China overtakes US as world’s largest assets acquirer

Dealogic data shows China’s outbound M&A in first nine months is world’s largest for the first time, though value of withdrawn deals also rises

China has overtaken the US in outbound mergers and acquisitions for the first time, underscoring a global buying spree driven by the Chinese economy’s growth over three decades and Beijing’s programme to encourage companies to buy assets and technology from abroad.

In the first nine months of the year the total value of mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies jumped 68 per cent year on year to US$173.9 billion, according to data by Dealogic.

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China to build world’s biggest animal cloning factory in Tianjin

Commercial operation to produce dogs, cattle, racehorses and ‘non-human primates’

Tianjin is building the world’s largest animal cloning factory, aiming to produce one million cattle embryos annually, state media reported yesterday.

According to a Xinhua, mainland scientists have signed a deal to establish a 200 million yuan (HK$242 million) commercial animal cloning centre in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area, a government-sponsored business development park.

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‘Supergiant’ gas field discovered in Mediterranean

A “supergiant” gas field holding the equivalent of 5.5bn barrels of oil has been discovered off the coast of Egypt, the largest ever find in the Mediterranean.

Italian oil group Eni, which announced the discovery on Sunday, said the find was enough to supply Egypt with gas for decades, in a major boost to the country’s struggling economy.

The deepwater Zohr well, almost 5,000 feet below the water’s surface and covering 100 square kilometres (40 square miles), may hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas or more. Eni said it would fast-track the development of the discovery to begin production as soon as possible.

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The biggest heist of secret US personnel data in cyber history is still ongoing

As was mentioned just the other day, all U.S. intelligence agencies have been compromised in addition to all other government entities that were attacked.

 

The White House has admitted that systems containing deeply personal information, submitted by current, former and prospective federal government employees for security clearances, had been “exfiltrated.” If the breach of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was conducted by hackers linked to China, as suspected, access to the Standard Form 86 submitted by an estimated 41 million federal employees provided them with what may be the world’s largest stolen data base of US intelligence and military personnel.

This is a “gold mine” of unencrypted data that leave US intelligence officers, for example, open to blackmail or coerced recruitment.

While officials speak of two hacks, debkafile’s cyber security and intelligence experts report that it was a single breach and is still ongoing. Known to experts as an “Advanced Persistent Threat,” it amounts to slow, continuous penetration by a computer virus, planted in an individual computer of a network which duplicates itself gradually and insidiously. Continue reading