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Yuan retreats amid trading-band speculation
China's yuan retreated from a 19-year high after the central bank lowered the daily reference rate by the most since August amid speculation the currency's trading band will be expanded. The yuan dropped the most in two months as the People's Bank of China set the fixing 0.12 percent lower at 6.2416 per dollar. The band in which the yuan is allowed to fluctuate, currently 1 percent, will be widened "in the near future", Deputy Governor Yi Gang said on Wednesday at an International Monetary Fund conference in Washington. The currency has risen 0.8 percent this year, compared with 1 percent for all of 2012.
Huawei to hire 5,500 inEuropean expansion
Huawei Technologies Co, China's biggest maker of phone-network equipment, will hire 5,500 people in Europe in the next four to five years, bringing its workforce in the region to 13,000, even as competitors make reductions. The company, based in Shenzen, predicts the need for faster telecommunications services and cheaper devices will drive demand in Europe, as the economy shows some signs of improvement, acting CEO and Deputy Chairman Ken Hu told reporters in Paris. "In the past 10 years we've achieved a deep understanding of Europe," Hu said.
Sinopec markets dollar bonds in overseas push
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's biggest refiner, is marketing a sale of dollar-denominated bonds in four maturities to fund overseas investment and repay bank debt. Sinopec, as the company is known, plans to sell three-, five-, 10- and 30-year bonds as soon as Thursday, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the terms aren't set. Chinese companies are looking abroad for oil and gas assets to feed the energy needs of the world's second-biggest economy.
Gold price tumble stokes demand in China, India
Shoppers in the Chinese mainland lined up for gold this week, while in Hong Kong they rushed to buy bracelets and in India sought jewelry for weddings not set until December. The metal's biggest price drop in three decades provoked the clamor. From Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai, India's largest bullion market, to Australia's Perth Mint, where sales doubled from last week, consumers headed to shops after the commodity entered into a bear market last week. As gold plunged 13 percent in the two sessions through April 15, retail sales tripled across China on April 15-16, the China Gold Association reported.
Gas price gain seen as boon to Asia LNG
Liquefied natural gas is poised for a boost this year after slumping to the lowest level in four months as China increases the appeal of imports by raising the price of domestic supplies. The world's biggest energy user will increase residential gas tariffs by as much as 20 percent in some cities, according to brokers including Mirae Asset Securities Ltd and CLSA Ltd. Buyers in parts of China are already paying as much as $25 per million British thermal units, compared with international LNG prices that slid to $14.90 this week, the lowest since November, according to World Gas Intelligence. Record pollution in Beijing this year has prompted the government to boost gas prices to encourage companies such as China National Petroleum Corp and China National Offshore Oil Corp to supply cleaner-burning gas from domestic deposits.
Govt travel, entertainment budgets cut by 1.6 percent
China will cut spending on business travel, vehicles and entertainment this year by 1.6 percent to 7.97 billion yuan ($1.29 billion) to crack down on wasteful expenditure, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. The government spent 8.095 billion yuan on the items last year, according to a ministry statement on Thursday. Expenditures in these three areas was 9.346 billion yuan in 2011, the official Xinhua News Agency reported in June, citing then-Finance Minister Xie Xuren. China's plan to reduce spending follows a campaign by President Xi Jinping to reduce graft and crack down on extravagance at official events.
Apple Inc told to remove obscene content
Apple Inc, which apologized this month in China after being criticized by State-run media for poor customer service, was ordered by the government to remove obscene content accessed through its online applications store. The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications named Apple among 198 websites ordered to remove content, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday, without providing details of the material. Carolyn Wu, an Apple spokeswoman in Beijing, declined to comment on the report.
China Construction buys office building in New Jersey
China Construction America Inc, a unit of a Beijing-based developer, bought a suburban New Jersey office building for $71 million as it expands in US real estate investment and development. The building at 445 South St in Morris Township, New Jersey, is the company's first property purchase in the state. It's close to the US unit's headquarters in Jersey City as well as its construction projects in and around New York, said Phillip Gesue, who joined China Construction last year to lead its US real estate operations. Gesue previously oversaw real estate for Orient-Express Hotels Ltd, based in Bermuda. China Construction might occupy part of the building, which is leased mainly to insurance-company tenants, Gesue said.
(China Daily 04/19/2013 page14)