A GREEN JIANGXI A water treatment facility in Jishui County, Jiangxi Province, waits to be put into use. As part of its commitment to the green economy, Jiangxi has built 85 water pollution treatment facilities this year (ZHOU KE)
An Encouraging Economic Report
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) released its Blue Book of China's Economy, an annual assessment of the domestic economy, on December 7.
In the assessment, CASS predicted China's GDP in 2009 will grow 8.3 percent year on year and around 9 percent in 2010.
The three pillars of the Chinese economy—investment, consumption and exports—will modestly increase next year, said Chen Jiagui, a senior CASS economist and chief compiler of the book.
It is still necessary to put safeguards against inflationary risks and real estate bubbles in place, said Chen.
Coal Contract Approved
China's Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. received official approval from the National Development and Reform Commission to acquire the Australian coal mining company Felix Resources Ltd., Xinhua News Agency reported.
The deal, involving an AU$3.3 billion ($3 billion) contractual agreement reached in August, would be the largest of its kind between Chinese and Australian firms.
Yanzhou Coal expects its annual coal output in Australia to exceed 10 million tons, accounting for one third of the company's current production in China.
The Chinese company is headquartered in east China's Shandong Province and listed on stock exchanges in Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai.
The once crisis-stricken China Eastern Airlines navigated through cloudy skies to record a net profit of 1.85 billion yuan ($271 million) in the first 10 months of this year, reaping returns from several rescue measures, including a cash injection and merger.
"China Eastern has improved considerably in structure and assets, but it is still stuck in difficult times and requires rapid reforms," Liu Shaoyong, General Manager of the company, said.
The company has revamped more than 180 positions this year and plans to shed 3 percent of its management staff next year to increase efficiency, Liu said.
In addition, the Shanghai-based airline has also gained approval from the Central Government to take over its smaller rival Shanghai Airlines. The legal procedures of the deal will be concluded by the end of this year.
Consolidating Central SOEs
The number of China's state-owned enterprises under Central Government administration (central SOEs) shrank from 132 to 131, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), China's state property regulator, said on December 8.
With approval from the State Council, China National Agricultural Development Group Corp. (CNADC), China's largest state-owned agricultural company, acquired China State Farms Agribusiness (Group) Corp.
SASAC aims to reduce the number of central SOEs to between 80 and 100 by 2010 through mergers and restructuring. It had 196 central SOEs under its supervision when it was established in 2003.
Emerging Software Titan
The Beijing-based Asiainfo Holdings Inc., a major software and system service provider in China, recently announced its intention to merge with Nanjing-based Linkage Technologies International Holdings Ltd. in a deal worth $700 million. Linkage provides information technology services to top Chinese telecommunications carriers like China Mobile.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter or early second quarter of 2010, said AisaInfo.
"We are creating the pre-eminent software solution provider in China's telecom industry," said Steve Zhang, President of Asiainfo.