China growth eases in third quarter

“China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development,” President Xi Jinping told an audience of 2,300 party leaders when he opened the Communist Party congress on Wednesday. (AP)
Updated 19 October 2017
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China growth eases in third quarter

BEIJING: China’s growth eased to 6.8 percent in the third quarter but remained higher than the government’s full-year target, providing a boon to President Xi Jinping amid a major Communist Party congress.
The official figures, released on Thursday by the National Statistics Bureau, showed economic growth has held steady as the pivotal leadership reshuffle unfolds in Beijing.
“The national economy has maintained the momentum of stable and sound development in the first three quarters, with favorable factors accumulating for the economy to maintain medium-high rate of growth,” said bureau spokesman Xing Zhihong.
The 6.8 percent figure, based on an annual comparison, followed growth of 6.9 percent in the first and second quarters of the year and was in line with forecasts from analysts surveyed by AFP.
The government has a set a target of around 6.5 percent growth in 2017.
Brisk consumer spending and strong factory output fueled economic growth for the July to September period.
The 10.3 percent rise in retail sales for September from a year earlier was welcome news for the economy, which is relying on China’s vast consumer pool to start spending as the economy transitions away from investment heavy growth.
“China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development,” Xi told an audience of 2,300 party leaders when he opened the congress on Wednesday.


Potential SABIC deal would affect Saudi Aramco IPO time frame, says CEO Nasser

Updated 20 July 2018
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Potential SABIC deal would affect Saudi Aramco IPO time frame, says CEO Nasser

JEDDAH: A potential deal to buy a stake in petrochemical maker SABIC would affect the time frame of Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO), the oil firm's president and CEO Amin H. Nasser said Friday. 

The IPO of around 5 percent of Aramco, which was initially to take place this year but is now more likely to happen later, would be the world's biggest listing, raising up to $100 billion.

Nasser said that buying a stake in a chemical company like SABIC would positively affect Aramco's revenue, Al Arabiya reported.

“We are still in the very early stages of the discussion to buy a stake in SABIC,” the Aramco CEO said.

“Aramco is ready for the initial offer and the timing remains subject to the state's decision.”

Saudi Aramco said on Thursday it is looking at the possibility of buying a stake in SABIC, a move that could boost the state oil giant’s market valuation ahead of the planned IPO.
Aramco said in a statement that it was in “very early-stage discussions” with the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to acquire the stake in SABIC via a private transaction. It has no plans to acquire any publicly held shares, it said.
In a separate statement, PIF also said talks about a sale were in early stages. “There is a possibility that no agreement will be reached in relation to this potential transaction,” it said.