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.
Shanghai poised to become leading emerging financial centreNov 25, 2014The recent 2015 Global Regulatory Outlook survey showed that 53% of the 300 polled finance professionals believe Shanghai will become the leading emerging financial centre by 2019, especially now that the centre of gravity of finance is shifting to the country. The survey also showed that the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen are “well positioned” to overtake Hong Kong as the leading financial centre in Asia. The survey report also revealed that New York is still the world's most important financial centre, with 59% of respondents picking the city for the top spot.
SOEs post rise in profitNov 25, 2014
The Ministry of Finance said the country's State-owned enterprises recorded profits of Rmb2.084tr (USD339.41bn) from January to October of this year, a 6.1% rise from a year ago. The ministry's data, however, showed that liabilities of SOEs during the reported period also rose 12.1% to Rmb65.513tr (USD10.6tr). For the first ten months of the year, total revenues of SOEs reached Rmb39.317tr (USD6.4tr), a rise of 4.5% from the same period last year.
PE firm Adveq mulls China investment boostNov 25, 2014
Global private equity fund of funds firm Adveq Management AG announced plans to boost its investments in China starting next year. The decision was based on its expectation of a strong economic growth in the country. Adveq Chairman and CEO Bruno Raschle said it will allocate a third of its annual investable funds to Asia, particularly China. With a USD1bn annual investment commitment, Adveq is likely to pour around USD300m into China. The amount will increase substantially within five years, said Raschle.
China expected to cut rates againNov 24, 2014
After cutting interest rates for the time in more than two years on 21 November, the People’s Bank of China is expected to cut rates again and loosen restrictions on lending, Reuters reported. The report on possible further policy stimulus in the country immediately sent Asian share markets higher on 24 November. Reuters quoted sources as saying that China was ready to ease further to head off slowing inflation. China cut rates for the first time in more than two years in order to stabilise its economy.
Offshore yuan centre to open in CaliforniaNov 24, 2014
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said that it has inked an agreement with the Los Angeles city government to set up an offshore renminbi centre in California to promote cross-border yuan trade. The agreement was sealed nearly one week after the Bank of China and the Australian Stock Exchange signed a pact to boost yuan trading in Australia. ICBC said an offshore yuan centre in California, the largest state in the US, will further promote greater yuan trade with China.
CGN Power Co seeks to raise USD3.16bn in HK IPONov 24, 2014
CGN Power Co, the biggest nuclear-power plant operator in mainland China, is hoping to raise USD3.16bn in a Hong-Kong initial public offering. The company plans to sell 8.83 billion shares at an indicative price range of HKD2.43-HKD2.78 (USD0.31-USD0.36) each on 24 November. The IPO would be Hong Kong’s largest since China Everbright Bank’s USD3.2bn IPO in December 2013.
PBOC predicted to cut rates in 2015Nov 21, 2014
China's central bank, the People's Bank of China is expected to cut rates by 50 basis points next year, Deutsche Bank predicted. The PBOC is forecast to join the Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of Korea in cutting rates next year while other Asian central banks, such as those of Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, are expected to raise rates due to tighter monetary conditions next year. Deutsche Bank added that 2015 will be a challenging year for Asian central bankers as they try to support economic growth and guard against potential risks.
Japan's Daiwa inks deal with China SecuritiesNov 21, 2014
Daiwa Securities Group, Japan's second-largest brokerage, has signed an agreement with China Securities as part of its plan to expand further on the mainland. Daiwa and China Securities will cooperate in investment banking and other brokerage operations, Reuters reported. The two companies will also exchange information and business introductions on cross-border mergers and financing.
Alibaba's bank fees highest at USD291mNov 21, 2014
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba turned out to be the biggest source of fees for banks working on capital-market deals, the Wall Street Journal reported. Alibaba paid USD291m to Wall Street underwriters this year after its USD25bn IPO in September and after selling USD8bn in bonds. Alibaba tops the list of debt and equity underwriting fees paid by nonfinancial companies according to a study by Dealogic. The Chinese company eclipsed firms such as Canadian energy company Encana Corp (USD215m), French telecommunications firm Numericable Group SA (USD200m) and Japanese real-estate company Mitsui Fudosan Co USD135m) to top the rankings of the most lucrative underwriting clients globally this year.
Guizhou Province gets USD100m World Bank loanNov 20, 2014
The underdeveloped Guizhou Province in Southwest China is set to get a USD100m loan from the World Bank in the next five years intended for rural development. The funds will be used for infrastructure and public services, boosting the incomes of 440,000 residents spread throughout 11 counties. Beijing will give Rmb247m (USD40m) as its counterpart for the project.
Australia appoints Bank of China as yuan clearing bankNov 19, 2014
The Australian Stock Exchange has appointed the Bank of China, the fourth-biggest lender in the country, as the official yuan clearing bank in Australia, following the signing of a landmark free trade deal between China and Australia. The expanded cooperation between the ASX and the Bank of China will further promote Sino-Australian trade and economic links and facilitates cross-border RMB investment and financing by business, said Bank of China Chairman Tian Guoli.
Investors boost buys in Chinese firms after Shanghai-HK stock link startNov 18, 2014International investors rushed to purchase shares in China-based companies on the first day of the Shanghai-HK stock trading link. The daily USD2.1bn quota was reached early afternoon on 17 November in Shanghai. Mainland-Chinese investors were not as eager as overseas investors, with just 17% of the USD1.7bn quota filled on Monday.
Shanghai-HK stock link starts operationsNov 17, 2014
The historic Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect was launched officially on 17 November. Aimed at linking the stock exchanges of Shanghai and the special administrative region of Hong Kong, the stock connect boosted stocks up 225.68 points (0.94%) with an opening of 24,313.06. Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung said that the Shanghai-HK stock programme will enhance the competitiveness of both stock markets and raise the status of Hong Kong as a major offshore yuan trading centre.
UnionPay added to Apple's App StoreNov 17, 2014
US-based Apple Inc struck a deal with China’s sole local-bank card provider UnionPay, making it easier for consumers in China to purchase applications. Apple’s payment system, Apple Pay, is not yet operating in China. Apple released an official statement on 17 November saying that Chinese consumers can hook up their Apple ID with a UnionPay credit or debit card in buying apps.
Deutsche Bank Asia moves to HK, eyes mainlandNov 17, 2014
Deutsche Bank's Asian asset and wealth management headquarters has been relocated to Hong Kong from Singapore as the lender aims to capture opportunities in mainland China and the North Asia in general. Deutsche Asia Pacific Asset & Wealth Management Regional Head Ravi Raju said the decision to move to Hong Kong was based on a raft of market reforms that China is implementing, which allows Chinese investors to invest internationally. Deutsche Bank, which first entered China in 1872, has an equity stake in Harvest Fund Management, one of the largest domestic asset managers in the country.
Bad loans hit its highest since 2005Nov 17, 2014The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) announced in a statement that the country's nonperforming loans went up by Rmb72.5bn (USD11.8bn) in Q3 from the previous quarter. China's bad loans as of the third quarter reached Rmb766.9bn (USD125.2bn), the highest since 2005. The CBRC also said that bad loans now account for 1.16% of the country's total lending.
China lenders push for yuan business in JapanNov 14, 2014At the 13th Osaka Business Networking Club Networking Event in Osaka on 13 November, China-based banks promoted yuan business to Japanese companies. The participating banks were Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, Korea Development Bank, and PT. Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk.
Negotiations on China-Taiwan tax pact completedNov 14, 2014Finance officials from mainland China and Taiwan have completed the technical negotiations over an agreement that would eradicate double taxation in both countries. The officials expressed their hope that the pact will be signed immediately so that Taiwanese investors in China will be protected and will be able to enjoy tax benefits. Liao Tizhong, head of international tax at China's State Administration of Taxation, agreed that Taiwanese investors have paid more tax to the Chinese government than those from the United Kingdom, Germany, Hong Kong or Macau.
China's central bank ends yuan cap on HK residentsNov 13, 2014The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, has decided to scrap the Rmb20,000 (USD3,260) daily yuan conversion cap for Hong Kong residents starting 17 November. This means Hong Kong residents will now be able to buy or sell the yuan more freely, in line with the launching of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme. The Hong Kong Association of Banks applauded the decision, calling it a significant step forward in promoting the internationalisation of the yuan. Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive Norman Chan said the removal of the limits will allow Hong Kong residents to participate in the Stock Connect and other yuan transactions.
Small-cap stocks slump ahead of Shanghai-Hongkong stock connectNov 13, 2014Small-cap stocks in China, led by technology and healthcare companies, slumped to its lowest level since August as investors await the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect programme. Bloomberg reported that investors are moving funds to large caps ahead of 17 November, when Shanghai's exchange link with Hong Kong starts. Bluefocus Communication Group Co dropped 4.7% while Beijing Originwater Technology Co, which has the third-largest weighting in the ChiNext Index, plunged 1.8%.
Alipay to go publicNov 12, 2014
Alipay, Alibaba's payments subsidiary, will soon go public to allow more people to become part of its success, said Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Jack Ma. Ma said the goal of the listing will not be for more money but to allow more people to share in and be part of Alibaba's financial services arm. However, he did not mention the timeline for Alipay’s listing or specify whether Alipay itself will list or its parent Zhejiang Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group will be the one to do the listing.
Alibaba-Paypal collaboration not impossibleNov 12, 2014
China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is open to working with eBay Inc's Paypal to expand its payment options, Bloomberg reported. Joseph Tsai, Alibaba's vice chairman, told the financial news agency that Alibaba and Paypal have some complementary footprints - the Chinese firm being the largest online payment company in China and Paypal having a very good international position.
BOC designated as sole clearing bank for Shanghai-HK stock linkNov 11, 2014
The Hong Kong Securities Clearing Co Ltd assigned the Bank of China as the exclusive clearing bank for the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connection. The HKSCC said that BOC Hong Kong will do the job in the special autonomous administrative region, while BOC Shanghai will serve as mainland China's clearing bank. BOC is one of China's four biggest banks.
ICBC gets license for Mexico branchNov 10, 2014
China's largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), is now ready to set up its Mexico branch after receiving approval from Mexican authorities. ICBC becomes the first Chinese bank allowed to set up a branch in Mexico, Xinhua reported. Details of ICBC’s Mexican branch, including the date of its launch, have not been disclosed yet.