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  July



  • US realism oils on show at China Art Museum
    China Art Museum in the former China Pavilion during World Expo 2010 in Pudong is displaying realist oil paintings by contemporary American artists. The exhibition will run through October 30.
    The 100 paintings by 51 artists are shown in the museum's Hall 17. They include portraits, still lifes and landscapes. Some award-winning artists featured in the show are already well-known in China.--(7/31)

  • Night swimmers ignore safety warnings
    Swimmers are risking their lives by ignoring warnings and taking a nighttime dip near Fengxian Gulf Tourism Holiday Resort, police warned yesterday.
    Locals, tourists and construction site workers in Fengxian District have been climbing flood control walls to swim in the East China Sea at night, despite "no swimming" signs.
    Most swimmers think the water is not deep enough to pose safety concerns but police say the stretch can be very dangerous, especially when the tide comes in.
    "The power of the sea is so strong that it can engulf a person in a second when the tide is in," according to Zhou Quan, a frontier police officer.
    "Swimmers may also be sucked into a whirlpool or dragged out by undercurrents," Zhou added.
    Police recently rescued a man who got into difficulties 30 meters from shore. It took police four hours to save the man.
    "If the swimmer had been injured, it would have been harder to get him to shore," Zhou said. --(7/30)

  • International Youth Camp Opens
    The Ninth Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp opened on July 17th. Zhou Yajun, Vice President of the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFCC), consuls general and officers of various countries to Shanghai attended the opening ceremony.
    This camp, co-hosted by SPAFCC and Shanghai Youth Federation (SYF) and organized by Shanghai Youth Center, will last till July 26th. Nearly 100 young participants and their teachers from 20 countries will attend various events of the camp.
    A myriad of fascinating events will be organized during the camp. On top of the Theme Show on Nations and "I LOVE SHANGHAI" Orienting Competition, participants will learn Chinese calligraphy and how to make fragrance sachets, watch dragon and lion dancing performance and experience folk arts and crafts such as facial makeup, dough modeling and Chinese knots. They will also try making traditional Chinese food such as Chinese rice puddings and various dumplings, visit Shanghai International Automobile City, Shanghai Film Museum, Shanghai Glass Museum and Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Furthermore, the one-day homestay with local volunteer families will give these foreign youngsters an exposure to the unique folk culture of Shanghainese. All these colorful events will bring participants closer to the culture of China and Shanghai, and to one another.--(7/29)

  • New vice mayors appointed for city
    Shanghai legislators yesterday approved the appointments of two city vice mayors. They are Jiang Zhuoqing, former secretary general of the city government and director of the Shanghai Municipal Finance Bureau, and Bai Shaokang, director of Shanghai Public Security Bureau.
    Meanwhile, former vice mayors Shen Xiaoming and Jiang Ping are taking up new posts. Shen is now party secretary of the Pudong New Area, while Jiang has been appointed chairman of the Shanghai Political and Law Commission.--(7/28)

  • 11 historic buildings on Bund reveal new appearances
    Renovation of 11 historic buildings on the Bund was finished on Thursday.
    This is the first phase of the Rock Bund project, the biggest project of Shanghai Bund Renaissances.
    The Rock Bund, located at the junction of the Huangpu River and the Suzhou Creek, was the beginning of the architectures with styles of different countries and the core area of the Bund scenic zone.
    The 11 renovated historic buildings included the Ampire Building, Yuanmingyuan Mansion and Hami Mansion.--(7/27)

  • Red alert as mercury soars to 40 degrees
    Shanghai's first red high temperature alert this year °™ the highest in a three-color system °™ was issued at 1:18pm yesterday, warning residents that the mercury would reach 40 degrees Celsius.
    "Such scorching days will last for at least five more days," said Fu Yi, a chief service officer at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
    Outdoor work was stopped due to the extreme temperature.
    Today's high is expected to reach 39 degrees, Fu said. There will be some thunderstorms in some areas of the city over the weekend but no relief from the heat
    The official high temperature in downtown Xujiahui was 39.3 degrees yesterday, while the southwest part of the Pudong New Area recorded a high of 40.9 degrees at 1:27pm.
    Coastal Lingang New City observatory in southeast Pudong recorded the city's lowest temperature °™ 33.3 degrees.
    Some residents queried the official readings released by the bureau every day when their home thermometers showed much higher temperatures.
    The weather bureau said its daily temperature readings were recorded by a thermometer in a thermometer shelter, usually 1.5 meters above the ground and place on a lawn away from direct sunlight, wind and rain.
    These are the conditions for measuring temperatures set by the World Meteorological Organization, the bureau said.
    The temperatures recorded on thermometers at home are influenced by several environmental factors, hence the difference in numbers, the bureau added.
    Also yesterday, the city's power load reached a record high of 2,822 megawatts at 1:10pm. About 10,863 electricians in 1,690 teams were sent out to fix electricity problems in the city.--(7/26)

  • Stocks fall on liquidity fears, weak PMI data
    Shanghai stocks retreated yesterday following a report that China's manufacturing activity may have slowed for a fourth straight month in July to the lowest in 11 months, while fears over a liquidity crunch were reignited after lending rates in the interbank market rose for a sixth straight day.
    A wide sell-off in heavily weighted stocks dragged the market down, with the key Shanghai Composite Index ending 0.52 percent lower to settle at 2,033.33 points.
    The market pared a loss of as much as 1.6 percent in early trading thanks to a bout of rebound in small-cap shares of media companies, environment-protection firms and IT enterprises.
    HSBC's Flash China Purchasing Managers' Index, the earliest indicator of the country's manufacturing activity slanted more toward private and export-oriented firms, fell in July to 47.7, down from the final reading of 48.2 in June, HSBC Holdings PLC announced yesterday.
    A reading of 50 or higher generally indicates expansion. The reading plunged for the fourth month in a row and was the lowest in 11 months, fueling concern over China's economic malaise
    "The decline in PMI indicated China's economy remained in a downward trajectory in the third quarter with falling production and new orders pointing to deteriorating demand," said Fan Guilong, a Huarong Securities analyst.
    Interbank borrowing
    The market decline also came amid a continuous rise in interbank borrowing costs, with the seven-day repurchase rate, an indicator of liquidity strain among banks, advancing 5.2 basis points to 4.01 percent, the sixth consecutive gain.
    Lenders were the biggest dampeners yesterday amid concern over a glut of shares after China Merchants Bank, the country's sixth-largest lender by assets, said it has received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to raise 35 billion yuan (US$5.7 billion) through a rights issue in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
    China Merchants Bank fell 1.4 percent to 10.90 yuan. China Minsheng Banking Corp dropped 2 percent to 8.47 yuan. Industrial Bank Co decreased 2.6 percent to close at 9.39 yuan. --(7/25)

  • Shanghai new homes sales surge by 35.5% in first half
    Sales of new residential properties rose by more than one-third in Shanghai in the first half of this year, data released by the Shanghai Statistics Bureau showed yesterday.
    The sales growth is evidence that buying sentiment has been recovering steadily amid solid demand despite measures to rein in housing speculation remaining in place.
    The city, meanwhile, saw declines in both homebuilding and completion, posing a risk of inadequate supply and further rise in prices.
    Between January and June, the purchases of new residential properties totaled 9.53 million square meters across the city, a year-on-year increase of 35.5 percent. For properties of all types, sales surged 39.5 percent annually to 11.07 million square meters during the period, the bureau said.
    On the supply side, groundbreaking for new homes fell 13.2 percent year on year to 7.86 million square meters while construction was completed for 6.68 million square meters of new houses, an annual retreat of 5.8 percent.
    Investment in real estate development covering all types of properties, meanwhile, rose 21.7 percent to 126.8 billion yuan (US$20.5 billion) in the first six months, a rise of 9 percentage points from the same period a year ago. Of this, investment in residential properties jumped 9.5 percent to 72.56 billion yuan from the same period last year, according to the bureau.
    "In the medium-term, new home supply in Shanghai will see a decline as a result of a decrease in groundbreaking activities while the overall transaction volume of new homes is expected to remain stable," Colliers International said in its latest report.--(7/24)

  • Index ends three-day losing streak
    Shanghai stocks snapped out of a three-day funk to close higher yesterday, boosted by emerging industries amid optimism over China's economic restructuring.
    The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 12.11 points, or 0.61 percent, to close at 2,004.76.
    "The market was in a bullish mood over China's policies to promote reform and innovation, which would benefit growth shares," said Shenyin Wanguo Securities.
    Environment protection firms, media companies and IT giants were among the biggest gainers.
    CITIC Securities said in a report that China's latest move to scrap controls on lending rates will have limited impact on company profitability and market liquidity in the short term.
    "China may have to shift policy priorities from risk prevention to ensure economic stability in the second half of the year in order to avoid a hard landing," the broker said. "That means more policy support for certain sectors may be unveiled as the country pursues economic restructuring."
    China has unveiled a raft of measures over the past two weeks, including policies to boost the environment protection industry, encourage information-related consumption and reduce administrative barriers for the media sector.
    Beijing Capital Co, a firm specializing in wastewater disposal, jumped 5.4 percent to 6.42 yuan. Tianjin Capital Environmental Protection Group Co surged 6 percent to 7.77 yuan.
    Northern United Publishing & Media (Group) Co Ltd rose 6.5 percent to 7.04 yuan. Zhe Jiang Daily Media Group Co gained 3.1 percent to 32.81 yuan.--(7/23)

  • Mariner of the Seas Sails Maiden Voyage
    On June 18, the gigantic Mariner of the Seas, one of the top ten cruise ships of the world, sailed its maiden voyage in China from the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal.
    A 140 thousand-ton vessel with 15 passenger decks that can carry a maximum of 807 persons, the Royal Caribbean cruise is a floating city on the sea.
    With the milestone call of Mariner of the Seas, the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal shows to the world that it is ready for mega ships. It is expected that the terminal will receive 160 cruise calls with 600 thousand arrivals in 2013. The Shanghai Municipality is now making all-out efforts to transform the waterfront of Baoshan District into a world class resort and highlight of the city, which aspires to become an international shipping center and world famous destination of tourism.--(7/22)

  • Shanghai to add 80 more ETC lanes
    Shanghai will add 80 more ETC (electronic toll collection) lanes at toll stations of local highways by August, raising the total number to 264, Shanghai Urban and Rural Construction and Transportation Commission said recently.
    Some adjustments will be made to increase the passing speed from 20 kilometers per hour to 40 kilometers per hour.
    ETC at highway toll stations can effectively reduce vehicle emission and ease traffic jam since the car doesn't need to stop at the station.
    Statistics indicate that Shanghai has more 288,000 ETC users. On weekdays the average daily vehicle flow through ETC lanes is 170,000, about 20 percent of the total flow on local highways.--(7/21)

  • Sister cities camp
    Youngsters from all over the world attend a ceremony to celebrate the launch of the Shanghai International Sister Cities Youth Camp. The camp will last until July 30. More than 88 youngsters and teachers from Shanghai's 13 sister cities, including Queensland (Australia), Espoo (Finland), Saint Petersburg (Russia) and Nagasaki (Japan). --(7/19)

  • Clean-up for Bund treasure
    Scaffolding is seen around the dome of the 90-year-old Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, or the No. 12 building on the Bund, yesterday. A three-month cleaning and repair program is under way. The white, neoclassical edifice was the Bund's tallest building until surpassed by Sassoon House and Customs House in the late 1920s. The building, once headquarters of the HSBC bank, was known as the most luxurious building between the Suez Canal and the Bering Strait after its completion in 1923. At 23,415 square meters, it was then the second-largest building in the world, after a Bank of Scotland building in the UK. --(7/18)

  • Standard contract issued to regulate franchising business
    The standard Shanghai Business Franchising Contract was issued on Monday to regulate the business operation and avoid disputes.
    The contract was jointly drafted by Shanghai Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce and Shanghai Chain-Store and Franchise Association.
    According to the contract, the franchisers should have at least two regular chains that have been operated for more than one year.
    The contract demands the franchisers to inspect the operation of franchisees to guarantee the unity of franchised operation system and products and service quality.
    The contract also requires franchisers to train franchisees' employees during the valid period of the contract.
    The contract demands all franchised products at franchisees should be provided by franchisers or designated suppliers appointed by the franchisers.
    When the franchised period expires, franchisees should change any design, decoration, color compound, layout, furniture, equipment and logo as demanded by franchisers. --(7/17)

  • Stocks advance despite GDP worries
    Shanghai stocks advanced yesterday as data showed that China's slow economic expansion in the second quarter was in line with market estimates.
    The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 19.90 points, or 0.98 percent, to 2,059.39 amid expectations that the central government will make efforts to bolster growth while promoting restructuring.
    China's gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter expanded 7.5 percent from a year earlier, moderating from a 7.7 percent rise in the prior quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
    The economy grew at 7.6 percent year on year in the first half, data showed. The rate was in line with market expectations and was higher than the official target of 7.5 percent for the whole of 2013.
    "Expectations on the government unleashing an economic stimulus mounted after China posted weak GDP data, which would support the market to rebound further," Northeast Securities said.
    Orient Securities said in a report that the government is expected to continue with the pump-priming strategy but will shift investment focus from infrastructure-related sectors to emerging industries such as environment protection and information consumption.
    IT firms gained the most yesterday. Eastern Communications Co Ltd leaped 10 percent to 5.21 yuan (85 US cents). Fiberhome Telecommunication Technologies Co jumped 7 percent to 17.92 yuan.
    Brokerages gained among financial firms after the securities regulator last Friday agreed to nearly double the investment quota for Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors to US$150 billion.
    CITIC Securities jumped 4 percent to 10.96 yuan while Haitong Securities rose 4 percent to 10.98 yuan. --(7/16)

  • City heat returns after brief respite
    After two days' relief from the heat due to the influence of Typhoon Soulik, Shanghai will swelter again from today until at least Friday.
    Soulik lowered temperatures to around 34 degrees Celsius yesterday and a gale alert was issued by the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau at 7:59am yesterday.
    However, Soulik is not expected to affect conditions in the city any more.
    "It had weakened to a tropical depression at 5am this morning, with some cloud cluster left in northwestern Jiangxi Province, and will continue to weaken," Man Liping, a chief service officer at the bureau, said yesterday. Man said a strengthening West Pacific subtropical high was moving west and would bring higher temperatures.
    Today is expected to be cloudy with temperatures rising to 37 degrees. By Friday, they will be reaching 38 degrees. Thunderstorms are likely.
    Meanwhile, the strong winds brought by Soulik may result in higher prices, with vegetables and fruit planted in suburban areas having been damaged. --(7/15)

  • Trains, flights canceled
    No trains will run on the Shanghai-Xiamen and Shanghai-Fuzhou routes today after services were canceled ahead of the arrival of Typhoon Soulik.
    A total of 62 bullet train services, covering coastal areas in southeast China, have been canceled, rail authorities said.
    China Eastern Airlines canceled two return flights to Taiwan from Shanghais Pudong International Airport and one from Hongqiao International Airport because of Souliks influence. China Southern Airlines canceled one return flight from Pudong to the island.
    Airport operators are reminding passengers to check flight updates as more flights could be changed or canceled.
    Shanghai is not in the core area affected by Soulik and it is expected to brush past the city over the weekend, but it will bring cooler temperatures, strong winds and showers in its wake, said the weather bureau.
    City forecasters said any temporary structures, such as signboards, should be securely fastened and plant pots removed from balconies.
    Flood control authorities said patrols have been strengthened at construction sites, traffic underpasses, Metro stations and tunnels to prevent potential leaks. More than 300 workers are on standby to drain water and people living on construction sites, makeshift housing and seawall regions will be evacuated if necessary, officials said. --(7/13)

  • Shanghai showers
    Super-typhoon Soulik is edging closer to Shanghai, with the eye observed 1,300 kilometers southeast of the city at 2pm yesterday, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.
    It will bring showers and cooler temperatures over the weekend.
    When Typhoon Haikui hit China last year, Shanghai closed its parks, banned outdoor activities, canceled summer classes, and suspended outdoor construction.
    Typhoon Matsa in 2005 was the strongest to hit Shanghai in the past decade. Four people died, and more than 200 flights were delayed. --(7/12)

  • Typhoon to cool city after hottest day of year
    Yesterday was Shanghai's hottest day this year °™ hotter than 2012's peak temperature.
    The mercury hit 38.3 degrees Celsius, 0.3 degrees higher than the hottest day in 2012.
    The fourth orange level high temperature alert in this summer, indicating a temperature of above 37 degrees, was issued by the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau at 9:25am.
    This was the eighth high temperature alert this month.
    However, showers are expected over the weekend due to the influence of the Typhoon Soulik which is now heading toward China's southeastern coast.
    The typhoon will bring relief from the scorching days and see the highest temperature drop to about 33 degrees Celsius.
    Soulik, which formed on July 7, had strengthened to super typhoon by 2pm yesterday and is still getting stronger.
    "The eye of the typhoon was observed 1,700 kilometers southeast of Shanghai at 2pm,"said Zhang Ruiyi, a chief service officer at the bureau.
    Soulik is predicted to land on Taiwan on Friday and make a second landfall on the southeast of China's mainland.
    Taiwan, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces are forecast for strong winds and heavy rain then, but Shanghai looks set to escape the brunt of Soulik.
    "The range we have predicted where it will land doesn't cover Shanghai. The city will mainly be affected by its outer circulation,"Zhang said.--(7/11)

  • Stocks post biggest daily gain in 4 months
    Shanghai stocks posted the biggest daily gain in nearly four months, led up by heavyweights, on expectations that the government may take measures to bolster the economy after Premier Li Keqiang stressed the need to stabilize growth while promoting reforms.
    The key Shanghai Composite Index rose 42.67 points, or 2.17 percent, to 2,008.13, the biggest single-day advance since March 20. Daily turnover stood at 72.8 billion yuan (US$11.9 billion).
    The market gain came after Li's comment that growth and structural reforms should go hand in hand as a steady growth provides conditions for restructuring while restructuring in turn unleashes potential for economic growth.
    "Macro-control measures should aim to maintain economic growth and employment above our bottom line and keep inflation below the upper limit while focusing on restructuring and pushing economic upgrades,"Li said in a statement posted on the central government's website today.
    "Li's words on economic growth fuelled expectations that the government may boost the economy with stimulus policies,"Shenyin and Wanguo Securities said.
    The market advanced even though data showed China's exports and imports both declined in June.
    China's exports fell 3.1 percent from a year earlier in June, the first year-on-year drop since January 2012, the General Administration of Customs said today.
    The figure slipped from a gain of 1 percent in May and missed the forecast for a 4 percent rise by economists surveyed by the Reuters, indicating the world's second-largest economy is in the doldrums.
    Imports dropped 0.7 percent after declining 0.3 percent in May, the data showed.
    Non-ferrous metal producers gained the most. Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-earth (Group) Hi-tech Co, China's biggest producer of rare earth materials, surged by the daily limit of 10 percent to 23.24 yuan. Xiamen Tungsten Co also leaped 10 percent to 30.03 yuan.
    China Petroleum & Chemical Corp jumped 6.5 percent to 4.61 yuan. --(7/10)

  • Seven Shanghai companies join Fortune 500
    The Fortune magazine released its new list of Global 500 companies last night on its website. Seven on the list are registered in Shanghai or have their headquarters in Shanghai, compared with five last year.
    The seven companies are SAIC, Baosteel, Bank of Communications, Greenland Group, China Pacific Insurance, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, and Bailian Group.
    Greenland Group climbed from 483rd place last year to 359th this year, becoming the fastest climber among Chinese companies on the list. SAIC rose from last year's 130th place to 103rd, becoming the highest-placed Shanghai company on the list.
    Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Bailian Group ranked 460th and 466th respectively, joining the list for the first time.
    Royal Dutch Shell topped the Fortune 500 list, followed by Walmart (second), Exxon Mobil (third), Sinopec (fourth), PetroChina (fifth) and State Grid Corporation of China (seventh).--(7/9)

  • New housing purchases drop as heat rises
    Purchasers of new housing units hit a three-and-a-half-month low in Shanghai during the first week of July as the market entered into its traditional sluggish season, according to latest market data.
    The sales of new residential properties, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, fell 45.5 percent from the previous seven-day period to 161,300 square meters last week, the lowest weekly volume registered since mid February, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said today in a report.
    They cost an average 24,825 yuan (US$4,017) per square meter, a week-on-week increase of 5.1 percent.
    On the supply side, meanwhile, some 119,300 square meters of new houses at three developments were released last week to the local market, a notable increase compared to 36,800 square meters introduced during the previous week, Deovolente data showed.
    "Buying sentiment plunged notably last week as the hottest months of the year finally kicked off, which usualy confine potential buyers at home," said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher. "This slack momentum will probably extend through July and August while the low supply registered over the past few weeks may also affect sales."
    Sales of new homes have outnumbered their supply for three consecutive weeks, Deovolente data showed.
    Across the city, a residential project in Zhoukang, Nanhui area, was the most popular housing development after selling 4,339 square meters of new residential, or 35 units, for an average price of 12,608 yuan per square meter, according to Deovolente data.--(7/8)

  • Effort made to tackle parking shortage
    Shanghai continues to build underground parking lots to address the shortage of spaces due to the meteoric rise in car ownership.
    "New underground parking spaces are being set up in residential complexes, greenery areas and subway stations," Shen Xiaosu, director of the city's Civil Defense Office, said yesterday afternoon.
    The office oversees the development and management of underground parking lots.
    Experts and officials said the city needs at least 300,000 additional public parking spaces to satisfy current demand.
    Shanghai has about 780,000 public parking berths. More than 50,000 public spaces have been added since 2011.
    By 2015, there will be a shortage of 45,000 parking berths in the Pudong New Area alone.
    The city has 1.4 million private cars, with the number expected to soar to 1.62 million by year's end, traffic administrators said previously.
    Shen said the reasonable use of space as well as maintaining public safety are important when considering building more underground parking lots. The underground spaces are also being equipped for use as shelters during emergencies.
    Limited land resources are forcing planners to look underground for future parking lots.
    Planning authorities are also discussing using the underground spaces at the former World Expo site and the riverside area in Xuhui District.--(7/6)

  • Sales of new homes climb sharply
    Sales of medium- to high-end homes in Shanghai rose significantly in the first half of this year although the average price remained stable.
    The purchases of new homes costing more than 30,000 yuan (US$4,854) per square meter totaled 1.43 million square meters in the city between January and June, a surge of 83.5 percent from the same period a year earlier and a growth of 25.3 percent from the previous six months, according Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co.
    They cost an average 44,022 yuan per square meter, an annual drop of 4.3 percent and almost flat from the second half of 2012.
    "The notable surge in volume for the medium-to high-end segment, which outpaced the growth in the city's overall housing market during the same period, was a good indicator that demand for these houses remained solid despite the implementation of austerity measures since 2011," said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher.
    Lu added that some projects, whose prices have been steadily rising, still managed to achieve good sales, reflecting that buyers have a positive outlook for the market.
    Around 6.05 million square meters of new homes, excluding government-funded affordable homes, were sold in the first half, up 57.2 percent annually and 9.2 percent from the second half of 2012.--(7/5)

  • Shanghai Book Fair to open next month
    This year's Shanghai Book Fair will invite last year book fair's reader who left the fair last.
    Popular writers Peter Handke (Austria), Geoff Dyer (UK), Paul Giordano (Italy), Ilya Kaminsky (USA), Cologne McCain (USA), Robert Sawyer (Canada), Han Shaogong, Su Tong, Jia Pingwa and Zhang Wei will also be invited.
    The book fair will run from August 14 to 20. Tickets will cost 10 yuan (US$1.63) between 9am and 9pm, and 5 yuan for those entering after 6pm.
    Kan Ninghui, office director of the Shanghai Book Fair Organization Committee, said the book fair will try its best to promote reading with innovative ideas.
    Kan said publishing companies participating in the fair have increased from about 170 in the first year in 2004 to more than 500 last year, while the number of invited VIP guests -- authors, scholars and celebrities - rose from about 100 to more than 700.--(7/4)

  • Shanghai, Taipei mayors meet before forum
    Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong met his Taipei counterpart, Hau Lung-bin, yesterday at the Xijiao State Guest House. Hau was leading a delegation to attend the Shanghai-Taipei Forum.
    Yang said the two cities enjoy close relationship and frequent exchanges. The forum which evolved from collaboration to hold the Shanghai Expo and the Taipei International Flora Exposition helped to deepen bilateral ties and economic cooperation.
    Many Taiwanese compatriots and investors contributed to Shanghai's economic and social development, Yang added.
    He said Shanghai is in a critical phase of economic transformation with a focus on innovation. Shanghai wants to strengthen cooperation with Taipei in various fields and borrow Taiwan's good experiences in developing advanced manufacturing industry and modern services.
    The cross-strait service trade agreement has brought opportunities to businesses on the mainland and Taiwan. Shanghai will continue to support Taiwan investors and create better environment for people from Taiwan to work and live in the city, Yang said.
    Hau thanked the Shanghai government for hosting this year's Shanghai-Taiwan Forum. Taipei and Shanghai built stronger ties through Shanghai Expo and Taipei International Flora Exposition. The upcoming forum will share urban management experiences of both cities.
    He said this forum will not only focus on economic and trade cooperation but also discuss sports exchanges for middle school students in both cities.
    Children are the jewels of every family. Parents letting their children participate in sports matches and training in Shanghai is the best proof of the deep trust between Taipei and Shanghai, Hau said.
    Ye Kedong, deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council, and Shanghai Vice Mayor Weng Tiehui were present at the meeting.--(7/3)

  • New fund to push protection of financial customers
    CEIBS Lujiazui Institute of International Finance Research Center, an international platform for academic exchange, set up a research fund yesterday to promote protection of customers from risky financial products.
    With a starting capital of 1 million yuan (US$163,934) from the Orient Securities Asset Management Co Ltd, the fund will support research in consumer protection against risky financial products and help improve the legal environment of the financial market.
    "China still lags behind in the field of financial customer protection due to a lack of laws and regulations that specify the rights of financial customers, poor enforcement of existing rules and low awareness of customers for self-protection due to inadequate education," said Wu Xiaoling, director of the CEIBS Lujiazui Institute of International Finance Research Center.
    Wu suggested that China should introduce a system that allows financial product buyers to collectively bring a claim to court and encourages investors to solve financial disputes through arbitration or litigation instead of private settlement.
    The fund will also sponsor academic forums and select best practices in financial customer protection to push forward public education and strengthen investors' awareness of risks.--(7/2)

  • Local stocks advance for 2nd day
    Shanghai stocks advanced for a second straight day after the money-market rate declined, a sign of an easing of the recent liquidity crunch, despite data showing China’s manufacturing sector expanded at a slower pace in June.
    The key Shanghai Composite Index added 16.04 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,995.24. Daily turnover was 62.7 billion yuan (US$10.3 billion).
    The seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of interbank funding costs, fell 74 basis points to 5.4 percent in Shanghai today, compared with a record high of 11 percent on June 20, data from the National Interbank Funding Center showed.
    The overnight rate fell by 48.5 basis points to 4.46 percent, down from 13.4 percent on June 20, data showed.
    The liquidity pressure is easing as indicated by the falling interbank funding rates after the central bank injected cash into selected lenders, and seasonal factors that weighed on liquidity have passed,?Zhang Yanbing, analyst with Zheshang Securities, said in a report today.
    Changjiang Securities said the market also rebounded after recent rounds of selling made the market oversold in the short term.
    The market advanced against dismal data from the National Bureau of Statistics showing China official Purchasing Managers?Index, a gauge of manufacturing activity slanted more toward state-owned firms, fell to 50.1 in June from 50.8 in the previous month. A reading over 50 indicates expansion.
    Also, HSBC Holdings PLC revealed that the HSBC China PMI, which measures manufacturing activity in private and export-oriented firms, dropped to a 9-month low of 48.2, down from 49.2 in May.
    Media firms gained the most. Zhe Jiang Daily Media Group Co surged by the daily limit of 10 percent to 23.73 yuan. China South Publishing & Media Group Co leaped 9.5 percent to 10.18 yuan. Chinese Universe Publishing and Media Co climbed 5.9 percent to 18.06 yuan.--(7/1)

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