Freeport Indonesia Cuts Output By About 60 Pct: Union Official
Jakarta. US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold has cut production at its Indonesian copper and gold mine by around 60 percent, a union official told Reuters on Tuesday, two months after halting exports over a dispute with the government on a new export tax.
Freeport and fellow US miner Newmont have refused to pay an escalating export tax introduced on Jan. 12 as part of package of new mining rules aimed at forcing miners to build smelters and process raw materials in Indonesia.
"Although Freeport Indonesia has cut their production by around 60 percent, Freeport management has not yet announced any layoffs so far," Papua-based Freeport union official Virgo Solossa said by telephone.
"They are still waiting for a government decision on an export tax relaxation."
Freeport, who late last month said it may need to declare force majeure on copper concentrate sales at the world's fifth largest copper mine, could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday.
China Approves Trial for Five New Privately Owned Banks
Chinese regulators approved a trial program to establish five privately owned banks as the government seeks to ease restrictions on the state-controlled banking industry.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission will allow the banks to be set up in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin and in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, Chairman Shang Fulin said at a briefing in Beijing today. Alibaba and China Wanxiang Holding will apply jointly for a license, Alibaba said in an e-mailed statement.
?While private banks are subject to the same regulation as other banks, they should have also their own characteristics, especially focusing on serving small and medium-sized companies,? Shang said. He didn?t name any companies specifically at the briefing.
President Xi Jinping is pushing changes that may be the most sweeping since Deng Xiaoping?s liberalization in 1978 to loosen government controls in everything from energy pricing to banking. The government pledged March 5 to introduce a deposit insurance system and allow banks more freedom to set interest rates this year.
The banking regulator said in January it will allow a batch of three-to-five banks, completely funded by private investment, to operate this year under a trial as part of the country?s financial reform. That could help companies like Alibaba further erode what former Premier Wen Jiabao called the ?monopoly? of big lenders.
Private investment accounted for about 11 percent to 12 percent of the Chinese banking industry?s total capital, with the rest controlled by the state, Xinhua News Agency reported on March 5, citing Yang Kaisheng, former president of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.
Privately owned banks must have adequate net capital, a specific business strategy and a mechanism to prevent risks from spreading and to protect depositors? interests, Shang said. They also need ?living wills? designed to ensure an orderly wind-down if they go bankrupt, the CBRC chairman said.
The banks will be established one by one after meeting qualifications and the CBRC will prevent them from becoming financing tools for their shareholders, according to Shang. Each lender in the trial needs at least two founders, he said.
Alibaba is preparing application materials and had no further comment, according to its statement.
Tencent Holdings, JuneYao Group, Fosun Group and Chint Electrics Co. are also among at least 10 companies allowed to set up banks, the People?s Daily reported earlier today. Tencent couldn?t immediately comment, Jerry Huang, a director of investor relations, wrote in an e-mail.
China Minsheng Banking, established in January 1996, is the nation?s first privately owned bank.
Huawei?s Xu Says Enterprise Growth to Accelerate on Cloud Focus
Huawei Technologies, China?s largest phone-equipment maker, forecast its enterprise business will accelerate growth, targeting $10 billion in revenue by 2017 by winning contracts in cloud hosting and digital networks.
Global revenue from the division, which rose 32 percent last year to about $2.5 billion, will top that rate of increase in 2014, William Xu, who heads the unit, said yesterday in an interview at the CeBIT fair in Hanover, Germany.
Huawei is seeking to challenge market leader Cisco Systems by introducing software-programmed switches it says would reduce operating cost and allow faster and cheaper upgrades. The Chinese company is putting more resources into developing smartphones and offering services to businesses as its growth in network equipment is curbed by a ban in the US.
?Our products are ready and leading in the industry,? Xu said. ?Meanwhile, we forged a lot of alliances with our partners and we developed a lot of resale partners.?
Huawei, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, is betting it can gain a foothold in the enterprise market by partnering with companies such as Germany?s SAP, whose Hana data-crunching engine will allow applications to run faster on its equipment, as well as with Alstom of France.
Huawei, which in 2011 hired John Suffolk, a former chief information officer for the UK government, is also trying to focus on security and transparency in its procurement to convince customers concerned about cyber-attacks and government spying. Xu wouldn?t say whether reports about the US National Security Agency?s intelligence-gathering programs is giving Huawei an edge over Cisco in some markets.
?Others may accuse us, but all we can do is our share to prepare, to assure that our network is secure and reliable,? he said.
Lights, Camera, Fight Tobacco!
Youth across America will stand up to Big Tobacco on Kick Butts Day, just nine days away on March 19, 2014.
In the fall, our Kick Butts Day team invited youth across the country to submit original public service announcements as part of our annual Kicking Butts on Film PSA Contest.
We received dozens of creative entries from all over the U.S. These videos showed how tobacco continues to effect America’s youth in their daily lives – and how many of them are galvanized to continue the fight.
Los Angeles, Long Beach Add E-Cigarettes to Clean Air Laws
This week, the Los Angeles and Long Beach City Councils voted to prohibit use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants, bars and other public places and work places where cigarette smoking is also prohibited. San Francisco is considering similar legislation and a vote is anticipated soon.
An E-Cigarette Ad on an Itsy, Bitsy Bikini
Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes have repeatedly claimed they don’t market to kids. But their actions tell a different story.
In the latest example, Lorillard Inc. has placed an ad for its best-selling blu eCigs in the just-published swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, no doubt one of the favorite magazines of teenage boys. The ad features the blu logo front and center on the skimpy bikini bottom of a shapely model. You can even zoom in on it on the online version of the ad.
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