Sina Posts Loss for Q1, Expects Worse as Weibo Investment Steps Up
Sina Corp (Nasdaq: SINA), a leading Chinese web portal and the operator of the nation's most used microblogging service, Weibo, reported $13.7 million in net losses for Q1 2012 due to anemic ad revenue growth and increased spending. It posted a $15 million net profit in Q1 2011. Revenue was up 6% year on year to $106.2 million in Q1 2012. Sina CEO Cao Guowei said the company will probably post greater losses as it plans to invest $160 million in Weibo this year, up from $120 million last year, to upgrade services and attract users and advertisers to solidify its leadership in the market. Sina Weibo added 30 million users in Q1 2012, taking the total number beyond 324 million as of the end of March.
China Mobile in Talks with Apple for iPhone Deal
China Mobile Ltd (NYSE: CHL, HKG: 0941), the world's biggest wireless carrier by subscribers, is in talks with Apple Inc (Nasdaq: APPL) to officially sell the iPhone in mainland China, incoming chairman Xi Guohua said at a shareholders' meeting. China Mobile was serving 667.2 million customers as of the end of March, including nearly 60 million 3G service users. Its rivals, China Unicom Ltd (NYSE: CHU, SHA: 600050, HKG: 0762) and China Telecom Corp (NYSE: CHA, HKG: 0728), have both been authorized to sell Apple's smartphone series in China.
NetEase to Offer Own Smartphone
NetEase.com Inc (Nasdaq: NTES), a Chinese web portal and online game operator, plans to offer smartphones under its own name, a person familiar with the matter said. NetEase has paired up with a handset maker to develop a smartphone, which is expected to launch soon, priced at ¥1,000, according to the source. Baidu Inc (Nasdaq: BIDU), China's dominant search engine, Qihoo 360 Technology Co (Nasdaq: QIHU), a security software developer and Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, an online entertainment service provider, had previously announced similar plans.
PetroChina Participates in Canadian Gas Project
PetroChina Co (NYSE: PTR, SHA: 601857, HKG: 0857) said it will team up with Shell Canada as well as South Korean and Japanese companies to develop a natural gas project in Kitimat, British Columbia. Shell Canada owns 40% of the gas exporting project, and PetroChina and the South Korean and Japanese companies each 20%. The development of the project is expected to begin around 2015 and operations are expected to kick off by 2020.
AgriBank Buys HK Building as Regional HQ
Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (SHA: 601288, HKG: 1288) has spent $629 million purchasing an office building in Hong Kong as its regional headquarters, according to Colliers International, which brokered the deal. Covering 175,000ft2, the 28-story building cost $3,589/ft2.
$1 = ¥6.32