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TRADE WARS
Huntsman, Sinopec form joint venture in China
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Nov 13, 2012


Warhols fetch $17 million at Christie's
New York (AFP) Nov 13, 2012 - A plan to sell off the Andy Warhol Foundation's entire collection of works by the Pop artist got off to a $17 million start at Christie's in New York.

The sale on Monday in Manhattan saw 91 percent of lots going under the hammer. The 354 works auctioned were led by "Endangered Species: San Francisco Silverspot," which sold for $1.26 million, in the range of the pre-sale $1-1.5 million estimate.

"Endangered Species: Bighorn Ram," which had been estimated at $700,000 to $1 million, sold for $842,500. "Jackie" doubled its high estimate, going for $626,500.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced in September it was dispersing of its collection to bolster its grant-making capabilities, with Christie's the long-term partner. Some of the works will be donated to museums.

Amy Cappellazzo, head of contemporary art development at Christie's, said Monday's first sale "was met with enthusiasm by established and new collectors globally, including successful bidders from mainland China, Russia, the European Union, the Middle East and the Americas."

"Today's sales have set the stage beautifully for the next offering of works from the Collection of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which includes a selling exhibition in Hong Kong and the debut of online-only sales in February."

US chemicals maker Huntsman Corporation unveiled Tuesday a joint venture with a subsidiary of Chinese oil giant Sinopec to build and operate a chemical plant in China.

Huntsman will own 49 percent of the joint venture, Nanjing Jinling Huntsman New Materials, and Sinopec Jinling Company will hold 51 percent, the Texas-based company said in a statement.

The plant, to be built in Nanjing, will produce propylene oxide, a chemical used in the production of polyethers, the primary component of polyurethane foams.

It also will make methyl tertiary butyl ether, a compound used in gasoline to reduce carbon monoxide and ozone levels caused by auto emissions, Huntsman said.

"This partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for us to further our global expansion and create shareholder value. We are proud to partner with Sinopec, a global leader in energy, refining and chemicals," said Peter Huntsman, the firm's president and chief executive.

Huntsman shares were down 0.4 percent in late-session trade in New York in an overall lower market.

Philippine exports recover in September
Manila (AFP) Nov 13, 2012 - Philippine exports rose at their fastest pace in almost two years in September as the troubled electronics sector recovered and shipments to Japan soared, the government said Tuesday.

September exports rose 22.8 percent from a year earlier to $4.784 billion, the National Statistics Office said in a statement.

This marked the biggest rebound since December 2010, when exports rose 26.5 percent, records showed.

"Improved overall demand for the country's manufactured exports was mainly due to the generally favourable developments in global industrial production," the Philippine economic planning department said in a statement.

Economist Luz Lorenzo of ATR-Kim Eng Securities said exports to Japan, the top market for the month, rose 115 percent to $1.473 billion due to increased demand as the country recovered from a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

This helped bring double- or even triple-digit growth in Philippine exports of tuna, metal components, bananas, woodcraft and furniture, she said.

"Those are things we export a lot of, to Japan," Lorenzo said.

The head of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Sergio Ortiz-Luis, said the September figures were a sign that developed countries were starting to buy electronic products again.

However he expressed doubt that exports would hit the 10-percent growth target earlier set by the government for this year.

"It's kind of difficult now. We just have three months to go," Ortiz-Luis said.

Philippine exports had plunged 6.9 percent in 2011 amid a sharp drop in demand for its electronics products.

Total Philippine exports in the first nine months of 2012 year rose 7.2 percent year-on-year to $40.07 billion.

Electronics exports rose 1.1 percent in September. The sector accounted for 38.3 percent of all Philippine shipments for the month.

Electronics exports had plunged 14.9-percent fall in August when overseas demand slumped amid the slowdown in the economies of developed countries.

After Japan, the United States was the second largest export market, buying $602.89 million in September, the government said.

This was a 16.2-percent increase from the same period last year.

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