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Updated: 2016-02-26 07:45

(China Daily USA)

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Govts & policies

Hebei to close more polluting companies

Northern China's Hebei province, neighboring Beijing, is planning the closure of small polluting firms this year. The provincial environmental inspection bureau said on Thursday that it would send inspectors to small firms in 10 polluting industries including paper-making, refining, leather-making, printing, pesticide manufacturing, dyeing and electroplating. Companies found to have substandard environmental facilities will be closed by the end of 2016, according to a statement from the bureau.

What's news

Crude oil stockpile down 3.65 percent

China's commercial crude oil stocks edged down 3.65 percent in January from December, according to Xinhua News Agency. Last month, China's imports of crude oil stood at 26.59 million metric tons, down 19.28 percent from December, a report said on Thursday. Gasoline stocks increased 1.38 percent as economic headwinds and higher fuel prices combined to constrain consumption. Diesel stocks rose 6.74 percent as demand weakened before the Lunar New Year holidays, according to the report.

Companies & Markets

United Energy scraps Liaohe EOR project

United Energy Group Ltd will abandon the Liaohe EOR Project, an enhancing oil recovery venture between United Petroleum & Natural Gas Investments Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Energy Group, and China National Petroleum Corporation, a statement said. The contract for the EOR project was signed in 2006, under which United Petroleum was entitled to 60 percent of the annual production of the incremental oil. UEGL blamed the slump in crude prices for abandoning the project.

What's news

HAN raises $500m to finance projects

HAN Capital Management, a New York-based investment company, has raised a $500 million entertainment fund to finance Chinese film and television projects to compete with Hollywood productions. Founded by John Liu, a former Citigroup Inc and SAC Capital Management executive, HAN Capital also has offices in Shanghai.

Tax holiday urged for small enterprises

A survey suggests small and micro enterprises reporting monthly sales below 100,000 yuan ($15,310) should be exempt from turnover tax due to the sluggish economic situation. The report by the Survey and Research Center for Household Finance at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics said such a tax reduction will generate jobs for 2.84 million people, create 228.7 billion yuan in social wealth and stimulate the economy.

Cruise line unveils expansion plan

Princess Cruises announced on Thursday its expansion plan in China, which includes launching a new homeport in Xiamen, Fujian province, this year, and debuting the cruise ship Majestic Princess specially tailored for the Chinese market in 2017 which will sail from Shanghai. As part of Carnival Corporation & Plc, Princess Cruises is investing $450 million in product innovation and ship renovation, according to Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.

ICBC unveils plans to issue green bonds

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd plans to issue green bonds, becoming the latest entrant to a market that barely existed a few years ago. The plan comes after China authorized the first sales of the securities in December, Zhou Yueqiu, head of ICBC's urban finance research institute, told reporters after a conference in Shanghai on Thursday. Zhou didn't provide details on the amount or timing of the offer.

Around the world

Bayer's Q4 profit misses estimates

Bayer AG, the German drugmaker that appointed a new chief executive officer on Wednesday, reported fourth-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates as earnings in the company's agricultural division declined. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and excluding some costs, climbed 4 percent to 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion).

What's news

Deutsche Telekom raises dividend

Deutsche Telekom AG raised its dividend for the first time since 2007 as customer gains at its US mobile phone unit helped the company boost profit. The payout will rise 10 percent to 55 cents a share, the Bonn-based company said in a statement on Thursday. Fourth-quarter earnings climbed 16 percent to 5.1 billion euros ($5.6 billion) stripping out interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and other items.

Henkel profit gains on laundry-sales boost

Henkel AG, the maker of Schwarzkopf shampoo and Loctite glue, reported a rise in fourth-quarter profit and said revenue will gain as much as 4 percent this year as the company boosts sales of laundry and beauty-care products in emerging markets. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes advanced 11 percent to 670 million euros ($739 million) in the three months through December, the Dusseldorf, Germany-based company said in a statement on Thursday.

Veolia earnings meet expectations

Veolia Environnement SA, Europe's biggest water company, said net income rose 74 percent in 2015, meeting analysts' expectations, aided by higher revenue and lower costs. Net income increased to 580.1 million euros ($640 million) from a restated 333 million euros a year earlier, the Paris-based company said on Thursday in a statement, matching a 581.4-million-euro average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Drought to hit Thai sugar cane crop

Drought is set to cut Thailand's sugar cane crop to the lowest in at least four years, curbing production of the sweetener as forecasts for a global deficit increase. Cane output may fall below 100 million metric tons in 2015-16, Thai Sugar Millers Corp said in a statement on Thursday. It would be the first time below that level since 2011-12 and compares with 106 million tons last year.

Vale does better than expected in Q4

Vale SA, the world's biggest iron ore miner, reported a smaller-than-estimated decline in quarterly earnings as efforts to lower costs and focus on higher quality deposits blunted the impact of slumping commodity prices. Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to $1.39 billion from $2.19 billion a year earlier, the Rio de Janeiro-based company said on Thursday.

New resorts give Galaxy boost

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd's fourth-quarter earnings fell 7 percent from a year earlier, less than the decline analysts expected, as the opening of new Macao resorts last year boosted its non-gambling sales and casino market share. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were HK$2.5 billion ($322 million), compared with the HK$2.36 billion median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

(China Daily USA 02/26/2016 page19)