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HSBC insurance venture fires staff in China
HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's largest bank by market value, fired almost 200 sales staff at its life insurance joint venture in China as it retreats from the industry, sparking a protest at its office. HSBC Life Insurance Co, which the lender owns 50 percent, dismissed its entire sales force wednesday morning as it refocuses on bancassurance, Shellie Zhang, a Shanghai-based spokeswoman, said in an interview. More than 100 protesters gathered at HSBC China's headquarters in the nation's financial capital, demanding compensation for the dismissal.
Yuan climbs to 19-year high amid US official's visit
The yuan rose to a 19-year high after the People's Bank of China set the currency's reference rate at the strongest level since Jan 15 amid US Treasury Secretary Jacob L. Lew's visit to Beijing for talks. The central bank boosted the yuan's fixing by 0.07 percent to 6.2716 per dollar on Wednesday. The greenback rose against the euro on Wednesday as investors sought havens after the Cypriot Parliament voted down a bank-deposit levy needed to secure a bailout.
Railway gets investment of private capital
A Xinjiang local railway corporation has received an investment of private capital for the first time after China's Ministry of Railways was dismantled last week. A railway corporation was set up in Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County, a county bordering Kazakhstan, the National Business Daily reported on Tuesday. The joint venture's registered capital was 50 million yuan ($8 million), half of which is from private investors. This is the first private investment in a railway since the establishment of China Railway Corp last week.
Regulators approve QFII quota for three firms
The State Administration of Foreign Exchange said on Wednesday that it has approved a quota of $100 million each for three Hong Kong subsidiaries of mainland fund management companies under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors program, which will add $300 million to the A-share market's liquidity. The three newly approved QFIIs are Hong Kong subsidiaries of Harvest Fund Management Co Ltd, E Fund Management Co Ltd and China AMC Co Ltd. The Hong Kong subsidiaries of the three fund companies are the first approved companies that can raise funds in the overseas market and invest in the A-share market as QFIIs.
Youku Tudou inks deal with Hong Kong's TVB station
Youku Tudou Inc, China's largest online television company, announced a partnership deal on Wednesday to show TV series from Television Broadcasts Ltd, a major Hong Kong broadcaster. The two-year deal will enable Youku Tudou to stream more than 2,500 hours of TV shows from TVB, the oldest wireless commercial TV station in Hong Kong. Financial terms were not disclosed. Programs produced by TVB will be available on Youku Tudou's website and to mobile viewers, said the Beijing-based company.
Overnight money-market rate drops to 1-month low
China's overnight money-market rate fell to a one-month low as China Minsheng Banking Corp's convertible bond sale ended, releasing funds from unsuccessful bidders back into the financial system. The Beijing-based lender raised 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion) from the offering, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Guotai Junan Securities Co estimates the issuance had locked up 450 billion yuan of capital, and excess funds are being returned starting on Wednesday. The Ministry of Finance sold 22 billion yuan of 10-year notes on Wednesday at 3.5198 percent, according to a trader at a company that participates in government debt auctions.
China Daily - Agencies
(China Daily 03/21/2013 page14)