Small- and medium-sized enterprises received big news over the weekend as China’s securities regulator finally announced the launch of the long-awaited Growth Enterprise Market. Shenzhen’s small-cap board will open on October 23, with the first group of companies scheduled to list on October 30. After the big build-up to the launch of the NASDAQ-style bourse, investors will be waiting to see if the GEM really turns out to be a gem. Other hopefuls in the IPO world include Evergrande Real Estate which again announced plans that it would tap Hong Kong for capital in its previously postponed listing. The developer hopes to raise between US$585 million and US$780 million, a good deal lower than the US$2.1 billion it was targeting in March of last year before global markets took a slide. China’s plan of securing another oil deal in Africa may itself be sliding as China National Offshore Oil Corp appears to have been beaten to the post in Ghana by rival Exxon Mobil. The US firm was reported to have chopped a US$4 billion deal with Kosmos Energy for Ghana’s Jubilee oil field. But celebrations were no doubt the order of the day elsewhere as the Iraqi government formally ratified a US$15 billion deal between China National Petroleum Corp and BP for development rights to the Rumaila oil field in the south of the resource rich country. Neighboring Iran may begin to feel a squeeze after the US urged Arab states in the region to boost oil exports to China in exchange for Beijing’s support for sanctions on the nearly-nuclear nation. Whatever China’s energy policy with the Middle East may be, its policies on climate change are not enough to reduce the effects of climate change, according to US environment envoy Todd Stern. He has urged China, India and America to increase the pace of policy reform for a cleaner planet.