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  • Key gauge seen around 3,500
    As the stock market is expected to be flush with capital, there are hopes that the key barometer will climb to about 3,500 points this week, analysts said.
    The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed at 3,372.6 points last Friday. The gauge gained a total of 5.73 percent last week.
    "Investors should remain cautious but at the same time be positive about the market in the long run as the government intends to maintain a loose monetary policy," Yi Xiaobin, an analyst at Galaxy Securities, wrote in a research report.
    "The index may stay in the range of 3,300 and 3,500 points," Yi added.
    Huatai Securities wrote in a note that the government's package of stimulus measures "will not end in the near future, and the upward trend will remain as the index is now above 3,300 points."
    But it warned that the index "will adjust slightly in the future."
    Shares of China State Construction Engineering Corp, which raised 50 billion yuan (US$7.31 billion) in the world's biggest initial public offering since March 2008, will start trading on Wednesday in Shanghai. --(7/27)

  • Chinese in new stem cell find
    Chinese scientists have reported an important advance in the characterization of certain stem cells by creating live mice through reprogrammed skin cells.
    In an online paper published in the US journal Cell Stem Cell on Thursday, the scientists reported that a specific iPS cell line gave an unusually high level of chimerism (rare disorder) when injected into blastocysts (an early embryo) and thus might have unique characteristics not found in many other iPS cell lines.
    Scientists working with the iPS cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, have been eager to find out if they are fully pluripotent, as that would tell to what extent they have been truly reprogrammed and resemble the versatile embryonic stem cells (ESCs), said Dr Gao Shaorong of the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing.
    "Although these findings are an important proof of principle, it would be premature to make claims about whether iPS cells in general are functionally equivalent to normal ESCs," Gao said.
    The findings offer added hope, however, that the process of reprogramming may indeed one day overcome the need for embryo destruction in order to derive pluripotent cells for research and potential therapies, he said.
    The generally accepted"gold standard" for determining whether a mouse iPS cell line has been fully reprogrammed is to show that when injected into a blastocyst, the iPS cells can, like bona fide ESCs, develop into different tissues in the resulting chimeric mouse, Gao said.
    However, until now mouse iPS cells have not been able to pass a more stringent test of true pluripotency. --(7/26)

  • World's biggest IPO nets US$7.3b
    The company that built the "Water Cube" swimming center for the Beijing Olympics said yesterday that it raised US$7.3 billion in the world's biggest initial public offering this year, highlighting a revival in China's financial market.
    China State Construction Engineering Corp sold 12 billion shares on Thursday at 4.18 yuan (61 US cents) each, the company said in a statement released through the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday. Trading starts next Wednesday.
    Regulators clearing State Construction to go ahead with such a huge offering suggested they believe China's markets have regained their strength after a plunge last year prompted a ban on new offerings.
    China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index is up 85 percent this year amid a massive government stimulus spending and was the world's best performer for the first half this year.
    State Construction is the world's biggest IPO since March last year and boosts Shanghai into first place among global exchanges in IPO deal value this year, according to financial information firm Dealogic. This year's previous record holder was Visanet do Brasil, which raised US$4.3 billion last month in Sao Paulo.
    Regulators halted new IPOs in September after the key Shanghai index plunged more than 65 percent from its October 2007 peak. Investors worried that new IPOs would flood the market and further depress prices.
    The moratorium was lifted last month after a surge in stock prices. --(7/25)

  • Fat babies spark health concerns later in life
    The proportion of heavy babies at birth has doubled in the past decade, raising concerns more people may suffer obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood.
    To introduce timely intervention, the city's first pregnancy nutrition centers were set up at two leading maternity hospitals.
    The centers at Shanghai No. 1 Maternity and Child Health Hospital and Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, which opened yesterday, will conduct nutrition and lifestyle guidance for pregnant women.
    "About 70 percent of fat babies are because of improper nutrition during pregnancy," said Dr Duan Tao, president of Shanghai No. 1 Maternity and Child Health Hospital. --(7/24)

  • Blood center reminds donors of healthy living
    Shanghai (Red Cross) Blood Center yesterday reminded donors to stay healthy shortly before and after giving blood.
    The reminder said that donors should not drink alcohol one to two days before donating blood. Donors should also drink more water and consume fewer soft drinks before giving blood. Before and after giving blood, donors should eat food that is high in protein and easy to digest. Donors should not eat or drink too much.
    Donors should not exercise too much or sleep too late. Donors should not take long naps, which may cause fatigue after giving blood.
    The city faces a blood supply shortage and donation stations will remain open as usual. --(7/23)

  • Bus operator improves Baoshan Metro links
    Twelve new bus routes have been added in Baoshan District, linking local residential communities to two major Metro lines, a bus operator said yesterday.
    Local residents who live about a kilometer from the stations for Lines 1 and 3 had long complained about a more than 30-minute wait for a bus.
    The Shanghai Bashi Group has also extended operating hours and shortened the time between buses.
    "We also set a stop near a hospital for the convenience of the patients," said He Fang, an official with the bus operator.
    Line 1 extended to Fujin Road Station, in the far north of the city, at the end of 2007, but there were previously only seven or eight bus routes running on the main roads beside the line.
    The bus operator has invested more than 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) to buy 45 new buses for the new and existing routes.
    Meanwhile, operators of Metro Line 11 yesterday began a one-month test of new trains which can reach a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour.
    It will take Formula One audiences just 40 minutes to get to the Shanghai International Circuit after the new line begins trial runs at the end of this year.
    Ninety-five percent of the tunneling work of Line 11 has been completed and the decoration of the Metro stations is under way, Metro operator said.
    The first phase of Line 11 will run through Jiading, Putuo and Changning districts. It will connect with Lines 3 and 4 at Caoyang Road Station and Line 2 at Jiangsu Road Station. --(7/22)

  • Power: Peak-period record
    Shanghai's daily power load hit a peak-period record of 23.8 gigawatts as the city baked under a relentless sun yesterday.
    The figure was reached at 1:10pm, supplier Shanghai Electric Co said.
    Thanks to a city government initiative, more than 5,200 local enterprises joined a staggered power-distribution scheme and reduced the total daily consumption by 820,000 kilowatts.
    The company said the city was capable of supplying 24.3 gigawatts a day in peak periods.
    If the heat continued, there was a chance the city may exceed its daily limit by 300,000 to 600,000 kilowatts, the power company said.
    The city daily power-generating capacity stood at 15.6 gigawatts, and the company said it had secured 8.5 gigawatts of capacity from other provinces.
    Though the amount is enough to meet this summer's peak demand, some generating capacity is typically held in reserve, and plants don't operate around the clock.
    The city has several hot spots where industrial demand is heavy, and power cuts may be needed there, the company said.
    The company has adopted a range of high-tech monitoring measures.
    Some power grid improvements have been suspended because of construction for 2010 World Expo. --(7/21)

  • Molave weakens into a tropical depression
    Typhoon Molave weakened into a tropical depression yesterday afternoon after it made landfall in Guangdong Province and then moved into the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
    The storm made landfall in Nan'ao Town in Shenzhen City at 12:50am with winds up to 145 kilometers per hour.
    Downpours drenched Zhanjiang, Maoming, Jiangmen and Yangjiang in Guangdong, with 13 hydrological stations reporting precipitation of more than 100 millimeters, the Guangdong Hydrological Bureau said.
    No casualties were reported in Guangdong as of 5pm.
    Maritime rescuers successfully retrieved a stranded vessel off the coast of Shantou and saved its seven crew members. --(7/20)

  • Cross-strait tourism market grows
    Around 383,330 Chinese mainland tourists in 13,731 groups had visited Taiwan in the 12 months since July 18 last year, Shao Qiwei, director of China's National Tourism Administration, said yesterday.
    Shao announced the figures at a round-table seminar in Beijing marking the launch of the cross-strait tourism market.
    Under an agreement signed by the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation on June 13 last year, mainland tourists were allowed to visit Taiwan on weekend charter flights starting in July.
    Shao said that more than 2.11 million tourists from Taiwan visited the Chinese mainland in the first half of this year, despite the economy or the spread of swine flu. --(7/19)

  • Line 3 stations get cool
    Commuters suffering scorching summer heat waiting at Metro Line 3's elevated stations could expect a cool breeze soon as Metro management is about to introduce new waiting enclosures complete with air-conditioners.
    The enclosures will be installed on some Line 3 stations in the next few months, Metro officials said yesterday.
    Metro workers said that on mid-summer days when there's little wind, the temperature on platforms on Line 3, the city's only completely elevated Metro, could reach 45 degrees Celsius.
    Officials said they are sorting through designs for the enclosures.
    Metro management also announced that before the end of the year they would start building new walkways between lines 3, 4 and 9 at the southern hub Yishan Road Station.
    At the moment the nearly 80,000 passengers that change trains at the station daily have to walk long distances.
    Officials said they would build an underground walkway to connect lines 3 and 4 directly and also set up two outdoor staircases connecting the Line 9 platform to lines 3 and 4.
    The facilities are planned to open before the Shanghai World Expo next year. --(7/18)

  • Pyongyang to Shanghai flight
    North Korea-based Air Koryo will launch a flight from Pyongyang to Shanghai.
    When Shanghai tourism officials recently visited North Korea, their counterparts expressed hope that Shanghai could introduce more tours to the country. The first Chinese mainland tour group bound for North Korea set out from Shanghai last month. --(7/17)

  • SECCO ups production
    Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Co, half owned by British oil giant BP Plc, successfully expanded its ethylene plant capacity by 21 percent yesterday.
    SECCO's designed ethylene production capacity is now 1.09 million tons a year, up from the initial 900,000 tons, and remains the largest single cracker in China, the company said. A cracker makes ethylene, the building block of plastics and synthetic fibers.
    The first batch of products, after an about 50-day shutdown for maintenance and expansion, were produced yesterday morning, SECCO said.
    Sinopec Corp owns a 30-percent stake, and Shanghai Petrochemical Co has 20 percent of SECCO. --(7/16)

  • Homecomers gather for congress
    More than 1,100 representatives gathered in Beijing for the eighth national congress of returned overseas Chinese and their relatives which opened yesterday.
    The congress, which runs until Friday, will review the work of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese over the past five years, amend its constitution, elect new leaders and award those contributing to the country's development.
    Wang Zhaoguo, a member of the Political Bureau, said returnees and their relatives had made major contributions to the nation's revival. --(7/15)

  • Lupu Bridge gets busy
    Traffic on the Lupu Bridge gets busy yesterday, the first workday after the Dapu Road Tunnel was closed for repairs on Saturday. The closure of the tunnel has affected traffic on the Lupu and the Nanpu bridges, especially during rush hours, as the newly opened section of the Xizang Road S. Tunnel only allows buses to pass. --(7/14)

  • Motorcycle rollercoaster lands in Shanghai
    A motorcycle rollercoaster has been opened in Jinjiang Park, which will extend its closing time to 10pm.
    Officials said the motorcycle rollercoaster is the only one in Asia and world's seventh. It was designed in Italy.
    The motorcycle rollercoaster has 24 linked cycles in two sets. It launches with a force similar to the catapults used on aircraft carriers and takes passengers from standstill to 65 kilometers per hour in just two seconds. --(7/13)

  • Lottery to aid rebuild
    China will launch a new nationwide welfare lottery featuring the Shanghai World Expo starting next month.
    The money raised will be allocated to support reconstruction in southwest China's Sichuan Province after last year's earthquake which left more than 80,000 people dead or missing.
    China welfare lottery distribution and management center yesterday signed an agreement with Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.
    The lottery coupons -- with face value of five, 10 and 20 yuan -- will be sold at all Shanghai World Expo franchise goods shops, as well as regular welfare lottery vendors. --(7/12)

  • River tunnels center of attention
    It will be a case of stop-go under the city's Huangpu River today when the eastern tube of the Xizang Road S. Tunnel opens to restricted traffic and the Dapu Road Tunnel is shut for renovations.
    Construction was yesterday completed on the eastern tube of the Xizang Road S. Tunnel, the only tunnel linking the Shanghai World Expo sites on both sides of the Huangpu River, and today's service is regarded as a trial run.
    Eight bus routes, taking a detour because of the Dapu Road Tunnel project, will provide a good test for the new tube, according to traffic police.
    The Dapu Road Tunnel is expected to be closed for nearly seven months, while the western tube of the Xizang Road S. tunnel is earmarked for opening before the end of the year.
    The Xizang Road tunnel will become a designated vehicle thoroughfare for Shanghai World Expo when it starts next May. Only vehicles authorized to enter Expo zones on both sides of the river will be allowed to use the tunnel during the event.
    There are two main entrances, one on Puxi's Xizang Road S. and the other on Pudong's Gaoke Road W. The tunnel will also have three exit ramps for Expo sites.
    During Expo, up to 60,000 to 70,000 visitors were expected to use the tunnel every hour, traffic authorities said.
    The newly built river passage, 2.67 kilometers long, began construction on November 25, 2005.
    It is located to the south of the Nanpu Bridge and to north of the Lupu Bridge. --(7/11)

  • Line 9 to link key areas
    A new subway extension will connect the popular commercial area of Xujiahui to Pudong and open before the end of this year, the city's Metro management said yesterday.
    The opening of the second phase of Line 9 will mean Lujiazui, the city's financial district, will be only several stops from Xujiahui.
    Shentong Metro Group said the 14-kilometer stretch of track will be completed on July 20 and that trains will begin testing in two months.
    The extension includes stops in Xuhui, Luwan and Huangpu districts as well as Pudong New Area. It will also stop at Century Avenue Station in Pudong, the city's biggest subway transfer hub which already links Metro lines 2, 4 and 6.
    The Line 9 extension will also share Xujiahui Station with Line 1 and Line 11. The first phase of Line 11 is also scheduled to open before the year end.
    Metro officials said that when traffic launches, a passenger transfer corridor between the three lines at Xujiahui Station will still be under construction and ticketing systems and turnstiles will operate separately. --(7/10)

  • Shipping finance center sets sail
    The Bank of China has set up its first shipping finance service center in Shanghai as the city aims to become a major finance and shipping center.
    The shipping finance center, under the Shanghai branch of the bank, is on the Bund in Huangpu District - home to the China offices of most top global shipping companies.
    "We set up the center on the Bund to get closer to the needs of shipping companies," said Dong Weijian, president of the Shanghai branch of the Beijing-based bank. "We will also reach more overseas shipping companies with our broad network overseas."
    China's shipping finance services are still at an early stage of development.
    "We hope we, as industry players, can introduce more global practices and shipping companies' needs to the bank with the set-up of the center," said Jeff Xu, vice president and chief finance office of ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (China) Co. Xu said Chinese banks should offer financial services to overseas shipping players with a broader range of products. The Bank of Communications has also set up a business line for shipping finance. More banks are expected to tap the market.
    The State Council made guidelines for Shanghai to emerge as an international financial and shipping hub by 2020.
    Shipping finance, including banking and insurance services, are expected to do well against that backdrop. --(7/9)

  • LEDs given green light for city
    Shanghai has seen the light - and it is green.
    Lights on roads, bridges, tunnels, public transport and governmental buildings will all use environmentally friendly technology in three to five years, officials from the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission told the Shanghai International LED exhibition yesterday.
    LED (light-emitting diode) lights have a longer lifetime and can use less than half the energy of traditional bulbs. About 20 percent of the city's electricity is used on lighting.
    The development and promotion of LED lighting have been widely embraced by both government and industry.
    Shanghai is one of participants in a recent project by the Ministry of Science and Technology to promote LED lights in major cities.
    "We have finished a draft on LED adoption and promotion in Shanghai," said Guo Yansheng, director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission's high-tech industrialization department.
    "The 2010 Shanghai World Expo is an excellent opportunity to showcase LED technologies. All landscaping lights in the Expo zone use LED lighting, while road lamps and exhibition halls will mainly use LEDs."
    The exhibition, which will run until Friday at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in the Pudong New Area, also has an LED road-lamp contest. Winners' designs would be used in the Expo zone and introduced to the government for wider use.
    Nearly 95 percent of local traffic lights use LED lighting, while the next steps are for road lamps, public transport lighting and government buildings.
    Since the price of LED lights is still higher than traditional products, the city government is studying subsidy policies to help promote them in the market and streamline their public use. --(7/8)

  • Shanghai sees 2.5% FDI rise in last 6 months(07/07)
    Shanghai reported foreign direct investment (FDI) of US$5.16 billion from January to June enjoying a 2.5 percent rise compared with the same period last year, despite an international FDI slump.
    Officials with the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce predicted that Shanghai will have more than last year's US$10.08 billion in FDI by the end of this year.
    Contractual foreign investment has dropped 19.7 percent to US$6.67 billion, better than the national average.
    To tackle FDI difficulties, the commission has organized teams to visit 15 multi-national headquarters in Germany, France, the United States and other countries to learn more about global strategic adjustments. The commission has also helped foreign businesses in Shanghai with difficulties.
    Seven of the 11 members of the International Association of Classification Societies Ltd have established Chinese headquarters in Shanghai despite the global financial crisis. --(7/7)

  • City zoo calls baby gorilla a 'treasure'
    A 17-month-old male gorilla at Shanghai Zoo was named Hai Bei yesterday. He was the first gorilla born in the city and the second on China's mainland, zoo officials said.
    Hai Bei means "treasure of Shanghai" and was selected by the public from six candidates. The pronunciation of the name is similar to the word "happy," expressing Shanghai people's wishes that the gorilla grows happily in the city.
    Hai Bei now weighs about 15 kilograms, 13 kilograms heavier than at birth. Although milk was his main diet, he started eating solid foods after his teeth started to come in at 12 months. His keepers said he eats fruit such as apples and bananas as well as hard-boiled eggs for protein.
    He loves his mother Astra the most and started to get to know his dad Dango when he was nine months old. Hai Bei also enjoys spending time with his aunt Quenta. The four live together, but apart from another gorilla at the zoo.
    "They cannot be put together, or they will fight," said Xiong Chengpei, director of the zoo.
    Hai Bei can now climb up ropes and other things in their home, but still turns to his mother and aunt for comfort.
    Hai Bei's family was given to Shanghai Zoo by Amsterdam in the Netherlands as a gift for World Expo 2010. --(7/6)

  • Line 8 signals get green light
    Testing and fine-tuning are complete on the Line 8 Metro signal system that caused six breakdowns in just 10 days from late June.
    The Shanghai Metro operator is confident of a better service
    The Metro authority said yesterday that more trains would join Line 8 to ease the increased passenger flow.
    However, commuters still have to go through a trial run lasting a year when the signal system will be further tested between Line 8 and its second phase which will open to the public tomorrow.
    The automatic signal system, though the most advanced used on Metro lines, should be updated both at the control-center end and on the trains to regulate speed and the distance between trains, according to Wu Hao, a manager with equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell Co Ltd.
    Alcatel-Lucent, in cooperation with two domestic companies, won the bid to provide the signal system for Line 8 in March, 2005.
    The latest signal glitches happened when the software installed on trains failed, which forced drivers to run trains manually, Wu said.
    "Some operators have to stay up all night these days to ensure the signal system is in shape," said Zhang Zhiti, an engineer with the Metro's maintenance department.
    Ninety percent of breakdowns on Line 8 should be avoided after the testing procedures were completed on Thursday morning, the authority said.
    Another move to relieve pressure on Line 8 will see the introduction of new seven-carriage trains in early October. The new trains -- 18 of which will be introduced this year -- can each carry 300 more passengers.
    In the interim, the Metro authority said it would monitor passenger levels closely as door malfunction often occurred when crowds squashed into the trains.
    As the second phase of Line 8 begins trial runs tomorrow, residents in Pujiang Town will be able to travel to People's Square in about 36 minutes, as compared to roughly two hours by bus. --(7/5)

  • Domestic power generation rises 3.6%
    China's power generation rose 3.6 percent year on year last month, ending eight consecutive months of decline, the State Grid Corp of China said yesterday.
    The increase was a strong rebound, compared with a 3.54-percent fall in May.
    The country's total power generation reached 309.33 billion kilowatt-hours last month, according to the SGCC's power dispatch center.
    Analysts from both the SGCC and the China Electricity Council said the strong rebound was "within expectations," as falls in previous months had been stabilized. The rebound was also in line with the improving economy. They said the rebound was partly a result of increased industrial activity, while high temperatures late last month also boosted electricity consumption.
    It is the latest sign that the domestic economy is recovering. The Purchasing Managers' Index, released on Wednesday, rose to 53.2 last month, following a reading of 53.1 in May. It was the fourth consecutive month with a reading above 50, which suggests expansion.
    Industrial output expanded 8.9 percent in May from a year earlier, the highest monthly growth rate since October. Last month's figure is expected to be announced mid this month.
    Many north China's provinces have been hit by a heat wave since late last month, pushing up electricity use. --(7/4)

  • Heatwave continues in Beijing
    The heatwave continued in Beijing and several other northern provinces yesterday, while rainstorms drenched at least half of the country.
    The maximum temperature reached 36 degrees Celsius in Beijing yesterday, at least 10 days after the heat began.
    The city's weather bureau said yesterday that Beijing had experienced the hottest June since 1951.
    The bureau estimated Beijing's temperature would stay high throughout July and August.
    While Beijing and neighboring provinces are fighting the heatwave, half of the country is being drenched.
    The latest round of rainstorms since Sunday had battered 22 localities, killing 95 people and leaving another 21 missing, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on Wednesday. --(7/3)

  • Olympic auction
    The final auction of Beijing Olympic assets closed on Tuesday, bringing in proceeds of 189 million yuan (US$27.7 million), 260 percent more than expected.
    Seventy-six items, including sofas and seats from the chairman's platform in the Bird's Nest, the National Stadium, pulled in 563,000 yuan on Tuesday. --(7/2)

  • Yuan for ASEAN trade payment
    China is very likely to give the green light to companies in Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to settle international trade in yuan with Southeast Asian countries, according to statements yesterday.
    The scheme will protect exporters from currency fluctuations and help boost trade with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Nong Rong, vice secretary general of the China-ASEAN Expo, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg News.
    "Preparation work for the pilot programs are progressing smoothly," Nong was quoted as saying.
    "Some companies that were deterred by foreign-exchange risks may now seek to expand overseas as the risks have been reduced," Nong added.
    China and ASEAN have held the annual trade fair in Nanning, capital of Guangxi, since 2004.
    The yuan settlement is expected to help stabilize trade, trim currency exposure for exporters and build up the yuan's position in the international monetary system, which now centers on the United States dollar. Chinese exporters can avoid foreign currency exposure by settling in yuan.
    China announced late last year that it planned a trial for settling international trade in domestic currency. --(7/1)



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