New Energy

Latest financial news about New enery in China.
Doug Young has lived and worked in China for 15 years, much of that as a journalist for Reuters specialized about Chinese companies

PCs: Lenovo Test Drives Cars with LeEco

Bottom line: Lenovo’s investment in the smart car business looks like a necessary step for an important new growth area, but its choice of LeEco as partner looks more dubious.

Lenovo invests in LeEco’s car business

I’ve been quite bearish on stumbling PC giant Lenovo (HKEx: 992) these days, but at least I have to commend the company for trying something new to jump-start its fading fortunes. That’s my initial assessment, on reading reports that Lenovo has invested in the smart car business of online video superstar LeEco (Shenzhen: 300104), formerly known as LeTV. But that said, even if the reports are true, Lenovo seems to be coming to the smart car story slightly late, and I also have serious doubts about the suitability of LeEco as its choice of partner. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Tesla Closes in on China Plant, Shanghai in Sight?

Bottom line: Tesla will announce a joint venture production facility in Shanghai within the next 1-2 months, and could see its China sales pick up sharply after its more affordable Model 3 reaches the market next year.

Telsa eyeing China home in Shanghai?
Telsa eyeing China home in Shanghai?

Just a week after Disney (NYSE: DIS) launched its newest theme park in Shanghai, media are saying that new energy car superstar Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) is also eyeing China’s commercial capital as the location for a new production base costing up to $9 billion. We should note from the start that the potential partner mentioned in the reports, the Shanghai government-owned Jinqiao Group, has denied the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for such a deal. But in this case I trust the source of the story, Bloomberg, more than the Chinese officials who have a track record of denying reports that later turn out to be true. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Yingli’s Shock Profit, Ming Yang Exit Nears

Bottom line: YIngli’s surprise profit announcement could be the result of a government rescue that will result in a sale of the company, while Ming Yang’s quick privatization reflects its profitability and strong longer-term prospects.

Ming Yang shareholders approve buyout

In a huge surprise to new energy stock watchers, nearly insolvent solar panel maker YIngli (NYSE: YGE) has suddenly announced its first quarterly profit since 2011, abruptly reversing years of massive losses. There’s no explanation for this sudden profit announcement, which comes in some preliminary results released ahead of an official conference call set for next week. Meantime, the more solvent wind power equipment specialist Ming Yang (NYSE: MY) is moving closer to New York exit door, with its announcement that shareholders have approved its plan to privatize as part of a broader wave of such de-listings by US-traded Chinese companies. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Canadian Solar Ups Outlook, Yingli Set for Bond Default

Bottom line: Canadian Solar’s raised revenue guidance hints at rising prices and could signal upside for the company’s profits, while YIngli’s latest signals may show it’s trying to sell itself to a healthier rival.

Canadian Solar surges, YIngli struggles

The strongest and weakest players from China’s lively solar panel sector are in the headlines today, with superstar Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) and the struggling YIngli (NYSE: YGE) both releasing their latest quarterly results. But whereas Canadian Solar has just announced its financials for this year’s first quarter, including a raised revenue outlook for 2016, Yingli is just now releasing its results for the fourth quarter of 2015.

Most companies typically release their quarterly results within 60 days of the quarter’s end, or 90 days at the very latest. But YIngli’s ongoing struggles have led managers to say several times the company could become insolvent, as it sits on a massive pile of maturing debt that it can’t repay. The latest of that debt comes due today, and Yingli is saying it’s unlikely to make the repayment on time. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Foreigners, Locals Coast on China Green Support

Bottom line: Strong response to Tesla’s latest EV in China and a major new solar plant plan from SolarReserve reflect Beijing’s strong promotion of new energy, which is also creating big waste by attracting unqualified companies to the sector.

SolarReserve in major new China initiative

A series of new reports is showing how Beijing’s strong support for new energy technologies is benefiting both domestic and foreign companies, as China tries to become a global leader in this emerging area. But the reports also spotlight the dangers that come with such aggressive support, which often leads to abuse of subsidies and other preferential policies that can lead to big waste and market distortions.

One of the reports centers on US new energy car superstar Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA), and quotes an executive saying that China has become the second largest market for its newest and first relatively affordable electric vehicle (EV). The second report comes from the solar energy sector, and has US solar plant developer SolarReserve LLC in a major new partnership to build more than $2 billion worth of solar farms in China. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Beijing in Right Approach with Tesla, Wrong One with Yingli

Bottom line: Beijing should promote cutting-edge companies like Tesla that can help advance its new energy agenda, while abandoning ones like Yingli that use old technology to make cheap copycat products.

Tesla nearing China plant?

Two green energy stories were in the headlines last week, spotlighting China’s drive to become a global leader in the new technology and also the right and wrong ways to achieve that aim. An item involving US electric vehicle (EV) powerhouse Tesla (Nasdaq: TSL) represented the right approach, with reports that the company might near a deal with Beijing to build a manufacturing plant in China. Meantime, former solar panel heavyweight Yingli (NYSE: YGE) was in the wrong approach column, announcing that its ill-conceived model of using old technology and cheap prices to do business had pushed it to the brink of insolvency, despite ongoing local efforts to rescue the company.

Beijing should take note of these 2 examples and do more to promote companies like Tesla that can develop cutting-edge technology for use in widely-respected products that the market wants. At the same time, it should abandon copycats like Yingli that don’t innovate and can only compete by offering cheap products using old technology. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: BYD in Twisted Nanjing Tale, Yingli Eyes Beijing Rescue

Bottom line: A new report spotlighting suspicious sales by BYD shows that last year’s EV explosion in China was fueled by people seeking to pocket government subsidies, while Yingli looks set to receive a government bailout from Beijing. 

Yingli set to get new government rescue

A couple of stories from China’s new energy sector, one from the car space and the other from solar panels, are shining a spotlight on the challenges companies are facing after becoming too reliant on government support. One recounts a twisted tale involving electric car maker BYD (HKEx: 1211), and shows how its boom in sales last year may have been largely due to big government rebates for buyers. The other has Beijing telling one of the nation’s biggest policy lenders to provide money for struggling solar panel maker Yingli (NYSE: YGE) before it defaults on a bond payment due next month.

Let’s begin with BYD, which has experienced a rocky road over the last few years as its dream of a future filled with new energy vehicles failed to take off. That seemed to change last year, as new energy vehicle sales suddenly exploded at the company backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett. BYD and industry boosters said the sales explosion showed that Beijing’s years of support for the sector was finally bearing fruit.  Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Shriveling Yingli Fends Off Bond Holders

Bottom line: Yingli is likely to get sold or announce a major government-led restructuring, which could include bankruptcy, before a new round of 1.4 billion yuan in bonds comes due next month.

Yingli shrivels under crushing debt load

In what looks like a case of deja vu, fast-shrinking solar panel maker Yingli (NYSE: YGE) is in the headlines again as it looks set to default on 1.4 billion yuan ($220 million) worth of bonds set to come due next month. The default would be Yingli’s second within a year, after it failed to pay off part of another big bond that matured last October.

Yingli is still working to repay the remaining debt from that earlier bond, which amounts to another 1 billion yuan. That means that Yingli now needs to find some $375 million in funds to repay all of its maturing debt by the time the new round of 1.4 billion yuan in medium-term notes come due on May 12. That looks all but impossible for a company that’s bleeding money, which resulted in a $500 million net loss during its latest reporting quarter. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: Trina, BYD Make Progress on State Support, Face Headwinds

Bottom line: Trina’s new loan and BYD’s uncertain outlook for EV sales this year reflect continued reliance of new energy technology companies on state support, which could pressure them as government incentives get retired.

Trina, BYD fueled by state support

Two new energy stories are in the headlines today, reflecting the progress but also the continued reliance on government support that this up-and-coming group of companies faces. That particular reality isn’t new, though some who were hoping the industries would become commercially independent more quickly may be disappointed. But more important, this reality could challenge many of the companies in the next 2-3 years in the face of disappearing support from governments that believe they have already given enough incentives to this slowly-developing group.

The first development has solar panel maker Trina (NYSE: TSL) announcing $143 million in financing for a new plant in Thailand, with all of the money coming from local lenders that almost certainly have government ties. The second has electric car maker BYD (HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594) reporting annual results that showed a surge in its EV business last year thanks to government incentives, setting the stage for a possible rapid slowdown this year as those incentives get set to retire. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Canadian Solar Charges Plant Unit, Jumei Looks Homeward

Bottom line: Canadian Solar’s Recurrent Energy unit is likely to make its first public filing for a New York IPO in the next 2 weeks and should get a positive reception, while Jumei is likely to quietly de-list from the US in the next 3-4 months.

Recurrent Energy gets big new financing

One of the few Chinese IPOs likely to happen in New York this year is moving closer to the launch gate, with word of major new financing for the power plant-building unit of solar panel maker Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ). But while that IPO for Recurrent Energy moves closer to the IPO gate, announcement of a new privatization bid for online cosmetics seller Jumei International (NYSE: JMEI) is far more typical for the market these days.

This pair of stories reflect a growing new reality for US-listed Chinese companies. That reality is seeing some of China’s leading private companies choose New York for their listings, banking on interest from global investors seeking to buy into the China growth story. At the same time, many smaller lesser-known Chinese companies listed in New York have discovered US investors are far less interested in their stories, and are privatizing with plans to re-list and hopefully get higher valuations back in China. Read Full Post…

NEW ENERGY: EU Roots Out China Solar Cheats in Malaysia, Taiwan

Bottom line: The EU’s extension of punitive tariffs to China-made solar panels transshipped through shell factories in Malaysia and Taiwan could kill a recent wave of offshore factory construction by Chinese manufacturers.

EU freezes out Chinese solar panels in Taiwan, Malaysia

A recent offshore movement by Chinese solar panel makers seeking to avoid western anti-dumping tariffs could come to a sudden halt, with word the European Union (EU) is extending its previously announced punitive duties to Taiwan and Malaysia. The EU’s ruling means it believes that many of the offshore solar panel plants recently built by Chinese manufacturers are little more than shells designed to hide the true origin of their products.

This story dates back 3 years, and began when the EU levied anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels after determining manufacturers were receiving unfair government support via policies like cheap land, low-interest loans and export rebates. Chinese manufacturers quickly agreed to raise their prices to levels comparable to those of western rivals in a bid to avoid the tariffs. But then they almost immediately began to violate the spirit of that agreement by offering discounts to buyers in other ways. Read Full Post…