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.
China’s manufacturing PMI hits 18-month high in JulyJul 24, 2014A preliminary HSBC survey showed that China's factory PMI expanded at its fastest pace in 18 months in July, rising to an index of 52.0 from July’s final reading of 50.7. The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing PMI in July was the highest reading since January 2013 and marked the second consecutive month that the index topped the 50 mark. The final Markit/HSBC manufacturing PMI for July is due on August 1. Analysts said the expansion in China's factory sector is proof that a raft of government stimulus measures has started to kick in. China’s manufacturing PMI is a closely watched gauge of the health of the Asian economic powerhouse and key driver of global growth.
China's demand for gold falls 20%Jul 24, 2014
The gold fever in China seems to be tapering down according to data that the China Gold Association released on 23 July. A fall of around 20% was registered in H1 of this year as the bullion utilised in making bars and coins declined. The overall demand fell 19.4% year-on-year to 569.5 tonnes from January to June of 2014. Bullion-bars demand went down 62% to 105.6 tonnes and demand for coins and other gold-based merchandise dropped 44% to 11 tonnes. Although jewelry and industrial-use demand stayed strong — both going up 11% to 426.2 tonnes and 26.8 tonnes, respectively.
Apple's China sales rise 28%Jul 24, 2014
US-based Apple Inc's overall sales increase was smaller than what was projected — 6% for Q2 this year, even though sales went up 28% in China. Apple sold 35.2 million units of its flagship iPhone in Q2, or a 13% increase. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that his company's performance in China surprised them. The iPhone sales bumped up 48%, while Mac computer sales saw a 39% upsurge in Q2, said Apple's CFO Luca Maestri. Cheaper phones that companies like Xiaomi sell seem to be taking away some of Apple's market share and that of other firms that use the Google Android software, Maestri said.
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's AVIC, Safran of France ink turbine JV dealJul 24, 2014
Aviation Industry Corp of China and France-based airplane-manufacturer Safran have agreed to put up a joint venture in mainland China that will produce turbine engines. The two firms signed a memorandum of agreement in Beijing on 23 July and announced that each company will get a 50% stake in the JV. AVIC and Safran will both conduct research, do the design, and manufacture the core parts of turbine engines intended for the Chinese market.
OSI Group CEO apologises on expired meat supplyJul 24, 2014
Sheldon Lavin, the CEO of OSI Group Inc, the US-based parent company of Shanghai Husi Food Co, has apologised for the food scandal involving Husi, a supplier for Yum Brands and McDonald’s in China. Five persons have been arrested as authorities investigate accusations that Shanghai Husi allegedly intentionally sold expired meat products. OSI said on 23 July that it sent a team of what it calls global experts to find a solution to its problem in China. Lavin added that what happened is not acceptable and will never happen again. He did not provide more details regarding the scandal, saying he will not explain or defend Shanghai Husi.
Haikou cancels property restrictionsJul 24, 2014
The housing department of Haikou, capital of South China's Hainan Province, has canceled housing purchasing restrictions for commercial residences, a local news portal said. According to the new rules, home buyers do not need to submit documentary proof of how many residences they possessed before buying a new one. Haikou is the second city to reportedly loosen restrictions on housing purchase within a week after Suzhou, located in East China's Jiangsu Province. So far, nearly 30 cities have loosened controls over home purchase.
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, US universities set up Sino-US food safety research centreJul 24, 2014
The University of California, Davis has signed an agreement with China's Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University to establish a Sino-US Joint Research Centre for Food Safety in China. The agreement will extend over the next five years. It calls for the centre's two lead universities to form a joint research team and research platform, carry out collaborative research projects and cooperate on other food safety-related projects. The signing ceremony was held in the city of Yingchuan, China.
China seeks more investment in CubaJul 24, 2014
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Cuba with the aim of expanding investment into the communist nation that begun opening up its economy in 2008. Xi said his visit to Cuba last 22 July was aimed at boosting Chinese investment into the country and promoting cooperation, deepening mutual trust, and further expanding the friendship between the two countries. At least 50 Chinese investors traveled to Cuba's capital, Havana, during Xi's visit in order to explore business opportunities. Cuba has been offering investment incentives to foreign capitalists. Deborah Rivas, Cuba's director general for foreign investment said the country seeks Chinese investors who will partner with Cuban companies.
Vietnam-China H1 border trade revenue hits USD2.61bnJul 24, 2014
Vietnam's Border Trade Steering Committee announced that the border trade between China and Vietnam has resulted to a total revenue of USD2.61bn in H1 of this year. The figure represents a 13% rise from a year ago and an average growth of 4% per month. From January to June, the committee said Vietnam enjoyed a surplus of USD800m in border trade, up 126% year-on-year. China remained the biggest exporter to Vietnam in the six months, as Vietnam spent around USD20.4bn buying goods from China during the period, up 21.1% year-on-year. Rice was the item having the largest export revenue during the period.
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.
Germany’s Artemed to open hospital in Shanghai FTZJul 23, 2014
Germany’s medical and healthcare firm Artemed Group signed a deal to launch the Artemed Hospital in Shanghai's free trade zone (FTZ). It will be the first-ever fully foreign-operated medical centre at Shanghai FTZ. The Artemed facility will offer medical imaging and diagnostics services and run a training and a research-and-development hub. Artemed Group founder Rainer Salfeld said that the hospital would be ready to take in patients in a year and a half.
Real estate plays great influence on China's economyJul 22, 2014
Zhu Baoliang, the head of the State Information Centre's economic forecast department, said China's property sector continues to play a great influence on the country's economic health. While China's economy has stabilised after registering a 7.4% growth in H1 2014, the property sector remained a concern, he said. Zhu added that any major problems in the country's real estate industry will surely have a great impact on China's economy.
Mercedes-Benz, other luxury-car firms ‘probed’ in ChinaJul 23, 2014
Nicholas Speeks, Mercedes-Benz China’s sales-and-service chief, said on 22 July that the German firm was informed by the National Development and Reform Commission of China that it is being investigated. Speeks added that they did not know they were being looked into until the country’s economic-planning agency told them about it. Another German-based luxury-automobile company, BMW AG, China's biggest luxury-car brand after Mercedes-Benz, said that it was not aware that it was also being investigated.
Thailand gets green light to join China-backed bankJul 23, 2014
Thailand’s military administration has given its approval for the country to join the Chinese-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Yongyuth Maiyalap, a spokesman for the National Council for Peace and Order, said the military junta gave the green light for the country to join the AIIB and even instructed Thailand's Finance Ministry to provide the military administration with more details about the said bank. The China-backed AIIB seeks to gather at least 30 countries within and outside Asia to serve as founding members. Thailand’s economy is set to recover in H2 2014, with the GDP predicted to hit 2.3% this year, according to Kasikornbank, the largest universal banking group in Thailand.
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.
HSBC upgrades GDP growth forecast for ChinaJul 23, 2014
The stronger economic recovery in Q2 has prompted HSBC to raise its growth forecast for China’s GDP from 7.4% to 7.5% this year. HSBC Chief China Economist Qu Hongbin said the forecast upgrade came after China's Q2 growth beats expectations, owing to government support measures that stirred the economy. Qu added that government policies, particularly fiscal policy, will likely be even more supportive in H2 as it is traditionally the spending season, supporting the higher GDP growth forecast. Despite revision of the 2014 GDP forecast, Qu said HSBC's broad outlook on the Chinese economy remains unchanged.
China's Internet users hit 632 million in JuneJul 22, 2014
China had 632 million Internet users as of the end of June while 527 million Chinese citizens use their smartphones to access the web, the China Internet Network Information Centre has announced. China's Internet users grew by 14 million this year from a year ago, the centre said. The centre added that while overall Internet users grew at about 2.3% in the space of half a year, the number of mobile surfers jumped by 5.4%, suggesting that many first-time web surfers in China access the net using their gadgets.
US OKs investigation vs Chinese-made tiresJul 23, 2014
The US International Trade Commission on 22 July approved the anti-dumping and countervailing-duties probe being conducted on specific passenger-vehicle and light-truck tires imported from mainland China. All of the six USITC commissioners have voted in favour of the probe. This allows the country’s Commerce Department to maintain its investigations. It is expected to come up with a separate preliminary countervailing and anti-dumping duty recommendations by August and November this year.
US keeps anti-dumping duty orders on Chinese steel threaded rod, pipe fittingsJul 23, 2014
The government of the United States decided on 22 July to keep the current anti-dumping duty orders on steel threaded rod and malleable iron-pipe fittings imported from mainland China. The Chinese government has been requesting the US to put a stop to its protectionist moves. According to the US International Trade Commission, revoking the existing anti-dumping duty orders on these Chinese products would lead to continuation of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.