HONG KONG, July 22 (Reuters) -
These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
— The Exchange Fund, the reserve that backs Hong Kong’s currency, reported profit of HK$46.3 billion ($5.95 billion) in the first half of 2011, thanks to earnings from bonds and foreign currency markets.
— Next Media Ltd , a newspaper and magazine publisher in Hong Kong and Taiwan, has won approval to launch television channels in Taiwan after a meeting of the National Communications Commission attended by founder and chairman Jimmy Lai.
— China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd , the world’s most valuable coal producer, said its commercial coal output in the first half of 2011 rose 28.6 percent year on year to 140 million tonnes, while coal sales soared 39.2 percent during the period to 190 million tonnes.
— Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd , the world’s largest bank by market value, is seen reaching a profit of more than 200 billion yuan ($31 billion) in 2011, a 21 percent growth year on year, a senior executive of the bank said.
— Gold prices are expected to remain strong, averaging $1,500 per ounce this year and $1,380 next year as short U.S. dollar positions are unwound, said managing director of global commodity research and basic materials strategy at UBS Peter Hickson.
— Listing criteria for Shanghai’s international board are expected to be ready. Candidates are to have market capitalisation of at least 30 billion yuan ($4.65 billion) with profit of not less than 3 billion yuan a year, and to have been listed overseas for at least three years, according to mainland media report.
— New China Life Insurance, China’s third-largest life insurance firm, may postpone its dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai due to market fluctuation, market sources said.
— The Ministry of Railways failed to attract enough investors for its auction of 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) of one-year bills, only managing to sell 18.7 billion yuan of its offering, industry sources said. The bond carried a coupon of 5.18 percent, the higher end of an expected range, sources said.
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For Taiwan newspapers, see................ ($1 = 6.452 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting by Xavier Ng, Ingrid Tjendro and Viola Ho; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)