China Business Briefs 20/11/13

China’s central bank will “basically” end normal intervention in the currency market and broaden the yuan’s daily trading limit, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said, without giving a timeframe.

The daily range will be widened in an “orderly way” as China seeks to enhance the currency’s two-way flexibility, Zhou wrote in an article in a guidebook explaining reforms outlined last week following a Communist Party meeting. The nation will phase out investment caps for both domestic and foreign investors, he added. A ceiling on deposit rates offered by local banks will be gradually removed as well, PBOC Deputy Governor Yi Gang wrote in the book.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) plans to revise the current system of measuring the national economy in line with latest international standards, an NBS official said.

The new system will reckon spending on research and development as a form of fixed capital and calculate it into gross domestic product (GDP), NBS vice head Xu Xianchun said in an interview which was available at http://www.xinhuanet.com on Monday.

The ruling party has promised to turn the nation’s current approval-based  system of initial public offerings into a “registration-based” one which is  expected to end a year-long moratorium in the IPO market.

The surprising move will return power to the market as well as investors,  Xiao said Tuesday in a keynote speech at the Caijing Annual Conference 2014.

China’s service trade grew 13.4 percent year on year in the first nine months of 2013 to reach 390.5 billion US dollars, official data showed on Tuesday.According to the Ministry of Commerce, service exports rose 6.8 percent from the same period last year to 146.4 billion dollars, while imports surged 17.8 percent to 244.1 billion dollars.

China’s foreign direct investment in October went up 1.2 percent from a year earlier to $8.4 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said Tuesday.
The first 10 months of this year saw FDI inflow rise 5.8 percent year-on-year to $97 billion, the ministry said. But the number of new enterprises established by foreign investment declined 9.2 percent year-on-year to 18,184.
The GDP of Binhai New Area, a new growth hotspot near the Bohai Bay in north China, is expected to exceed 800 billion yuan (130 billion U.S. dollars) in 2013, a local official said Monday.
Rather than cutting them down to size, as liberals had hoped, President Xi Jinping instead enshrined their position at the commanding heights of the Chinese economy. The “public sector remains the important pillar of the economy”, the Communist party said in its statement published following last week’s plenum.
But that language is deceptive. Reforms in train in China amount to a significant, albeit indirect, challenge to state companies across a range of industries, chipping away at their privileges. The government does not want to eliminate them. Instead, it wants to make them more efficient and more profit-focused – in short, more like private companies.

So far, secondary market activity in Asia has been more of a gradual flow than a wave of deals. But the changing macroeconomic conditions are increasing pressure on GPs – and that could result in more opportunities, particularly in China. Asia’s largest and most attractive market is losing some of its shine, thanks to a sustained slowdown in annual GDP growth and a frozen IPO market that has left GPs holding assets that they need to exit.

“If you could do [secondaries] at this moment – wow,” says Peter Fuhrman, chairman and chief executive of China First Capital. “In this market, some LPs could sell out for 10 cents on the dollar.”

China’s asset bubble increasingly depends on financing from the shadow  banking system. The carry trade – borrowing dollar loans at low interest rates  offshore and converting the loans into yuan, either disguised as foreign direct  investment or export revenue, for lending at a high interest rate – has become a  significant source of funding in the shadow banking system. The recent surge of  land prices in big cities may be due to it.

The rising share of unstable financing for the country’s asset bubble  threatens a chaotic ending. If the bubble suffers a confidence crash or a  receding tide of liquidity, the unwinding of speculative holdings would be  chaotic, causing a hard landing.

Companies

The acquisition will provide Alibaba access to Umeng’s tools and data. At the moment, the analytics firm supports Android, iOS, and Windows platforms, and is being used in over 180,000 apps by over 60,000 developers. As Alibaba aspires to enhance its mobile portfolio, Umeng’s resources will give the tech giant yet another channel through which it can reach out to developers.
A senior manager of Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco), the country’s largest smelter of the lightweight metal, has become the latest in a series of high-level executives at central government-administered enterprises to be investigated by Beijing.
Vice-president Li Dongguang was under investigation “by relevant authorities for personal reasons”, Chalco said in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange without elaborating. “The investigation has no relation whatsoever to the company,” it said, adding Li had tendered resignation from his post and that the resignation had no noticeable impact on its production.
The reasons for J.P. Morgan’s voluntary exit from the IPO just weeks before the Chinese bank’s expected debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in December weren’t immediately clear. But it comes as the Wall Street bank grapples with several investigations by regulators, including one by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department into its hiring of bankers connected to Chinese officials.
VANCOUVER, Nov 19 (Reuters) – China’s Sinopec Corp  is in serious talks on a site for a potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in British Columbia, the province’s Minister of Natural Gas Development said on Tuesday.
LightInTheBox Holding Co. (LITB) plunged 23 percent, leading declines among Chinese stocks traded in New York, after the online discount retailer’s sales forecast trailed analyst estimates.

Chinese firms’ addiction to distressed global assets was back in the spotlight last week, with word that car maker Dongfeng Motor is nearing a deal to purchase struggling French automaker Peugeot. This pursuit of a global brand is consistent with Beijing’s call for Chinese firms to go global, and would certainly allow Dongfeng to quickly expand onto the world stage.

But the case marks yet the latest example of a Chinese firm pursuing a global brand fraught with problems, which could quite possibly represent a dead end for Dongfeng if Peugeout is forced to downsize or even close. To avoid such an outcome, Beijing should veto this deal on the grounds that Dongfeng stands to inherit major problems and incur big losses if the partnership goes forward.

In August, Tencent announced that it would out-do rivals Baidu and Qihoo 360 by offering 10 times as much free cloud storage as them. However, the product is so far available only in Chinese. To use it, you have to sign up for a Tencent QQ account and download the latest version of the Tencent Cloud (Weiyun) mobile app. Tencent starts you off with with 1TB of free space, which should be more than enough for most human beings, and increases that number as you fill the space. By contrast, Dropbox offers 2GB of free space and Google Drive offers 15GB. That’s chicken feed to Tencent.

Posted from Diigo.

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