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 forex chief warns potential money flow-problems in H2Jul 24, 2014
State Administration of Foreign Exchange Chief Guan Tao said that China might have to contend with capital flight in the remaining months of 2014. He added that financial-flow problems will be influenced strongly by stricter monetary policies of the United States government. Guan said that China is still very attractive to foreign capital and that the country's economic recovery is better than that of other nations. However, that may be neutralised by the financial policies of other major economies in the world, who are adjusting their monetary policies thereby causing a measure of instability.
China has now 8,394 microcredit firmsJul 24, 2014
A total of 8,394 microcredit companies are now operating in China as the central government encourages their development in order to boost financing to small businesses. According to a Xinhua News Agency report, these microcredit companies have issued a total of about Rmb62bn (USD10bn) of new loans in the first six months of the year. Micro-lenders provide loans to small companies and low-income groups in China. Micro-lending companies have become an important component of, and a supplementary power in China's credit market. They have also been important routes for private capital to enter the financial market.
China's RMB to become world's third largest currency by 2020Jul 23, 2014A report published by the International Monetary Institute of Renmin University of China and the Bank of Communications showed that the renminbi could become the world's third largest currency six years from now. The Chinese renminbi will only be trailing the US dollar and the euro by 2020 after the currency's internationalisation index went up to 1.69 by the end of last year from 0.92 in 2012. The Chinese currency’s popularity has also risen over the years as more countries in Asia and Europe have established renminbi exchange centres. Recently, Australia announced that it is close to signing a deal with China that would allow the establishment of an official clearing bank for the renminbi, a step towards a more open flow of money and investment into and out of the Asian giant.
Luxury property tops spending for China’s wealthyJul 23, 2014The Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute has issued a report that showed China's wealthy were spending more on luxury property this year based on the Luxury Consumer Price Index (LCPI) that rose by 4% this year from last year. The report showed that the LCPI rose this year as wealthy Chinese spent more on luxury property, yachts and jets, as well as education. Last year, spending was more on luxury travel, accessories and skin care products, and cars. Among all categories, luxury property has increased the most, with its growth rate reaching 12.6% this year, the Hurun report stated.
Huarong gets USD2bn investment offerJul 22, 2014
China Huarong Asset Management, a bad loan manager in China, is reportedly nearing a deal to accept a USD2bn stake purchase by investors, which include Goldman Sachs and Warburg Pincus. The investors are offering to buy up to 20% stake in China Huarong as part of their efforts to enter into the country's profitable business of bad loan management. According to Reuters, sources said that Huarong is planning to sell the stake to strategic investors ahead of an eventual IPO and seven investors are likely to sign an agreement over the next month.
Alibaba, banks provide loan access to SMEsJul 23, 2014
Alibaba has teamed up with seven of China's major banks to launch an online financial product that will provide loan access to small and medium-sized trade firms. Alibaba said the financial service will provide fundraising for small companies, thereby easing funding costs of these firms. The financial product will offer low-interest loans, with the loan size dependent on the company's performance. The banks in the partnership, including Bank of China, China Merchants Bank and China Construction Bank, will decide on their own whether to make the loans, solely based on the companies' business performance data provided by Alibaba.
JPMorgan names China bank headJul 23, 2014
JPMorgan Chase & Co, the largest bank in the United States, has named Brett Krause, a former senior Citigroup executive, to lead its bank in China. The appointment came a few weeks after JPMorgan named UBS AG banker David Li as the new head of its overall China business. Krause, whose official designation is president of JPMorgan Chase Bank (China) Co Ltd, has more than 20 years of banking experience. JPMorgan has been hiring bankers in China to rebuild its leadership team in the country, following the investigation on its hiring practices in the region.
PBOC minimises interference in currency marketJul 21, 2014
The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, announced that it has cut down its heavy intrusion into China’s currency market. Chinese companies, including banks, have been holding on to their dollar reserves because capital inflows into the country slowed down. This is seen as the result of the PBOC allowing China’s official currency, the renminbi, fall from January to April this year.
China, Argentina ink multi-billion financing, currency-swap dealsJul 21, 2014
China and Argentina signed multibillion-dollar infrastructure-financing and currency-swap contracts when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Buenos Aires on the third week of July. The two countries signed 20 deals, including a Rmb70bn (USD11bn) currency swap between their central banks. Analysts said that the agreements are putting President Cristina Kirchner's administration in a good light amidst problems with recession and inflation, but they cautioned that these won’t give much relief to the depleted foreign-currency reserves of Argentina.
IMF lauds creation of BRICS bankJul 17, 2014
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Christine Lagarde said the fund will be delighted to work with the new BRICS investment bank as she congratulated leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa for establishing a new reserve arrangement. She added that the IMF has a very strong relationship with all of the BRICS nations and the fund looks forward to further strengthening its collaboration with them.
Bank of China on a hiring spree in Hong KongJul 17, 2014
Bank of China, one of the country's ‘big four’ banks, is hiring more people in Hong Kong as sales of Chinese corporate dollar debt and Dim Sum bonds continue to surge. The bank's deputy general manager for global markets, Tony Wang, said Bank of China is particularly hiring traders and sales people in the city as it aims to cement its position as one of Asia's top ten debt underwriters. Wang added that Bank of China is not only expanding in the debt-capital markets business but also in syndicate, sales and trading.
BRICS bank to aid global recoveryJul 17, 2014
According to China’s Ministry of Finance on 16 July, the development bank that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations put up, will help invigorate the world’s economy plus stimulate long-term growth. The bank, which will have its headquarters in Shanghai, seeks to enhance existing regional development banks in the fields of infrastructure investment and sustainable development.
Chinese incomes rise steadily in H1Jul 16, 2014
Average incomes of China's urban and rural residents rose 10.8% year-on-year to Rmb10,012 (USD1,629) in the first half of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement. The income gap between urban and rural residents narrowed, with the actual income growth in rural China 2.7% higher than that in urban areas in the January-June period. Data released by NBS showed that urban residents earned an average disposable income of Rmb14,959 (USD2,410) in H1 while rural residents pocketed cash income of Rmb5,396 (USD869.37).
New bank loans hit USD174bn in ChinaJul 15, 2014
New bank loans in China for the month of June reached Rmb1.08tr (USD174bn), the Chinese central bank said in a statement on Tuesday. The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, said in a statement on its website that the country's broad M2 money supply also increased 14.7% in June from a year earlier, as the central government stepped up its efforts to stimulate the economy. Outstanding yuan loans grew 14% from a year ago, better than the predicted 13.8% rise.
CCB lists New Zealand unitJul 15, 2014
The China Construction Bank, on 15 July, became the second China-based bank to enlist a New Zealand unit. Ex- Prime Minister Jenny Shipley of New Zealand has been named to head the bank’s board of directors. According to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, CCB New Zealand Ltd is a fully-owned unit of CCB Corp. Its name will be altered to China Construction Bank (New Zealand) Ltd or CCB NZ.
Weaker renminbi troubles China's state airline firmsJul 15, 2014
The three biggest state-owned airline companies in China are believed to get weak H1 results in August due to the weakening renminbi, even though air traffic has consistently increased throughout the nation. Air China Ltd announced on 14 July that its H1 net gains could decline by as much as 65% because of the rising finance expenses on foreign-exchange losses. Air China posted an H1 net profit of Rmb1.12bn (USD180.4m) 12 months ago.
Standard Chartered begins lawsuit proceedings vs. suspect in Qingdao port fraudJul 15, 2014
UK-based Standard Chartered PLC has started legal proceedings in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong versus a commodities-trading company chief, Chen Jihong, who is believed to be responsible for a suspected loans fraud in the city of Qingdao. Other parties have already filed lawsuits in Shandong Province, where the port of Qingdao is located. Chen owns the commodities trading firm called Decheng Mining Ltd.
BRICS to launch investment bankJul 14, 2014The sixth edition of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South America) Summit next week will mark the inauguration of the much-awaited BRICS bank. The formation of BRICS development bank has been delayed over differences between China and India over its holding pattern. China wanted a majority stake in the bank that would be a counter to the IMF dominance. The bank will have a capital of USD50bn with each country contributing USD10bn, while its reserve will have USD100bn, with China contributing the biggest amount at USD41bn. BRICS leaders have not yet decided where to place the headquarters of the said bank.
Fiscal revenue up 8.8% in H1Jul 14, 2014
The Ministry of Finance said the country's fiscal revenue went up 8.8% year-on-year in H1 to Rmb7.46tr (USD1.21tr). In June alone, central government revenue stood at Rmb547.7bn (USD88.27bn), up 5.8% year-on-year, while local government revenue amounted to Rmb798.4bn (USD128.68bn), up 10.9% from the same period last year, the ministry said.
China to fully liberalise interest rates in two years – PBOCJul 11, 2014
Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said China’s plan to free up interest rates could be realised within two years, depending on the conditions of global and domestic economies. In fact, Zhou said, the People's Bank of China is preparing to produce a policy rate guide in preparation for the freeing up of the interest rates. He added that the central government is bent on easing its grip on banks' deposit rates, which is a major step in liberalising interest rates.
PBOC probes BOC on cross-border renminbi transactionsJul 11, 2014
The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, announced on 10 July that it is conducting an investigation into news reports that the Bank of China Ltd has been colluding with clients to go around China's controls on cross-border fund transfers and even helping clients launder money. The BOC denied the allegations, adding that this is due to a misunderstanding on how it conducts its cross-border money-transfer business.
Chinese football fans spent USD160bn on online World Cup betsJul 10, 2014Even if China does not have a team playing in the World Cup in Brazil, China's General Administration of Sports said Chinese football fans have so far spent almost Rmb1tr (USD160bn) on World Cup-related online gambling. The first day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup alone attracted Rmb150m (USD24m) in football lottery sales. Sports lottery is under the General Administration of Sports. Experts said betting could be at its highest when Germany faces Argentina in the finals. A survey conducted by Sohu says 60% of Chinese fans favor Germany to take home the World Cup trophy.
China's radio, film, TV industries generate USD60bn in revenueJul 10, 2014
The radio, film and television industries in China reported a Rmb373.5bn (USD60bn) revenue in 2013, the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said. The TV and radio industries make up the bulk of the reported revenue as advertising income hit Rmb138.7bn (USD22.37bn) last year, up 9.19% from a year ago. Box office revenues hit Rmb21.77bn (USD3.5bn) last year, with domestic productions grabbing Rmb12.77bn (USD2.05bn), or 58.65% of the market share.
JPMorgan hires ex-UBS exec to head China opsJul 10, 2014
US-based JPMorgan Chase & Co convinced a top official from the rival UBS AG of Switzerland to head its operations in mainland China. JPMorgan admitted that it poached David Li to become its Senior Country Officer for China starting 10 July. Li, who used to be the chairman and country chief of UBS' China network, helped build the Swiss lender's operations in the second-largest economy in the world.