trading partner, with transactions of more than $130.8 billion in 2013.

China Daily-Xinhua-Reuters-Bloomberg

(China Daily USA 11/19/2014 page14)