Listed Startups Begin Rebounding
The 355 companies listed on the ChiNext, China's Nasdaq-style board for high-growth and hi-tech startups, posted 102 billion yuan in combined revenues and 12.2 billion yuan in combined net profits for 1H 2013, up 20.7% and 1.6% respectively from a year earlier. 188 of them, or 53%, reported profit increases. Despite the weak profit growth in 1H 2013, the companies started faring better in Q2 2013, reporting combined earnings of 7.3 billion yuan, which was up 47.4% from a quarter earlier.
Sinopec Steps Into Egypt on Apache Deal
China Petrochemical Group, parent of Sinopec Corp (NYSE: SNP, HKG: 0386, SHA: 600028), formed a strategic partnership with Houston, Texas-based Apache Corp (NYSE: APA) and agreed to buy a 1/3 stake in the latter's oil and gas assets in Egypt for $3.1 billion. If it gets regulatory approval, the deal is expected o increase Sinopec's oil capacity by 130,000 barrels per day, or 6.5 million tons per year. It will also be Sinopec's first step in Egypt, where Apache possesses most of its assets.
Refining Projects Halted
China has suspended new projects at the country's two largest refining companies after they missed pollution targets, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Ministry of Environmental Protection imposed a temporary ban on new construction at CNPC and China Petrochemical Group, which are parents of PetroChina Co (NYSE: PTR, HKG: 0857, SHA: 601857) and Sinopec Corp respectively. This is a sign the Chinese government is stepping up environmental scrutiny of state-owned enterprises amid growing public discontent over pollution.
Sina Said to Take Over Guoke
Sina Corp (Nasdaq: SINA) has acquired Guoke.cn, a Chinese online literature site, and is merging it with Sina's own literature site Book.sina.com.cn, a person familiar with the matter said, without giving more details.
Saic Earnings Growth Softer Amid Competition
Saic Motor Corp (SHA: 600104), China's biggest automaker by output and sales, posted 280.93 billion yuan in revenues and 11.47 billion yuan in net profits for 1H 2013, up 19.3% and 6.3% respectively from a year earlier. The profit growth was lower than expected as a result of stiffer competition. Its half-year sales volume rose 15.3% year on year to a record 2.57 million vehicles; the growth rate was 4.3 percentage points faster than industry average. Its share of total auto sales in China climbed 0.6 percentage points to 23.2%.
Suning 1H Earnings Plunge 58% on Heavy Discounts
Suning Commerce Group Co (SHE: 002024), China's largest consumer electronics retailer by revenue, posted 55.53 billion yuan in revenues and 734 million yuan in net profits for 1H 2013, up 17.7% and down 58.2% respectively from a year earlier. Heavy discounts in response to tougher competition were blamed for the plummeting earnings. Suning was operating 1,572 stores in 273 cities as at the end of June 2013, and almost 60% of them were in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
China Cosco Announces Another Asset Sale
China Cosco Holdings Co (HKG: 1919, SHA: 601919), the nation's largest shipping company, said it will sell most of its stakes in two office properties to its state-owned parent. This will be the company's third asset sale this year as it tries to return to a profit to avoid a delisting from the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The 3.73 billion yuan sale is expected to give it a 3.67 billion yuan net gain. China Cosco's net loss shrank to 990 million yuan in 1H 2013 from 4.87 billion yuan a year earlier. Excess capacity and lower freight rates due to slack demand were blamed for the losses.
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