China Gets More Agressive On Buying Raw Materials Producers

Some people think the Chinese have no way to sell off their dollar reserves.

Its happening.

Media needs to spin another excuse.

China - energy and minerals

China - energy and minerals

China May Boost Energy, Mining Acquisitions by Half

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) — China, unfazed by failures to invest in Rio Tinto Group and Unocal Corp., will boost spending on oil and mining acquisitions by at least half this year to take advantage of lower valuations after commodity prices slumped.

State-owned Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. yesterday agreed to buy Australia’s Felix Resources Ltd. for about A$3.5 billion ($2.9 billion), a day after Sinochem Corp., China’s biggest chemicals trader, offered to buy Emerald Energy Plc for 532 million pounds ($881 million) to gain oil fields in Syria and Colombia.

China National Petroleum Corp.’s plan to buy Repsol YPF SA’s Argentine unit may push Chinese purchases of overseas commodity assets to $43 billion this year, a 48 percent increase on 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The Chinese don’t have enough nickel, don’t have enough oil, and they don’t have enough copper,” Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings and the author of books including “Investment Biker” and “Adventure Capitalist”, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “There’s a crisis coming. They are going around the world buying up what they can. They’re preparing for a rainy day.”

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The Fuse is Short and Lit – China Goes Hostile

China - Hungry Dragon

China - Hungry Dragon

I have been saying for a long time that China has been aggressively stockpiling commodities, buying mineral rights all over the globe, and buying up companies that produce products of the earth.

This signals a new tactic for the Chinese: outright unsolicited offers for mining companies.

Normally the Chinese are more reserved, tactful, willing to be patient and win via masterfully executed maneuvers – much like Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

It seems their patience, as well as their willingness to depend on the dollar retaining its value (and thus the buying power of their portfolio) is coming to an end.

I think this is the beginning of an ever more aggressive stance towards purchasing commodities and raw materials. They know the dollar is going to the deadpool of currencies, and want to buy while it still commands the value it does.

Gold will again reign as the king of currencies.

China makes unexpected grab for Canadian miner

State-controlled Jilin Jien launches a surprise bid for Canadian Royalties, a stark change in tactics for the Asian superpower

ANDY HOFFMAN

From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail Last updated on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 02:44AM EDT

China’s insatiable hunger for natural resources has officially turned hostile.

State-controlled Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co. Ltd. launched a surprise $148.5-million unsolicited takeover bid for Canadian Royalties Inc. yesterday, marking one of the first times the Asian economic superpower has gone after foreign resource assets without first winning a friendly agreement with management.

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China continues to diversify reserves

The Chinese are continuing to stockpile raw materials, companies that produce them, and mineral rights all around the world.

They are fully aware that inflation is going to send prices of real goods through the roof, and we are heading into a long and strong bull market in tangible assets.

Yanzhou close to Australian coal deal

By Peter Smith in Sydney

Published: August 10 2009 07:47 | Last updated: August 10 2009 18:37

China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining is in advanced talks to buy Felix Resources in a cash takeover that is expected to value the Australian coal mining group at about A$3.7bn (US$3.1bn).

If the deal is agreed and cleared by regulators, it would be one of China’s largest foreign takeovers and the country’s biggest Australian deal to date.

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China gold demand may eclipse Inda gold demand

Chinese have a memory of fiat currency failure as it has happened a handful of times. The chinese cultural memory goes back a long ways. Metal is flowing like a river from west to east.

There is an ancient saying of ‘He who has the gold, makes the rules’. This isnt just a cliche, but rather proven out by historical evidence. Wherever the largest stocks of gold were, the nations who have held it were usually the most influential nations of their time period.

Egypt, Rome, Byzantium, Western Europe and England, then the USA.

The US gold stocks have not been audited since the 50’s, and many analysts believe that what is claimed to be there is alot more than what is actually there.

China is still making strong strides to make the Yuan a fully convertible currency. When the veil spun by the mass media comes off, people will run to whats ultimately safe, which is gold and silver.

China May Overtake India in Gold Demand, Council Says

By Sophie Leung

July 24 (Bloomberg) — China may overtake India to become the world’s top gold consumer this year, the World Gold Council said, as the nation became the first of the major economies to rebound from the global recession.

Jewelry demand in China expanded in the first quarter while dropping in India, Marcus Grubb, a managing director at the London-based council, said today at a conference in Hong Kong. Chinese gold demand will keep rising, he said.

China’s economy grew 7.9 percent in the second quarter after a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package spurred record lending and consumption. India’s gold purchases slumped 54 percent in the six months ended June after a decline in the rupee pushed up the cost of owning bullion, cooling demand from housewives and jewelers, the Bombay Bullion Association said.

“There is a possibility that China might overtake India as the world’s largest gold consumer this year,” Hou Huimin, deputy head of the China Gold Association, said by phone from Beijing today. “India’s gold consumption is reportedly dropping this year due to the financial crisis.”

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Russia, China should dump dollar in trade – Medvedev

Alex’s Notes: More moves around the USD.

For those of you who dont know, the USD is the world reserve currency, and for decades all world trade has been settled in it.

Governments of the world are not going to stand by until the US fixes it problems, China has been steadily putting the pieces in place to conduct global trade with or without the Dollar.

If using methods of trade settlement besides the dollar becomes common practice, it means further pressure on the dollar downward…which means dollars come home.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia and China should consider switching to domestic currencies in bilateral trade without going to the dollar, Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Kommersant daily published on Friday.

China has already entered similar agreements with Brazil and Belarus. The deal involves a currency swap agreement between the two countries. Trade turnover between Russia and China reached about $50 billion in 2008 and is set to increase.

“I think that we can think about such positions, for example the rouble against yuan,” Medvedev was quoted by Kommersant as saying. Russia’s own attempt to switch to the rouble in bilateral trade with Belarus has so far not been successful.

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, known by their BRIC acronym, are meeting in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on June 16 to discuss the role of the dollar in the global financial system among other issues.

Medvedev said bilateral currency deals between trade partners ease impact of the economic crisis in an environment when many countries have difficulties tapping international capital markets.

Original Article

China applies golden touch to diversify forex reserves

CHINA’S revelation that it has been stockpiling gold signaled it may accelerate the diversification of its foreign-exchange reserves as a hedge against the global economic downturn, but it’s unlikely to stop buying US-dollar assets, analysts said.

China applies golden touch to diversify forex reserves
Created: 2009-5-11
Author:Zhang Fengming

China has added 454 tons to its gold reserves since 2003, bringing the total to 1,054 tons, through domestic purchases and the refining of scrap gold, Hu Xiaolian, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said in late April.

It was the first public comment on the top-secret gold holdings in the past six years. The figure confirmed what many gold bugs have suspected for years – that China has been quietly amassing a stockpile of the precious metal.

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Gold as Money Means A Potentially Massive Rise In Valuation

One thing that the world has forgotten for the most part, is that gold is money. It has been parroted around for three generations as a commodity only, with little industrial use or demand, and no value as a currency.

Humans have this interesting tendency to forget history, even though through all of time it consistently repeats itself.

The cycle I am speaking of is the one where societies and economies cycle back and forth between paper fiat money backed by nothing but a governments promise that it has value, and currency that is backed by gold and silver.

This is not new, and in my opinion will happen again, as it always has, for thousands of years.

For a while now I have been going on about how the Chinese, OPEC, and other nations that have trillions of USD in their reserves are not going to simply sit on it and watch it devalue by 16%-20% a year because of a rampant monetary inflation policy of the Federal Reserve.

“Dollar crisis looms, says Nobel laureate Mundell
Reuters June 3, 2008 at 8:36 AM EDT

VALENCIA, Spain — A major dollar crisis could come within five years and China is discussing reforms to the global monetary system to protect its $1.6-trillion (U.S.) reserves pile, says Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Mundell.

Mr. Mundell, who has regular contacts with Beijing officials, said they are considering proposing ways to fix major currencies including the dollar and the euro, in a system similar to the one which operated under the Bretton Woods agreement from the end of World War Two until the 1970s.”

If you were China and seeing this happen to your National Treasury, would you sit there and do nothing or look for a solution?

The answer is obvious.

“China is worried about its pile of about $1.6-trillion in foreign reserves, built up during years of U.S. trade deficits, which loses value as the greenback depreciates. “

The excerpts from the above Reuters article shows that China seems to be interested in a gold backed system. If this were to occur, we need to take a serious look at what it means for the price and demand of gold.

I will give you one simple equation, which you can then apply to any nation, or the economy at large. If the USA were to go to a gold backed standard, that means each dollar in circulation would then have to be redeemable in gold. The current measure of USD in circulation based on private firm analysis is above $14 Trillion USD. The US Treasury claims it has 261,498,899.316 ounces of gold according to its website http://www.fms.treas.gov/GOLD/current.html . If we were to divide the number of USD in circulation by the amount of gold claimed to be on hand in the US Treasury, it would make the price of gold $53,537.00 per ounce.

You can perform this calculation on any nations currency, if you know the amount of currency in circulation and the country’s claimed national reserves in gold.

The bottom line is, if the world heads to any form of gold backed currency system, or any world government chooses to make its own currency backed in gold, then two things would happen:

1. That country will be the best runner up for the next world reserve currency

2. The valuation on gold will skyrocket beyond the angels

“Without reform, the global monetary system is headed for a dollar crisis within years, Mr. Mundell believes. “

I sure hope you own some gold before that happens.


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Unexpected inflation?? You have got to be kidding me

Alex’s Notes: Unexpected inflation?? You have got to be kidding me.

It does not cease to amaze me how often main stream media financial analysts are either completely ignorant of how the economy works, or are deliberately creating spin to keep consumers fat dumb and happy.

The bottom line is we have added over 14 TRILLION dollars to the money supply and currently the rate of adding money is only increasing. We are about to hit 19% in terms added change to money supply.

How anyone can expect that we will not see price increases under such conditions and call themself a financial analyst is beyond my comprehension.

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India’s Inflation Unexpectedly Accelerates on Food
By Cherian Thomas

May 16 (Bloomberg) — India’s inflation rate unexpectedly rose to the highest in 3 1/2 years, adding pressure on the central bank to raise borrowing costs further to tame prices.

Wholesale prices rose 7.83 percent in the week ended May 3 from a year earlier, after gaining 7.61 percent in the previous week, the government said in a statement in New Delhi. Economists surveyed had expected a 7.55 percent increase.

Increasing borrowing costs will check the flow of money to speculators in the commodities market and rein in food prices, former central bank Governor Bimal Jalan said in parliament last month. The government, to augment monetary policy action, has persuaded steel and cement makers in the past week to cut prices and help slow inflation.

“More monetary tightening cannot be ruled out,” said Rajeev Malik, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Singapore. “More measures are likely as inflation is expected to remain above the central bank’s target of 5.5 percent.”

The index for fruits, vegetables and other food items rose 0.5 percent, while that for manufactured products gained 0.3 percent, today’s statement showed.

The rupee declined to 42.73 against the dollar from 42.65 before the data was announced. The yield on the benchmark 10- year bond was little changed at 7.88 percent, holding near this week’s high.

China Inflation

India and China, the world’s fastest growing major economies, are battling rising prices stoked by consumer demand and high food costs. Wholesale prices in China rose 10.3 percent in April from a year earlier, the fastest since at least 1999.

India’s central bank twice asked lenders to set aside more funds last month, raising the so-called cash reserve ratio to 8.25 percent, the highest since March 2001, from 7.5 percent. The Reserve Bank of India may raise the ratio for a third time this year to control inflation, according to six of nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg News on April 30.

India’s cement makers joined steel producers on May 14 in pledging to cut prices after Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said the government will take “administrative action” against them for behaving like cartels.

Chidambaram yesterday said there is significant scope for further reduction in cement prices. Steel Authority of India Ltd. and other Indian steelmakers on May 7 agreed to lower prices for a second time since April.

Indian Elections

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, an Indian trade organization, says it expects the combination of steps taken by the government, central bank and companies to slow inflation to 6 percent in the next four to six weeks.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government has been stepping up measures to cool prices in Asia’s third-largest economy to improve his re-election chances in a vote that must be held before May 2009.

The government wants to bring inflation down to 4 percent, to protect consumers in a nation where the World Bank estimates half the 1.1 billion population live on less than $2 a day.

Over the past two months, the government scrapped import duties on edible oils, steel products and banned the export of cement, pulses, rice, wheat and edible oil to contain prices.

Last week, under pressure from its communist allies, the government also banned futures trading in soybean oil, rubber, chick peas and potatoes to reduce speculation. It halted wheat and rice contracts last year and lentils in 2006.

Today’s inflation rate may be revised in two months when India’s government reviews the figures after receiving additional price data. The Commerce Ministry today increased the inflation rate for the week ended March 8 to 7.78 percent from 5.92 percent.

                       Week Ended    Week Ended     Percentage
                         May 3         April 26        Change

Primary articles         239.3         238.6           0.3
Fuel, power              345.4         342.5           0.8
Manufactured products    198.9         198.3           0.3
Food products            204.3         202.8           0.7
Edible oils              186.6         187.9          -0.7
Cement                   220.8         221.6          -0.4
Iron & steel             354.6         360.6          -1.7
Pulses                   241.8         243.9          -0.9
Fruits & vegetables      253.2         247.1           2.5
Total                    228.6         227.7           0.4

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aN4UwM8U3oQA&refer=economy


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Simon Heapes: In ages past it was the Byzantine Empire, today is it China and OPEC?

Alex’s Notes: This quick note was fired to me from Simon Heapes, Director and Treasury Officer of The Anglo Far East Bullion Company. This was his comment and response to my post on the possibility of China holding the next world reserve currency:

2,000 yrs ago As Rome debased its currency and expanded via inflationary methods, the question must be asked who was buying the tangible productive assets?

It was the Byzantine Empire! When the Byzantines finally did over run Rome, they did not collapse it, they merely replaced Rome’s leadership with their own leadership, and effectively ran Rome as a defacto Empire keeping all the same systems in place for another 200yrs.

Finally, the Byzantium leadership broke apart from a Moral decay into the nations we call Europe today!

So the Question now, is China & the East going to do the same thing and keep the current system running further expanding globally and running inflation even further sending the cost of tangibles higher for many yrs to come? It certainly looks that way!

– Simon Heapes, The Anglo Far East Bullion Company


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Chinese Central Bank Encourages its Citizens to Buy Gold

China Gold Demand Now Second Largest in the World
Monday, February 18, 2008

In 2007 China surpassed the USA to become the second biggest retail gold market in the world after India. Total consumer demand in China’s mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan reached 363.3 tons, an increase of 23.5 percent from 2006, the World Gold Council indicated in a research report.

To put that figure into perspective 363.3 tons, is equal to 10,596,250 troy ounces of gold, at today’s gold price of approximately $900 US that is $9,536,625,000 US Dollars worth of gold.

Mainland China gold demand, including gold jewelry and retail gold investment, reached 326 tons, an increase of 26 percent from 2006. This is the first time it has surpassed the 300 ton level. The gold jewelry demand in mainland China reached 302 tons in 2007, a year on year growth of 23.5 percent. Gold Jewelry and other ornaments have always been a form of savings in China since time immemorial.

India which has the world’s largest gold demand had a gold demand of 773.6 tons in 2007, while the US now in third place had a gold demand of 278.1 tons.

“Encouraging civilian reserves of gold has strategic significance and economic value,” said a director of the Peoples Bank of China’s (China’s Central Bank) official news vehicle back in 1998 when gold was around $300US. Can you imagine the US Federal Reserve Bank giving such a recommendation and what it would do to the gold price?

The article went on to say “If there are problems with the U.S. dollar, there will be an international catastrophe.” “Reducing reliance on the dollar, and maintaining greater diversification in foreign exchange reserves is the only way to reduce the risk,” it said. “As a result, an increase in our country’s gold reserves is necessary.”

It looks like the Chinese people have been taking notice of the advice from their central bank to buy gold. China’s mainland gold demand rose 18% percent from 2006 level to 94.3 tons during the 4th quarter. This was when the gold price rocketed from the breakout area of of around $730US to around $900US.

Consider this, the U.S. possesses 262 million ounces of gold for its nearly equal population. Were China to achieve the same financial gold backing, it would require 1.2 billion ounces of gold. The same amount of ounces of gold owned by all the world’s central banks and more than ten years of global gold mining production. However, China is now the worlds largest gold producer, surpassing South Africa in 2007.

China’s Gold demand is likely to continue to increase and put significant upward pressure on gold prices for many years to come, particularly if the US Dollar continues to decline in purchasing power as many analysts are predicting it will do.

– Free

http://goldprice.org/gold-news/2008/02/china-gold-demand-now-second-largest-in.html


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China still goes for the gold as haven

By Zhang Fengming 2008-2-15

CHINA surpassed the United States as the world’s second-biggest retail gold market after India in 2007 by volume despite rocketing prices of the metal.

Total consumer demand in China’s mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan reached 363.3 tons, up 23.5 percent from a year earlier, the World Gold Council said in a research report.

India had a gold demand of 773.6 tons last year, while the figure in the US sat at 278.1 tons.

Mainland gold demand, including jewelry and retail investment, topped 326 tons, up 26 percent from 2006, and the first time it surpassed the 300-ton level. Mainland gold-jewelry demand reached 302 tons in 2007, a year-on-year growth of 23.5 percent.

What makes the Chinese market stand out is the growing demand in the fourth quarter, when most other markets saw demand drop as costs soared.

Gold prices hit a three-decade high and topped more than US$900 an ounce on concerns over inflation, global economic uncertainty, the likelihood of an American recession and a weak US dollar.

In the fourth quarter, mainland gold demand rose 18 percent to 94.3 tons. In India gold demand tumbled 64 percent to 83.9 tons and in the US it fell 15 percent to 110.7 tons.

“It’s a milestone for China’s gold industry with demand surpassing the 300-ton level,” an industry veteran said yesterday.

Concerns over domestic inflation and the volatile stock market also added to the investment drawing power of gold as a haven.

China’s gold demand this year is again unlikely to be affected by rising prices as Chinese tend to buy at high prices in the hope of even further increases, World Gold Council veterans said in January.

Chinese gold demand was stagnant during the late 1990s and early 2000s but started going upward from 2003. China’s gold sales volume stood at 207.6 tons in 2003, a 2.0 percent rise to end a five-year wane.

The gold-sale rise is also in line with the country’s economic take-off.

China is expected to have a gold consumption of 600 tons in 2010, according to industry insiders.

The nation last year surpassed South Africa as the world’s biggest gold-mining country.

– Free

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=348714&type=Business


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China will drive global market for Gold

By J S Kim

Technically, gold futures contracts are showing a bearish rising wedge pattern so there is the imminent risk of a minor correction now.

I say minor and not major, because I just can’t see gold retreating all the way back to $800 an ounce. I just think that such a significant retreat, given the vast problems in the global economy, and particularly in the U.S., has a very small probability.

My downside projections for a correction are somewhere within the $850-$860 range if we see a correction, but should gold retreat to this range, I believe that this retreat will be very short lived as savvy investors will definitely view such a correction as a buying opportunity and jump into the market at this point to drive the price of gold higher again.

As far as the “gold is too high” believers, even if gold doesn’t retreat by $40 or $50 an ounce, I believe that even at $900 an ounce, long term buyers of gold and those that have already been buying for years will be just fine adding to their current gold bullion positions at this price.

At every step of the way during this current gold bull run, gold has been “too expensive”. It’s been “too expensive” at $400 an ounce, at $500 an ounce, at $600 an ounce, at $700 an ounce, at $800 an ounce, and now at $900 an ounce. The fact is that this gold bull run has a long long way to run.

As far as why I believe any such correction, if it happens, will be very short-lived, China provides some of the answers.

A gold futures market just opened up in Shanghai on January 9th, with apparently plans for a silver futures market on the way as well. The Shanghai futures market may not have a lot of impact for now in the global market for gold, but it is an important global development as it definitely raises visibility of gold as an investment vehicle in China.

With A-shares (shares of Chinese stocks available only in the Chinese mainland) still trading at ridiculous valuations and at 80% premiums to their H-shares counterparts (the shares of the exact same Chinese stocks that trade in Hong Kong), Chinese investors that are now sitting on 300% to 400% profits on their stock portfolios in just several years will be well served to take their profits and seek a new home for much of that capital.

Gold may just be the winner in this rebalancing equation.

http://www.commodityonline.com/news/topstory/newsdetails.php?id=5308


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Just how important is Coal to China’s Economy?

Port’s hurry to deliver ‘black gold’
By Michael Bristow
BBC News, Qinhuangdao

Giant coal movers at the port
Men and machinery at the port have been working desperately
Throughout the night, workers at China’s largest coal port are busy loading waiting ships with thousands of tons of “black gold”.

These vessels mostly deliver their precious cargo to ports all along China’s south-eastern coastline.

Qinhuangdao is now working overtime to supply southern areas that are experiencing their worst winter weather in more than 50 years.

There is a desperate need for coal at power stations that have had to limit electricity generation because a shortage of supplies.

The snow has revealed just how much China relies on its most abundant energy source.

In Qinhuangdao, port mangers and workers have one main task to complete – ship as much coal south as quickly as possible.

“We’re not suffering like people down there so it doesn’t matter if we have to work over Chinese New Year,” said a port railway worker as he watched another coal train trundle passed his signal box.

Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a flying visit to Qinhuangdao last week to tell the port authority to increase the amount of coal it handles.

“Your efforts are very important to ensure electricity to disaster-hit areas,” he told enthusiastic dockside workers.

The port, in Hebei Province, has become an increasingly important transport hub since China began its economic reforms in the late 1970s.

It expanded three times in the 1980s and again in 2004. It mostly handles coal from the northern provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia.

Dirty legacy

The coal is dealt with quickly when it arrives.

Giant machines lift whole train wagons into the air before depositing the coal onto conveyor belts that take it to waiting ships.

On Monday we worked day and night to ship 250,000 tons of coal
Zhu Shangdong, head of engineering

Some of the coal is exported, but most is shipped to southern China, where the country’s main manufacturing base is located.

It leaves behind its dirty legacy: across Qinhuangdao’s port district thick coal dust clings to every surface.

Lin Song, of the port’s publicity department, told the BBC that the port handled an average of 600,000-700,000 tons of coal a day in January.

That figure increased by 100,000 tons a day from 1 February after President Hu called for more shipments.

“Only by delivering this increased amount of coal can we satisfy the needs of power companies in southern China,” she said.

The next few days are the most vital, according to Zhu Shangdong, head of the engineering department at just one of the port’s coal handling companies.

“On Monday we worked day and night to ship 250,000 tons of coal. It gave me a very good feeling,” he said from the end of a wharf that juts far out into the icy sea.

Ship awaiting cargo
Ships take the much-needed coal south to power stations

Mr Zhu said men and machines were working at maximum efficiency.

The port had managed to cut the time it took to move coal from train to ship, added the man who shook the president’s hand when he visited.

Despite the enthusiasm in Qinhuangdao, the current weather crisis has revealed flaws in the country’s energy supply chain.

Writing in a national newspaper this week, Zhang Guobao, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said it should serve as a wake-up call.

He said the country is over-reliant on coal and needs to develop alternative energy sources, such as wind and nuclear power.

The core problem is that energy supplies are having trouble keeping up with the expanding economy, which grew by 11.4% last year.

Small mines closed

Even without this year’s unusually cold weather, the authorities would have had difficulties meeting energy demands.

This situation has been exacerbated because the government has also closed many small and illegal coal mines that were deemed dangerous.

In what appears to be a change of heart, the government last week said some of these closed mines could reopen, but only if they were safe.

However much the government wants to develop other sources of energy, it admits it will have to rely on coal for a long time to come.

That is bad news for China, but good news for Qinhuangdao.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7229443.stm


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The World’s First Trillion Dollar Company

Is it a tech-stock? Is it traded on the NYSE or NASDQ? Is it even an American company?

————————————————————

PetroChina Surpasses Exxon as Shanghai Shares Surge
By Ying Lou

Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) — PetroChina Co. became the world’s first trillion-dollar company, surpassing Exxon Mobil Corp. as the shares started trading on the Shanghai stock exchange.

PetroChina’s Class-A shares almost tripled on their Shanghai debut, rising as high as 48.62 yuan from the sale price of 16.7 yuan. The listing gives mainland Chinese investors their first opportunity to own the stock.

China’s largest oil and gas producer has been listed since 2000 in Hong Kong where it advanced 78 percent this year as investors sought to profit from the world’s fastest-growing major economy. The Beijing-based company’s shares soared as the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose 53 percent and the CSI 300 Index of shares listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges increased 168 percent.

“Local investors might have a different risk tolerance level to global investors, so we may see PetroChina’s A-shares trading at a premium” to its Hong Kong stock, said Lei Wang, a co-manager of Thornburg International Value Fund in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which oversees $16 billion.

PetroChina reached 43.96 yuan at 11:05 a.m. in Shanghai, valuing the company at more than $1 trillion. Exxon is worth $488 billion on the New York Stock Exchange. In Hong Kong, PetroChina fell 7 percent to HK$18.20

`Sense Of Responsibility’

The Chinese oil producer trades at almost 60 times earnings in Shanghai, compared with Exxon’s valuation of 13 times. PetroChina’s market value is higher than Russia’s gross domestic product.

“I feel very excited today and also feel a very strong sense of responsibility,” Chairman Jiang Jiemin said at the Shanghai Stock Exchange. “This is PetroChina returning to our investors and the society.”

The company had 20.5 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves in 2006, compared with 22.1 billion for Irving, Texas- based Exxon, data compiled by Bloomberg show. PetroChina has been adding new reserves at an average annual rate of 5 percent for the past three years, a faster pace than Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc, the world’s largest oil companies by sales.

The share sale, the world’s biggest this year, surpassed the 66.6 billion yuan generated by China Shenhua Energy Co. in September.

Mainland Chinese investors were until now prevented from directly buying PetroChina stock, missing out on a 15-fold surge as economic growth turned the nation into the largest oil consumer after the U.S. and as crude prices reached a record $96.24 a barrel in New York.

Demand For Shares

Investors applied for more than 3.3 trillion yuan of stock, almost 50 times the amount PetroChina sold. Chinese companies now represent five of the world’s 10 largest by market value, raising investor concerns that the market is too expensive.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. sold its stake in PetroChina this year, reaping an eightfold gain that contributed to a 64 percent increase in third-quarter profit for the Omaha-based company. Berkshire had 2.34 billion shares as of the end of 2006, the largest holding after state-owned China National Petroleum Corp.

Buffett said on Oct. 24 that Chinese share prices have risen too fast.

“It’s easy to be carried away in the stock market when things are going very well,” he said in the northern Chinese city of Dalian. “We at Berkshire never buy stocks when we see prices soaring.”

`Limited Upside’

Gains in PetroChina’s Class-A stock in Shanghai may have more to do with Chinese investors seeking returns from their $2.3 trillion in savings than the outlook for the company’s exploration and production operations, or its refining business, known as downstream, said Larry Grace, an oil analyst at Kim Eng Securities Co. in Hong Kong.

“Production is static with limited upside for the next three to four years,” Grace said. “As for the downstream, the price controls and overall regulatory trend limit the company’s earnings.”

China controls fuel prices to shield consumers in the world’s most-populous nation from accelerating inflation. The policy limits the ability of PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. to pass on the burden of higher crude oil costs.

UBS AG’s China venture, UBS Securities Co., Citic Securities Co. and China International Capital Corp. arranged PetroChina’s Shanghai share sale.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aixBdHxWY.po&refer=news


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– “10 Reasons Gold Has Farther to Run”