58.com files for US IPOOct 1, 2013China's 58.com Inc, a local classified-advertisement website, filed for an IPO of up to USD150m in American depositary shares as the site looks to fund further growth. 58.com, which became only the second mainland China-based company to complete a US IPO this year, said it would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, these may include product development, technology investment and marketing, among others.
ADB cuts China growth forecastsDec 19, 2014
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has trimmed its 2014 and 2015 growth forecasts for China to 7.4% and 7.2%, respectively. The Manila-based institution in September predicted China’s growth to be 7.5% and 7.4% for 2014 and 2015, but the country’s falling property prices and the spillover effects on the construction sector have triggered the trimming of the forecasts. Also, the ADB trimmed its GDP growth projection for the Asia Pacific region from 6.2% to 6.1% in 2014 and from 6.4% to 6.2% in 2015. However, the ADB said the continuous drop in oil prices should help economies in the region push through with growth reforms.
China vows to speed up imports of US pharma productsDec 19, 2014
China is working to streamline the review and approval process of US pharmaceutical and medical products in order to speed up their importations into the country. During the annual trade meeting between China and the US in Chicago, Zhang Xiangchen, assistant minister of commerce, said China will speed up imports of pharmaceuticals and medical devices from the US and address a backlog within two to three years. Zhang said needless clinical trials will be reduced to streamline the process of importation. China also promised to enforce its anti-monopoly laws equally among foreign and Chinese companies.
China's CPIC and Germany's Allianz create JVDec 19, 2014
China Pacific Insurance Co, the third-largest Chinese insurer, and Allianz Group of Germany officially started their joint venture on 18 December in the field of health insurance in mainland China. The CPIC Allianz Health Insurance, the first of its kind in Shanghai's free-trade zone, will offer health insurance including tailor-made health services and long-term care insurance, said CPIC CEO Sun Peijian. Sun added that almost 90 million users will be served by the JV firm's new products.
Trade deal to benefit China and USDec 19, 2014
The US-based Peterson Institute for International Economics came out with a study entitled “Bridging the Pacific”, which said a trade deal between the United States and China would greatly benefit both nations. The report said that US export volume will go up by some USD400bn annually and the country's national income will get an extra USD100bn each year. Likewise, the national income of China will rise by over USD300bn yearly. Presently, the US has an estimated USD50bn of foreign direct investment stock in China, or 2% of China’s overall FDI.
Weakening of the rouble may affect yuanDec 19, 2014
Economic experts have warned China that the weakening of Russia's official currency, the rouble, is very likely to adversely affect China's yuan and its foreign exchange market. After global oil prices fell, the rouble declined by some 20% versus the dollar on 16 December, reminding China's financial experts of the Russian financial crisis in 1998. China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang said that the currency-swap deal with Russia has not been affected yet by the rouble's slide.
China urges US to rectify trade movesDec 19, 2014
The Chinese government, following the World Trade Organization's decision to turn down the United States' appeal in a trade disagreement on countervailing duties against China, encouraged the US government to amend its trade remedy measures. China's Ministry of Commerce Spokesperson Sun Jiwen said that the WTO decision is a significant win for his country as it attempts to utilise WTO regulations to contend with the US abuse of trade remedy measures while protecting its own interests.
Best Buy reportedly selling Five Star to JiayuanDec 19, 2014
American multinational consumer electronics corporation Best Buy has reportedly reached a deal to sell its Chinese subsidiary Five Star Appliances to real estate company Jiayuan Group. The financial term of the deal was not released but Best Buy reportedly said that the deal is expected to close in Q1 of 2016 financial year. Best Buy said the operation of its other brands in China will not be affected by the sale of Five Star Appliances. According to a report, the performance of Five Star Appliances, which Best Buy acquired in 2006, remains unsatisfactory. Five Star Appliances has 184 retail stores in China.
China's 2013 GDP revised to 3.4%Dec 19, 2014
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) for 2013 has been revised to 3.4%. That means China, the world's second biggest economy, was valued at Rmb58.80tr (USD9.5tr) in 2013. The amount is Rmb1.92tr (USD30bn) more than the official figure released in January, the NBS said. The upward GDP revision reflected greater contribution from the services sector. The bureau said the revision basically will not affect the economic growth rate for this year, which is to be released next month, because the calculation is based on comparable data.
Bank of China builds commodity business centre in LondonDec 19, 2014
Bank of China, one of the country's major banks, has established its Commodity Business Centre in London as part of its plan to set up various commodity centres in order to manage its commodity business globally. The bank has already set up the Singapore and Shanghai Commodity Business Centres, which initially completed the strategic layout of the commodity business in the Asia-Pacific region. It plans to build a similar centre in New York. Yue Yi, the executive vice president of Bank of China, said the establishment of the Bank of China Commodity Business Centre in London is a significant step in the development of the Chinese national strategy. China is the world's biggest buyer of commodities.
Anbang Insurance raises stake in Minsheng BankDec 19, 2014
Anbang Insurance Group Co is now the biggest shareholder of Minsheng Bank, China's largest private lender, after it raised its stake in the bank to 10%. In a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Minsheng said Anbang now owns about 3.1 billion shares in Minsheng, from 1.7 billion as of 28 November. Anbang has been increasing its investments and holdings this year and has purchased the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.
Beijing to put up 7 million affordable homes next yearDec 19, 2014
The Chinese government will start building seven million affordable housing units next year in line with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development's programme. MOHURD Minister Chen Zhenggao announced the target during a housing and urban-rural development national convention. Chen also said that 4.8 million of these affordable apartment units will be ready for occupancy in 2015. The Chinese government has so far completed building 4.8 million affordable housing units in 2014.
President Xi is highest rated leaderDec 18, 2014
Chinese President Xi Jinping was considered as the highest rated leader in terms of ratings of respondents on leaders in their respective countries. The survey published by Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation showed that Xi received a rating of 9 out of 10. Russian President Vladimir Putin came in second with 8.7, while India's Narendra Modi and South Africa's Jacob Zuma join in on the top spots. On international scoring, Xi also had the highest average score at 7.5. The result showed that President Xi topped both the domestic ratings that respondents gave to their own leaders and in international scoring. The survey polled people from 30 countries - 12 from Asia, 4 from Africa, 4 from the Americas, 8 from Europe, and 2 from Oceania.
Asia's top three billionaires are ChineseDec 18, 2014
The top three billionaires in Asia, whose combined fortune is USD81.5bn, are all Chinese, based on the list released by Bloomberg. Alibaba's Executive Chairman Jack Ma is now the region's richest, followed by Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing. Chinese real estate mogul Wang Jianlin overtakes India's richest person, Mukesh Ambani, to become Asia's third-richest person with a fortune of USD24.8bn. Aside from real estate, Wang's assets include a department store chain and almost 80% of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.
JD.com and Intel sign online JVDec 18, 2014
Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com Inc and semiconductor giant Intel Corp of the United States signed on 17 December a framework agreement to jointly put up an innovation laboratory and work on the so-called online real sense shopping. The deal calls for the two Nasdaq-listed companies to develop applications like visual fitting rooms and 3D-product display for JD.com. They will also be working together on other projects in the next 24 months, including smart hardware and tailor-made servers.
Hainan Airlines seeks to add nine international routes in 2015Dec 18, 2014
Hainan Airlines Co of China plans to add a maximum of nine international destinations in 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported citing sources familiar with the matter. The Haikou-based firm seeks to open seven long-haul routes from Beijing and one each from Nanjing and Hangzhou. Hainan Air is the fourth-biggest and largest privately-owned airline in the country. International travel from China increased 19% in September this year, according to a report by aviation consultancy company OAG.
Seatbelt flaws force BMW to recall 846 automobiles in ChinaDec 18, 2014
BMW China and its local JV partner BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd are set to recall 846 cars in mainland China because of production defects, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on 17 December. These include the 436 BMW 320i, 328i, 428i and M3 that were manufactured from September 2014 to October 2014 and brought into the country by BMW China, the GAQSIQ added. Seat belts on the said models are very hard to pull out when temperature is at below zero degree Celsius, the GAQSIQ said.
Wal-Mart plans to open seven Sam's Club outlets in ChinaDec 18, 2014
American retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc seeks to launch seven more of its high-end Sam's Club membership stores in mainland China over the next three years. Wal-mart China Senior Vice President Andrew Miles said their primary target market in China is high-income families who are often travelling, with a good number of them having shopped abroad. Miles is also the CEO of Sam's Club in China, with memberships reaching over 1.3 million, individual and business shoppers alike.
Ban on Xiaomi phone sales in India temporarily liftedDec 18, 2014
The Delhi High Court lifted a ban it imposed on smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Inc at least until 8 January 2015, allowing the Chinese firm to sell in India smartphones powered by US-based Qualcomm. Xiaomi can sell its Redmi 1S phones again but not the Redmi Note, which utilises MediaTek chipsets. The ban on the sale of Xiaomi's smartphones in India began on 8 December, when the Delhi High Court suspended Xiaomi from marketing its smartphones after Swedish-based telecommunication-company Ericsson filed a complaint against Xiaomi for alleged patent-infringement violations.
China's game market valued at USD18.5bnDec 18, 2014
The popularity of smartphones in China has driven the robust growth of the country's game market, which hit Rmb114.5bn (USD18.5bn) this year. The China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association said revenues in China's gaming sector soared 37.7% year-on-year, driven by strong sales of mobile games due to increased smartphone penetration. Domestic game companies experienced the biggest sales growth at Rmb72.7bn (USD11.69bn), a 52.2% annual rise. Mobile games also pushed the sector further as sales of mobile games soared 145% year-on-year to Rmb27.5bn (USD4.42bn). There are about 517 million game players in China in 2014.
Natural gas use in China slows downDec 18, 2014
Experts said annual growth in China's consumption of natural gas will slow down this year to 9% due to economic slowdown. Qian Xingkun, vice-president of CNPC Economics and Technology Research Institute, said the country's natural gas consumption will no longer grow at double-digit levels. He estimated that this year's natural gas use will grow just 9% to 183 billion cubic metres, the first time that expansion has been in the single-digit range since 2007. While he said that gas consumption will continue rising, the growth will not be within the levels forecasted by the government.
Finance and banking professionals in tier-1 cities lead salary rankDec 18, 2014
Finance and banking professionals in tier-1 cities earn 21% more than their counterparts in tier-2 cities, a survey jointly conducted by British recruiting firm Hays Recruiting and HR service provider Zhaopin showed. Finance professionals in tier-1 cities earn an average of Rmb11,933 (USD1,925) per month, while those in tier-2 cities get an average of Rmb9,896 (USD1,592). The survey also showed that salary gap in the banking industry was highest at 36%. Fund and investment sector followed at 25% while salary gap in the insurance industry was at 5%. The survey polled 1,066 people in nine Chinese cities.
Home prices fall anew in NovemberDec 18, 2014
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said new home prices in 68 of the 70 major Chinese cities it monitors fell in November for a third consecutive month. Average home prices in 70 major cities were down 3.7% in November, after falling 2.6% in October. The official data points to a continuous property downturn in China even as the government has initiated efforts to energise the market. The November figure intensified fears that the property market, which accounts for about 15% of the country's economy, could drag economic growth.
IPOs of Chinese firms propel Hong Kong stock exchange into second placeDec 17, 2014
The initial public offerings (IPOs) of mainland Chinese companies, including the USD3.7bn Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co IPO and the USD3.2bn CGN Power Co IPO, have helped propel Hong Kong into second place in the global IPO rankings. Hong Kong raised a total of USD27.1bn from listings this year, ranking second only to the New York Stock Exchange, which raised USD73.4bn in IPOs. Hong Kong was ahead of the Nasdaq Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange, which raised USD23.9bn and USD22.6bn, respectively.
Standard Chartered selling HK and Shenzhen consumer finance unitsDec 17, 2014
A consortium that includes a Chinese state firm is buying the consumer finance businesses of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Global Times reported. Reuters said the value of the transaction is between USD600m and USD700m but Standard Chartered did not disclose the amount. The units will be sold to the consortium that includes state-owned China Travel Financial Holdings, US hedge fund York Capital Management Global Advisors and financial firm Pepper Australia Pty Ltd. Analysts said the sale is part of Standard Chartered's restructuring as the lender comes under pressure due to slower growth in the region and after being fined by US regulators for breaching sanctions in Iran two years ago.