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Rebate reports give market a boost at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index rose in the morning session, boosted by rallies of textile producers on media reports China will raise export rebates.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.45 percent, or 9.88 points, to 2,228.21 points.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 1.1 percent, or 8.05 points, to 737.74 points.

Jiangsu Sihuan Bioengineering Co, a cashmere producer based in China's eastern Jiangsu province, jumped 7.92 percent to 3.68 yuan. Sunvim Group Co, which makes towels and decorative fabrics, rose 4.03 percent to 6.19 yuan. Huafang Textile Co, a producer of knit yarn and fabrics, rose 1.35 percent to 3.75 yuan. Youngor Group Co, China's No. 1 maker of men's clothing by sales, rose 1.92 percent to 9.56 yuan.

China's government will announce measures on March 20, including raising export rebates for textile companies to 17 percent this year from the current 14 percent, the Shanghai-based newspaper Oriental Morning Post said, citing unidentified government officials.

PetroChina Co and other energy-related stocks gained on expectations the rise in oil prices so far this year will help boost profits.

PetroChina, the nation's biggest oil and gas explorer, advanced 0.73 percent to 10.98 yuan while China Shenhua Energy Co, the largest coal supplier, added 1.78 percent to 20.05 yuan.

Oil, which fell from a three-month high today, has risen 8.8 percent so far this year. Prices may advance to record levels in the future because of depleting reserves and a lack of major field discoveries, investor Jim Rogers said yesterday.

Elsewhere, China International Marine Containers Co. (000039 CH): The world's largest maker of shipping containers received a 6.5 billion yuan (US$951 million) facility from China Development Bank Corp. The shares rose 3.4 percent to 7.69 yuan.

China Shipping Development Co, the nation's biggest oil carrier, said profit last year rose 18 percent to 5.37 billion yuan. Separately, the company expects sales to tumble 44 percent this year as a slowing economy saps demand for raw materials. The shares added 2.67 percent to 10.78 yuan.

Huaneng Power International Inc inched up 0.13 percent to 7.98 yuan. Parent China Huaneng Group, the listed unit of China's largest power group, said it made a profit in February, ending seven months of losses.

Huaxia Bank Co said it plans to form a 250 million yuan fund management venture with F&C Asset Management Plc. The shares dipped 0.72 percent to 9.71 yuan.

Nanjing Panda Electronics Co, the Chinese partner of phone-equipment maker Ericsson AB, said its 2008 net profit probably fell by more than 50 percent after income from its local venture. The stock edged down 0.2 percent to 5.06 yuan.


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