SAFE eases regulations for special economic zonesMay 24, 2013China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) announced that it will ease regulations of foreign currency transactions for firms operating in special economic zones in the country. The simplified regulations now allow companies to take legal profits derived from exports out of the country, as long as they are located in special economic zones. The new rules, which will take effect in June, will also cut down paperwork requirements and reduce the frequency of regulatory checks.
China's shares stabilise after Shanghai Index's 4% fallMay 6, 2015China's shares stabilised on 6 May, a day after the Shanghai Composite Index suffered its second worst drop so far in 2015. The Shanghai Composite, which fell 4% on 5 May,rose 0.8% at 4332.79. According to the Xinhua News Agency, the decline was necessary for the Index to adjust as markets undergo a “slow-bull” phase. In 2015, the Shanghai market rallied more than 30% so far. Managing Director Hao Hong of the Bank of China Communications International said that the market will have to enter a turbulent correction phase.
Peer-to-peer lending hits record high in AprilMay 6, 2015China's peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector surged to a record Rmb55.1bn (USD8.9bn) in April, according to a web portal that tracks the sector,. P2P lending in China surged 2.7% from a year earlier in April but slowed from the 3.5% rise posted in March, according to Online Lending House. The slower growth was attributed to the number of P2P investors that shifted to the stock market, riding on the Chinese stocks' bull run. P2P lending allows individuals to borrow money from other individuals without going through banks or financial institutions.
JD Capital launches P2P platform with USD322m investmentMay 6, 2015
Chinese private equity firm JD Capital is reportedly investing Rmb2bn (USD322m) to launch its own peer-to-peer lending platform, China Money Network said, quoting Chinese media reports. The report said JD Capital has entered China's booming Internet finance market with the launching of Jiuxin Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary. JD Capital, which manages Rmb31bn (USD6bn) in total assets, earlier announced that it will establish a commercial bank after launching its own brokerage firm and mutual fund arm last year, China Money Network reported. Last March, JD Capital announced plans to set up a USD320m environment fund with Beijing Water Business Doctor Co to invest in emerging environmental protection businesses.
China Construction Bank seeks to expand New Zealand staffMay 6, 2015The New Zealand branch of China Construction Bank, China's second largest bank, is on a recruitment drive as it seeks to take a slice of the growing trade market between China and New Zealand. Dame Jenny Shipley, China Construction Bank New Zealand's chairwoman, said that the bank now employs 26 people at its headquarters in Auckland, and that the figure could double over the next two years, according to a report published on The New Zealand Herald website. Eight of the company’s 26 employees of in Auckland are Chinese expats. Since it received clearance to operate in New Zealand last July 2014, the CCB has been hiring top talent previously hired by its Australian-owned rivals.
Bayer's 2014 China healthcare business up 14%May 6, 2015Bayer HealthCare of Germany enjoyed a sales boost of EUR1.66bn (USD1.85bn) in China, a 14% increase in 2014 year-on-year. Bayer added that its pharmaceuticals unit increased 15% annually in China, with a 26% rise in its consumer-care business, plus an 11% growth in its animal-healthcare subsidiary. Managing Director Alok Kanti of Bayer HealthCare China said that their success is due to their innovation capabilities and patient-focused treatment options.
Tax cuts for small firms reach USD3.92bn in Q1May 5, 2015
Small and micro firms in China enjoyed a 50% income tax cut in Q1 of this year, resulting in savings of about Rmb24bn (USD3.92bn), the State Administration of Taxation announced. The tax cut benefited a total of 2.16 million small and micro firms. In February, the State Council announced that companies that have annual taxable income under 200,000 yuan (USD32,573) will have their corporate tax reduced by 50% from this year through the end of 2017. In an effort to boost the country’s economic growth and employment, the government has revised its tax policies affecting 27 million small and micro firms.
CITIC creates new company to consolidate its finance, capital abroadMay 5, 2015
CITIC Securities, the biggest brokerage firm in China, has put up a new company to unify its corporate finance and capital market enterprises overseas. Hong Kong-based CITIC unit, CITIC Securities International, and CITIC-controlled CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, have jointly created new brokerage firm, CITIC CLSA Securities, to consolidate their merger-and-acquisition activities, equity capital market and debt-capital market enterprises in foreign markets. In 2014, CITIC acquired CLSA from Credit Agricole SA of France, the first major acquisition of a foreign peer by a Chinese brokerage firm.
UnionPay's holiday cross-border transactions up 73%May 5, 2015
UnionPay's overseas transactions went up 73% year-on-year during China's May Day holiday. UnionPay, the lone local bankcard organization in the Chinese mainland, had a total volume of transactions worth Rmb263.5bn (USD43bn) from 1-3 May, an 18.7% increase year-on-year. The company's card transactions have been consistently strong in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. China UnionPay has outlets in about 150 countries.
IMF 'on the verge' of declaring yuan as fairly valuedMay 4, 2015
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reportedly close to declaring the official currency of mainland China, the yuan or renminbi, as fairly valued for the very first time in over 10 years. The IMF’s yuan reassessment in the next several months contrasts with the US government's disapproval of China’s management of its currency. According to the United States, the yuan is still artificially weak and provides Chinese exports with an unfair advantage.
Warren Buffett sees positive outlook for China's stock marketMay 4, 2015
China's stock market performance, especially the A-share markets, will continue to be bullish in the next two to three years, Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett said during the company’s annual shareholders' meeting in the US. Buffett, the world's third-richest person, however, said China's investment environment might be vulnerable to speculative influences because it is still relatively young. Buffett's comments come as a needed boost to China's lacklustre economic data and coincide with the country's bullish markets. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 18.51% to hit a seven-year high in April.
Taiwan's Hua Nan Bank opens Fuzhou branchMay 1, 2015
Taiwan's Hua Nan Commercial Bank is set to offer a full range of Chinese yuan-denominated banking services, such as deposits, loans and remittances after it received permit from China's financial authorities for the opening of its Fuzhou branch. The branch is expected to begin operations on 13 May and Hua Nan Commercial Bank, a banking arm of Taiwan-based Hua Nan Financial Holding Co, said it will use the branch as a base to extend its reach in the booming Fujian province. Many Taiwanese-invested businesses are concentrated in Fujian and along China's southeast coast.
China begins deposit insurance schemeMay 1, 2015
China starts its deposit insurance this month, providing banking customers with financial indemnity should their bank suffer bankruptcy or insolvency. The new deposit insurance scheme takes effect from 1 May. The new insurance scheme covers 99.63% of Chinese depositors with both RMB and foreign currency deposits. It also covers individuals and companies, the regulation said. Under the new insurance deposit law, customers are entitled to up to Rmb500,000 (USD81,783) in insurance. For depositors with more than Rmb500,000 worth of deposits, they will receive indemnity with the bank's own assets.
More young Chinese betting on stocksApr 30, 2015
The China Securities Depository and Clearing Co released new data that showed a number of well-educated yet inexperienced young Chinese are now buying stocks. The data showed that about 62% of the almost eight million new stock accounts that opened in Q1 of this year were taken by new investors in their late twenties or early thirties. The number of young Chinese investors raised new stock accounts by 433% this year, the data added. Noting the substantial fluctuation that the market is experiencing, market regulators warn individual investors to be fully conscious about their investments and the risk involved in short-term investments.
China's consumer services make up for 67% of all investments in VCApr 29, 2015
Venture-capital companies kept putting money into mainland China's economy in Q1 of this year with the consumer-services industry getting the most attention. Eight of the top 10 deals so far this year were in consumer services which constitutes 67% of the total investment, hitting USD6.53bn in Q1. This is down from the record-breaking USD6.86bn that was spent in Q4 of last year in this sector, according to VentureSource's data.
Individuals in Shanghai FTZ may soon be allowed to invest abroadApr 29, 2015
Sources told Reuters that Chinese regulators may soon allow Chinese individuals to invest in overseas market directly through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ). The the scheme would be a first in China and will fall under the Qualified Domestic Individual Investor (QDII2) programme. The move to allow Chinese individuals in the Shanghai FTZ to invest abroad is part of the government's efforts to promote capital account convertibility and international use of the yuan. Details of the QDII2 remain undisclosed as of 29 April and the People's Bank of China has not responded to requests for comments. The QDII2 programme is jointly proposed by the Shanghai government, the central bank and Chinese regulators.
China's Mobile Internet to exceed that of US this yearApr 29, 2015
Mobile-Internet revenue from mainland China will outdo that of the United States of America and become the biggest in the world this year. At the same time, as the popularity of 4G smartphones increases, Internet speed will have to improve alongside it, according to discussions at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. The country's mobile Internet revenue was at USD1.8tr last year and is expected to keep rising to and so overtake that of the US for the first time. Huai Jinpeng of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that he was confident that this would occur even though he did not disclose specific figures.
Shanghai FTZ adds 3 districtsApr 28, 2015On 27 April, the Shanghai pilot free-trade zone grew with the addition of three districts the Jinqiao manufacturing zone, the Lujiazui financial hub, and the Zhangjiang high-technology centre, to now have a total area of 120.7 sq. km. The FTZ administration and the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s government will be combined to manage the FTZ, said Sun Jiwei deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai Municipal Government at a press conference on 27 April. The total number of enterprises in the expanded FTZ has reached over 73 000 so far including more than 16 000 foreign companies said Zhu Min, a spokesman for the FTZ administration.
PetroChina's Q1 net falls 82%Apr 28, 2015
PetroChina Co Ltd has revealed that its net profit for this year's first quarter declined 82% after deducting nonrecurring items. The firm's Q1 net profit amounted to Rmb6.2bn (USD997.2m) down from Rmb34.8bn (USD5.61bn) last year during the same period. The company laid the blame largely on the sharp fall in the world's oil prices. PetroChina added that it had cut down on costs in Q1 of this year. PetroChina is now considered the top rival of US-based Exxon Mobil Corp for the title of the biggest oil firm in the world based on market value.
China Vanke's Q1 earnings decline 59%Apr 27, 2015
China Vanke Co Ltd, the biggest residential real estate developer in mainland China, has revealed that its core profits for Q1 of this year dropped by 58.9% year-on-year. The developer added that the decline was caused by a high starting base and lower margins. China Vanke claimed however that it expects its profit to grow throughout 2015. The property-development firm announced that its core profits were at Rmb628.7m (USD101.52m) from January to March, down from Rmb1.5bn (USD240m) during the same period last year.
Huatai Securities seeks USD3.5bn in HK IPOApr 28, 2015
Huatai Securities Co, the fifth-biggest brokerage firm in the Chinese mainland, is looking to make USD3.5bn from its Hong Kong initial public offering. If plans are pushed through, Huatai's IPO will be the third-biggest worldwide so far this year. In February, Madrid airport-operator Aena SA made USD4.8bn in its IPO, while GF Securities Co made USD4.1bn in its own Hong Kong IPO earlier in April. GF's shares increased 35% as trading started.
Apple's China revenue up 71% to USD16.8bnApr 28, 2015
US-based Apple Inc sold 61.2 million iPhone units in Q1 of this year a 40% rise from the same period in 2014. Even though the company sold just 12.6 million iPad units, 23% fewer year-on-year, its revenue in mainland China increased 71% to USD16.8bn. Apple did not provide sales data for its new Apple Watch. Apple's dividend is up 11% to USD.52 for each share with shares rising 1.6% in after-hours trading to USD134.52.
Central bank announces deposit insurance ratesApr 28, 2015
The People’s Bank of China has set the charges for its planned deposit insurance scheme at between 0.01% and 0.02%. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan told official state media on Tuesday that these rates were much lower than those imposed in other countries. The announcement comes ahead of the launch of the deposit insurance plan, which should take place during the first half of this year. The proposed deposit insurance scheme will pay a maximum compensation of Rmb500, 000 (USD81, 500) per depositor should a bank suffer insolvency. Zhou said earlier that the deposit insurance scheme would play a major role in the country's financial reforms and should be considered as a prelude to liberalizing deposit rates.
Beijing to roll out tax refunds for foreign touristsApr 27, 2015Beijing is planning to launch a tax refund scheme that will benefit foreign visitors making purchases starting this year. The plan, which aims to boost tourism and consumption in the Chinese capital, seeks to give a rebate of 11% on consumer goods purchased at participating stores. The tax refund will apply to foreign tourists as well as those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who have stayed on the mainland for no more than 183 days. The minimum purchase for a tax refund will be Rmb500 (USD82) at any store in one day. The Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development is already discussing the details of the plan with revenue authorities.
Industrial profit slips in MarchApr 27, 2015
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said profits of Chinese industrial businesses dipped 0.4% year on year to Rmb508.6bn (USD82bn) in March. The decline narrowed sharply from a 4.2% slump in the Jan-Feb period, said the NBS. Dragged by the sagging performance in the first two months, China's industrial profits shrank by 2.7% in Q1 to Rmb1.25tr (USD201bn). NBS statistician He Ping attributed the improvement in March to lower raw material prices and operating costs, and higher investment returns in industrial businesses. The NBS said raw materials cost dropped 5.7% in March, from a year ago, or 0.2% more than the first two months of this year. The bureau added that financial costs of China's industrial firms were Rmb6.59bn lower in March after the central bank cut interest rates from 1 March.