China Business Briefs 18/11/13

China will speed up legislation for tax collection in the real estate sector, according to specific reform plans released Friday by the Communist Party of China (CPC) following the four-day plenum, an important step to let the property market run in a healthy way, rather than merely suppressing home prices, analysts said Sunday.Media reports over the weekend, following the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, speculated that the legislation could include the long-expected property tax, which might help to cool down the over-heated real estate market.

“Legislation for tax collection in the real estate sector will cover all types of taxes in the industry,” including capital gains tax and value added tax for land use, Jia Kang, director of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science with the Ministry of Finance, told the Global Times Sunday.

As my colleague Ankit Panda noted yesterday, the general sentiment seems to be that China’s Third Plenum was a major disappointment.

The Wall Street Journal captured this feeling with a headline proclaiming “After Long Wind-Up, Xi Delivers Anticlimax.” Over at Bloomberg View, William Pesek wrote that the meeting was a “flop.” He notes that he’s not alone, pointing out that “disappointed investors pushed Asian stocks down today.” U.S.-China Report agreed, saying “Third Plenum Disappoints.”

In my modest opinion, these views are at least premature and quite possibly mistaken. The Third Plenum communiqué appears to have served its purpose, and there is ample reason to be slightly more optimistic about reform now, as when the Third Plenum began.

China’s ambitious plans to overhaul its economic model, unveiled in a 20-page document on Friday, won praise as a blueprint for building more sustainable foundations for the country’s growth model.

A question mark, though, hangs over what the government plans to do with the powerful state-owned sector, economists said Monday as they poured over the implications of the document.

BEIJING (MNI) – Signs that big city governments are finally ready to act to cool demand for housing in China haven’t fazed real estate developers, who still don’t believe the government has what it takes to bring order to the runaway property market.

Some hope lies in signs the new Chinese leadership may be willing to institute fundamental reform of the country’s land use system to put the housing market on a more solid, sustainable footing. But the statement released following a key Communist Party meeting here shed little light on how much reform the government is willing or able to implement.

The National Bureau of Statistics is due to report the latest official house price data on Monday (0930 local/ 0130 GMT). Prices rose 11.3% y/y in September, the fastest pace of increase since April 2010, according to a floor-space weighted average of prices in the 35 largest cities calculated by MNI.

New home prices in China’s four major cities rose the most since January 2011, raising concerns of a bubble as home buyers were emboldened by a lack of new nationwide property curbs.

New home prices in October jumped 21 percent from a year earlier in the southern city of Guangzhou and 20 percent in nearby Shenzhen, 18 percent in Shanghai and 16 percent in Beijing, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement today. Prices rose in 69 of the 70 cities tracked by the government.

Local governments will be able to sell bonds to fund construction and officials will be rated on measures including borrowing levels, the party said Nov. 15. An easing of the one-child policy and extra land rights for farmers also featured in the biggest package of reforms since at least the 1990s.

Tightening control over local finances and allowing new channels for funding would limit the risk of a debt crisis hobbling the world’s second-biggest economy, while corruption arrests since Xi became party chief may signal that officials ignore directives at their peril. The scale of regional debt woes is set to be shown in an audit that the Finance Ministry said was due last month although it has yet to be released.

Britain proved to be a growing attraction for business investors from China last year, with the number of entrepreneur visas issued to Chinese nationals more than doubling to 116.

The visas allow holders to start a business in the UK and earn fast-track citizenship.

This rise compares with an annual increase of 13 per cent to 127 for US nationals, according to figures obtained by Pinsent Masons law firm for the Financial Times.

Chinese stocks will extend their rally after the government vowed to carry out the broadest expansion of economic freedoms since at least the 1990s, Wilmington Trust said.

The iShares China Large-Cap ETF, the biggest U.S.-listed exchange-traded fund, jumped the most since July on Nov. 15, gaining 4.4 percent to $38.44. The Bloomberg China-US Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. climbed 5 percent in the biggest weekly advance in 10 months, while the Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) gained 1.4 percent.

Xiaomi’s new strategy for public relations is label it as an Amazon-style company instead of China’s Apple, — Lei Jun, co-founder and CEO of Xiaomi, said in an interview with Reuters that the difference lies in the fact his company mainly makes money from Internet services instead of hardware. However, the company is still on its way to finishing the mission of establishing an Apple business model in China: opening retail stores.

Xiaomi is to open 18 flagship retail stores by the end of this year, co-founder Li Wanqiang told Yicai on Nov. 18th at the opening ceremony of Xiaomi Shanghai store.

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China Mobile International, a unit of China Mobile, has launched an application it hopes will win business from millions of overseas Chinese and others communicating with China.

The app, Jego, allows anyone outside China with an Android or iOS smartphone and a data connection to receive free incoming calls on a China Mobile number, if they have one, or via a rented number if they don’t. They can also make cheap international calls using the app.

(Reuters) – China’s mass consumer, healthcare and non-banking financial counters may well be the early winners in the country’s stock markets this week after Beijing promised the most sweeping economic and social reforms in nearly three decades.

Equity market investors are likely to cheer a plan to increase private ownership in state-owned enterprises, but the longer-term prognosis will likely vary across sectors.

The big losers could well be the “big four” state banks, ICBC, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank Of China, which dominate formal lending. They are already feeling the pinch of interest rate liberalization and China’s leaders have promised to accelerate financial sector reform.

Posted from Diigo.

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