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MU Pilots to Improve English for Flight Safety

MU Pilots to Improve English for Flight Safety

China Eastern Airlines (NYSE:CEA) has promised to further develop its pilots English after claims flight MU516 from Osaka, Kansai airport to Shanghai took off without clearance from air traffic controllers.

The aircraft bound for Shanghai with 245 people on board took off last week apparently after being told to stay on the runway and then to abort take off at Osaka airport, the BBC reported.

According to Kyodo news agency, air traffic controllers instructed the aircraft’s pilots to halt on the runway instead the Airbus A330 took to the skies and further ignored instructions to abort.

Despite the misunderstanding the plane took off without incident and later landed safely in Shanghai.

Japan’s Transport Minister said that even though the aircraft had sufficient room from any other nearby aircraft, the pilot may have broken the country’s aviation rules and regulations.

An employee at China Civil Aviation Administration apparently told China Daily “We’ve written to our Japanese counterparts asking for materials to help us look into the case.”

On the airlines certified Sina Weibo page the Airline said it will “operate according to laws and regulations, and further regulate our flight crews English communications”, to guarantee flight safety.

Under the International Civil Aviation Organisation pilots and air traffic controllers have to meet a certain standard and understanding of the English language.

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Eastbridge (OTC-BB: EBIG) Offers Shareholders a Strong Pipeline of Asian IPOs

Eastbridge (OTC-BB: EBIG) Offers Shareholders a Strong Pipeline of Asian IPOs

EastBridge Investment Group Corp (OTC:EBIG), a financial services company that provides Asian companies with access to U.S. capital markets, while consistently maintaining an inventory of several Asian IPO clients, will unlock big value for their own shareholders in the wake of successful IPO’s like those of Chinacast Education Corporation (Nasdaq: CAST) and China Agritech Inc. (Nasdaq: CAGC).

EastBridge Investment Group Corp (OTC:EBIG) assists Asian companies with the auditing, legal and investor relations processes to become public companies and achieve listings on U.S. stock exchanges, while also making valuable introductions to investment bankers and accredited investors. In exchange, they receive cash and equity fees that often amount to a 10 to 20 percent equity interest.

The company’s clients are involved in industries as diverse as education, energy and retail distribution, and all are experiencing rapid growth in China’s emerging economy. With a slowdown in the U.S., E.U. and other developed economies, demand for high growth Asian equities remains very strong. As a result, EastBridge offers investors a unique way to capitalize on Asia’s high growth equity markets.

By acquiring equity in these clients at pre-IPO multiples, EastBridge shareholders could see some significant capital gains down the road.

China’s Economy Rapidly Expanding

After overtaking Japan as the world’s second largest economy, China continues to drive forward with 10.3% expansion over the past year alone. Put into prospective, U.S. GDP growth over the same period is estimated to be just 3.2%, and that figure is still being revised lower following what some economists are predicting could become a double-dip recession.

While China still relies on exports to drive its economy, the world’s most populous country is also starting to look domestically for growth. Per capita income for its citizens grew from $350 in 1990 to more than $3,000 by the end of 2008. Assuming a similar growth rate, average national income could reach $8,500 by 2020 and $20,000 by 2030, which could lead to strong domestic consumer spending.

EastBridge Capitalizes on China’s Growth

Companies are the driving force behind growing economies and they require sufficient working capital in order to expand. Since China’s capital markets are just burgeoning, many companies look towards foreign capital markets for fundraising. And the United States stock markets currently represent the largest, most liquid, and most transparent source of capital in the world.

EastBridge Investment Group Corp. helps high-growth Chinese companies access these markets by listing their securities onto U.S. exchanges, forming joint ventures with U.S. companies, and/or accessing traditional merchant banking services. By collecting a 10 to 20 percent equity interest alongside cash fees, shareholders have a unique ability to participate in strong upside potential at pre-IPO valuations.

A Look into EastBridge’s Portfolio

As of August 13, 2010, EastBridge is helping eight clients with the auditing and legal processes involved in becoming a public company in the U.S. Its diverse portfolio of clients across multiple industries minimizes risk for investors while providing unparalleled exposure to one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

These clients include:

  • Wonder International Education – A professional and vocational education provider to post junior high and high school students to improve their skills for higher paying jobs.
  • Tsingda Education Company – A tutoring and education services provider to elementary, junior high and high school students in China.
  • Jinkuizi Science and Technology Company – A manufacturer of environmentally safe fertilizers in China and Southeast Asia.
  • Alpha Green Energy Company – A renewable biomass company focused on China’s agricultural industry as a source for raw input.
  • Long Whole Enterprises, Ltd. – A precious metal mining company focused on properties in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • AREM Pacific Corporation – A company that is undergoing a restructuring to enter a new line of business that is currently undisclosed.
  • StrayArrow International Limited – A luxury lifestyle and hospitality company located in China.
  • Heyuan Dafeng Animal Husbandry Company Limited – An integrated “Green Farming” business specializing in premium hogs, feeds and organic fertilizers production.

EastBridge Prepares to Unlock Value

While none of its clients have yet gone public, EastBridge is rapidly progressing to the point of unlocking value for its own shareholders. Once the clients go public, the company’s equity interests will be salable and shareholders will have a clear glimpse at the profitability and scalability of its business model.

As noted above, EastBridge is in the process of establishing an “Asian Pipeline” which will deliver high growth companies to the U.S. markets. Investors should review the stock now, ahead of any of its’ clients public offerings.

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China Produces 99% of Two Rare Metals Needed for Hybrids

China Produces 99% of Two Rare Metals Needed for Hybrids

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) has the best-selling Prius, General Motors Corp. (GM) will soon roll-out the highly anticipated Volt, while Honda Motor Co. (HM), Ford Motor Company (F), Daimler AG (DAI) and every other large automaker either has hybrids on the market or is planning to introduce them – but a key component of the electric motors in hybrids is almost completely controlled by China.

The New York Times today published a story titled “China Tightens Grip on Rare Minerals.” It is a little known, but increasingly important fact, that China produces “more than 93 percent of so-called rare earth elements,” and specifically more than 99 percent of two particular elements, dysprosium and terbium, that are key components in hybrid cars.

Despite increasing demand, China appears to be ready to tighten worldwide supply in a move to get manufacturers into China as well as ease the incredible environmental burden China has so far allowed its mining practices to take:

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has drafted a six-year plan for rare earth production and submitted it to the State Council, the equivalent of the cabinet, according to four mining industry officials who have discussed the plan with Chinese officials. A few, often contradictory, details of the plan have leaked out, but it appears to suggest tighter restrictions on exports, and strict curbs on environmentally damaging mines.

Beijing officials are forcing global manufacturers to move factories to China by limiting the availability of rare earths outside China. “Rare earth usage in China will be increasingly greater than exports,” said Zhang Peichen, the deputy director of the government-linked Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute.

The move to tighten control of rare earth metals, is also, according to some, born of sheer necessity:

“Sometime in 2011 to 2012, Chinese domestic demand will surpass Chinese domestic production,” says Jack Lifton, an analyst and consultant who specializes in what he calls the “technology metals” and advises mining industry clients developing rare earth projects in North America. “This means no more Chinese exports of rare earths, other than in finished goods made in China that they allow to be exported.”

A Toyota Prius requires between 2 and 4 pounds of rare earth metals for its electric motor – a requirement that may become increasingly difficult if not impossible to meet. Concern about a crippling shortage may seem overly dramatic, but the United Kingdom’s Times notes that about 20% of Japan’s imports of rare earth metals are already believed to enter through the black market because supply is so scarce.

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China’s Solar Dominance Actually Hurts (Chinese) Solar Companies

China’s Solar Dominance Actually Hurts (Chinese) Solar Companies

Chinese solar companies Suntech Power (STP), Trina Solar (TSL), Yingli Green Energy (YGE), JA Solar (JASO), LDK Solar (LDK), and China Sunergy (CSUN) have all performed terribly recently as have their U.S.-based counterparts First Solar (FSLR) and Evergreen Solar (ESLR). A look at China’s rise to become the global leader in solar energy shows how the country has, in the process, destroyed the basic economics of the industry – hurting both Chinese and American solar companies.

The New York Times ran a frontpage article today titled “China Racing Ahead of U.S. in the Drive to Go Solar.”

The article’s takeaway is that despite President Obama’s ambition to make the United States “the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy,” China is actually walking the walk rather than just talking the talk:

“I don’t see Europe or the United States becoming major producers of solar products — they’ll be consumers,” said Thomas M. Zarrella, the chief executive of GT Solar International, a company in Merrimack, N.H., that sells specialized factory equipment to solar panel makers around the world.

Since March, Chinese governments at the national, provincial and even local level have been competing with one another to offer solar companies ever more generous subsidies, including free land, and cash for research and development. State-owned banks are flooding the industry with loans at considerably lower interest rates than available in Europe or the United States.

Tellingly, Chinese-based Suntech Power Holdings [[STP]] will become the second-largest supplier of photovoltaic (PV) cells in the world this year behind Arizona-based First Solar, Inc. [[FSLR]].

But there is a darkside to China’s impressive growth for those looking to capitalize on the rise of Chinese solar companies:

Chinese companies have already played a leading role in pushing down the price of solar panels by almost half over the last year.

Indeed, less than two years ago the average U.S. retail price of a 200-watt module was $1500 while now it is less than $650.

From an investment-perspective, the real story here is that, thanks in part to China’s aggressive strategy for growing its solar industry, the solar market is flooded with products for which there is no demand. Demand for solar panels is largely dependent on government subsidies because solar energy is still more expensive to produce than using fossil fuels or even wind power (even with the drop in the price of solar panels), and these government subsidies worldwide are being scaled back due to tax revenue concerns. The decrease in subsidies is only compounded by dampened demand due to the worldwide economic downturn. Basically, the economic downturn is a double-whammy for solar demand: it hurts demand the way a recession hurts demands for all kinds of products while also decreasing government revenue on which solar subsidies (and much solar demand) depend. Global demand for solar panels is expected to drop nearly 20% this year.

Even worse, this decrease in demand is being met not with a decrease or even flat supply, but with an increase in supply – total solar cell manufacturing capacity will be up more than 50% this year, and is projected to grow at an astonishing annual rate of about 50% for the next 5 years.

This sobering mismatch – increased supply and decreased demand – is taking its toll on Chinese solar companies’ stock prices over the last month:

  • Suntech Power Holdings [[STP]] is down 29%.
  • Trina Solar Ltd. [[TSL]] is down 16%.
  • Yingli Green Energy Holdings [[YGE]] is down 29%.
  • JA Solar Holdings [[JASO]] is down 29%.
  • LDK Solar Co. [[LDK]] is down 25%.
  • China Sunergy Co. [[CSUN]] is down 17%.

This terrible performance is during the same period that the S&P 500 gained 5%. American solar companies are not immune, given the global nature of the solar market:

  • First Solar, Inc. [[FSLR]] is down 24%.
  • Evergreen Solar, Inc. [[ESLR]] is down 27%.

Looking back 12-months leads to an even less flattering profile for most of these stocks, with many losses far greater than 50%.

The simple fact is the blood-letting is probably only going to continue. Save for First Solar and Trina Solar none of these companies are profitable – and with the very bad economics of the market right now there is no reason to think any of them are going to become profitable or get more profitable any time soon.

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