What's news (China Daily)

Governments and policies

$315b earmarked for power infrastructure

China will spend at least 2 trillion yuan ($315 billion) on improvements to its power grid infrastructure over the next five years, according to official reports. Despite falling power consumption growth, the authorities are now working to upgrade its national transmission capacity, in an effort to reduce coal consumption along the smog-hit eastern coast, particularly, and provide opportunities for energy producers in the resource-rich far west, where electricity demand is considerably weaker.

China launches fund for LatAm cooperation

The nation has established a $10 billion fund to support industrial cooperation with Latin America, the central bank announced on Tuesday. Initiated by the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, the fund will provide medium-and long-term financing to major projects, the PBOC said in a statement. “The fund is willing to work with both domestic and overseas institutions to push forward the upgrading of Sino-Latin American cooperation,” the statement said.

Retail fuel prices to be cut from Wednesday

The government said on Tuesday that it will cut the retail prices of gasoline and diesel from Wednesday, tracking a continuing slide in global crude prices. The National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s top economic planner, said retail prices of gasoline will fall by 125 yuan ($19.6) per ton, or 0.09 yuan per liter, while that of diesel will drop by 120 yuan per ton, or 0.1 yuan per liter. This is the sixth cut since June and the ninth of the year, said a statement.

Companies and markets

Direct flight to connect Beijing, Johannesburg

Air China Ltd will begin running direct flights between Beijing and South Africa’s Johannesburg on Oct 29, the airline announced on Tuesday. A Boeing 777-300ER will leave the Chinese capital for Johannesburg three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and return to Beijing on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This, the first air route offered by Air China between the Chinese mainland and South Africa, will shorten the previous travel time between Beijing and Johannesburg to about 14 hours.

Agricultural Bank to sell first ‘green’ bonds

Agricultural Bank of China Ltd plans to sell the first “green” bonds from a Chinese bank, after appointing itself, United Kingdom lenders Barclays and HSBC Holdings Plc, and JPMorgan Chase & Co as joint global coordinators for a US dollar-denominated product. Roadshows may take place as early as next week, said officials, for the proposed offering with plans for an issue as early as the end of this month.

Goldman Sachs cuts GDP growth targets

Goldman Sachs has cut its economic outlook for China over the next three years, as signs of weakness in the world’s second-largest economy has picked up. Goldman cut its outlook for Beijing’s gross domestic product growth in 2016 to 6.4 percent from 6.7 percent and trimmed their forecast for 2017 to 6.1 percent from 6.5 percent. The company also reduced its 2018 growth forecast for the country’ to 5.8 percent from 6.2 percent.

Around the world

Samsung has big plans for new smartwatch

Samsung Electronics Co unveiled its latest smartwatch on Tuesday as the South Korean tech giant seeks to challenge Apple’s global domination in the fast-growing wearable device market. The round-faced Gear S2 is fitted with a 1.2-inch (30 millimeter) circular screen and allows for mobile payment and remote control over home appliances as well as common phone calls and text messaging features.

Valeant granted rights for AstraZeneca drug

Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said it has been granted an exclusive license by AstraZeneca Plc to develop and commercialize its late-stage experimental psoriasis drug Brodalumab. The arrangement excludes Japan and certain other Asian countries where rights are held by Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co, Valeant said on Tuesday.

Rentokil to buy US pest control firm Steritech

British support services firm Rentokil Initial Plc said on Tuesday it is buying North American pest-control firm Steritech Group Inc for $425 million in cash, as part of its strategy to expand in the region. The deal is expected to generate profit before interest, taxes and amortization of $25 million to $30 million in 2016 and likely to achieve returns of more than 12 percent by 2018.

Google teams up with Sanofi to fight diabetes

Google Inc has said its health-care-research unit will work with European pharmaceutical major Sanofi SA on new ways to monitor and treat diabetes. The companies declined to say how much they are investing in the partnership. Sanofi is a leading maker of diabetes medication, as well as many other drugs. Google’s Life Sciences division is working on small, connected medical devices to continuously collect diabetes-related data, as well as software that learns from the information to find new treatments.

(China Daily 09/02/2015 page14)

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