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.
Real estate firms pay lesser taxes in Jan-JulyAug 28, 2014
The corporate income tax paid by real estate companies in China dropped from 27.4% in the first seven months of 2013 to 5.8% in the same period this year. The 2014 budget report submitted by the State Council to the country's top legislature also showed that government revenue from land transactions also dropped to 23.9% from January to July this year, compared to the 49.4% growth registered in the same period last year. Analysts said China's cooling property market has dented revenue of real estate firms, resulting to the drop in corporate income tax payments.
Shanghai FTZ to set up 8 int'l trading platformsAug 28, 2014
The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone will create eight international trading platforms by next year, a work plan that the Shanghai municipal government issued on 26 August shows. The platforms will concentrate on bulk commodities, cotton, gas, iron ore, liquid chemicals, nonferrous metals transactions, oil, and silver. The Shanghai Securities News previously reported that an international gold-exchange centre will begin trading in the FTZ on 26 September.
Microsoft CEO will be in China amidst anti-monopoly controversyAug 28, 2014
Satya Nadella, the chief executive officer of US-based Microsoft Corp, is scheduled to come to China in September, even as the country's authorities are conducting an anti-monopoly probe into many foreign-based companies including software-giant Microsoft. There are no reports that Nadella will hold talks with Chinese government officials to attempt to settle matters with the country's State Administration for Industry and Commerce, one of the antitrust regulators conducting the anti-monopoly probe.
Wanda to venture into e-commerceAug 28, 2014Real-estate giant Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd of China is set to create an e-commerce joint venture with Chinese internet firms Baidu Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd. Wanda and its partners will spend about Rmb5bn (USD813m). Wanda will control 70% of the JV. Baidu and Tencent will take hold of the remaining 30%. In July 2014, Wanda Founder and Chairman Wang Jianlin announced that Wanda will collaborate with some of China's top e-commerce firms to create an e-commerce company.
Lenovo to settle laptop suit in the US for USD70mAug 28, 2014
Lenovo Group Ltd of China announced that it is about to settle a class-action suit regarding laptop malfunctions in the United States for about USD70m. Lenovo will use some USD49m of the settlement fund to fix 83,000 Lenovo IdeaPad laptops that were sold in the US. Also, it will spend USD20m to refund buyers who filed the lawsuit last year in relation to the firm's ultrabook products, a document that the US District Court for the Central District of California said.
Volkswagen claims China probe unrelated to anti-monopoly investigationsAug 28, 2014Germany's Volkswagen AG claimed that the Chinese government's investigation of the acting and ex-executives of its China joint venture, the state-owned FAW Group Corp, is in no way linked to an anti-monopoly probe into foreign-based car manufacturers. The country's investigations are focussed on allegations that foreign-based automobile firms are manipulating their prices for services and spare parts. According to FAW, it was being investigated as a matter of routine not as part of the anti-monopoly drive.
Alibaba mobile devices' revenue rises before IPOAug 28, 2014
China-based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd came out with a report showing a huge rise in revenue from the sale of its mobile devices. Analysts believe this could boost its advantage in September this year when Alibaba starts to convince investors on its long-anticipated initial public offering. On 26 August, Alibaba revealed that its accelerated revenue growth was mainly due to Chinese consumers’ usage of the e-commerce giant's website to purchase smartphones, cellular phones and similar mobile devices. The company's revenue went up USD2.5bn in Q2 of this year or 46% year-on-year.
China rules out Ebola cases in Shenzhen, BeijingAug 28, 2014Health authorities in the city of Shenzhen said the Chinese returnee from Nigeria was negative of Ebola virus while another Chinese from Libya was also declared negative of the virus in Beijing. Both have been closely monitored but have passed the 21-day window period. As this developed, China began mass-producing test kits that would prevent any potential spread of the deadly virus. The Ebola test kit that is being produced in Shenzhen, Guangdong province addresses the need for immediate detection.
Samsung, Lenovo supplier denies child labourers on China plantAug 28, 2014
HEG Technology, a Huizhou-based factory and a supplier for Samsung Electronics and Lenovo Group, said it had never hired child labourer at its plant. Samsung supported HEG's claim by saying it did not find children or students working on HEG's Samsung production line. Lenovo said it will look into the report of New York-based watchdog China Labour Watch, which claimed that HEG violated China's labour laws by hiring children.
China to allow foreigners into courtsAug 28, 2014Supreme People's Court President Zhou Qiang said foreigners will now be regularly allowed in courts to listen to cases, a state media reported. Zhou, who made the announcement to ambassadors and officials from 20 countries and regions, said more foreigners will be allowed to visit China's courts and listen to trials and cases involving foreign companies or citizens. The state media report, however, did not make clear whether foreigners would be allowed to sit in on politically sensitive cases.
Establishment of three new private banks gets green lightAug 28, 2014
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has given the green light for the establishment of three private banks in the country as part of a move to further open the country's banking sector. The three new firms, including Tencent's WeBank, are among the new private banks that will be opened under a government pilot scheme approved on 11 March last year. Tencent’s Assistant General Manager of the Strategy Development Department Tang Ling believes WeBank has the capability to better accommodate micro businesses and consumers by leveraging Tencent’s already massive customer base.
China remains ASEAN's largest trading partnerAug 27, 2014
The trade between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries and China reached USD350.5bn in 2013, which means China is still the largest trading partner of the association. In a statement, both ASEAN and China expressed their commitment in achieving the joint trade volume target of USD500bn by the end of 2015. During the 46th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Myanmar, ASEAN and China agreed to upgrade the ASEAN-China free trade area.
China opens hospitals to investorsAug 27, 2014Foreign investors can now wholly own hospitals in the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan as part of the central government's move to open the country's private hospital sector to foreign investments. The seven cities and provinces will take part in the pilot test, the Ministry of Commerce said. The approvals for foreign-owned hospitals will be overseen by provincial governments. It was, however, made clear that only investors from Macau, Taiwan and Hong Kong can practice traditional Chinese medicine. As of 2013, China has 11,300 private hospitals and Deutsche Bank reported that 8,000 public hospitals could be privatised over the next five to ten years.
Chinese shipbuilding industry threatens South Korean dominanceAug 27, 2014
Chinese shipbuilders are launching a challenge to the shipbuilders in South Korea, currently the biggest shipbuilding nation in the world, with its strong government support and a boost in offshore oil acquisition, cheaper production costs, and more technical know-how. President Zhang Guangqin of the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry said that even though offshore engineering equipment like dredgers, drilling platforms, maritime crane ships and wind-power devices are getting more expensive to acquire and more complicated to manufacture, the growing worldwide demand for energy resources will keep orders for ships coming in.
China's H1 inbound M&A deals reach USD12.5bnAug 27, 2014
From January to June this year, the foreign inbound mergers and acquisitions deals in mainland China reached USD12.5bn, according to a report that US-based consultancy-firm PricewaterhouseCoopers released on 26 August. The figure is up from USD8.4bn year-on-year, marking the fourth straight rise in value. PwC's Roger Liu said that the H1 momentum was provided by Singapore-based Chinese Banking Corp Ltd's USD5bn purchase of Wing Hang Bank, adding that the European continent remains the prime source of foreign strategic buyers in China.
Forex losses affect Air China's profitAug 27, 2014
Air China Ltd revealed that its 58% profit decline was caused by foreign-exchange losses in H1 of this year, even though its revenue from air travel went up. The airline company added that the yuan's depreciation versus the US dollar increased the costs of payments on its USD-denominated debt. The renminbi declined 2.5% from January to June 2014, causing Air China to suffer a foreign-exchange loss of Rmb721m (USD117m).
US runs out of investor visas due to Chinese applicantsAug 27, 2014
Due to a surge in applications by Chinese citizens, the United States ran out of immigrant-investor visas offering quick permanent residency. The American government's EB-5 program has 10,000 visas given out each year to foreigners who put in a minimum of USD500,000 in development projects like bridges, hotels, ski resorts, and dairy farms. In exchange, the investors and their families are eligible for permanent residency or green cards in a two-year period.
China provinces report labour shortage in H1Aug 27, 2014
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said more than 50% of the companies in provinces, including Anhui, Hainan and Jiangsu, have reported labour shortages in H1 2014 due to the mounting wages in China. During the same period, 44 of the 84 companies in Jiangsu, with each company employing at least 100 workers, said they are struggling to hire workers, while Anhui said 70% of the 349 polled companies reported manpower shortages. In Hainan, 68.8% of companies failed to recruit enough workers.
Fonterra to invest USD615m in China JVAug 27, 2014New Zealand's Fonterra Cooperative Group is investing up to USD615m to form a JV with China's Beingmate, an infant formula manufacturer, in order to produce milk products for the Chinese market. The JV, which will be 51% owned by Beingmate and 49% by Fonterra, will distribute Fonterra's Anmum brand products in China. Fonterra also plans to buy up to 20% stake in Beingmate.
Mars Inc to open food safety centre in BeijingAug 27, 2014
M&M chocolates maker Mars Inc is setting up a global food safety centre in Huairou, Beijing to help promote effective global food safety management. Mars is investing USD15m for the centre, which will be the first of its kind for the American manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products. The centre is set to open in the summer of 2015. Mars said the centre will focus on horizon scanning, researching new threats, developing new methods and building capability through education and training.
Agricultural Bank chief supports pay cut for top execsAug 27, 2014
Zhang Yun, the president of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), supports the government's move to cut the pay and benefits of top executives in state-owned enterprises. Zhang is the first among the presidents of the top banks in China to openly advocate the salary-reduction plan. The presidents of China's five state banks and their deputy presidents and board chairmen made around Rmb1m (USD162,000) a year. Zhang, who made Rmb1.06m in 2013, said he will firmly support and strictly implement the salary-reduction plan.
Commercial real estate investment in China hits USD3bnAug 26, 2014
China received USD3bn worth of commercial real estate investment from foreign investors in the second quarter of this year, a 32% rise quarter-on-quarter, said integrated property services firm DTZ. The investment rise in China came after landlords became more inclined to dispose of non-core assets due to slower housing sales, creating a window of opportunity for investors. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s transaction activity rebounded 133% to USD2.2bn. Overall, overseas investments in the Asia Pacific region continue to be active in the second quarter as commercial real estate investment, excluding land sales, in the region went up 9% to USD25.4bn from the previous quarter.
China’s logistics industry holds steady growthAug 26, 2014
China’s Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said the logistics industry saw a steady growth in the first seven months of this year, hitting a year-on-year growth of 8.7%. The total value of social logistics goods in the first seven months amounted to USD19.4tr. The combined logistics expenditure from January to July totalled USD900bn, up 8.8% from a year ago. The federation’s report also said the industry’s efficiency and structure have been improving, compared with last year.
ICBC's H1 cross-border RMB deals rise 70%Aug 26, 2014
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd announced that its cross-border renminbi business hits Rmb1.7tr (USD276bn) in H1 of this year, up 70% year-on-year. ICBC reported on 25 August that it has handled cross-border yuan settlements worth around Rmb6.7tr (USD1.09bn) since 2009, when the country began trials of cross-border trade settlement utilising renminbi in Macau, Hong Kong, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation and a few other regions.