Updated: 2011-08-05 12:06

(China Daily European Weekly)

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NDRC vows resolute battle against inflation

China will continue to fight inflation resolutely in the second half, and the economy still has great potential for rapid growth in the near future, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

Li Pumin, spokesman of the country's top economic planner, says macroeconomic policies in the second half will put more emphasis on resolving "prominent contradictions", such as stabilizing prices and maintaining real estate policies while improving operating conditions for small enterprises.

He said on Aug 2 that although the growth rate of the world's second-largest economy decelerated in the first half, the government is capable of maintaining stable, rapid expansion in the long run.

China's GDP grew 9.5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, compared with 9.7 percent in the first quarter and 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

New power tariff offers incentives for solar

China has set unified benchmark grid tariffs for feed-in solar projects, a move that will provide clearer guidance for solar project developers when making investment decisions.

The rates, starting at 1 yuan (0.11 euros) per kilowatt hour (kWh) for projects approved after July 1, were higher than many of those proposed and accepted by State-owned solar power developers in China's second official tender last year, suggesting the government would welcome new industry participants.

The price solar power developers get from grid operators for projects approved before July 1 and completed by the end of this year will be 1.15 yuan/kWh, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a document published on Aug 1.


Huawei bets on new smartphone range

The new cloud-based smartphone called Vision made by Huawei is displayed during a launch ceremony in Beijing on Aug 3. The company expects to replicate its telecom gear success in the smartphone market. David Gray / Reuters

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's No 2 network equipment maker, launched new cloud-computing smartphones on Aug 3, looking to ride a mobile industry boom that drove a 64 percent sales rise in its devices unit in the first half.

The company is betting cloud-computing smartphones will help it replicate its telecom gear success in the smartphone market and take on the likes of Nokia, Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.

Huawei launched its cloud-computing Vision smartphones at a media event in Beijing, with the new 9.9-mm, 121-g phone running on Google's Android 2.3 operating system and Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip.

Global sales from Huawei's devices division, which sells consumer products such as smartphones, mobile phones, tablets and wireless cards, grew 64 percent to $4.2 billion (2.9 billion euros) in the first half of the year from a year ago.


BPEX aims to introduce petroleum price indexes

Beijing Petroleum Exchange (BPEX) is planning to introduce its first price indexes for petroleum-related products by the end of the year.

The move is aimed at underlining China's influence on oil pricing in the global market in the long run, a top executive of the oil bourse said on July 29.

BPEX, in which the nation's top energy company by output, China National Petroleum Corp, holds a 20 percent stake, has completed research on the price indexes for crude oil, gasoline and diesel, and gas (including liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas) and has finished designing models for the indexes and compiling methods of operation, said Wu Ruchuan, chairman and president of BPEX.




Uranium imports in marked decline

Imports of uranium slowed during the first half of this year, amid industry uncertainty caused by Japan's Fukushima nuclear crisis.

China imported 5,356 tons of uranium in the first six months of 2011, a 13 percent year-on-year drop, according to figures released by the General Administration of Customs.

Last year, uranium imports to China totaled 17,136 tons, triple those of the previous year.

The slowdown suggests that uranium importers, including China National Nuclear Corp and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, are still uncertain about the industry's prospects before the central government issues the revised nuclear development plan, Xu Ying, industry analyst at Donghai Securities, said.


HSBC to keep hiring in China amid global cuts

HSBC Holdings PLC said it will continue to hire and invest in China, despite plans to cut tens of thousands of employees worldwide.

Europe's biggest bank said it will eliminate 30,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of staff, by the end of 2013, to rein in salary costs, while hiring more people in emerging markets.

Asia-Pacific chief executive officer Peter Wong said that there will not be lay-offs in China, which the bank sees as one of its "high-growth" markets.

"China is a strategically important market, where investments and the number of employees will grow. HSBC won't slim its operations in China," he said.

Wong said HSBC added 5,000 people in Asia in the first half and hiring will continue in China, where he expects "sustained growth".


Li Ka-shing's CKI to buy Northumbrian Water

A group led by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (CKI) agreed to buy Northumbrian Water Group Plc for 2.4 billion pounds (2.75 billion euros) in its second UK acquisition in a year.

Cheung Kong Infrastructure will pay 465 pence a share, according to a statement issued on Aug 2. That is 26 percent higher than the water provider's closing price on June 23, the day before the first press report that it was subject to takeover interest.

The deal values Northumbrian at 5.8 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, excluding debt, compared with a median valuation of 6.5 times EBITDA for six comparable water deals.


Mixed results in first half of year

China's steel output grew 9.6 percent year-on-year in the first half to 350 million tons but its sales-profit ratio dropped to 2.42 percent, the lowest in years, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said on Aug 2.

The ministry said that the soaring price of iron ore was the main reason for the weaker profitability.

Chinese steel producers' average sales-profit ratio stood at 7.26 percent in 2007. Since then, the figure has slipped.

The transformation and upgrading of the industry are urgently needed to enhance steel producers' competitiveness, MIIT said.

In the first half of this year, China imported 334 million tons of iron ore, 8.1 percent more than in the same period last year, with the average price up 42.4 percent year-on-year to $161 (112 euros) a ton.

China Daily-Agencies


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