The DailyBrief

Thursday November 3, 2016

Chinese state planners called major mining companies to an urgent meeting on Thursday to hammer out a strategy to halt the persistent rise in coal prices. The meeting came less than 24 hours after the second largest state-owned coal producer, ChinaCoal, announced that it was cutting its thermal coal price by US$1.48 per tonne, citing an increase in production. The National Development and Reform Commission said in a memorandum before the meeting that it aims to “prevent violent movements in coal prices and maintain an orderly market.”

A region in China’s northwest, Ningxia, will restrict families who breach the two-child policy by putting up obstacles on employment, securing bank loans and buying insurance. The regional capital’s municipal government issued a regulation on Thursday stating that if the two-child policy is breached and an administrative penalty is not paid on time, this is recorded on the personal social credit system. This record could prevent a person from access to credit or loans, the Ningxia regulation said.

A unit of China’s HNA Group will pay US$1.13 billion for a plot of residential land in Hong Kong, almost double market forecasts, making it the most expensive land deal in the city so far this year. HNA — the operator of at least a dozen airlines, including flagship carrier Hainan Airlines, and a group with more than US$100 billion in assets — has scored a handful of high-profile deals this year, with real estate purchases including Radisson hotels and a stake in Hilton Worldwide.

It’s not safe in the water any more in northern Australia with saltwater crocodile numbers exploding since being declared a protected species, and a spate of recent attacks has reignited debate about controlling them. The giant predators, which can grow up to seven metres (23 feet) long and weigh more than a tonne, haunt waterways in the country’s north, with government estimates putting the national population at around 100,000. They only kill an average of two people each year, but several high-profile attacks, including one where a woman was snatched in May while having a late-night swim off a beach in Queensland, have seen calls for culls.

The sudden sacking of Cyrus Mistry as chairman of the Tata Group throws an unwanted spotlight on India’s biggest conglomerate. It is the dimming of a rare beacon of trust in India’s muddied corporate world as the group focused on corporate governance and ethical business practices. India’s biggest conglomerate, with business interests as diverse as salt pans to aviation and telecoms, has been tarnished with possible breaches of corporate governance and now faces the biggest credibility crisis in its 148-year history.