Index drops to 4-month low on IPO and downturn
Shanghai stocks fell by the most in four months yesterday on worries an economic downturn is hurting companies' earnings and a massive IPO in the pipeline may result in a cash drain.
The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 2.65 percent, its biggest drop since November 30, sending the gauge to an 11-week low of 2,284.88 points.
The index has shed 7.1 percent from this year's high on March 2 on concern the world's second-biggest economy is stalling as the government's property curbs and tight monetary policies hurt profits. China has cut its economic growth target for this year to 7.5 percent from 8 percent.
Industrial companies posted their first January-February profit decline since 2009, falling 5.2 percent from a year earlier to 606 billion yuan (US$96 billion), according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
''The economy is bad, demand is weak, and the upstream is particularly in trouble,''Bloomberg News quoted Tao Dong, chief regional economist at Credit Suisse AG in Hong Kong, as saying yesterday. ''Some companies' earnings, especially those upstream, are probably going to feel a hard landing instead of a soft landing.''
Metal producers lost on worries that demand for their products will be hit due to weak economic prospects.
Zijin Mining Group Co, China's biggest gold miner, slumped 3.44 percent to 4.21 yuan, and Aluminum Corp of China sank 5.82 percent to 6.64 yuan.
Jiangxi Copper, the country's biggest producer of the metal, plunged 5.51 percent to 24.69 yuan after it reported a drop in net income to 2.27 billion yuan in the six months ended December 31 from 2.79 billion yuan a year earlier.
Investors were also worried about a liquidity crunch as a result of a huge initial public offering by Citic Heavy Industries. The company said it plans to issue 685 million A shares to raise 4.13 billion yuan in Shanghai, which is likely to be the biggest IPO on China's mainland since February.--(3/29)
Expo landmarks join lights-out for green awareness
2012 Lights on permanent structures from the Shanghai World Expo site will be switched off for an hour on Saturday night as part of a worldwide campaign to raise awareness on climate change and environmental protection.
And, as in previous years, the city's three tallest buildings are expected have a lights-out between 8:30pm and 9:30pm to mark Earth Hour.
Management from the Shanghai World Financial Center, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Jin Mao Tower said the buildings will be in darkness for this time and encouraged their tenants to participate where possible.
Officials from Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said the city government has promised to participate in Earth Hour and detailed plans will be worked out today.
''Lights will be switched off in governmental buildings and activities will be launched in parks and communities to promote knowledge of environmental protection and energy saving,''said Liu Weiguang, a bureau official.
The local branch of Earth Hour organizer the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), said it is the first time the permanent structures ！ four pavilions and an overpass from the 2010 Expo ！ have taken part.
''It's good that Expo landmarks are joining Earth Hour,''said Li Yuan, a WWF official.
''Major buildings in Lujiazui financial zone in Pudong and buildings in downtown Jing'an, including Jing'an Temple, are also participating.''
WWF China will also hold activities in a square in Jing'an and Shanghai Botanic Garden, added Li.
The group has also launched an iPhone app for the event.
By yesterday, more than 67,600 local people had registered on the Earth Hour in China website, pledging to participate in the event.
''All Hilton hotels have a special Hilton LightStay project to mark Earth Hour,''said spokeswoman Cindy Zhao at Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao.
''We are also holding some shows and events on the day to promote energy saving and environmental protection.''
Last year, 86 Chinese cities participated in Earth Hour.
More than 99,400 people and 3,740 companies and organizations in Shanghai participated by registering and making commitments at the Earth Hour website last year.--(3/28)
Disney starts first recruitment
Shanghai Disneyland, scheduled to open in 2015, has kicked off the first round of recruitment, the resort announced yesterday.
The future theme park in Pudong's Chuansha area has 100 job openings for highly skilled specialists in engineering, design and other fields to assist in the initial construction of the park. This marks the first phase of recruitment and more initiatives will be launched later, the resort said.
All jobs are open to professionals from home and abroad, but most are expected to be landed by candidates from China due to the localization strategy, park officials said. Those interested can visit shdrcareers.com/shanghai to learn more information or apply for existing job openings. --(3/27)
HK star's fans duped by scalpers
Music fans who bought fake tickets for a concert by Hong Kong star Jacky Cheung at the Shanghai Stadium at the weekend are seeking police help to track down the scalpers.
Some 30 people alerted officers after being duped into paying up to 500 yuan (US$79) for counterfeit tickets for the ''1/2 Century'' tour concert last Friday and Saturday.
Ticket booking website Damai.com said one of its inspectors uncovered almost 100 fake tickets on Saturday night.
''There could be more victims as there are usually 20 ticket inspectors there,'' said a customer services employee.
One victim, surnamed Luo, said he paid 200 yuan for two tickets which a scalper claimed cost 2,560 yuan. But when he reached the stadium, Luo was told the tickets were fake.
Luo found 30 people with the same complaint at a nearby police station. Xuhui District police said they caught some scalpers selling fake tickets. --(3/26)
Has spring finally sprung in the city
Spring could be officially declared this week in Shanghai, as temperatures are stable and set to climb, forecasters said yesterday.
Hopes that spring had arrived earlier this month were dashed by the return of cold weather.
The mercury is expected to hit 20 degrees Celsius tomorrow, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Shanghai's weather is forecast to be good this week ！ mostly sunny with some cloud ！ due to high pressure, said Zhu Jiehua, a chief service officer at the bureau.
Today should be sunny with some cloud and temperatures reaching 18 degrees Celsius.
Tomorrow is expected to be cloudier, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees.
Overcast weather is forecast for the second half of the week, with showers on Thursday and Friday.
Temperatures are also set to fall overnight on Thursday, according to the bureau's five-day forecast.
Meteorological spring is announced by the bureau when the average temperature reaches 10 degrees for five consecutive days after li chun ！ the beginning of spring in the traditional Chinese calendar.
Li chun usually falls around February 4.
The first day of the sequence is considered the first day of spring.
Shanghai's average temperature has been above 10 degrees since Saturday, and with readings expected to climb this week, the bureau is almost certain to declare springtime on Wednesday ！ with last Saturday the first day of spring.
On average, springtime in Shanghai begins on March 25.
Meanwhile, the air quality in some parts of the city has shown slight pollution in recent days, according to the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.
The stricter PM2.5 index, which is still on trial, reached 91 micrograms per cubic meter yesterday in Zhangjiang area in the Pudong New Area, indicating slight air pollution.
And the air quality index (API) in Putuo District reached 105 yesterday, also indicating slight pollution.
Air quality in other parts of the city was good and should remain stable over the next few days, according to the center.--(3/26)
Shanghai sets container goods target
Shangai has set a target of handling 33 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers this year, up 4 percent from last year - a slower growth pace compared with the last few years due to shrinking trade volume.
However, the city will continue to boost the shipping service sector as it stays on track to become a global shipping center by 2020.
The local port authority yesterday pointed out in an overview of the city's port operations that Shanghai is likely to stay ahead of Singapore and remain the world's busiest port this year.
Chen Xuyuan, chairman of the Shanghai International Port (Group) Co, said earlier this month that the city's container turnover will grow 3-5 percent this year and the shipping industry will face the twin pressures of rising costs and excess supply.
Last year, Shanghai port handled 31.7 million TEUs of containers, a 9.2 percent increase from 2010. --(3/24)
Mercury to plunge tomorrow
Warm weather today is set to give way to much colder temperatures tomorrow, forecasters said yesterday.
This is due to the influence of warm, wet currents from the southwest and a cold front from the north, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
These conditions will also bring showers over both days, said forecasters.
Shanghai's readings climbed up to 14 degree Celsius yesterday and are expected to reach 18 degrees today, but will plunge to 6 degrees tomorrow.
Fine weather should return to the city around Saturday, with temperatures stabilizing with the low around 4 degrees and a high of 14.
Low temperatures this year have affected spring blossoms and other early flowers.
Because of the chilly, gloomy winter, the blooming period has been delayed, and the best time to appreciate spring blooms will begin at the end of the month.
The Shanghai Botanical Garden said magnolia will bloom next week, followed by tulips, peach, peony and camellia.
Experts said magnolia usually blooms in early March.
The annual spring flower exhibition at the garden will be held from March 30 to May 16. More than 5,000 square meters of tulips and 20,000 peony shrubs will be in bloom to welcome visitors, officials said.--(3/22)
BOC opens yuan-trading headquarters in Pudong
The Bank of China officially opened its national headquarters for yuan operation in Shanghai yesterday to support the city's goal of becoming a trading center of the Chinese currency.
''The inauguration of Bank of China's yuan trading headquarters has a strategic importance of promoting Shanghai as a global center in yuan trading, pricing and clearing by 2015,'' said Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng at a ceremony marking the occasion.
Xiao Gang, Bank of China's chairman, said setting up the yuan trading headquarters is an important step in the bank's restructuring and cross-border development.
The headquarters in the Pudong New Area offers yuan trading, financial institutions and cross-border yuan settlement services. A source at the Bank of China told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the bank got approval from China's banking regulator a few days ago.
Shanghai aims to be the global center of yuan trading, pricing and clearing by 2015 as part of its 12th Five-Year Plan, which is a major step toward becoming a global financial center by 2020.
Shanghai Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao, who is in charge of the city's financial market supervision, said in May last year that Shanghai welcomed large state-owned banks to set up second headquarters in the city.
''The move by the Bank of China will certainly help Shanghai accomplish its goal to be a yuan trading center,'' said Li Wei, an economist from the Standard Chartered Bank.
''The Bank of China made such a decision based on Shanghai's favorable policy and the bank's own future development,'' he said.
Although Li would not comment on why the other large state lenders have not yet landed in Shanghai, he noted that as banks have been doing more transactions online, the location to introduce yuan trading services is less vital.
China's big four banks, all based in Beijing, reportedly aim to establish their second headquarters in Shanghai to ride on the city's plan to be an international financial center.
The Bank of China is the first and only big-four state-owned bank to open its second headquarters in the city. The others ！ the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank ！ have not announced such a plan.
China Minsheng Bank, China Postal Savings Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China are also said to be considering setting up their second headquarters in Shanghai.
China's top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, said in January that Shanghai's financial markets aim to triple transactions to 1,000 trillion yuan (US$158 trillion) by 2015.
The Bank of China's cross-border yuan settlement last year reached more than 1.7 trillion yuan.
Established in 1912, the bank just celebrated its centennial anniversary in February.--(3/21)
The Shanghai Metro operator and Shanghai Formula One organizer will issue a round-trip Metro ticket for car race patrons. The 10 yuan (US$1.58) ticket will allow fans to take Metro lines from any station to Line 11's Shanghai Circuit station, next to the circuit. The ticket can be used only from April 13-15 during the car-racing period.
It's the first time the Metro authority has teamed up with a sports organizer to issue a ticket. The ticket will be sold at six sites where the F1 tickets are also sold.--(3/20)
Starting tomorrow, Shanghai rail authorities will add more trains to the Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway routes, providing 74 and 37 trains on the weekends, respectively, compared with 69 and 34 before.--(3/19)
Fog grounds flights, closes expressways across China
Fog across northern and eastern China grounded hundreds of flights and closed several highways yesterday.
Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin were among the cities affected.
The visibility decreased to 500 meters in Beijing and in some areas it was less than 200 meters, the city¨s weather bureau said.
More than 230 flights were either canceled or rerouted to other airports. Flights resumed in the afternoon but long delays were reported.
Fog alerts were issued in Tianjin City and Shandong Province. Flights scheduled to depart Shanghai for Beijing and Tianjin in the morning did not take off until the afternoon.
Shanghai airport authorities said more than 1,000 passengers on six international flights, which were scheduled to land in Beijing, were rerouted to Shanghai¨s Pudong International Airport yesterday between 2am and 9am.
Road traffic was also hit by the bad weather. Hundreds of toll stations on highways in about eight provinces were closed yesterday.
The haze and fog also affected air quality as environmental authorities in Beijing and Shanghai reported light pollution yesterday.
Shanghai meteorologists said there will be fog today at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Ferry and ship services are expected to be affected by high winds.
A cold front is expected to sweep China this weekend with temperatures dropping as much as 10 degrees Celsius.--(3/18)
Pudong mulls 20% hike in goods trade by 2015
Shanghai's Pudong New Area aims to increase goods trade by 20 percent by 2015 from last year's level as the district continues to play a leading role in the city's drive to become a global trade center.
Goods trade is expected to rise to US$270 billion by 2015 - more than half of the city's total - from US$226 billion last year, Liu Zhengyi, Pudong's vice head, said yesterday.
Service trade will double from last year's US$35 billion, with rising competitiveness in the export of financial, telecom and information services, she said.
Pudong, home to the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Pudong International Airport and Yangshan Deep-water Port, is also a base for the regional headquarters of many multinational companies.
Officials said Pudong will continue to provide easier customs clearance and administrative approval procedure to such regional head offices.--(3/17)
Rain returns, to stay awhile
After several sunny days, rain came back to the city and is forecast to last until Sunday. Today there will be some drizzle and it will get warmer as the high will climb to 17 degrees Celsius, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. Tomorrow, rains will turn heavier and the mercury will drop to 11-13 degrees. Sunday will see cloudy weather. Forecasters advised people not to take off their heavy coats too early, as the temperature changes dramatically these days.--(3/16)
Good news for Pudong transit passengers
International passengers transferring to other international flights at Pudong airport within 24 hours will not need to go through double immigration checks starting today, according to police.
It's the first time that the practice will be used at airports on the Chinese mainland, the police said.
In the past, transit passengers were required to go through immigration checks and get their passports stamped on arrival.
Now, they will be guided by airlines staff via passages to transfer to flights after security inspection.
Police said during busy times long queues are seen at immigration counters. Now the lines will be shorter.
Signs for international transit passengers have been put up at the airport's two terminals, officers said.
But the police stressed that travelers who leave the restrained airport areas during the transfer are not included in the exemption.
It is believed the immigration check exemption ''will speed up the process and save time'' for passengers seeking to board international flights at a time when Shanghai's immigration authorities reported busier entry and exit volume in recent years.
Normally it takes about 15 minutes for a passenger to clear immigration checks.
The new plan will shorten minimum connection time for international transit passengers as Shanghai tries to further facilitate airport service in a bid to develop the city into an aviation hub.
Last year the passenger volume at immigration counters was more than 25.27 million, officials revealed. Among them nearly 90 percent used airports, a 6.8 percent increase over a year ago when the city hosted the World Expo.
At Pudong airport, a total of 410,000 passengers transferred between international flights, an 80 percent jump compared to that of the previous year.
Some air passengers, while welcoming the exemption regulations, suggested the policy should be further extended to those transiting within 48 hours or even 72 hours.--(3/15)
Glitch stacks up Metro for 3 hours
The city's Metro service suffered another major glitch blamed on a signaling failure yesterday morning, delaying hundreds of thousands of rush hour commuters on Line 7 for about three hours before traffic completely resumed.
During repair efforts, traffic on Line 7 was largely restricted, with train intervals prolonged to more than 10 minutes and entrances to many stations temporarily shut down to control passenger numbers out of safety concerns.
The longest traffic glitch on Line 7 came at the worst possible time, just after 6:30am and lasting through the whole morning rush hour. Nearly 300,000 people travel daily on Line 7, which has more interchange stations than most lines.
The Metro management had transit buses and taxis dispatched to major stations, but that did little to stem the problem.
The Metro operator first issued a malfunction alert to the public at 6:38am, telling passengers to be prepared for delays of 10 minutes after a signal failure was detected. After 7am the estimated delay grew to about 15 minutes or longer.
Passengers took to the Internet to challenge Metro management's capabilities in judging and dealing with emergency situations, asking how a 15-minute estimated delay turned out to be three hours.
Some commuters fighting to avoid being late for work resorted to getting rides on illegal motorbikes hawked outside some Metro stations. Some were taken advantage of by the motorcyclists and had to pay exorbitant fares.
The Metro management explained the signaling failure at Qihua Road Station was ''rather complicated'' to repair and apologized to the public.
The city's ever-growing Metro daily ridership has recently hit 7 million.
Increasing traffic and complexity of the operational network amid ongoing expansion is pressuring the Metro management's capabilities in keeping subway services running safely and precisely. --(3/14)
Shanghai plans for less car use
Shanghai will encourage residents to use their cars less, and it will start monitoring power consumption at public venues as the city strives to be greener this year.
''Shanghai aims to cut emission per unit of gross domestic product by 3.2 percent this year, compared with a cut of 3.6 percent in 2011,'' Shanghai Vice Mayor Yang Xiong said yesterday. ''Challenges remain as industrial activities are seen to rebound this year. All government bodies need to be motivated to meet the energy-saving targets.''
The city will continue with its car plate auctions to control the increase of private cars, and also study the issue of imposing different parking fees this year, government officials said.
The city also aims to have more than 600 kilometers of subway lines by the end of 2015 and to boost the use of public transport in downtown areas to more than 50 percent.
Yang said monitoring of power use will be extended to 1,500 public locations within two years to save energy.--(3/13)
City issues first PM2.5 air-quality warning
Shanghai's air quality briefly hit highly polluted levels yesterday due to haze in the middle and downstream sections of the Yangtze River.
For the first time, the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center issued an air-quality warning that included the new PM2.5 measurement. From Saturday night the PM2.5 figure had grown to three times the nation's new standard by 10am yesterday.
According to the two monitoring sites that began to release the data last Thursday, PM2.5 particles measured over 230 micrograms per cubic meter at 10am in Putuo District and almost 220 at 10am at Zhangjiang in the Pudong New Area.
The maximum PM2.5 allowed under China's new standard is 75 micrograms per cubic meter.
However, the PM2.5 measurement dropped quickly at both sites after 10am and returned to below the standard about 2pm.
The center's warning about poor air quality was issued at 10:42am yesterday after air pollutants had begun to increase at noon on Saturday due to the haze.
The PM10 particle concentration was 278 micrograms per cubic meter (compared to the limit of 150) and PM 2.5 was 206 at 9am.
The center said people with heart problems or respiratory diseases and those with weak immunity should stay inside. PM2.5 can affect air quality and visibility and pose major health risks as the tiny particles are small enough to lodge deep in the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.
Shanghai's air quality today is expected to be ''good,'' the second-best in a five-tier category.
The city will enjoy another two days of dry weather until rain returns on Wednesday. The sky is forecast to be a mix of clouds and sun today and tomorrow. The maximum temperature will range from 9 to 12 degrees Celsius, after lows of 2 to 3 degrees.--(3/12)
Advisor calls for end to highway tolls
A political advisor yesterday suggested scraping highway tolls and cutting expressway fees.
Sun Jiye, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, said highways should be viewed as a public service that the government offers free-of-charge. He added that China, as the second-largest economy in the world, is financially capable of making them toll-free.
"As traffic flow continues to pick up, toll fees should be reduced. It won't affect the investors in retrieving investment and making profits," said Sun, who is also deputy director of the Shandong Provincial Department of Supervision.
Regulations stipulate tolls can be collected for a maximum of 15 years after a highway opens, but "profit-oriented" highways can collect tolls for up to 25 years.
Increasingly high tolls and rampant illegal tolling stations have long been criticized by the public and have led to higher logistics costs, which contribute to the country's inflation. --(3/11)
Sunshine can't stop the cold
The sun shines on these pedestrians on a downtown street in Shanghai yesterday, but they still had to wrap up against the cold. Forecasters say it will be dry over the weekend with temperatures around 8 degrees Celsius. The city had 25 rainy days from February 1 to Thursday, 12 more than average, the second longest rainy stretch in the past 62 years. And there were only 67.7 hours of sunshine, the second lowest in 52 years.--(3/10)
Schedule change to suspend train ticket sales
Sales of all train tickets, except tickets for the Shanghai-Hong Kong express service, will be suspended on March 19 due to a schedule adjustment.
The Ministry of Railways, however, didn't say when the new schedule will be published and when ticket sales will resume.
Passengers can book tickets before March 19 by phone or via internet or buy them at ticket offices around the town ten days before departure.--(3/8)
Index falls on fears of GDP growth
Shanghai stocks yesterday tumbled the most in a month as investors were worried about China's slowing economic growth.
The Shanghai Composite Index slumped 1.41 percent to 2,410.45, the biggest daily loss in percentage term since February 7.
The index has dropped for two straight days after Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday trimmed China's economic growth target to 7.5 percent this year, its lowest level since 2005.
''Overseas investors were negative about the lower target as Hong Kong stocks lost more than the Shanghai gauge yesterday,'' said Zhang Gang, analyst at Southwest Securities. ''The market sentiment is sluggish amid growing systematic risk.''
But Cao Xuefeng, an analyst at Huaxi Securities, was optimistic. ''The market is in correction and will rebound in the future. The index will climb to 2,700 points in the first quarter.''
Building material firms fell on speculation slowing economic growth will curb demand for their products. Anhui Conch Cement, China's largest cement maker, slumped 4.39 percent to 17.19 yuan (US$2.72), and Fujian Cement lost 3.05 percent to 8.59 yuan.
The unexpected ban on cotton exports by India, the world's second-biggest cotton exporter, helped chemical fiber producers after the price of the commodity surged.
Nanjing Chemical Fibre Co soared 4.48 percent to 7.47 yuan while Yiwu Huading Nylon Co jumped 3.07 percent to end at 11.42 yuan.--(3/7)
New homes sold rise 43.5% on price cuts
Significant price cuts offered by real estate developers propelled purchases of new homes in Shanghai last week to surge to the highest in about seven months, according to market data released yesterday.
The sales of new homes, excluding government-funded affordable housing, rose 43.5 percent from the previous week to 201,500 square meters, extending a rally for the fifth straight week, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said in a report.
They were sold for 20,486 yuan (US$3,246) per square meter on average, a rise of 5.1 percent from the week earlier.
''More real estate developers have cut prices to boost sales, which may explain a steady recovery in buying sentiment among home seekers since the end of the Spring Festival holiday,'' said Lu Qilin, a researcher at Deovolente.
''Moreover, the city's revised criteria for ｀normal' homes and lower mortgage rates for first-time homebuyers also helped in the rebound.''
A Poly Real Estate project in Baoshan District sold 257 apartments last week after a price discount of 20 percent.--(3/6)
Lei Feng's example lives on
Soldiers from the ''Eighth Company on Nanjing Road'' repair shoes for a citizen yesterday, on the eve of Learn From Lei Feng Day. Lei, a young Chinese soldier in the 1960s, is known for devoting almost all of his spare time to helping the needy. He died after being hit by a falling pole while helping a fellow soldier direct a truck in 1962. A year later, late Chinese leader Mao Zedong called on the nation to follow Lei's example, and March 5 of every year is designated the day when the Learn From Lei Feng campaign is launched across the county. The ''Eighth Company on Nanjing Road'' is known for its enthusiasm for helping others.--(3/5)
Taiwan cancer patients conned
Taiwan police and medical practitioners have warned the public against medical scams, after people pretending to be surgeons were found to have conned cancer patients into paying for umbilical cord implants.
Police said fraudsters from a Tainan-based company have performed umbilical cord implants on at least 300 patients in the past three years under the pretext that umbilical cord stem cells can remedy cancer.
The latest case involved a lung cancer patient paying 30,000 new Taiwan dollars (US$1,019) to have a 3.5-cm-long section of umbilical cord implanted in his upper arm.
The man, who is more than 60 years old, found he had been tricked after he reported chest pain to doctors, who told him the implant could lead to an infection.
Police found the company was operating illegally and the individual who did the surgery, whose surname is Lin, was unlicensed.
Police detained company operators, but said Lin had fled Taiwan.
Officers said they believe there's an underground trade in umbilical cords as accoucheurs in Changhua County have reported anonymous callers asking for them without stating their purposes.
The trade of umbilical cords and cord blood is prohibited in Taiwan.--(3/4)
Key index gains 1.43% on real estate lending hopes
Shanghai's key stock index jumped the most in three weeks yesterday as the upcoming annual political meetings and expectations of more lending to property developers gave market heavyweights a lift.
The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.43 percent to 2,460.69 points, bringing the weekly advance to 0.86 percent and capping a seven-week winning streak, which is the longest since July 2009.
The market snapped out of a two-day losing run on expectation that annual sessions of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress - starting today and on Monday, respectively - will introduce more favorable policies to keep China's economy on the upward track.
Zhang Wei, fund manager at Guotai Asset Management Co, said investors can stay bullish on the infrastructure and consumer sectors, which policymakers may leverage to boost languid investment and consumption.
Property developers led the advance after Financial News, a paper run by China's central bank, said on its front page yesterday that the country's big four state-backed banks will lend more to qualified real estate developers.
Poly Real Estate Group Co, China's second-largest listed developer, rose 4.4 percent to close at 11.63 yuan (US$1.85). --(3/3)
Metro Line 13 on its way
Part of the line is expected to open on a trial basis by the end of the year, with seven stations operating between Huajiang Road and Jinshajiang Road. The completed line will have 14 stations from Jiading to downtown Jing'an District. --(3/2)
More housing price cuts afoot
More real estate developers are offering price cuts in Shanghai this month in a hopeful bid to trigger sales among home seekers as the near-term outlook for an easing in tough housing measures is dim, according to a latest industry research.
Discounts will be offered at about 205 residential projects, including apartment and villa developments, in March, up from 192 projects in February, Soufun.com, operator of the country's largest real estate website, said yesterday.
The Pudong New Area will continue to lead all other districts with 37 developments offering discounts, followed by 30 projects in Songjiang District and 26 in Qingpu District.
''Since last December, the number of housing projects in the city offering price cuts and promotions has been hovering around 200, compared with an average of 134 developments during the first 11 months of 2011,'' said Qu Peng, a Soufun analyst.
''More developers are pinning their hopes on the next few months to improve their sales amid a gradual recovery in buying momentum since the end of the Spring Festival holiday.''
Purchases of new homes, excluding government-funded affordable housing, rose for the fourth straight week to 140,400 square meters last week ！ the highest in about two months ！ mainly boosted by transactions of low to mid-end apartments where a minimum 10 percent price cut was offered, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said earlier in its weekly report.
A few developments in Baoshan District have confirmed cuts of 20 percent were offered, Soufun said. --(3/1)