PetroChina Said to Approach Valero for Aruba Refinery
PetroChina Co (NYSE: PTR, SHA: 601857, HKG: 0857), the nation's largest oil and gas explorer, is in talks with Valero Energy Corp (NYSE: VLO), a Texas-based petroleum refining and marketing company, to acquire the latter's refinery in Aruba, an island off the southern Caribbean Sea, people familiar with the matter said. According to its filing to the SEC, Valero has received a $350 million offer for the Aruba refinery, which is capable of producing 235,000 barrels of oil a day and which has been idled twice over recent years due to low margins. The filing did not mention the name of prospective buyers.
China Unicom to Reinvent E-Commerce Platform
China Unicom Ltd (NYSE: CHU, SHA: 600050, HKG: 0762) is considering revamping its Electronic Channel Center to take after E Commerce China Dangdang Inc (NYSE: DANG), a Chinese online B2C retailer, and Alibaba Group's B2C site Tmall.com. The Electronic Channel Center's revenue surged 86% to ¥23 billion in 2011, making up 11% of China Unicom's total revenue. The Center was serving 110 million users as of the end of 2011, up from 57 million a year earlier.
VisionChina's Losses Worsen
VisionChina Media Inc (Nasdaq: VISN), a mass transit digital advertising operator, posted $28.3 million in revenues and $21.1 million in net losses for Q1 2012, down 13.1% and up 62.3% respectively from Q1 2011. Reduced advertising by internet firms and a wait-and-see strategy adopted by price-sensitive smaller customers after a hike in VisionChina's charges in Q4 2011 led to the dire financial position. The company is looking to the London Olympics to turn around in 2H 2012.
Baosteel's Production to Leave Shanghai
Baosteel Group, the parent of China's most profitable steelmaker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (SHA: 600019), plans to shift production out of Shanghai as local regulations get tougher on environmental protection, chairman Xu Lejiang said, stressing that it will be shifting rather than cutting production. Xu also revealed that Baosteel's new plant in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, with an annual capacity of 10 million tons is expected to become operational by the end of this year.
Suning Steps Up Opening Laox Stores
Suning Appliance Co (SHE: 002024), China's largest chain store by revenue, said it will open its second Chinese Laox Life mall in Shanghai on May 25 and half of the 8,000m2 store's goods will be imports. Laox is a leading Japanese electronics retailer and was acquired by Suning in June 2011. Suning plans to open 150 Laox stores in 25 Chinese cities in the next five years as part of its goal to operate 3,500 stores generating ¥650 billion in revenues per year by 2020.
China State Construction Signs Abu Dhabi Deal
China State Construction Engineering Corp (SHA: 601668) said it has signed a memorandum of cooperation on the first phase of a real estate project worth $2 billion with Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, Aabar Investments PJS, and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (SHA: 601398, HKG: 1398), the Wall Street Journal reported. The construction company will undertake the construction of hotels, office buildings and high-end residential buildings in Abu Dhabi, while ICBC will provide financial support to Aabar, which would in turn get its revenue from oil trading for repayment.
$1 = ¥6.29