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( China Daily ) Updated: 2012-11-14 07:59:09

PepsiCo opens research center in China

PepsiCo Inc, the world's second-largest soft-drink maker, opened its largest research center outside the US in China on Tuesday, as it seeks to boost sales in the world's most populous country and the Asian region. PepsiCo based in Purchase, New York said on Tuesday that the facility will help tailor drink and snack-food brands to Asian taste buds and develop new products for China and the region. The new center in Shanghai is part of PepsiCo's 2010 plan to invest $2.5 billion in food and beverage businesses in China over a three-year period and expand current offerings, the company said.

Saudi Arabian Oil launches affiliate in Beijing

The Saudi Arabian Oil Co, the integrated global petroleum and chemicals enterprise, announced on Tuesday the official opening of Aramco Asia in Beijing, a move that shows the strategic importance of the Asian market to the company. Aramco Asia, a wholly owned affiliate of Saudi Aramco, will serve as the business and cultural exchange hub between Saudi Aramco and China. "Our new Asia office in Beijing will be a hub for facilitating our joint activities in general and investment opportunities arising from the capital projects in Saudi Arabia and Asia," said Abdulrahman F. Al-Wuhaib, senior vice-president of its downstream business.

Stocks fall to 7-week low on property tax, retail concerns

China's stocks fell to their lowest level in seven weeks after Xinhua News Agency reported the government may expand a property-tax trial and Haitong Securities Co said retailers may post weak sales this month. China Vanke Co and Poly Real Estate Group Co led declines for developers after Xinhua cited the housing minister as saying the government is watching for signs of surging transaction volumes and home prices. Meanwhile, Suning Appliance Co plunged 4.2 percent. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp slumped the most in two weeks.

Baosteel raises December ex-factory prices

Baoshan Iron and Steel Co Ltd, China's largest listed steelmaker, has raised ex-factory prices of its main products for December delivery, the first price hike since March. Hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil prices will be increased by 100 yuan ($16) per ton; zinc coated steel sheet prices will go up 80 yuan per ton, and aluminum-zinc coated steel sheets will rise 120 yuan per ton. Analysts said the moderate December price hikes were in line with the steel-market rebound that started in September, and reflected Baosteel's prudent approach this year.

People's Insurance aims for IPO in Hong Kong

People's Insurance Co (Group) of China Ltd, one of the nation's biggest insurers by premium values, is planning a listing in Hong Kong and may launch a roadshow by the end of this week, Securities Daily reported. The insurer is planning to undertake a pre-marketing of the share sale on Thursday and may be listed in early December, a source quoted by Securities Daily said. The initial public offering of PICC is expected to raise $2 billion to $4 billion. The price of the shares has not been decided yet. The shares on offer, if the IPO is successful, will account for about 17 percent of the company's total share capital after listing.

Airbus to assemble new model at China factory

Airbus SAS said it expects to build the planned A320neo jet in China, as the plane-maker holds discussions about extending the life of its first assembly line outside Europe. Laurence Barron, Airbus' China head, said on Tuesday in Zhuhai that the company is in talks with partners about operating the Tianjin facility through 2025. The factory already makes the current A320 model. "We can expect to see the Neo being assembled here in China in the near future," Barron said. The aircraft is due to enter service in 2015. Airbus also builds A320s in France and Germany, and is planning to open a factory in Alabama.

Companies merge to provide better global service

Two Chinese outsourcing companies listed in the United States announced they are joining forces, a step that comes amid fierce competition and harsh market conditions. HiSoft Technology International Ltd and VanceInfo Technologies Inc announced they are forming the new company, Pactera Technology International Ltd, to provide better service to their global customers. HiSoft is headquartered in the coastal city of Dalian, one of China's main software outsourcing bases. VanceInfo has its headquarters in Beijing and a branch in Dalian. HiSoft focuses on exploring the IT outsourcing market of Japan and the United States.

Foxconn denies headquarters moving to Chengdu

Foxconn Group, Apple Inc's main supplier and China's leading electronics manufacturer, denied a rumor that it would move its headquarters to China's inland city of Chengdu, Caijing.com reported. The company's headquarters and first business park in the Chinese mainland is in Shenzhen, where more than 400,000 people are employed. It remains the company's chief strategic base, said Liu Kun, Foxconn representative. Zhengzhou Park and Chengdu Park were built to meet the needs of the Foxconn industry supply chain. They have different functions, Liu added.

Garment makers' inventories increase in value

The inventory value of 22 listed Chinese garment makers totaled 38.18 billion yuan ($6.13 billion) in the third quarter. Hexin Flush Network Services Ltd, a Zhejiang-based financial data supplier, said Youngor Group's inventory had the highest value, at 23.95 billion yuan. Hongdou Group Co Ltd came in second place, having a value of 3.98 billion yuan. Garment makers' operating incomes have declined. The revenue of five companies out of the 22 fell in the third quarter. Among them was Jiangsu Sanyou Group Co Ltd, which saw a year-on-year decline of 17.31 percent.

Beiqi Foton to build auto plant in Cameroon

The Chinese commercial vehicle maker Beiqi Foton Motor Co has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Cameroon to invest $500 million in a plant in the southwestern port city of Kribi, the auto news website gasgoo.com reported on Monday. The factory will start operating in July 2013 and be able to produce 5,000 trucks and vans a year, according to the country's Minister of Industry. According to the memorandum, the first phase of the plant will be dedicated to assembling auto parts imported from China. The factory is expected to create 8,000 jobs.

360buy completes new round of funding

360buy.com, China's second-biggest business-to-consumer website by revenue, has confirmed it has completed a new round of funding from investors, but declined to give specific figures. 360buy said it had recently raised money from the Ontario Teacher Pension Fund and Tiger Global Management LLC.According to a report from caijing.com.cn, 360buy's new funding was for a total $400 million, of which the Ontario Teacher Pension Fund invested $250 million.

Rare earth prices up by 20% on production shutdown

A partial shutdown of rare earths production in North and South China has led to a 20 percent rise in the materials' prices. The price of neodymium-praseodymium oxide, an important rare-earth mineral, is now between 340,000 yuan ($54,604) and 360,000 yuan a ton. Many of praseodymium's industrial uses involve filtering yellow from light sources. Another mineral, dysprosium oxide, now costs 2.8 to 3 million yuan a ton, according to the latest price on Baiinfo, a domestic financial information provider.

China Daily-Agencies

(China Daily 11/14/2012 page14)

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