China to consolidate shipping operations at two state firms
China announced plans to reorganize two major shipping groups with combined revenue of more than US$40 billion (S$56 billion), paving the way for the creation of one of the world's largest container lines and demonstrating the country's intent to create national champions that are globally competitive.
Fosun International bonds plunged by a record and the company suspended its shares in Hong Kong after Caixin magazine reported that billionaire Chairman Guo Guangchang had gone missing.
Standard Chartered raised about US$5.1 billion after 96.8 per cent of the bank's shareholders exercised their rights in a share sale on Friday, signaling confidence in chief executive officer Bill Winters's strategy to turn around the Asia-focused lender.
Alibaba Group Holding can spend as much as US$38 billion on deals next year to take on Tencent Holdings and Baidu in China's increasingly competitive Internet market, according to analysts at BNP Paribas.
China's yuan hit 6.4515 to the US dollar in mid-morning trade on Friday, its lowest level in nearly four and 1/2 years, raising questions over how far Beijing will let the currency weaken to help shore up economic growth. It was also weaker than the lowest level reached in mid-August after a central bank surprised global markets with a devaluation.