China Business Briefs 21/11/13

With a shift in tone and language, China’s central bank governor has dangled the prospect of speeding up currency reform and giving markets more room to set the yuan’s exchange rate as he underlines broader plans for sweeping economic change.

The central bank under Zhou Xiaochuan has consistently flagged its intention to liberalize financial markets and allow the yuan to trade more freely, even before the Communist Party’s top brass unveiled late last week the boldest set of economic and social reforms in nearly three decades.

But since the 60-point reform plan was released, Zhou has suggested urgency in pushing for change, although he has not provided any specific timetable. He promised on Saturday to “pull out all stops to deepen financial sector reforms”.

A Chinese manufacturing gauge declined for the first time in four months, adding headwinds to a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy as leaders start to implement the broadest policy reforms since the 1990s.

The preliminary 50.4 reading for the November Purchasing Managers’ Index (SHCOMP) released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a 50.8 median estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The final number for October was 50.9, and levels above 50 indicate expansion.

“Australia has been trying to get an FTA signed for ages. We have had a change of government and the new administration has said that in the next 12 months they want to get free trade deals signed with China, Japan and Korea. That is quite likely,” Alan Oster, chief economist at the National Australia Bank (NAB), told the Global Times on the sidelines of an FTA round-table discussion in Beijing Tuesday.

Reform of China’s capital market has to be market oriented, law based and global, China’s top securities regulator said Tuesday at an economic forum.

Xiao Gang, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), said at the Caijing Annual Conference that capital market reform must first be market oriented, as administration had played a dominant role in the past. Under the current system, too many items go through formalities of registration or administrative approval, holding back efficient competition.

Profits of China’s State-owned enterprises surged 10.1 percent in the first 10 months of the year from the same period in 2012.

Profits stood at 1.97 trillion yuan ($321.50 billion) in the January-October period, said the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.

China’s largest package of economic reforms since the 1990s is getting a bigger vote of confidence from foreign investors than from the nation’s own citizens.

The benchmark index for Chinese stocks traded in Hong Kong has jumped 6.2 percent, more than twice as much as the Shanghai gauge, since policy makers led by President Xi Jinping pledged to ease China’s one-child policy and liberalize interest rates on Nov. 15. That left mainland shares valued at a 5.8 percent discount, the most in three years, according to the Hang Seng China AH Premium Index.

China’s drive to reroute money away from State-owned giants toward smaller firms to help fuel economic transformation has been less of a success so far than it may seem on the surface.Lending has increased in line with government orders. But banks have found loopholes allowing them to lend to State-owned firms and some borrowers are local-government-owned, operating in saturated sectors that the central government wants to consolidate, aggravating the risks facing the financial sector rather than alleviating them.

The resolution specifically mentions two potentially important reforms: abolition of the system of “re-education through labor” (in Chinese: laojiao) and a plan to move the courts and the procuracy (prosecutors) away from the influence of local governments.


MILAN–Italy’s Fiat SpA (F.MI) plans to produce a second car in China as it looks to increase its presence in the world’s biggest market where its sales trail far behind those of its competitors, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Fiat will show off the Ottimo at the Guangzhou motor show on Thursday, according to a person. The hatchback is derived from the Viaggio sedan, which is the only other model that it builds in the country.

China Central Television, the country’s biggest television network, sat quietly Monday on the sidelines of its annual advertising auction, a fanfare event typically seen as a barometer for the economy and a muscle show for the state broadcaster. It broke 20 years of tradition by declining to disclose the auction’s final total sales figures, inviting only a handful of state reporters to the event and downplaying what it has hyped every year before.

China Mobile Ltd. said it plans to introduce a new brand for mobile services on Dec. 18, raising expectations of an imminent start to its iPhone sales in the country.

The launch is expected during the company’s 4G global partners conference in Guangzhou, according to China Mobile’s website. An executive at the world’s largest mobile operator has said it is ready to start fourth-generation mobile services, though China has yet to issue 4G licenses. In September, China’s Telecom Equipment Certification Center gave Apple Inc.AAPL -0.88% the final license necessary for the iPhone to run on China Mobile’s network.

ICBC chairman sees inevitable rise in China bad loans –

The head of China’s biggest bank has warned that bad loans will inevitably rise and weaker lenders will be wiped out as the government relaxes its grip on the economy.

But Jiang Jianqing, chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country’s largest lender by assets and market value, also hit back at critics, saying ICBC is prepared for the challenges and should not be held to impossibly high standards.

Coolpad, the smartphone brand of China’s Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific (Shenzhen) Co., has quietly surpassed Apple Inc.AAPL +0.14% and Huawei Technologies Co. in its home market but has remained virtually unknown overseas. The company is now looking to make waves abroad through partnerships with carriers in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
HP Autonomy today announced that China Mobile Limited, the leading mobile services provider in Mainland China, has selected HP Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) to power the search capability of its strategic Wireless City platform, which allows users to access information on thousands of public services directly from their mobile phones

On Friday, November 15, 2013, a Seeking Alpha contributor, “Unemon1” alerted GeoInvesting to an undisclosed RMB 100 million ($16.4 million) Chinese bond issuance by FAB. The implications of this development are significant, especially when one considers that FAB operates through Variable Interest Entities (VIEs) wherein U.S. investors have been found historically to have questionable legal claims to assets and cash flows.

Posted from Diigo.


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