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.
China's Big Four shave USD70bn of stock valueMar 14, 2014
State-controlled banks, known as China's Big Four, saw their stock market shares shaving USD70bn of value this year as investors become concerned on the banks' future profitability. The country's four-biggest lenders - Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Construction Bank Corp, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd and Bank of China - sank to the lowest valuations on record in Hong Kong on 12 March, squeezed by slower economic growth and rising bad debts. The market value of ICBC, the largest bank in China, dropped below net assets for the first time this week, Bloomberg reported.
China's economic data lower than forecastMar 14, 2014
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said China's industrial output gained 8.6% in January and February. This is down from growth of 9.9% in the same period in 2013. On the other hand, urban fixed-asset investment rose 17.9% in the first two months making it the slowest growth for the period in 13 years. Retail sales also recorded the smallest gain since 2004 at just 11.8% during the two-month period. Experts said the lower-than-expected data signals an economic slowdown that could further pressure the country's 7.5% growth target for this year.
China Cinda pays USD300m for Chicago Office TowerMar 14, 2014
Cinda Capital Management of China, with partner Chicago-based Zeller Realty Group, paid more than USD300m to buy a 65-story office tower in the city of Chicago. Zeller Executive Vice President Ari Glass said Cindais a unit of the China Cinda Asset Management Co. The Hong Kong stock exchange-listed firm came out with a USD2.5bn IPO last December and owns some 70% of the venture that Zeller has control over.
China's graduates soar to 7.27 million this yearMar 14, 2014
The government said the number of university and college graduates in China this year soared to 7.27 million, or 280,000 more than last year, posing a severe challenge to the employment market. With the recent figures, national political advisers suggested the government adjust majors and specialties at colleges and universities to ease employment difficulties. According to Wang Shuping, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, many college graduates have a hard time finding a job after graduation because their courses are too often not what is needed in the fast changing market.
Shanghai constructing 8,560 hotel roomsMar 14, 2014
Shanghai has reported the largest number of hotel rooms under construction among the markets in the region with 8,560. This was revealed in the February 2014 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report. The report said the Asia Pacific hotel development pipeline comprises 2,049 hotels totaling 435,790 rooms. Shanghai leads the region with the largest number of rooms under construction, followed by Manila with 6,405 rooms, Delhi with 5,721 rooms, Jakarta with 5,634 rooms, Chengdu with 5,088 rooms and Bali with 4,686 rooms. The total active pipeline data includes projects in the construction andfinal planning stages but does not include projects in the pre-planning stage.
Central bank orders Alibaba, Tencent to stop QR codes e-paymentsMar 14, 2014
Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent said the People's Bank of China (PBOC)has ordered them to stop processing online payments using QR codes. The online payment units of Alibaba and Tencent told Reuters that they received the directive from the central bank, although the PBOC has not issued an official statement to the media regarding the order. The order was announced by the dotcom giants a day after CITIC Bank revealed plans to partner with Alibaba and Tencent to issue virtual credit cards-based QR code payments, Reuters reported.
China and South Korea hold FTA negotiationsMar 14, 2014
China and South Korea will again go back to the negotiation table for a fresh round of talks regarding bilateral free-trade agreement in the third week of March. According to South Korea’s ministry of trade, the FTA talks’ 10th round will be at Ilsan outside of Seoul and will last five days. Among the matters up for discussion include investment and rules, goods and services.
China, European Union near historic trade dealMar 14, 2014
China and the European Union are about to sign a deal that covers three key trade disputes that have damaged the relationship of the two economies. The closing of the deal could be revealed when Chinese President Xi Jinping goes to Brussels before the end of March. It could also neutralize the risks of a trade war between the two regions that could ruin industries involving telecommunications equipment, solar panels, polysilicon and other goods like wine.
Economists: China economic slowdown a threat to US recoveryMar 14, 2014
Economists whom The Wall Street Journal surveyed on 7-11 March said that the biggest threat to the United States is China’s economic slowdown. Of the 49 economists polled, 27 of them said that the economic slowdown is the prime threat. Eight said the troubles in Ukraine are the worst threat, and six believed that the worst risk to US recovery is a new set of troubles emanating from the Middle East.
China, Ireland set up USD100m investment fundMar 14, 2014
The China Investment Corp and Ireland's National Pension Reserve Fund have jointly invested in a USD100m fund aimed at facilitating bilateral investment in the technology sector. Each side injected USD50m into the fund, which is expected to attract up to USD250m. Under the deal, the sovereign wealth funds of the two countries will finance the purchase of stocks in Irish technology companies. The fund primarily targets sectors such as the internet, software and clean technology but may also expand to agriculture, food and medical services.
Las Vegas seeks China investorsMar 14, 2014
An economic team from Las Vegas, United States is set to visit China's major cities for a 12-day trip aimed at enticing Chinese investors to come to southern Nevada. Non-profit organization Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA) will visit Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities. The LVGEA is looking to interest Chinese investors in technology, manufacturing and real estate, said LVGEA President and CEO Tom Skancke.
China will not rescue all loan defaults - Premier LiMar 13, 2014
China Premier Li Keqiang said the government is reluctant to see defaults of financial products but will not always be there to rescue every troubled investment. In a press conference, Li said that while some loan defaults will need government help, there are some cases that are hard to avoid especially in a challenging economic environment. The country first saw its default of a domestic bond on the first week of March when a solar equipment firm missed an interest payment of Rmb89m (USD14.6m). During the same press conference, Li acknowledged that the economy is facing difficulties but expressed confidence that economic growth will stay within a reasonable range this year.
Central bank ready to cut bank reserves if GDP slows downMar 13, 2014
If China's economic growth will slow further, the central bank said it will cut the amount of cash that banks must keep as reserves, Reuters reported, quoting unnamed sources. In an exclusive report, Reuters said the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, is ready to cut bank reserves if GDP growth drops below 7.5% and towards 7%. A growth target of 7.5% has been set by the Chinese government for 2014, with many analysts expecting that GDP could fall to this level during Q1 of this year.
Shanghai Electric Power buys 33% stake in Malta’s EnemaltaMar 13, 2014
The governments of China and Malta signed a deal intended to save the latter’s energy utility. Analysts say this deal will give China a foothold in the Mediterranean’s energy industry and possibly in Europe. This is also the largest foreign-direct investment ever in the Mediterranean nation. The Shanghai Electric Power Co takes a 33% stake in Malta’s Enemalta for EUR320m (USD432m).
China's marine industry valued at over USD880bn in 2013Mar 13, 2014
The State Oceanic Administration, China's maritime authority, said the country's marine industry generated gross product value of Rmb5.4tr (USD884.9bn) in 2013, or 7.6% higher year on year. Maritime authority Spokesman Shi Qingfeng said that gross oceanic production in 2013 accounted for 9.5% of China's GDP, with more than 35 million people working in ocean-related jobs. However, development of the shipping industry and sea salts industry continued to decline last year due to various factors, Shi added.
Taiwan's Lalu hotel chain plans building 30 hotels in ChinaMar 13, 2014
High-end Taiwanese property developer The Shining Group said it will build 30 Lalu hotels in China over the next ten years. The ambitious plan was announced in a statement by the group that its first hotel under its luxury Lalu brand will open in China in June. The new hotel will be located in Qingdao, Shandong province. It will be followed by the opening of another Lalu brand hotel in Nanjing at the end of this year or early next year. The group plans to hire 350 people to fill positions at its Qingdao Lalu hotel.
ChangYou eyes mobile gaming with USD600m investmentMar 13, 2014
Chinese online games developer and operator ChangYou has earmarked USD600m for its mobile gaming development initiative. The Beijing-based, NASDAQ-listed company said it will spend USD200m in acquiring mobile games, USD200m in mobile game marketing over the next two years and USD200m in revenue-sharing arrangements with game developers over three years. The investment programme, called "CYOU Win Plan", offers a tremendous opportunity for independent gaming developers to publish their games worldwide, said ChangYou US General Manager Joey Gia.
China's CAA to look into Fonterra’s plantsMar 13, 2014
Dairy-producer Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd of New Zealand revealed that CAA Certification and Accreditation Administration of China will look into the status of some of New Zealand’s food companies including that of Fonterra. China’s audit team will check some of New Zealand’s biggest infant-formula producers to try to upgrade the quality and safety levels of infant and baby formulas to be exported to China.
Chinese shoppers to spend USD829m annually in London by 2020Mar 13, 2014
International real estate consultancy firm Savills made public a report which predicts Chinese shoppers possibly doubling their spending during shopping sprees in London to almost GBP500m (USD829m) per year by the year 2020. This will be possible because of a now easier visa processing, Savills said. The report states that Chinese shoppers’ spending in London will increase by about 141% in a six-year period.
SAFE OKs more cross-border payments at Shanghai FTZMar 13, 2014
The Shanghai office of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange announced that it will allow more e-commerce firms to offer cross-border payment services in the city’s pilot free-trade zone. SAFE added that it is studying the possibility of allowing authorised companies to transfer foreign currency in cash from outside China. This is part of the state regulator’s reforms programs for foreign-exchange management for 2014.
Next Games raises USD6m in investments including from China's IDGMar 13, 2014
Mobile games developer Next Games has come up with USD6m in investments that count IDG Capital Partners of China and Swiss-based Finnish investor Jari Ovaskainen, who helped fund games-developer Supercell Oy. Next Games’ next two projects include one based on AMC Networks Inc’s hit television series “The Walking Dead.” Next Games was able to raise the investment from investors coming from three continents. AMC is a US-based TV firm.
China-Saudi trade reached USD73bn in 2013Mar 13, 2014
Economic exchange between Saudi Arabia and China stood at USD73bn last year, said Saudi Ambassador to Beijing Yahya Al-Zaid during the first day of Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz’s state visit to China. Aside from the growing bilateral trade between Saudi and China, Al-Zaid also revealed that the number of students studying at Chinese universities increased to more than 1,300 from nearly zero a few years ago. He says the figures show the importance of the relations between Riyadh and Beijing. Saudi Crown Prince Salman is set to meet Premier Li Keqiang, Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and other senior officials. The visit is expected to include high-level talks on economic, cultural and military cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China.
60 Shanghai teachers tapped to help raise England's math standardsMar 12, 2014
England's Department of Education said it will bring up to 60 Shanghai math teachers to the country to help in raising education standards. The Shanghai teachers, expected to arrive autumn, will help share their teaching methods, support pupils who are struggling and help to train other teachers. The Chinese teachers will hold master classes in 30 identified "math hubs", which England plans to turn into a network of centres of excellence. England's decision to bring in Chinese math teachers was based on the results of international tests that showed Shanghai's pupils having the highest math scores.
Investor confidence on China remains highMar 12, 2014
A recent survey conducted by international investment management firm Baring Asset Management Ltd (Barings) showed that institutional investor confidence towards China remains high, with majority of investors polled saying the country's corporate governance has improved over the past three years. Half of the institutional investors surveyed by Barings said they are expecting to increase their exposure to China. Barings said China remains very attractive as it has become more accessible to foreign investors. The number of respondents who answered the survey was not immediately disclosed by Barings.