The Bank of America, fresh off its purchase of Merrill Lynch, doubled its investment in the China Construction Bank Tuesday, raising it stake from 10.8% to 19.13% by buying $7 billion worth of shares from Chinese government. [Bloomberg]
In keeping with the details outlined by the Chinese government’s new stimulus package, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security froze minimum wages across the country yesterday, and firms in Shandong and Hubei provinces were told that they would not be able to lay off more than 40 workers without first gaining approval from the local social security bureau. [The Standard and China Daily]
Hu Jintao is on an official visit to Cuba. Topics to be discussed? Growing trade ties between the two countries ($2.3 billion in bilateral trade last year) and, of course, restructuring several large loans that China extended in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. [BBC]
Disaster update: The death toll in the Hangzhou tunnel accident reaches 7 (with 14 still missing), while 32 of the 34 miners trapped in the Henan coal mine were successfully rescued Tuesday. [Xinhua]
Mastercard released its Emerging Markets Index [PDF] Tuesday, and ranked the 65 “centers of commerce…critical to the evolution of the emerging economies in which they are located and to the future of commerce globally.” Chinese cities took 15 of the 65 spots, and 4 out of the top 10. Shanghai ranked first with Beijing falling into second place.