China's Biggest Coal-to-Gas Project Approved
Regulatory approval has been given to China's biggest coal-to-gas project, people with knowledge of the issue said. The project is proposed and led by Sinopec Corp (NYSE: SNP, HKG: 0386, SHA: 600028), alongside other participates including Huaneng Power International Inc (NYSE: HNP, HKG: 0902, SHA: 600011), Yanzhou Coal Mining Co (NYSE: YZC, HKG: 1171, SHA: 600188), China Shenhua Energy Co (HKG: 1088, SHA: 601088) and China Coal Energy Co (SHA: 601898, HKG: 1898). Located in a basin in Xinjiang in northwestern China, the project is expected to draw 200 billion yuan of investment and produce 36 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Coal-to-gas processing is expected to prevail as natural gas prices rise and coal prices fall in China.
Sina Weibo Said to Launch E-Commerce Service
Sina Corp (Nasdaq: SINA) will launch e-commerce services on its popular weibo microblogging platform in August as a marketing aid to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China's top e-commerce firm, a person familiar with the matter said. Yun Mao, as the site is known, will be built on a cloud computing platform and gives merchants of Tmall.com and Taobao.com access to Yun Mao's user data. Tmall and Taobao, both operated by Alibaba, is China's most popular B2C and C2C sites. Alibaba paid $586 million in April for an 18% stake in Sina Weibo, which claims to have registered over 300 million accounts.
Baidu Takes 81% of China's Search Revenue
Baidu.com Inc (Nasdaq: BIDU) captured an 81.4% share of revenue from China's search market in Q2 2013, up slightly from a quarter earlier, iResearch said. Total revenue amounted to 9.28 billion yuan in Q2 2013, up 35.3% from a year earlier and up 25.1% from a quarter earlier. Google Inc (Nasdaq: GOOG) came in second with a 14.4% share. Separately, Baidu said it will issue $1 billion worth of 5-year overseas bonds to fund the purchase of 91 Wireless. Earlier this month Baidu said it will pay $1.1 billion for a 57.41% stake in 91 Wireless, a leading Chinese mobile platform connected to 93,000 app developers. The deal is expected to give Baidu access to 91 Wireless's massive app store as a supplement to its desktop and wireless search business and make up for its disadvantages in the mobile Internet market where Qihoo 360 Technology Co (NYSE: QIHU) is the leader.
Huaneng Power Earnings Surge 165% on Lower Expenses
Huaneng Power International Inc (NYSE: HNP, HKG: 0902, SHA: 600011), China's largest listed electricity producer, posted 64.06 billion yuan in revenues and 5.62 billion yuan in net profits for 1H 2013, down 4.6% and up 165% year on year respectively. The strong profit increase was due to a 14.7% year on year decline in operating costs as it increased the use of cheaper imported coal while power purchase costs and financial expense fell. Its power generation dropped 0.5% year on year due to an economic slowdown, leading to the decline in revenue. The company said it will continue ramping up investment in clean energy to restructure business in 2H 2013.
361 Degrees Posts 243 Net Closures in 1H
361 Degrees International Ltd (HKG: 1361), a Chinese sportswear retailer, said it recorded a net decrease of 243 stores in 1H 2013, including 196 new store openings and 439 closures, taking its total number of stores to 7,826 stores as of the end of June 2013. Same-store sales dropped 0.8% year on year in Q2 2013, which was slightly better than the 1.5% decline in Q1 2013.
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