Dali Foods to lead renewed Chinese IPOs activity after moratorium ends
The Fujian-based snack and beverage manufacturer will be among the first 10 companies to enter the stock exchange since a moratorium was announced in July after China’s main market index plunged 30% from a peak the previous month.
Dali’s Hong Kong floatation could be worth up to HK$10.4bn (US$1.3bn), according to analysts. The company began last week to promote its IPO, which will comprise 12.4% of the group’s enlarged share capital and constitutes all primary shares. Existing shareholders will not sell out in a bid to reassure prospective investors.
The July order cancelled planned IPOs by 28 private companies in electronics, food processing and other industries.
"Currently, the stock market has entered a self-healing and self-adjusting stage,” Deng Ge, spokesman for the China Securities Regulatory Commission, was reported as saying by Xinhua, the national news agency.
Confidence in the stock exchange plummeted after an unrelated change in banking rules in early June led investors to believe that Beijing's support might be weakening.
State entities subsequently spent tens of billions of dollars on buying shares to prop up prices. Goldman Sachs estimated in August that these spent Rmb860bn-900bn (US$134bn-140bn) in doing so between June and July.
Dali, which sells Daliyuan cakes and Copico potato chips, is part of a snack food market that Frost & Sullivan predicts will grow 72% to Rmb599bn (US$94bn) in 2019.
The company began exports to North America in second quarter this year and plans to expand sales in overseas market such as Southeast Asia, according to is stock exchange statement.
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Study identifies link between early-life famine and adult diabetes in China
China’s famine-to-feast phenomenon, in which residents who grew up poor but now benefit from much greater wealth and better nutrition, has been linked to the country’s diabetes boom, researchers believe.
A study of around 6,900 adults—3,800 of whom grew up in relative poverty at a time when China’s GDP was below US$30 per capita, compared to current levels of around US$6,800—found that those exposed to famine in their mother’s womb were 53% more likely to suffer from diabetes as adults.
China endured famine from 1959-62, and those exposed to this period during childhood were linked to an 82% increased risk for diabetes later in life.
“We found that there was a significant association between diabetes and famine exposure in utero and during childhood. Living in areas with high economic status in adulthood is further associated with an increased risk,” said Yingli Lu of Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, the study’s lead author.
“Subjects experiencing undernutrition followed by overnutrition may have the highest risk of diabetes,” Lu told Reuters.
Around 11.4% of participants had diabetes, 31% were obese and 40% had high blood pressure.
Lu believes that those who were malnourished during early stages of their lives may be less able to convert sugars into energy in adulthood when more food is available.
However, the study’s authors stress that there is no proof that famine followed by economic boom is a cause of diabetes, only that the events appear to be connected. More data is needed from future studies if such a link is to be proven, Lu said.
Government and UN fund massive rural development programme
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad), a United Nations agency, has signed a substantial financing agreement with China in a bid to sustainably reduce rural poverty and improve the livelihoods of rural households in the north of the country.
Ifad will provide a US$43.5m in loans and grants to finance a poverty reduction project while the Chinese government will support the project with a further US$42.5m in funding. National financial institutions, cooperatives, enterprises and beneficiaries will also contribute.
The project sets out to increase incomes for nearly 130,000 poor and vulnerable rural households in seven counties in the mountainous Liupan region—one of 14 priority areas identified by the government.
It aims to improve agriculture and livestock productivity, increase opportunities for farmers to access markets, improve land management and address the needs of ethnic minorities.
"The target group lives in 683 poor and remote villages. Approximately 47% of the total population in the project area are ethnic minorities, often very poor and without access to agricultural and financial services," said Matteo Marchisio, Ifad’s country manager.
"The project supports China's poverty reduction strategy. Experience has shown that by linking farmers to cooperatives and private-sector partners, they are better able to access markets and leverage higher prices for their food products.”
Ifad has been working with China since 1981 and is currently investing a total US$862.4m—US$2.2bn including co-financing—in 29 programmes to reach around 4.4m households. and projects.
China amends seed laws to ease approvals process
China has amended its seed law in the first change to the legislation since it was enacted 15 years ago.
The changes make it easier for new plant varieties to be introduced onto the market, according to state news agency Xinhua.
New oilseed rape, potato and peanut seeds are among more than 20 crops that will no longer be subject to lengthy approvals but can be directly registered with authorities, Xinhua said.,
The revisions were approved by the country's top legislature, the National People's Congress, in its latest bimonthly sitting.
Until now, the process could take up to four years for approval, though this will remain the case for China’s most important commodity crops, rice, corn, wheat, soybeans and cotton.
The revisions will "encourage breeding innovation, safeguard farmers' interests and promote the healthy development of China's seed industry while ensuring food security," Xinhua quoted parliament head Zhang Dejiang as saying during the debate on the proposed amendments.