IN BRIEF (Page 14)

Updated: 2012-12-07 09:06

(China Daily)

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 IN BRIEF (Page 14)

Hainan Airlines Co Ltd's planes at Meilan Airport in Haikou, the capital of Hainan province. HNA Group, the parent company of Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, has had initial contact with the European cargo airline Cargolux Airlines International SA regarding a possible acquisition. Provided to China Daily


HNA in talks with European carrier

An unnamed official from HNA Group, the parent company of Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, says the group has had initial contacts with the European cargo airline Cargolux Airlines International SA regarding a possible acquisition. Qatar Airways, Cargolux's second-largest shareholder, said earlier that it plans to sell its 35 percent stake, and the HNA Group showed its interest in buying the stake, 21st Century Business Herald reported on Nov 30. HNA declined to comment. Cargolux, based in Luxembourg, is one of Europe's largest scheduled all-cargo airlines and has a global network.

Shenzhen Airlines joins Star Alliance

Shenzhen Airlines, a subsidiary of Air China, has joined the Star Alliance network, taking the number of members in the world's largest airline alliance to 27. It took the carrier 16 months to prepare itself to meet the 87 requirements for joining the alliance. It adds about 400 daily flights to 70 destinations in the alliance's network, including five new destinations.


Bankcard fee cut may threaten credit

China's plan to cut merchant fees for bankcard transactions may increase credit risk at the country's banks if they increase lending to offset the reduction, Moody's Investors Service said. The cuts, which start on Feb 25, will reduce pretax profit at Chinese commercial banks that Moody's covers by 1 percent to 1.5 percent, Katie Chen, a Beijing-based analyst at the ratings agency, wrote in a report.

LME sale to Hong Kong Exchanges approved

The London Metal Exchange says Britain's High Court has approved its 1.4 billion pound ($2.2 billion; 1.7 billion euros) takeover by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. Earlier, Britain's financial regulator had approved the deal. It was expected to become effective on Dec 6, the LME said.


Trade with Africa grows despite cost increases

Despite the increasing cost of Chinese exports, worries that China will sell fewer manufactured goods to Africa have proved unfounded, Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd said. The bank said the value of China's exports to Africa is likely to rise to more than $80 billion (61 billion euros) this year, and that of Sino-African trade is forecast to exceed $200 billion this year, up from $166 billion last year. Standard Bank estimates that 18 percent of Africa's imports this year have come from China, up from 16.8 percent last year, 10 percent in 2008 and 4.5 percent 10 years ago.


Company eyes thin-film solar market

First Solar Inc, a US-listed clean energy developer, has completed an agreement with the Chinese company Zhenfa New Energy Science and Technology Co Ltd to supply two megawatts of thin-film solar modules for Zhenfa's solar projects, the company said. The solar projects, owned by Zhangfa, have been approved and are in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The cooperation will establish First Solar's first commercial demonstration project in China.

China to import 35% of natural gas needs

China may rely on imports for more than 35 percent of its natural gas supplies by 2015, up from 15 percent in 2010, according to estimates by the National Energy Administration. Overseas purchases may rise to 93.5 billion cubic meters by 2015, based on contracts already signed, according to a document on the NEA website. Domestic output is forecast to rise to 176 billion cubic meters, the agency said.


Chang'an Auto selling joint-venture stake

China Chang'an Automobile Group, the parent of Chongqing Chang'an Automobile Co, is selling its stake in a 50-50 car venture with PSA Peugeot Citroen for 2 billion yuan ($321.2 million; 245.6 million euros), a property exchange said. Chongqing United Asset and Equity Exchange said Chang'an Auto was selling its stake using a public auction.

Firm approved to bid for US battery maker

China's Ministry of Commerce has approved a plan by a Chinese auto parts maker to take over the US battery maker A123 Systems Inc, Zhejiang province's Department of Commerce says. It means the Chinese government has given the nod to the acquisition move by Wanxiang Group Corp, based in Zhejiang province, after the National Development and Reform Commission gave its approval in October. Wanxiang will compete with companies including Johnson Controls Inc of the US, Siemens of Germany and NEC of Japan to buy the bankrupt A123, which made lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. Wanxiang said it had signed an agreement with A123 in August to invest in the moribund company. It intended to make a bid after the US company filed for bankruptcy in October.


Pengxin finalizes farms purchase

Shanghai Pengxin Group Co Ltd has completed the purchase of 16 dairy farms in New Zealand, after spending nearly two years convincing the country's authorities that the deal is beneficial to the local economy. The 16 farms occupy 8,000 hectares and have 16,000 dairy cows. A 50-50 joint venture will be created between Pengxin New Zealand Farm Group, a subsidiary of Pengxin Group, and the New Zealand government-owned Landcorp Farming Ltd to manage the acquired assets. Jiang Lei, chief executive of Pengxin, declined to rule out buying more dairy farms in New Zealand.

Oerlikon to sell textile divisions

OC Oerlikon Corp, the world's largest maker of textile machinery, agreed to sell its natural fibers and textile-components units to Jinsheng Group of China as part of the biggest sale yet organized by Michael Buscher, Oerlikon's chief executive officer. The units were the source of a quarter of Oerlikon's 4.2 billion Swiss francs ($4.53 billion; 3.5 billion euros) in revenue last year. They have an enterprise value of 650 million Swiss francs and employ 3,800 people.

Siemens Audiology boosts expansion

Siemens Audiology Group will open 500 exclusive outlets in China in the next three years, with a focus on the country's second and third-tier cities, the group's CEO Roger Radke said. The company has about 1,000 exclusive outlets across the country, covering all the first-tier cities and 90 percent of the second-tier cities. Siemens Audiology is the biggest player in China, with more than half the market. The company has a factory in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, that accounts for a quarter of its global capacity.

China Daily-Agencies

(China Daily 12/07/2012 page14)