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 shadow banking sector now world's third largestOct 31, 2014
The Financial Stability Board (FSB), a task force set up by G20 economies, said China's shadow banking sector is growing at a quick speed and is now ranked as the third largest in the world. Analysts, however, said the sector has not yet reached a level that could threaten the overall financial system's stability. But the FSB report said the size and rapid growth of shadow banking in China warrants particular attention. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimates that the shadow banking sector in China may involve up to USD4.39tr of assets.
Yuan's share of global payments up in SeptemberOct 31, 2014
The Chinese currency yuan accounted for 1.72% of global payments in September, the Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunications (Swift) said. The September figure is up from 1.64% in August and has set a global transactions record for the yuan. Swift said the yuan is primarily used as a trade settlement currency but is steadily making progress as an investment currency. China has started direct currency trading with Singapore, US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Bad loans at China’s largest lenders up 22%Oct 31, 2014
Nonperforming loans made with the largest banks in China have gone up 22% since January 2014. The country's economic slowdown and industrial overcapacity have all ramped up problems in China's financial sector. Although these Chinese banks are still raking in profits, their profit growths are minimal considering the double-digit quarterly increases they posted from two years ago. At the end of Q3 2014, China Construction Bank Corp, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, Bank of China, and the Agricultural Bank of China Ltd posted Rmb415bn (USD67.5bn) in bad loans.
Xiaomi eyes USD1bn loan from 29 banksOct 31, 2014
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi plans to raise up to USD1bn by borrowing from 29 banks, its first attempt at accessing overseas funds for capital, the Wall Street Journal said. The lead bankers for the three-year loan are Deutsche Bank AG; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co; Morgan Stanley; ICBC Asia, a subsidiary Chinese lender of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd; Brazil's Banco do Brasil; Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ; Credit Suisse Group SA; and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Xiaomi is dubbed the Apple of China.
PBOC lends Argentina's central bank USD814mOct 31, 2014
Under a currency-swap line, the Central Bank of Argentina borrowed from the People's Bank of China, its counterpart, for the very first time on 30 October. The Argentine central bank requested some USD814m in loans. The South American bank and the PBOC agreed to the Rmb70bn (USD11.45bn) currency swap when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Argentina last July.
China relaxes credit-card payments rulesOct 30, 2014
The Chinese State Council released a statement saying that qualified local and foreign companies can apply to put up bank card-clearing operations in the country to settle payments between vendors and banks. Industry experts are saying that the Chinese government's decision could resolve a trade dispute with the United States government and let foreign firms like MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc boost their business in China.
Chinese stocks open lower after US Fed’s confirmation to end QEOct 30, 2014China's stocks opened a bit low on 30 October after the United States Federal Reserve officially announced its plans to end the quantitative easing (QE) stimulus programme. The Shanghai Composite Index opened at 2,371.89 points, 1.14 points down, while the Shenzhen Component Index fell 1.7 points to open at 8,088.98.
Shanghai-Hong Kong linkup to move ahead as plannedOct 30, 2014
President Chow Chung-kong of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange said that a plan to allow cross-trading between Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets will be pursued. The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect platform will allow international investors trade chosen stocks in Shanghai’s exchange and let mainland-Chinese investors purchase stocks in the autonomous administrative region of Hong Kong. The launch was originally planned to be on the last week of October this year but was delayed.
Most of Forbes China Rich List members are living in BeijingOct 29, 2014
With 67 members of China's Rich List residing in Beijing, the Chinese capital continues to top the list of cities in the country with the largest number of billionaire residents. The 2014 Forbes China 400 List showed that Beijing's air pollution has not prevented serious money-making in the city as it ranked first in the number of rich residents. Beijing’s famous wealthy resident is Baidu CEO Robin Li. The capital is followed by Shenzhen with 44 rich members, Shanghai with 38, Hangzhou, the residence of Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma, with 25 and Hong Kong with 20. Taking the sixth to tenth spots are Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing and Ningbo.
Alibaba seeks Apple JVOct 29, 2014
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd of China admitted that it wants to partner with American firm Apple Inc regarding financial payments. In an interview at the WSJD Liveglobal technology conference in the state of California, Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said that Alibaba hopes it is a ‘marriage’ that is beneficial to both companies. Alibaba owns Alipay, which has some 300 million active users.
Ma is China's richest person in Forbes list with USD20bn in assetsOct 29, 2014
US-based Forbes magazine ranked Alibaba Inc Founder and Chairman Jack Ma as the richest person in China with a personal fortune of about USD20bn. Also, Forbes noted in its yearly "China Rich List," that China's billionaires have increased their numbers even though an economic slowdown still troubles the country. There are now 242 Chinese billionaires compared to 168 last year.
China-Singapore direct currency trading beginsOct 28, 2014
Companies in Singapore will now find it easier to do business with their Chinese counterparts after China and Singapore on Tuesday started direct currency trading. The agreement was reached at the 11th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation in Suzhou, China. The meeting was co-chaired by Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister TeoCheeHean and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the direct currency trading will lower forex transaction costs and encourage greater use of the Singapore dollar and the Chinese yuan in cross-border trade and investment.
CGN, Dalian Wanda, HK Airlines aim to raise USD10bn in Hong Kong IPOOct 28, 2014
CGN Power Co, Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co, and Hong Kong Airlines, all based in China, seek to raise USD10bn in all in their separate initial public offerings in the special autonomous region of Hong Kong. Guangdong-based CGN plans to get its IPO approved on 30 October by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for a USD3bn IPO. Dalian Wanda seeks to come up with USD6bn on its own IPO. Hong Kong Airlines also wants to raise US500m.
China September industrial profits increase slightlyOct 28, 2014
Chinese industrial businesses saw their profits reaching Rmb563.39bn (USD92.36bn) in the month of September -- a 0.4% increase year-on-year. According to a National Bureau of Statistics report on 28 October, profits went down 0.6% in August, and went up 13.5% in July year-on-year. The rise in sales and falling costs, plus high profit growth in the automobile, electronics, and electric-machinery industries are the reasons credited for the increase.
Shanghai FTZ trade beats city’s own growthOct 27, 2014
Trade in the Shanghai free-trade zone has been growing faster than that of Shanghai itself during the FTZ's initial year of operations. Twelve months after the FTZ's launch in September last year, its trade value is now worth Rmb747.5bn (USD122bn), or 26.4% of the city’s total trade value, according to figures from Shanghai Customs. This means a 6.5% rise from the combined trade value year-on-year that of the Pudong Airport Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park, and Yangshan Free Trade Port Area -- which comprise the FTZ.
ChiNext Index dipsOct 27, 2014
The ChiNext Index, which track the NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises of mainland China, opened 0.27% lower at 1,473.66 points on 27 October. The three prime indices that keeps tabs on the performance of Chinese stocks are the Shenzhen Component Index, Shenzhen Stock Exchange ChiNext Index, and the Shenzhen SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Board Index. The ChiNext Board, which began trading on 30 October 2009, lists hi-tech firms and those that have huge potential for growth.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Agricultural Bank of China names new leaderOct 22, 2014
One of China's big four banks, the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), announced the appointment of Liu Shiyu as the bank's new secretary of the Party committee. Liu, who was previously deputy governor at the People's Bank of China, will replace Jiang Chaoliang, who left the bank on 31 August. Liu's appointment was announced by ABC on the website of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
China's Q3 GDP growth slowest since Q1 2009Oct 21, 2014China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that the country's gross domestic product rose 7.3% in the third quarter, the slowest increase in more than five years. The Q3 growth retreated from 7.5% in Q2 of this year and is the slowest since Q1 of 2009, when GDP growth was 6.6%. The slow growth was attributed to a slumping real estate market, weak industrial production and domestic demand. The property sector, which takes up about half of China's GDP, was a major drag as housing sales dropped 10.8% by value from January to September of this year, the NBS reported. The GDP figure, however, was faster than a median 7.2% growth forecast by 15 economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal.