China catches swine flu
The Ministry of Health (MoH) said that it had identified mainland China’s first suspected case of swine flu in May. A 30-year-old student surnamed Bao came down with symptoms of the flu after recently returning to China from the US, where he had been studying at the University of Missouri. "The initial diagnosis is that it is a suspected case of type H1N1 flu," the MoH said in a statement.
ChemChina to bid for Dow assets
China National Chemical (ChemChina) has taken part in the first round of bidding for assets belonging to Dow Chemical. China’s largest chemical maker had bid for Dow’s agrochemical unit and a specialty chemicals business, which together are expected to attract between US$9 billion and US$11.5 billion. However, sources said Dow may only sell a minority stake. Dow is hoping the sale will help it pay off a US$9.5 billion bridge loan.
NSSF takes first loss
China’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) reported its first annual loss since its founding eight years ago, losing 6.79% on its investments in 2008. An unnamed NSSF official told state media the fund plans to cut down on fixed-income products and expanding its investment in private equity funds. Dai Xianglong, chairman of the NSSF, has stated that the fund plans to invest in three to five private equity funds this year.
Greentown redeems foreign bonds
Troubled property company Greentown China Holdings will buy back almost all of its US$400 million in foreign bonds with capital raised on the domestic market. Part of Greentown’s US$290.2 million capital injection came from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, indicating that domestic lenders are willing to support Chinese firms paying off foreign debt holders.