Firm denies graft probes
PetroChina, the listed arm of China’s largest oil producer China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC, 中國石油天然氣), rejected a media report yesterday that said two of its executives were under investigation for graft. The China Business News reported yesterday that PetroChina vice president Sun Longde (孫龍德) and director Wang Guoliang (王國樑) were taken away by authorities on Thursday. Trading in PetroChina shares was suspended yesterday morning in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where the firm is listed, but resumed in the afternoon, when the shares were up 2.28 percent to 8.07 yuan.
Australia keeps ‘AAA’ rating
International credit agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch yesterday reaffirmed Australia’s “AAA” sovereign rating after the conservatives won power, saying they expected little change to the fiscal framework. All said their ratings were not immediately affected by the change of government.
Inflation slows 2.6 percent
Inflation slowed to 2.6 percent year-on-year last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday, giving the government more room to unveil new measures to boost the world’s second-largest economy. The rise in the consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, was slightly lower than July’s 2.7 percent. In the first eight months of the year, the CPI rose 2.5 percent year-on-year, below both the government’s 3.5 percent target for this year and a touch below the 2.6 percent seen last year.
Luxury import tax scrapped
The government said it will scrap import duties on luxury watches, clothes and cosmetics to help the country compete with Hong Kong and Singapore for wealthy travelers from markets including China. The duty on some luxury goods will be cut to zero from 30 percent by the end of the year, Permanent Secretary for Finance Areepong Bhoocha-oom told reporters in Chonburi Province. The government expects tourist arrivals to surge 18 percent to 26.4 million this year, helping to counter a slump in exports and domestic consumption that may cause the economy to grow as little as 3.8 percent. Tourism and services industries account for 50 percent of the nation’s GDP.
ZTE receives 4G approval
ZTE Corp (中興) said it was the first company to receive regulatory approval in China to sell a handset for fourth- generation network service. The company’s Grand Memo handset was approved by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to run on the 4G TD-LTE network standard, ZTE said yesterday. The statement did not say when the device, which runs Nvidia Corp’s Tegra3 processor, will go on sale.
KPN executive resigns
Royal KPN NV says that its chief financial officer has resigned unexpectedly and with immediate effect, citing personal circumstances. KPN is currently the target of a takeover attempt by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s company America Movil that values KPN at 10.5 billion euros (US$13.5 billion). Movil already owns about 30 percent of the Dutch firm. KPN yesterday said Eric Hageman’s decision was “not related to working relationships or present circumstances at KPN.” Hageman, 43, took the job in September last year.