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Tough road for banks in China
HONG KONG: China stunned the finance world last week when it unveiled plans to allow foreign control of its financial institutions. Few bankers thought their long-held dream of better access to the world’s largest banking market was within reach. The likelihood, however, is that even fewer will rush to take advantage of that opening. In theory, foreign banks will be allowed to take larger stakes in their Chinese commercial
 
 
Metal recyclers prepare for electric car revolution
LONDON: Recycling companies are honing processes to extract metals from old batteries more cheaply and efficiently so they can capitalise on an expected shortfall in materials such as cobalt and lithium when sales of electric cars take off. The main obstacle recyclers face now is a shortage of spent batteries to recycle to make their technology cost-effective, but those at the forefront of the industry are confident the supply,
   
Germany’s top banks step up efforts to offload toxic shipping debt
FRANKFURT: Top national lenders Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are stepping up efforts to offload distressed shipping loans, finance sources said, as the German banking system grapples with $100 billion in toxic debt from the sector. While the shipping sector is showing signs of recovery after a near-decade long downturn, it is still struggling with an excess of ships and sluggish growth in global trade, which has led to some
 
 
Hong Kong IPO surge challenges New York in battle for China listings
HONG KONG: It’s not often Hong Kong can boast hotter initial public offerings than New York, but some recent deals and a potential pipeline of big Chinese tech floats suggest a shift in the balance between the two fundraising rivals. While New York is set to top the IPO league this year, it’s Hong Kong which is seeing the biggest pre-sale demand and first-day pops for new tech listings. So far this year, the New York Stock
   
Croatia eyes solar power in a bid to curb energy imports
ZAGREB: Thanks to its exposure to the Mediterranean sun and the pristine Adriatic Sea, Croatia secures almost 20 per cent of its gross domestic product from tourism — but in stark contrast, it has practically neglected electricity production from solar power. The government is drafting a new strategy aimed at reducing energy imports which is likely to be completed next year. “I set myself a target to promote solar power in that
 
 
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