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News from China
Chinese visitors drive record boost for New Zealand tourism industry
21st December 2015

Chinese tourists drove another record in the number of overseas visitors to New Zealand last month, the government statistics agency said Monday.

 
Visitor arrivals were up 11 percent year-on-year to 300,500 in November, with the biggest increase from China - up 35 percent to 36,700, according to Statistics New Zealand.
 
"Visitors arriving from China were mainly holidaymakers," population statistics manager Vina Cullum said.
 
Visitors arriving from China were the highest-ever for a November month, twice as high as November 2013.
 
Most Chinese visitors were from Beijing (4,400), Shanghai (4,400) and Guangdong (4,200).
 
In the year ending November, visitor arrivals reached a record 3.09 million, up 9 percent year-on-year, with Australia contributing 1.32 million, China 344,900, and the United States 240,000.
 
The government's Tourism New Zealand agency said the tourism industry was heading toward a record southern summer season.
 
"The last 12 months have delivered our biggest tourism results on record with arrivals and spend both hitting new highs," chief executive Kevin Bowler.
 
"International tourism is the country's biggest services export and a strong tourism industry is good news for all of New Zealand. It means more jobs, income and economic value for the whole country," he said.
 
"The growth we are seeing and predicting for the months ahead will provide significant benefit for many communities as tourism visitors and associated spend flows through local economies." 
Source: Xinhua
Anbang to buy US life insurer
10th November 2015

 ANBANG Insurance Group has agreed to buy US annuities and life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life for about US$1.57 billion as Chinese insurers seek to expand into the United States.
Privately held Anbang said yesterday that it would pay US$26.80 per share, a premium of 3 percent to the stock’s Friday close.
Financial holding company HRG Group Inc, Fidelity & Guaranty Life’s majority stockholder, has approved the deal, which would make Anbang one of the largest insurers by market share in fixed-indexed annuity products in the US.
The deal is expected to conclude in the second quarter of 2016.
“The deal is too small for anti-trust issues, but there could be regulatory hurdles as the deal will have to be cleared by a number of state regulators in the US,” Sandler O’Neill analyst Paul Newsome said.
“There has been a broad trend of consolidation within the insurance space. It could accelerate this year,” he added.
Anbang and other Chinese insurers including Fosun International Ltd have launched some US$6.1 billion of overseas deals this year as they seek to diversify.
Fosun completed in May the acquisition of the remaining 80 percent interest that it did not already own in Ironshore Inc for US$1.84 billion.

Source: Shanghai Daily
Lufthansa’s cabin crew walk out
9th November 2015

GERMAN airline Lufthansa faces more aviation chaos today as cabin staff said they would resume a strike in a battle over cost cuts.
The stoppage — part of rolling industrial action set to continue until Friday — was due to hit Frankfurt, Duesseldorf and Munich airports today, the UFO flight attendants' union said.
Frankfurt, Germany's main air hub, and Duesseldorf were to be hit by work stoppages from 0330-2200 GMT, and Munich from 0330-2300 GMT, the union said on its website yesterday.
UFO last Thursday said industrial action had become "unavoidable" after airline management failed to come up with an improved offer in a dispute over pay and early retirement provisions.
Not affected by the strike are Lufthansa's subsidiaries Germanwings, Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines.
The strike on Saturday forced Lufthansa to cancel 520 flights, leaving 58,000 passengers grounded.
The stoppage affected all domestic and European flights from Frankfurt and Duesseldorf, Germany's busiest and third-busiest airports.
Flights resumed yesterday "because on that day, most flights are private", said UFO.
UFO has said it plans to target different airports over the course of the week-long blitz of walkouts.
The union is demanding that a current system of early retirement provisions remain unchanged. Lufthansa argues the system is too expensive in the face of competition.
 

Source: Shanghai Daily
Airline boss under graft investigation
6th November 2015

THE biggest Chinese airline said yesterday that its chairman is being investigated by the country’s anti-corruption agency.
China Southern Airlines said Si Xianmin is being investigated “by the relevant authorities for suspected serious disciplinary violations.”
The phrase usually refers to corruption.
No details were given in the brief statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange. The statement followed a similar announcement posted on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s top anti-graft body.
Si, who has been chairman since 2009, is the latest top executive at a state-owned company caught up in the country’s widening anti-corruption crackdown.
Earlier this week, the commission said it was investigating the general manager of Dongfeng Motor, China’s second-largest automaker.
China Southern, which is based in the southern boomtown of Guangzhou, is the country’s biggest airline by passengers and fleet size.
China Southern and Dongfeng Motor were among 13 state-owned companies targeted a year ago in a round of inspections by the anti-corruption watchdog.
The airline said last month that an executive vice president was placed under investigation for suspected bribery.
 

Source: Shanghai Daily

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