What's news (China Daily)

Governments and policies

Ministry announces reduction in port charges

The Ministry of Transport and the National Development and Reform Commission issued a notification on Wednesday lowering port charges across China. The new policy will adjust the pricing mechanism to promote sustainable development of the water transportation industry.

Beijing to step up its green car initiatives

The Beijing municipal government will invest tens of billions yuan in the new energy industry, especially on new energy cars, according to Zhao Jingguang, vice-president of the Beijing New Energy Automobile Industry Association, The Economic Observer reported on Wednesday. Both new energy vehicles and components manufacturing will benefit from the funds.

Companies and markets

Alibaba, Yongda join hands for auto venture

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has expanded into the car distribution business by partnering with a Chinese dealership to provide online car sales and servicing. The deal with China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings Ltd will also cover areas such as car financing, parallel imports and standardized nationwide car prices.

Xi’an to host multinational sourcing fair this month

The 4th Western China Multinational Sourcing Fair & China (Xi’an) Import and Export Fair will be held in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, from Aug 21 to 23. According to China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shaanxi Sub-Council, the event will be held in a total exhibition area of 10,000 square meters and cover key industries in West China such as consumer products, agricultural products, electromechanical machines, high technology and textile and garment products.

New energy vehicle output surges in China

Automakers in China produced 20,400 new energy vehicles in July, 3.5 times as many as the month last year, after the government promoted the sector, official data showed on Wednesday. They produced 12,345 new energy passenger vehicles last month, up 159 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Anta Sports fares well on better apparel sales

Anta Sports Products Ltd, China’s top sportswear retailer by market value, said first-half net profit rose by a fifth due to growth in sales of its children’s lines and high-end Fila apparel and footwear in its offline and online stores. The company said its earnings grew to 965.3 million yuan ($155.48 million) for the first half of 2015 from 802.8 million yuan in the same period a year earlier.

Chery bucks industry trend with growth

Carmaker Chery Automobile Co Ltd posted robust growth on Wednesday, despite a sluggish auto market performance. The company said its sales in the first six months of this year surged 17 percent from the same period last year, with 252,439 vehicles sold in the first six months. It exported 50,130 passenger vehicles between January and June. The company’s overseas sales made up 26.7 percent of the exports of Chinese brand passenger vehicles.

UBS says steel mills may increase output

Steelmakers in China may be ramping up output before the government orders production cuts at some mills to ensure clean air in Beijing for a parade, according to UBS AG, which said the increase may be boosting iron ore. “I have heard there may have been some modest pickup in steel production ahead of enforced cutbacks in late August, early September for World War II end-commemoration parade in China,” analyst Daniel Morgan said on Wednesday.

Foxconn to invest $2b on India tech projects

Foxconn Technology Group is prepared to invest about $2 billion on technology projects in India over the next decade if the government addresses infrastructure deficiencies, according to Chairman Terry Gou. “The government needs to improve infrastructure,” Gou, founder of the company that makes Apple Inc’s iPhones, said at a press conference on Tuesday in New Delhi. He cited issues such as electricity and transport.

Around the world

Societe Generale plans steps to reduce costs

French bank Societe Generale SA unveiled on Wednesday a new cost cutting plan of 850 million euros ($925 million) to compensate for higher regulatory costs, despite a jump in profits. Net profit at the bank jumped by 25 percent for the April through June period from the same quarter last year to 1.35 billion euros, considerably higher than the average of 856 million euros expected by analysts.

South Korea’s forex reserves see first dip

South Korea’s foreign reserves fell for the first time in six months as a strong US dollar reduced the value of non-dollar assets, central bank data showed on Wednesday. Foreign reserves stood at $370.82 billion as of end-July, down $3.93 billion from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea. It was the first reduction in six months.

Massive profit slump in H1 for StanChart

Asia-focused British bank Standard Chartered Plc said on Wednesday profits had plunged in the first half of the year and slashed dividends by 50 percent, in its first result under new leadership as it struggles to return to growth. Net profit slumped 36.7 percent in the six months to June to $1.46 billion from $2.31 billion in the same period of 2014.

Thai tourist numbers up 40% last month

Tourist arrivals in Thailand during July rose nearly 40 percent on the year, the tourism minister said on Wednesday, as the industry continued to bounce back from a sharp fall in 2014 during months of street protests and a military coup. Thailand received 2.64 million visitors in July. The total number of visitors in the first seven months was 17.5 million.

(China Daily 08/06/2015 page14)