58.com Presses into Real Estate With Anjuke Take-Over

Earlier this week, e-commerce operator 58.com announced its acquisition of Anjuke, an online real estate listing platform, for a total consideration of $267 million – including some 5.1 million newly-issued shares and $160 million in cash. Anjuke is set to continue operating its website and mobile app after the acquisition. According to a press release, the transaction will result in the creation of China's largest online secondary housing and home rental platform, both in terms of visitor traffic and listing count.

Vanke Results Slip in Feb

On March 3, China Vanke announced February contracted sales of 8.4 billion yuan, down 64% month-on-month and 31% year-on-year. The downbeat figures stemmed from a slowdown in new property launches, the timing of the Chinese New Year holiday and the inclusion of 23 billion yuan worth of 2014 subscription sales into January's results. Vanke's combined contracted sales from January and February equaled 31.6 billion yuan, down 21% from the same period a year earlier. In volume terms, the company sold 2.72 million square-meters of floor space during the first 2 months, down 8% on an annual basis. Meanwhile, the company's average sales price dropped 8% to 11,635 yuan per square-meter.

Mid-Feb Steel Output Creeps Higher, Industry PMI Rebounds

Output among the 92 large- and medium-sized mills with membership in the China Iron and Steel Association expand by 0.6% in mid-February to 598 million tons on an annualized basis (or 1.64 million tons per day), according to data from the industry group. Despite the modest up-tick from early February, output in volume terms remained relatively light as mills pared down operations for the Chinese New Year holiday.

Steel inventories among CISA-member mills jumped by 10.4% to 16.5 million tons, up from 14.9 million tons in early-February. Together, mills and traders in the association held an estimated 20.7 days of inventory, up from 17.2 days earlier in the month as well as the long-term average of 14 days.

Separately, a steel purchasing managers’ index compiled by China’s Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and the National Bureau of Statistics rose to 45.1 in February, up from 43 in January. Over the same period, a sub-index measuring new orders jumped to 43.8, up from 34.2.

Galaxy Lags Peers on Profit Growth

In its preliminary 2014 financial-year results, Galaxy Securities revealed net profits of 3.8 billion yuan, up 77% from the previous year.In January, brokerage sector peer Haitong Securities reported preliminary 2014 profits of 7.6 billion yuan, up 89% from a year earlier. CITIC Securities reported profits of 11.3 billion yuan over the same period, up 115% on an annual basis.

Oil and Gas Market Overview for January

Chinese crude oil output was up 1.7% year-on-year in January, accelerating from the 0.6% increase notched during 2014. Overall oil product consumption during the month grew by 4.5% year-on-year, compared with a 2% increase in 2014.

With regard to the same periods, natural gas production expanded by 8.8%, up from 5.7%. Meanwhile, gas imports during the month grew by 18.6% and apparent consumption increased by 10.2%, up from 8.2% and 5.6% respectively during 2014.

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