China Business Briefs 28/11/13

BEIJING–Chinese people retired from the workforce faster than new workers started paying into the country’s national pension fund last year, according to data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Chinese enterprises explore ways in Central, Eastern Europe – Xinhua | English.news.cn

**Really??**

BEIJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — Chinese enterprises, taking advantage of a favorable situation of closer economic cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) economies, are actively exploring ways of business development in the Central and Eastern Europe.

Chinese people have special feelings toward Central and Eastern Europe, from where some classical films like ex-Yugoslavia’s “Valter Brani Sarajevo” and “Bridge” and Romania’s “Zile Fierbinti” once hit almost every screen in China in the early 1970s.

Shanghai free trade zone attracts 1,400 companies – FT.com

Nearly 1,400 companies have registered in Shanghai’s free trade zone within two months of its launch, allowing the official in charge of the new area to claim progress at this crucial testing ground for Chinese economic reforms was on track.

Expectations jumped ahead of the launch of Shanghai’s free trade zone in late September, but companies were initially disappointed when they found that a long list of sectors were still out of bounds for investment.

Firms Take Advantage of China’s Murky Interbank Market – Report – Real Time Economics – WSJ

Until recently, China’s banking system remained stubbornly boring: With the industry a virtual state monopoly and lending quotas and interest rates dictated by the government, there wasn’t much room for financial innovation.

But gradual liberalization has unleashed a tidal wave of inventive accounting in the best tradition of Wall Street, with regulators struggling to keep track of the ways banks move risky deals off their balance sheets.

More Chinese car buyers are willing to hold off on purchasing a car as they wait for auto makers to come up with deal sweeteners.
So says marketing-research and consulting company TNS, which on Wednesday released results of a survey of 1,000 respondents. Around three-quarters of those surveyed said their final purchase decision was prompted by a special deal or promotion, which can include cash discounts, extended warranties or giveaways.

**Adequate access to capital is a major problem**

(Beijing) – Risks associated with peer-to-peer (P2P) lending are increasingly drawing the attention of officials and would seem to be an argument for regulators to act.

The central bank has set out three criteria for deciding whether P2P lending websites are involved in an illegal fundraising. It made the announcement after members of the inter-ministry office in charge of coordinating regulatory efforts against illegal fundraising met on November 25.

The recent announcement by the Chinese government of the relaxation of the one-child policy is casting light on the issue of how China plans to feed its people. The problem is especially acute given the rapid expansion of China’s cities, and the reduction of land available for farming.

In this podcast, Nick Leung, Bruno Roy, and Sheng Hong discuss this issue. Bruno is a Partner who leads McKinsey’s Private Equity Practice in China. Sheng is an Associate Partner in Beijing who leads McKinsey’s work in agriculture. And our host, Nick Leung, is the Managing Partner of McKinsey’s Greater China Practice.

Peng Wensheng, chief economist and managing director of China International Capital Corp, an international investment bank headquartered in Beijing, predicted that the world’s second-largest economy will see a 7.6 percent GDP growth rate in 2014 and that 4.1 percentage points will be contributed by final consumption expenditure.

Guangdong named top export hub – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn

**The unfortunate decline of Hong Kong**

Guangdong Province has surpassed neighboring Hong Kong to become China’s top retail export hub in terms of export value, e-commerce platform eBay Inc said in a report published Wednesday.
Although Hong Kong enjoys a duty-free policy, Guangdong has outpaced its neighbor thanks to its advantages in manufacturing, logistics networks and e-commerce labor resources, said the report, which was based on export values in the 12 months to June 30.
Companies

(Reuters) – U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) will hand over a 25 percent stake in Iraq’s West Qurna-1 oilfield project to China’s biggest energy company PetroChina (0857.HK) (601857.SS) on Thursday, Iraq’s deputy prime minister for energy said.

Iraq said in August that Exxon was selling more than half of its 60 percent holding in the field. Along with the stake going to PetroChina, 10 percent is expected to be sold to Indonesia’s Pertamina PERTM.UL, according to Iraq.

Qualcomm: Cometh the Reaper? – Silicon Hutong

Yesterday I got a note from Edmond Lococo at Bloomberg, who was curious about the degree to which QCOM’s critical China business will take a hit as a result. (Full disclosure: QCOM was a client from 2000 to 2004, but I have had no direct interaction with the company for nine years.)

(Beijing) – By injecting 30.9 billion yuan worth of assets and capital into Shanghai-listed Beijing Zhongchuang Telecom Test Co., telecom equipment and solution provider Beijing Xinwei Telecom Technology Inc. completed a back-door listing at the end of September, the largest in the history of the A-share market.

China Cinda Asset Management’s drive to crank profit out of bad loans has come at a cost – a debt mountain of its own.

As it homes in on Hong Kong’s biggest initial public offering this year, the distressed debt manager’s borrowing has risen twenty-fold in the last three years to more than its maximum market value at listing.

The surge to 104.1 billion yuan ($17 billion) in debt at the end of June came as Cinda went on a spree, scooping up distressed assets from the likes of real estate projects, cement makers, miners and coal companies unable to pay back loans.

Seven employees of China’s second-largest oil company have been detained and the company has been sharply rebuked after a crude oil explosion that killed at least 55 people in the eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao.

A state investigations group has taken over the probe into the spill as well as crisis management from state-owned Sinopec. Simultaneously, the central government ordered a broader safety investigation of the nation’s oil and gas pipelines.

Posted from Diigo.

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