China's stock market boom expected in 2014Dec 27, 2013
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) has said there is a strong possibility that the country's stock market make dramatic gains next year when the government reopens the market for IPOs. Although there will be challenges, the CASS said in a report that a dramatic rise in the stock market could happen next year, resembling that of 1999 in many ways. Within two months from mid-May in 1999, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index increased from around 1,100 to more than 1,600. With the relaunch of IPOs next year striking rises should be expected, experts said.
21 nations establish new Asian bankOct 24, 2014
Representatives of China and 20 other Asian nations signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Beijing on Friday to establish the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Notably, close US allies such as South Korea and Australia were absent in the signing as Washington earlier expressed its opposition on the AIIB saying it will rival existing institutions such as the World Bank. The 21 countries who signed the MOU are Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
Home prices drop in SeptemberOct 24, 2014
Average home prices in 70 major cities in China fell 1.4% in September, the first drop since November 2012, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. The fall wiped out last year's gains and further fuel expectations that the Chinese government will have to add additional stimulus to protect the economy. UBS Hong Kong Analyst Wang Tao said the property downturn continues to be the main drag on the economy and affects not only the heavy industry but also manufacturing investment.
SAFE exec puts blame on stronger USD for forex-reserves declineOct 24, 2014
Guan Tao, head of the department of international payments at China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said on 23 October that the recent drop in the nation's foreign-exchange reserves is not a sign of capital flight. It was mainly because of the devaluation of non-US assets. China's central bank, the People’s Bank of China, on the second week of October said that forex reserves fell by a record of USD100bn in Q3 to USD3.89tr at the end of September.
Capital outflow concerns unnecessaryOct 24, 2014China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange said on 23 October that China is in no danger from large-scale capital outflows, even though it went through a net outflow under the capital account in Q3 of this year. SAFE added that it was all in line with China's target of accomplishing equilibrium in the international balance of payments.
FB, Twitter seek stronger Chinese connectionsOct 24, 2014
China to become Apple's largest revenue contributorOct 24, 2014
US-based Apple Inc revealed plans to raise the number of its retail stores in Greater China. Within two years, they plan to increase their stores to 40 from the current 15. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the country will be Apple’s largest revenue contributor soon enough. Greater China includes Taiwan and the autonomous administrative region of Hong Kong.
Foxconn in talks for a possible USD5.7bn investment in ZhengzhouOct 24, 2014
Apple iPhone's assembler Foxconn and the government of Zhengzhou are reportedly discussing terms for a possible USD5.7bn investment in northern China. Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Foxconn and Zhengzhou officials are discussing how to divide the investment that will include the construction of a factory that would make high-end screens for the iPhones. Both parties are yet to issue an official statement about the investment.
Chinese insurers encouraged to invest abroadOct 24, 2014
In order to reduce risks from a slowing domestic economy, well-funded Chinese insurers are urged to invest overseas. China Insurance Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Chen Wenhui said Chinese insurers still have a huge room for global asset allocation because most of them have invested only 1% of their assets abroad. Chinese regulations allow insurers to invest up to 15% of their assets overseas. Chen, however, said only well-funded and capable insurers must increase their exposure to overseas assets.
Gucci names Merinda Yeung as new China headOct 24, 2014
Italian luxury brand Gucci announced the appointment of Merinda Yeung as its new China chief following the resignation of a predecessor who quit after just 18 months on the job. Yueng, Gucci's Taiwan division chief, will be tasked to oversee the brand's operations in the Chinese market, which has turned cold following Beijing's anti-corruption crackdown. Yeung, who joined Gucci in February, was previously Chanel’s Singapore head and held positions in Louis Vuitton.
Unemployment rate steady at end of SeptemberOct 24, 2014China's labour ministry said the urban unemployment rate in the country was at 4.07% at the end of last month, slightly lower than Q2's 4.08%. The central government aims to keep its urban unemployment rate below 4.6% this year as top officials insisted that the labour market remains healthy despite a cooling economy.
China's Risen Energy to put up USD600m PV plant in MexicoOct 24, 2014
Risen Energy Co, a solar-energy firm based in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, revealed plans of putting in USD600m for the construction of a new 300 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Mexico's Durango state. It will be the biggest investment contract between mainland China and Mexico so far. The entire investment between the two countries reached USD610m last year, China’s Ministry of Commerce said.
China has the most number of high-earning expats in the worldOct 23, 2014
At least 29% of expatriates who earn more than USD250,000 a year are working in China, the Expat Explorer survey commissioned by HSBC showed. The survey, conducted by market research firm YouGov for HSBC, showed that mainland China now holds the biggest share of high-earning expats in the world. The survey covered nearly 9,300 expats in some ten countries. China, however, only ranks third in the list of world's favourite destinations among expats. The survey ranked Switzerland as the top destination globally for expats because of its trusted economy, good quality of life and comfortable salaries. Singapore ranked second. The fourth to tenth spots are taken by, in order, Germany, Bahrain, New Zealand, Thailand, Taiwan, India and Hong Kong.
21 countries to ink deal establishing AIIBOct 23, 2014
Representatives of the 21 countries that have agreed to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are set to sign a memorandum of understanding on 24 October for the establishment of the regional bank. The bank will be officially launched in 2016 but a general meeting will be held on 24 October to discuss the launch. A source from the Chinese government said South Korea has not responded to China's invitation to become one of the bank's founding member countries. The Seoul-based daily JoongAng Ilbo reported that South Korea bailed out of a plan to join the AIIB. South Korea initially expressed its support for the bank but then reversed its position.
Apple CEO visits iPhone6 workshop in ChinaOct 23, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook inspected a Foxconn iPhone workshop in the city of Zhengzhou in Henan Province on 22 October. Along with Cook was Foxconn Founder and Chairman Terry Guo. Henan city officials were also present. It took Cook two hours to make his inspection. He was told of the construction of three other Foxconn workshops in the city.
Shanghai's September FDI hits USD2.7bnOct 23, 2014
Foreign direct investment in the city of Shanghai reached USD2.7bn in September -- a 44.6% rise year-on-year, according to data that the Shanghai Statistics Bureau released. CITIC Securities Co Analyst Xue Jun said that Shanghai is still one of the top cities in China with the largest foreign investment. A big part of this is from the projects in the Shanghai pilot free-trade zone and the Disneyland theme park.
City of Massachusetts to purchase Chinese subway cars worth USD566.6mOct 23, 2014
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation board of directors gave its approval and officially awarded a USD566.6m contract to CNR MA for the purchase of Red and Orange Line subway cars. CNR MA is a joint venture of CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co and China CNR Corp Ltd. The deal calls for the acquisition of 284 subway cars and the construction of an assembly factory in the city of Springfield. The Orange Line subway cars are expected to be delivered between winter 2018 and winter 2021, while the Red Line subway cars between fall 2019 and spring 2021.
Zuckerberg holds Q&A session in Chinese at Tsinghua UniversityOct 23, 2014Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered questions and impressed a Chinese audience at Tsinghua University in Beijing on 22 October. Zuckerberg delivered a speech and answered queries using the Chinese language. He was in Beijing after being named to Tsinghua’s School of Economics and Management’s advisory board. Zuckerberg said joining the board is a very good chance to support education in China, China Real Time reported.
HSBC's China manufacturing PMI up 50.4 in OctoberOct 23, 2014The preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index went up 50.4 in the month of October this year. In September, the HSBC Holdings Plc's final reading of the country's manufacturing PMI was at 50.2. The result of this gauge of activity may help in easing concerns over the pace of China’s economic growth.
JP Morgan warned of potential problems in its China hiring practicesOct 23, 2014
JP Morgan Chase & Co executives at the company's New York office were warned of possible problems that could come up in relation to the US-based lender’s hiring practices in mainland China. This was over 12 months before JP Morgan's programme was investigated by American government officials. According to company emails reviewed by WSJ, a bank executive in Asia told legal and compliance officers in New York in 2011 of allegations that JP Morgan’s recruitment of a senior Chinese official's daughter helped the bank in getting an investment-banking assignment.
Lottery sales hit USD5.3bn in SeptemberOct 23, 2014
Lottery sales in the country increased 25.2% year-on-year in September to Rmb32.25bn (USD5.3bn), the Ministry of Finance said. The ministry said the total lottery sales in the first nine months of 2014 stood at Rmb279.4bn (USD45.7bn), up 24.5% from the same period last year. In 2013, the total lottery sales in China hit Rmb309bn (USD50.50bn).
German Chamber to establish office in TaicangOct 23, 2014
To better serve its members in the Jiangsu Province, the German Chamber of Commerce announced that it plans to establish a representative office in Taicang, where many German firms have invested heavily. Details of the construction of the said office have not been disclosed yet. Taicang, located next to Shanghai, has seen a growth in the number of German companies investing in the city's manufacturing and services industries. The chamber has 2,200 members among around 4,800 German businesses in the country.
USD24.4bn railway, airport projects approvedOct 23, 2014
The National Development and Reform Commission announced that it has approved the feasibility study of the proposed projects involving five airports and three railways in China. The said projects have a total investment of Rmb150bn (USD24.4bn), with the three railway projects taking up most of the budget with Rmb144.52bn (USD23.62bn). The projects form part of the government's efforts to boost infrastructure investment in less developed regions.
China's foreign currency purchase hits USD179bn in SeptemberOct 23, 2014
Chinese institutions and individuals purchased USD179.3bn in foreign currency in September and sold USD163bn, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said. This resulted to a USD16.3bn deficit in the banks’ forex transaction. From January to September of this year, Chinese bought USD1.25tr and sold USD1.43tr in foreign currency.
More mainland firms set to list in Hong KongOct 22, 2014
The upcoming Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme is expected to lure more mainland firms to list in Hong Kong, an official told the Global Times. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) Beijing Office Representative Judy Huang said the forthcoming Stock Connect programme will enable mainland investors to buy shares directly from the Hong Kong bourse. The Stock Connect programme was created after mainland and Hong Kong securities regulators agreed on it last April, enabling global investors to trade Shanghai A shares via the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The programme also allows mainland investors to trade Hong Kong H shares through the Shanghai Stock Exchange.