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Russia's Megafon Confident Downturn Won't Affect Spending on Mobiles

The Moscow Times Business - 24 minutos 51 segundos atrás
Russia's second-biggest mobile phone operator Megafon said Thursday it was confident that consumers would not cut spending on telecoms services despite the economic downturn because it accounts for a tiny portion of their expenses.
Categorias: Russia

Visa Could Lose $70 Million Next Year Due to Russian Law

The Moscow Times Business - 37 minutos 19 segundos atrás
Visa could lose up to $70 million next year due to a sanctions-inspired law requiring foreign payment systems to relocate their transaction processing to Russia, news agency Interfax reported on Thursday.
Categorias: Russia

Apple in talks to bring iPhone to Iran

Russia Today - 1 hora 3 minutos atrás
Apple is in early stage talks with Iranian distributors about entering the country’s market after the US began to loosen sanctions on exports to Iran. A sign of warming relations with Teheran is seen after a 35 freeze that began in 1979.
Read Full Article at RT.com
Categorias: Russia

Russian Companies Could Be Fined for Foreign-Sounding Names in Ads

The Moscow Times Business - 1 hora 4 minutos atrás
Russian companies using foreign-sounding names to advertise their products could face a fine in line with a draft bill that seeks to stop producers from "disrespecting" the Russian language.
Categorias: Russia

Gold prices plunge by Rs 400 on global cues

The Times of India - 1 hora 11 minutos atrás
Gold prices tumbled by Rs 400 to trade at nearly one-month low of Rs 27,100 per 10 grams in the national capital on Thursday on emergence of selling by stockists amid a weak global trend.






Categorias: India

India's universal healthcare rollout to cost $26 billion

The Times of India - 1 hora 14 minutos atrás
India's universal health plan that aims to offer guaranteed benefits to a sixth of the world's population will cost an estimated 1.6 trillion rupees ($26 billion) over the next four years, a senior health ministry official said.






Categorias: India

E-visa system likely to be rolled out next week

The Times of India - 1 hora 19 minutos atrás
The Government will roll out by next week the much-awaited electronic-visa system for tourists from select countries including US and Japan.






Categorias: India

Rupee drops to 2 week low vs USD after Fed sticks to low rates

The Times of India - 1 hora 23 minutos atrás
Moving in opposite direction to stocks, the rupee on Thursday fell for the fourth day, dipping 10 paise to close at two-week low.






Categorias: India

Ukraine Gov't Approves Trilateral Protocol on Russian Gas Deliveries: Energy Ministry

RIA Novosti - 1 hora 29 minutos atrás
The Ukrainian government on Thursday approved the trilateral protocol between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union on deliveries of Russian gas during the winter period, Ukrainian Deputy Energy Minister Vadim Ulida said.






Categorias: Russia

Bharti Airtel Q2 net profit doubles as India market turns corner - Reuters

India Business Market - Google News - 1 hora 31 minutos atrás

Reuters

Bharti Airtel Q2 net profit doubles as India market turns corner
Reuters
Mobile data revenue grew 74 percent in India and 57 percent in Africa from a year earlier, the company said. Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU), a key metric for telecoms carriers, fell 2 percent sequentially to 198 rupees for Bharti's Indian ...
CompaniesSmartphone use in India lifts Bharti Airtel profitFinancial Times
Bharti Profit Beats Estimates on Increased Data UsageBusinessweek

all 37 news articles »
Categorias: India

Lenovo wraps up purchase of Motorola phone unit

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

BEIJING - Lenovo Group announced the completion of its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google Inc. on Thursday in a move aimed at making the Chinese computer maker a global smartphone brand.

Lenovo planning tablet 'offensive' against Apple 

 China approves Lenovo, IBM $2.3b server dealThe $2.9 billion purchase adds to a flurry of acquisitions and initiatives aimed at transforming Beijing-based Lenovo, the world's biggest maker of personal computers, into a major player in wireless computing.

Google bought Motorola Mobility in 2012 for $12.4 billion but appeared to decide quickly the purchase was a mistake. It sold its set-top operations to Arris Group Inc. for $2.35 billion and its smartphone assets, along with some 2,000 patents, to Lenovo.

Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing said when the purchase was announced in January that it would help transform Lenovo into a global competitor in smartphones.

Motorola's smartphone models include the Moto X, Moto G, Moto E and the DROID series.

The unit's headquarters are to remain in Chicago. Lenovo is taking on some 3,500 Motorola engineers, designers and other employees worldwide, including 2,800 in the United States.

Categorias: , China

Heze in Shandong provides free labs to medical research

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

Medicines, including Adriamycin and DaunorubicinHydrochloride, produced by DZD HezeBiotech Pharmaceutical Co Ltd are on display in a laboratory in Heze city, East China's Shandong province, Oct 28, 2014. [Dai Tian/chinadaily.com.cn]

A series of medical projects, including research on anticancer drugs, are using free laboratories offered by Heze authority of Shandong province, as the city incubates and fosters hi-tech industry, said an official of local research center on Tuesday.

Li Shixin, director of Southern Shandong Medical Institute, said the municipal government is spending about 10 million yuan equipping the medical laboratory and expect the project to be finished by next year.

"Setting up government-sponsored laboratories is to save time and money for the medical companies," said Li, adding that the process normally can take about three years for individual company.

The hi-tech incubation center in Heze, founded in 2012, has invested a total of 200 million yuan to set up seven laboratories where companies can research on virus, cancer and nano-antibody treatment.

"Companies can research and conduct quality inspections in the incubation center. Once projects are completed, they will move out and make rooms for new ones," said Li.

DZD Heze Biotech Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, incubated in the center, is developing anticancer drugs, and is able to produce eight types of the medicine, including Adriamycin and Daunorubicin Hydrochloride.

"The market price of Daunorubicin Hydrochloride can be as high as 20,000 yuan per gram," said a technician in the incubation center, adding that the medicine is used to treat breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma.

"Bio-pharmaceuticals, chemical energy and mechanical engineering are among the leading industries we welcome," said Sun Aijun, mayor of Heze, on Tuesday, adding that the city strives to extend the value chain and innovation by connecting companies to college and other research institutions.

TCM companies eyeing global market TCM costs rise as donkey herds dwindle 

 

 

Categorias: , China

Samsung Electronics' Q3 profit falls 60% on sluggish mobile business

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

SEOUL - Samsung Electronics, the world's largest maker of smartphones, memory chips and flat screens, said Thursday that its third-quarter operating profit fell 60 percent from a year earlier on sluggish mobile phone business amid fiercer competition.

Operating profit reached 4.06 trillion won ($3.85 billion) in the third quarter, down 60.05 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a statement. From three months ago, the profit sank 43.5 percent. Samsung earnings decline 60% in worst quarterly performance  Samsung's Q3 operating profit drops 60% 

It was the first time in about three years that Samsung's operating profit broke below the 5 trillion-won level. The final figure was lower than the preliminary reading of 4.1 trillion won unveiled by the company earlier this month.

Revenue declined 19.69 percent from a year earlier to 47.45 trillion won in the third quarter, falling below the 50 trillion- won level for the first time in about two years.

Net income retreated 48.79 percent to 4.22 trillion won in the cited period, and operating margin was 8.6 percent in the third quarter, sliding to the single-digit number for the first time in around three years.

The negative results stemmed mainly from weak performance in the mobile phone division, which led Samsung's earnings in the past three years.

The IT mobile unit, which makes smartphones, posted an operating profit of 1.75 trillion won in the third quarter, falling below the 2 trillion-won level for the first time since the second quarter of 2011.

The mobile business profit continued to fall this year from 6.43 trillion won in the first quarter to 4.42 trillion won in the second quarter.

Despite the marginal increase in the third-quarter smartphone sales, smartphone earnings decreased on the back of a fall in the average selling price (ASP) of smartphones amid growing share of middle- to low-end smartphone sales, the company said. Prices of existing smartphone models also declined during the quarter.

Samsung's global mobile phone sales, including smartphones, totaled 102 million units in the third quarter, up 7.4 percent from three months earlier. Smartphone sales made up almost 80 percent of the total. The ASP of mobile phones averaged $190  during the quarter.

Samsung failed to tackle the downward trend of smarpthone prices amid fiercer competition with Chinese rivals such as Huawei, which has provided middle- to low-end products.

The global ASP of smartphones kept falling from about $330 in 2011 to some 270 dollars in 2013. It declined to about 240 dollars in the second quarter of this year.

The DS segment, which makes semiconductors and display panels, logged an operating profit of 2.33 trillion won in the third quarter, up from a 2.09 trillion-won profit in the second quarter.

The CE division, which produces consumer electronics, posted an operating profit of 50 billion won in the quarter, down from a 770 billion-won profit in the prior quarter.

The setback in the CE profitability was due in part to a decrease in TV ASP, which was compounded by stronger panel price and weak demand for large screen TVs, the company said.

Categorias: , China

Chinese train makers to reunite for global market

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

BEIJING - China's top two train makers will merge after a 14-year split to explore the global market for their high-speed railway technology, analysts said.

The two, China CNR Corp Limited and CSR Corp Limited, will announce the details of their merger over the weekend after confirming the news on Tuesday. Rail convergence goes on fast track   Trainmakers halt trading ahead of announcement

The move aims to avoid "in-fighting" between the two in their exploration of the global market, said Wang Mengshu, a railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

The two split in 2000, and the then Ministry of Railways (MOR), which became the China Railway Corporation in 2013, delineated the companies' major sales domains with the Yellow River as the boundary. It also tried to set a boundary for the two in the overseas market to reduce their competition.

Sun Zhang, a railway expert at Tongji University, said the impending merger aims to improve their competitive edge against global peers.

The two have pocketed China's entire high-speed railway market. They have also produced about 80 percent of the total cargo trains in China and the majority of subway trains. Both have the ability to produce high-speed trains of the CRH380 series, which can run at 380 kilometers per hour.

The companies are listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, with a combined market value of about 30 $billion based on the closing prices before trading ended on Tuesday.

CNR's net profits jumped 65.1 percent year on year to 3.96 billion yuan ($645 million) for the first nine months, according to its latest quarterly results filed with the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges on Tuesday. In the January-September period, the CNR's operating revenues climbed 9.84 percent from a year ago to 64.2 billion yuan.

CSR, China's largest train maker by market value, has yet to disclose its latest quarterly financial statement.

CNR finished contracts worth $1.54 billion in the first half year, up 178.18 percent year on year, and CSR signed contracts worth nearly $3 billion in the first half year.

China is the largest market for high-speed rail, while 16 countries and regions now have high-speed railways in operation.

China had 11,028 kilometers of high-speed rail by the end of 2013, almost as much as all other countries combined. The country had 12,000 kilometers of high-speed railway under construction at the end of 2013.

By the end of 2013, China had approved 36 cities to plan or build railway networks, including subways and light rail, totalling 5,790 kilometers.

Categorias: , China

Not to miss: ProWine China 2014

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

ProWine China is a unique platform for the Chinese wine industry and this offer does not end after the opening hours of the show. [Provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

• 650 exhibitors from 38 nations

• Numerous new country pavilions and exhibitors to discover

• Expand knowledge through seminars by high-class institutions such as IMW and WSET and meet industry leaders like Professor Li Demei, Lisa Perrotti-Brown and many more

With only 15 days to go, Nove 12 to 14 will see the second edition of ProWine China taking place in hall N3 and N4 in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). This year even more industry leaders and well known professionals of the international wine and spirits industry will gather at ProWine China. This makes the number 1 specialized wine exhibition in Mainland China an event not to be missed by trade visitors from both the on-trade and the off-trade.

Unsurpassed diversity: More exhibitors – new countries

ProWine China 2014 will feature an additional exhibition hall, thus increasing the total exhibition area by 50 percent. More than 650 wine and spirits exhibitors from 38 wine-producing nations take part in the show. The countries that provide the highest number of exhibitors are France, Argentina and Spain. In total, ProWine China 2014 will host 19 national and 3 regional pavilions, a number unsurpassed by any other wine and spirits trade fair in China. Several of those participations make their debut at the show, e.g. New Zealand. Next to famous wine producing regions, the show will also feature first-time exhibitors from emerging wine regions such as Macedonia and Serbia.

Numerous leading wine producers from all around the world take part in ProWine China 2014, such as the largest Italian wine group Gruppo Italiano Vini (GIV), Grands Chais de France (France), Sogrape (Portugal), CASTEL (France), Felix Solis Avantis (Spain), Jackson Family Wines (USA), Lenz Moser (Austria), Henkell & Co Sektkellerei (Germany), BONFILS (France), Codorniu (Spain), and many more.

The exhibitors at ProWine China present a wide portfolio of high-class wine and spirits including speciality products, for example the "Hello Kitty" sparkling drink for children. German producer ZGM (Zimmermann-Graeff & Müller) offer this alcohol-free party drink in two flavours: ripe berries and apple-peach.

A Pool of Knowledge and a Meeting Place for Industry Leaders

In addition to presenting high-class exhibitors from around the world, ProWine China puts focus on providing high-quality wine education and training in China.

The "ProWine China Education Offensive" consists of a series of educational activities and events taking place all through the exhibition. Here, visitors have the unique opportunity to not only expand their knowledge but also meet famous industry leaders who share their experience.

As one part of the "ProWine China Education Offensive" the first ProWine China Industry Summit takes place on the second day of the show (Nove 13) right on the fairground. The highly-respected Professor Li Demei serves as the host of this event. The summit will focus on wine investment opportunities and market trends and will be divided into two parts. The morning will feature speeches by Professor Li Demei and Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Editor in Chief for "Robert Parker's Wine Advocate". While Mr. Li will give an overview of the Chinese wine industry and opportunities for foreign investment from a Chinese viewpoint, Lisa Perrotti-Brown will speak on opportunities and pitfalls for foreign investment in the Chinese wine growing industry from an international perspective. At the second part of the summit, the afternoon will see Judy Chan, the Chief Executive Officer of Grace Vineyard, holding a speech on wine marketing for Chinese and international wines in China, followed by a panel discussion on the topic of expanding online marketing and sales of wine and spirits.

Master Classes organized by the renowned Institute of Masters of Wine – held by Hong Kong based Debra Meiburg MW and Annette Scarfe from Singapore – as well as the WSET Forum also contribute to the "ProWine China Education Offensive". During the three-day WSET Forum, which is organized by WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in partnership with ProWine China, professional wine lecturers from China and the UK hold educational wine courses on a wide selection of topics.

Rounding up the educational series, the ProWine China Forum offers visitors a great variety of wine education activities. Many exhibitors hold specific seminars such as Debra Meiburg MW who will be discussing the mysteries of German wine, whilst senior wine consultant, WSET mentor and wine critic Fongyee Walker will take visitors on a wine tour of Hungary. In addition, RVF China will discuss the characteristics of Chinese wine by inviting guests to a Chinese wine tasting with samples from Xinjiang and the Yanhuai basin and renown Asian wine critic and writer Ch'ng Poh Tiong will introduce the perfect combinations of wine and Chinese food.

High-Class Evening Event on Nove 13th

ProWine China is a unique platform for the Chinese wine industry and this offer does not end after the opening hours of the show: On the second day of ProWine China, an exclusive get together under the name of "ProWine in the City" will be held at The Westin Bund Center (beginning 7.30 pm). Trade professionals and wine enthusiasts will have the chance to taste 150 wines from the international exhibitors in a wide ranging tasting zone together with selected food. A live band will round up the relaxing and elegant atmosphere of this unique event.

Detailed information on ProWine China's exhibitors and educational program and on "ProWine in the City" as well as tickets to both the trade show and the evening event are available at www.prowinechina.com and www.prowine-inthecity.com. ProWine China is for trade visitors from the on-trade and off-trade only, whereas "ProWine in the City" tickets are also available for wine enthusiasts. ProWine China takes place in hall N3 and N4 at Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) in Pudong and is open from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm on Nove 12 and 13, and from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm on Nove 14.

ProWine China is a sister event from the world leading trade fair for wines and spirits – ProWein in Düsseldorf (Germany). ProWine China is organized in partnership by Messe Düsseldorf Group and China International Exhibitions Ltd, a member of the Allworld Exhibitions network. The wine exhibition is held alongside FHC China, the country's leading trade fair for imported food.

Categorias: , China

Jellyfish, hermit crabs turn pets

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

Want to see jellyfish and hermit crabs? You don't have to go to an aquarium now; they can be at your home! Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners. Raising pet jellyfish and pet hermit crabs has become a special project at the College Students Innovation Center, Shahekou district, Dalian city, Northeast China's Liaoning province.

Wang Zhicheng from Dalian Shuitong Biotechnology Co Ltd and two college students launched the project together. At present, they can tank-raise and breed five species of jellyfish and two species of hermit crabs. They design and produce desktop tank systems made specifically for jellyfish and hermit crabs. They also give customers some tips on how to keep these ocean creatures alive and healthy. Last year, their company's annual sales exceeded 1 million yuan ($163,567).

Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners.[Photo/IC]

Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners.[Photo/IC]

Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners.[Photo/IC]

Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners.[Photo/IC]

Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners.[Photo/IC]

Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners.[Photo/IC]

Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners.[Photo/IC]

Jellyfish and hermit crabs are becoming increasingly popular as pets for young home aquarium owners.[Photo/IC]

Top 12 economic data of China in Sept 

Jack Ma: sports fan or the next mogul? SYNC 2014: Robots, wearables and Tesla 

Categorias: , China

Chinese rail merger adds pressure on western rivals

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

With an increase in comparatively low offerings, the merger of China's two largest train makers may add pressure on western rivals, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The new convergence company increases the pressures on Germany's Simens AG and France's Alstom SA, the two big engineering companies in Europe. The two are facing constrained public spending in their home markets, the report said.

The government has ordered the merger of China Northern Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry Group Corporation (CNR) and CSR Corporation Limited (CSR), according to a Chinese official involved in the transaction. China is competing for rail projects in overseas market, and focusing on emerging markets, such as Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

China's CNR MA, a joint venture of China Changchun Railway Vehicles Co and CNR, won a $567 million contract to supply 284 rail cars for Boston's subway system on Oct 24. The project was the company's first in North America.

Merger of the two listed companies would have annual sales of $33.6 billion and a net income of $1.44 billion. CNR and CSR had a combined market value of $26 billion in Hong Kong trading and employed 172,647 workers at the end of 2013.

Rail convergence goes on fast track  Trainmakers halt trading ahead of announcement 

 

 

 

Categorias: , China

Chinese economy continues adjusting to 'new normal': World Bank

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

BEIJING - China's growth continues to moderate, reflecting policy efforts to rebalance the economy as the country works to implement reforms supporting more sustainable growth, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

For 2015-16, China's average economic growth is expected to ease to slightly above 7 percent as policy efforts to place the economy on a more sustainable growth path are likely to intensify, according to the World Bank's China Economic Update released on Wednesday.

 Economic woes crimp steel demand Economy to grow steadily in 2014 

Short-run moderation

"Policy efforts to tighten credit growth, reduce excess capacity, internalize the cost of industrial pollution, and harden budget constraints of local governments intensified in 2014. These policies are welcome and will help put growth on a more sustainable path," said Karlis Smits, Senior Economist and main author of the report.

The World Bank's Chinese economic growth forecast for 2014 has been revised downward to 7.4 percent, largely due to weaker-than-expected domestic economic activity.

Targeted support measures and the recovery of external demand have helped stabilize growth through the transition, but pressures from the weak housing market remain a significant drag on growth, said the report.

China's economic growth rate dipped to 7.3 percent in the third quarter from 7.5 percent in the April-June period, official data showed.

"The key short-term policy challenge is to strengthen market discipline in the financial sector. In the medium term, the challenge is to keep the reform momentum going," said Chorching Goh, Lead Economist for China.

The Update, a regular assessment of the Chinese economy, indicates that the current emphasis on meeting short-term growth targets will make it more challenging to implement policies needed to shift growth to a more sustainable path in the medium term.

Medium-term transition

The key medium-term policy challenge remains implementing reforms that support China's transformation toward "more efficient, equitable, and sustainable" growth, noted the report.

In an uncertain global economic environment, China's sizable policy buffers should be reserved to maintain overall macroeconomic stability in case of unexpected domestic or external economic shocks, said the World Bank.

China is in a "new normal" period, as policy makers adjust from an economic growth model reliant on investment to one supported by consumption and higher productivity, which in the short run will weaken growth performance, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati said during a recent interview with Xinhua.

However, the changing Chinese growth rates should not be interpreted as a weakening growth trend, but as a redesign of the growth model to make it more inclusive and based on sustainable domestic demand, Indrawati said.

"Implementing reforms can accelerate China's economic growth potential, but it will not reverse a moderation in growth over the next decade. Without policy action, the slowdown in China's potential growth in the medium term could be more severe," noted the report.

Categorias: , China

China sees record steel output, price at 11-year low

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

BEIJING - Chinese steel companies produced a record amount of crude steel in the first nine months, despite the government's efforts to thin the sector, according to an industrial report on Wednesday.

China made over half of the world's crude steel from January to September, with total crude steel output up 2.34 percent from last year at 618 million tons in the period, the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said.

Since overtaking Japan to become the world's largest steel producer in 1996, China's steel production repeatedly hit new heights in recent years.

The country's soaring steel production came as the sector struggled with a worsening overcapacity problem amid the economic slowdown.

CISA data showed the output of pig iron, an intermediary product in steelmaking, added 0.38 percent year on year to 542 million tons in the first nine months, while rolled steel production expanded by 5.02 percent to 839 million tons.

However, the average rolled steel price dropped to the lowest level since January 2003 as steelmakers relied on price wars to attract customers due to oversupply.

"The increased output has made the oversupply problem even worse in the market," said Zhang Changfu, CISA vice president.

As domestic demand remained sluggish, some steelmakers turned to overseas markets, driving up the country's rolled steel exports by 39.3 percent to 65.34 million tons in the first nine months, according to CISA.

It looks certain that China's full-year steel exports will exceed 80 million tons, Zhang said, warning that such low value-added exports may increase trade frictions, and exporting the overcapacity won't be a long-term solution.

Sales revenues of large and medium steel companies dipped 0.22 percent year on year to 2.7 trillion yuan ($440 billion) in the January-September period, according to CISA data.

Even as combined profits of steel companies expanded to 19.3 billion yuan in the period, one-fourth of steel makers were still operating at a loss, according to CISA.

 Testing times lie ahead for steel firms Chinese firms equipped to prosper in India steel sector 

 

 

 

Categorias: , China

More foreign banks arrive as Chengdu becomes financial hub

China Daily - 1 hora 57 minutos atrás

With two foreign banks setting up new branches in Chengdu in May, the capital of Sichuan province has made another step towards its goal to be the financial hub of western China.

By the end of July, the city had 16 foreign banks including Standard Chartered, Citibank and JP Morgan Chase. The city's local corporate financial institutions are also growing rapidly with a variety of products hitting the market.

According to data from the municipal government, the city generated 484.3 billion yuan ($79.1 billion) in GDP in the first half of 2014, with the financial sector generating 10.3 percent of the total. Gross profits in the financial sector reached 49.8 billion yuan, up 13.8 percent.

The Chengdu city government released a plan in May to develop a service-centered city with the objective of becoming "the most robust and innovative financial hub". By 2015, profits in the financial sector will account for 20 percent of the service sector, said the report.

More foreign banks

In May, ANZ Bank and Hang Seng Bank opened branches in the city.

Michael Smith, CEO of ANZ Bank, told Xinhuanews that Chengdu plays a significant role in the economic growth of western China, a region ANZ has targeted as a key market.

Xu Bin, director of Hang Seng Bank's Chengdu branch, told People's Daily in July that the bank has set up operations in many Chinese cities, but Chengdu impressed him the most with so many big real estate companies from Hong Kong.

"Almost all of real estate big names are here, and also many HK companies. We feel we have to come here too," said Xu.

Chengdu has formulated a range of policy measures that add appeal for foreign financial institutions including cross-border renminbi settlement and mobile e-commerce services.

The city government also has policy support for foreign financial institutions that are developing innovative new services like e-commerce. The city now has the most foreign financial institutions of any central or western city, said experts.

Its 16 foreign banks have total assets about 34 billion yuan, a small number compared with the city's total bank assets of some 5 trillion yuan. Yet an official from the city's financial administration office said the foreign institutions have a substantial impact on Chengdu's economy.

The official said the banks are from different regions and countries and specialize in various businesses that can support local businesses in a more comprehensive way. With deep experience and good traditions, the foreign financial institutions also trigger reforms at local banks in the city, said the official.

Local institutions

The city government also stresses nurturing local corporate financial institutions to provide services in economic and social development.

The government has helped set up a range of new local corporate financial institutions in the recent years. The Bank of Chengdu and Chengdu Agricultural & Commerce Bank are also growing rapidly.

Sichuan Jincheng Consumer Finance is one of four consumer finance companies approved by the China Banking Regulatory Committee and the only in the central and western regions.

The company's general manager Huang Qili said that the major businesses of the company include installment payments and loans for consumer goods like mobile phones and home renovation, and for services like weddings, travel and education.

Chengdu Tianfutong Financial Services Co is working on a third-party electronic payment system. The company's latest product, the Tianfutong card, allows users in the city to pay for public transport and water, gas and electricity with just a swipe.

Zhou Jun, a staff member in the company's marketing department, said that more than 10 million Tianfutong cards have been issued and every day the cards average 3.8 million transactions. People can also use the card for movies, shopping at supermarkets, dinning and even travel at the city's major tourism spots.

The card now covers suburban areas around the city. The company has been working on expanding its service area to cover cities near Chengdu.

Categorias: , China
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