China’s strategy to secure commodity supplies through state-owned firms has proved quite successful over the last few years, with deals for minerals of all colours bedded down. The one disadvantage is that sometimes Beijing can’t move quickly enough and BHP Billiton is reportedly set to catch a ball China has dropped in the African nation of Gabon. Meanwhile, Nine Entertainment’s owner, CVC Asia Pacific, has apparently turned up its nose at an offer from hedge funds holding large chunks of the TV company’s debt to convert their holdings to equity. It appears we’re at a bit of an impasse. Elsewhere, the sales process appears to have stalled for the Asia-Australian Fitness First gym chain as British owners weigh up the interest, Fortescue Metals hasn’t given up on floating its non-core magnetite assets in Hong Kong while it looks for a strategic partner, and a key aviation executive has given his take on Qantas' hopes to get a joint venture with Malaysia Airlines off the ground.