Goldman Clears ICBC Investment
Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) has sold its remaining stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (HKG: 1398, SHA: 601398) for up to $1.1 billion. It was Goldman's sixth and last stock sale in ICBC since 2009, ahead of China's incoming new capital rules that will increase the cost of foreigners holding stakes in financial institutions. Goldman paid $2.58 billion for a 4.9% stake in ICBC in 2006. The deal has proven to be highly profitable as Goldman has raised $10 billion from selling ICBC shares. It is argued that Goldman exited the ICBC investment as the deal failed to help the US investment bank snatch a larger share of China's banking sector, which is expected to suffer slowing profit growth and growing bad loans. ICBC was the world's most lucrative company in 2012, with $39 billion in earnings.
China Mobile Serves 41% of 3G Service Users
China Mobile Ltd (NYSE: CHL, HKG: 0941), the world's biggest wireless carrier by subscribers, was serving 119.64 million 3G service users as of the end of April 2013, accounting for 41.4% of all 3G service users in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. China Unicom Ltd (NYSE: CHU, HKG: 0762, SHA: 600050) was serving 91.89 million 3G service users and China Telecom Corp (NYSE: CHA, HKG: 0728) 77.21 million as of the end of April 2013, accounting for 31.8% and 26.8% respectively of the total.
China Cosco Cashes In On Asset Selloff for Profitability
China Cosco Holdings Co (SHA: 601919, HKG: 1919), the nation's largest shipper, is planning to sell ¥7.54 billion ($1.22 billion, $1 = ¥6.13) worth of seaport assets as it tries to return to profit this year. Cosco Pacific Ltd (HKG: 1199), which is 43% owned by China Cosco, said it would sell all of its 21.8% stake in China International Marine Containers Group Co (SHE: 000039) to China Cosco's state-owned parent. The deal is expected to generate a pretax gain of ¥2.91 billion. In March it sold its logistics unit for ¥6.74 billion with a pretax gain of ¥1.96 billion. China Cosco has reported losses being one of worst performers in corporate China for two consecutive years due to costlier fuel and weak shipping demand. If it posts a loss for a third year, it could be delisted from the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Tesco Seeks Chinese Partner
Tesco is reportedly seeking a local partner in China as the British retailer describes the nation as a strategically important market, the Financial Times reported. Analyst Clive Black of Shore Capital predicted the market would accept Tesco's strategy. Tesco, which currently operates 130 stores in China, declined to comment on the report. In the first two months 2013 it opened 12 stores and closed five in China. Tesco is also planning to open an online grocery store in Shanghai after similar moves in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
Neiman Marcus Backs Out of China
Neiman Marcus said it would close down its Chinese operations, Inside Retail Asia reported. The decision comes one year after the American luxury specialty department store entered China through a partnership with Glamour Sales Holdings Ltd, which runs Neimanmarcus.com.cn. After the closure of brick-and-mortar stores in China all orders placed with the website will be processed by its US website, according to the company's spokeswoman Gabrielle de Papp.
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