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UPDATE 1-China adjusts yuan midpoint mechanism - sources

SHANGHAI, Feb 20 China tweaked its formula for setting daily reference midpoints for its yuan currency on Monday, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, in what was seen as authorities' latest move to help curb speculation in the currency.

Alibaba expands bricks-and-mortar retail push with Bailian deal

BEIJING China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it formed a strategic partnership with Bailian Group, the largest retailer by store numbers to join the e-commerce giant's drive to use big data to improve and profit from brick-and-mortar sales.

1:23pm IST

Alibaba expands bricks-and-mortar retail push with Bailian deal

BEIJING China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it formed a strategic partnership with Bailian Group, the largest retailer by store numbers to join the e-commerce giant's drive to use big data to improve and profit from brick-and-mortar sales.

UPDATE 2-Alibaba expands bricks-and-mortar retail push with Bailian deal

* Follows stake taken in Suning Commerce, plans to control Intime

1:19pm IST

Chinese insurers put too many eggs in one basket

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chinese insurers have developed a taste for equity, and regulators are rightly worried. They are increasingly concentrating their assets on individual company names. The danger is that a single default could hit them hard. The Chinese insurance watchdog is trying to curb this practice - but doing so could put paid to the industry's penchant for large acquisitions.

1:08pm IST

UPDATE 2-China steel mills caught on the hop by North Korea coal ban

BEIJING, Feb 20 China's steel mills and traders were scrambling to find alternative supplies of coking coal for steel making on Monday after Beijing slapped a surprise ban on coal imports from its isolated northern neighbour.

1:01pm IST

PBOC to extend easier cash buffer rule for banks supporting underserved sectors - sources

BEIJING, Feb 20 China's central bank this year is extending a programme that allows financial institutions that support rural finance and small enterprises to apply for a lower required level of cash reserves, three sources said on Monday.

12:52pm IST

China blue chips post best day in 6 months on pension fund reports

SHANGHAI, Feb 20 China's blue-chip index posted its biggest daily gain in six months on Monday after media reports said pension funds may begin flowing into the country's stock markets as early as this week. Investor sentiment was also supposed by new rules unveiled by regulators late on Friday to restrict "excessive" and "frequent" fundraising by some listed companies.

12:42pm IST

Sun Art Retail offers downbeat outlook after Alibaba denial sends shares tumbling

Hong Kong China's Sun Art Retail Group Ltd offered a slightly downbeat outlook for growth in its mainstay hypermarket business on Monday, as investors dumped its stock after hopes for a tie-up with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd were dashed.

12:25pm IST

UPDATE 2-Sun Art Retail offers downbeat outlook after Alibaba denial sends shares tumbling

* Says does not rule out online tie-up (Adds Sun Art comments, context)

12:23pm IST

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