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China Gas to buy Fortune Oil's operations for $400m
China Gas Holdings Ltd, the supplier of natural gas to 172 Chinese cities, will buy Fortune Oil Plc's Chinese natural gas operations for $400 million. Fortune Oil surged in London trading. Hong Kong-based Fortune Oil will receive $200 million in cash and either a $200 million deferred payment or 250 million shares of China Gas, Fortune said in a statement on Monday. Fortune Oil had a market value of 181 million pounds ($293 million) as of Dec 14. Buying Fortune Oil's gas business will give China Gas pipelines across seven provinces, a coal bed methane block in Shanxi province and compressed and liquefied natural gas operations.
Lifan eyes new automobile assembly plant in Ethiopia
Lifan Industry Group Co, a Chinese automaker, plans to spend $3.5 million moving into a new vehicle-assembly plant in Ethiopia next year as it seeks to expand in Africa, General Manager Liu Jiang said. The company's Ethiopian unit, Yangfan Motors Plc, may begin manufacturing cars in nation and spend as much as $30 million over five years if sales continue to grow, he said in an interview in the capital, Addis Ababa. Lifan is basing its African operations in Ethiopia because of the country's "good relations" with China, its growing economy, low crime rate and political stability, Liu said on Friday.
Govt to set working GDP target at 7 to 7.5 percent
The Chinese government will likely use 7 to 7.5 percent as a working GDP target for 2013, but the forecast is for actual GDP growth to reach 8 percent next year, investment bank UBS AG said in a research note on Monday. At the Central Economic Work Conference held over the weekend, an official statement said that a "proactive" fiscal policy and "prudent" monetary policy will be pursued, while property controls will continue in line with market expectations. The usual phrase of "steady and relatively rapid growth" was absent from the official statement, but the conference did stress absolute importance of continued economic development, and highlighted urbanization as most important driver of domestic demand.
Tibet encourages airlines to open new routes
The government of the Tibet autonomous region will invest 100 million yuan ($16.03 million) a year to encourage airlines to operate routes in Tibet, according to Xinhua.com. The airlines, which will launch routes between Tibet and domestic cities, will receive 10,000 to 20,000 yuan for each flight in the first three operating years, under the government's plan. Carriers that open new routes within the autonomous region or from Tibet to international destinations also will receive rewards.
CISA says steel industry hit by overcapacity
China's steel industry is facing a problem of overcapacity, with steel prices at 1994 levels, a senior official said. "The steel industry is facing an increasingly difficult time, and the surplus capacity is worsening," said Zhang Changfu, secretary-general of the China Iron & Steel Association, at an annual meeting organized by mysteel.com, a steel industry website. The sales margins of China's major steelmakers averaged a negative 0.18 percent in the first 10 months of the year, and overall the steel industry is at break-even point, Zhang said.
Index's biggest rally in three years continues
China's stocks extended the benchmark index's biggest rally in three years on Monday as a government plan to boost urbanization spurred gains in commodity producers. Healthcare companies, however, saw their biggest drop in three months. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.5 percent to 2,160.34 at the close. The gauge jumped 4.3 percent on Friday, the most since October 2009, amid speculation that State-backed institutions were buying shares as a manufacturing survey added to optimism that the world's second-largest economy will rebound.
Power consumption growth rate hits record for 2012
China's electricity consumption, an important barometer of economic activities, reached 413.9 billion kilowatt-hours in November with 7.6 percent growth year-on-year, a record high in 2012, according to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission. The commission said on Monday that it was the first time all provinces and autonomous regions realized positive growth in power consumption since April. The country's electricity consumption increased 5.1 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months.
Threshold lowered for firms seeking to list in Hong Kong
The China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country's securities regulator, will lower the benchmarks for Chinese mainland companies that want to go public in Hong Kong. Officials said a specific plan will be announced soon, but industry insiders welcomed the move, suggesting it will help cut the number of companies waiting to list on mainland exchanges, and that it represents a lower-risk alternative to seeking a listing overseas.
Yuanda cleared in Canadian anti-dumping probe
Shenyang Yuanda Group, the biggest curtain-wall manufacturer in China, said on Friday that it has been cleared in an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation case in Canada. The Canada Border Services Agency concluded its investigation on Chinese curtain walls, the company's main product, on Sept 17 after the company won the case in the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. The probe had begun two months earlier.
(China Daily 12/18/2012 page14)