CNOOC, BG Seals LNG Deal
CNOOC Ltd (NYSE: CEO, HKG: 0883), China's largest offshore energy explorer, said it has signed a deal to purchase five million tons of liquefied natural gas annually from Britain's BG Group for 20 years. CNOOC will also acquire $1.93 billion worth of a stake in an Australia LNG project from BG Group, topping its long-term LNG imports at 21.6 million per year. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the year. BG Group and CNOOC will also work together to build two ships to transport LNG. China's largest LNG importer, CNOOC imported 11 million tons of the energy last year.
Sinopec Builds First Coalbed Gas Field
China Petrochemical Corp, the parent of Sinopec Corp (NYSE: SNP, HKG: 0386, SHA: 600028), said it has begun building its first coalbed methane field in Shanxi province in northern China. The field, covering 132 square kilometers in area with 13.63 billion cubic meters of reserves, is expected to roll out 500 million m3 of coalbed gas by the end of next year.
Toyota China Sales Decline Slows
Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE: TM) said its two joint ventures with China FAW Group Co and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co sold a combined 76,400 vehicles in April, down 6.5% from a year earlier. The decline rate was much slower than the 13% drop recorded for the first three months of the year as China's relations with Japan soured amid territorial disputes.
Amazon Adds App Store in China
Amazon Inc (Nasdaq: AMZN) said it opened a new Chinese-language application store, a move analysts say could presage the introduction of the company's tablet computers and e-readers in the country, the Wall Street Journal reported. The store offers applications running Google Inc's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android operating system. With the new store, which allows users to download free applications or pay for software, Amazon becomes the first major US company to offer a for-pay Android application store in China. Amazon has been making a push to expand its offerings in China in recent months, first launching an online bookstore and then offering cloud storage services.
WeChat Monthly Users Top 190 Million
Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG: 0700) said the number of monthly active users of its popular WeChat mobile app has reached 190 million. WeChat is China's version of WhatsApp, which is upseting the nation's top three telecom companies, particularly China Mobile, as their data usage declined as consumers turned to free WeChat to communicate. They brought in the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to press Tencent to charge fees for WeChat. After discussions the ministry said late last month it was up to Tencent to decide whether WeChat should be free or not, while Tencent had always asserted it won't charge any fee.
Vanke Sales Value Up 66% in April
China Vanke Co (SHE: 000002), the nation's biggest developer, said it sold 1.11 million square meters of properties valued at ¥12.38 billion ($2 billion) in April, up 44.3% and 66.4% respectively from a year earlier. In the first four months of the year, it sold 4.82 million m2 valued at ¥56.02 billion, up 27.7% and 45.5% respectively from a year earlier.
Volvo China Sales Rise Amid Overall Decline
Volvo Car Corp said its April sales in China rose 30% from a year earlier, making the country its biggest single market for the first time, the Wall Street Journal reported. Volvo, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co, sold 4,710 cars in China in April. However, Volvo's total sales of 33,702 cars were down 2.8% year on year in April, with declines of by 7.7% and 7% in the US and Europe respectively.
Bright Food Plans Dollar Bond
Bright Food Group Co plans to issue a long-term US dollar bond and use part of the proceeds to refinance a loan used to buy a controlling stake in UK cereal maker Weetabix Food Co, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter. Shanghai-based Bright Food is likely to offer a benchmark-sized Regulation S bond, the person said. A benchmark-sized bond is usually around $500 million. Part of the proceeds from the bond will be used to repay a $1 billion, one-year bridge loan used to buy a 60% stake in Weetabix from private-equity firm Lion Capital in May last year, and the rest of the proceeds will be used as working capital, another person said.
Nissan China Sales Up 2.7% in April
Nissan Motor Co said Dongfeng Motor Group Co (HKG: 0489), its joint venture in China, sold 102,800 vehicles in China in April, up 2.7% from a year earlier.
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