China Business Briefs 21/1/14

ECONOMY

PBOC Adds Cash to Banks as Money Rates Jump Most in Seven Months – Bloomberg China’s central bank pumped funds into the financial system and expanded a lending facility to include smaller banks as rising cash demand before the Lunar New Year drove money-market rates up by the most in seven months.

The People’s Bank of China supplied money to the largest commercial banks using its Standing Lending Facility and will auction reverse-repurchase agreements today, it said yesterday on an official microblog without giving details of the amounts involved.

China Money-Market Rates Fall – WSJ.com China’s short-term interest rates fell Tuesday after the central bank pumped in an usually large amount of funds into the money markets to pre-empt a potential liquidity crisis as demand for cash rises ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

The move also sent cheers to the country’s battered stock market, with the Shanghai Composite Index rising 0.9% and above a five-month low hit Monday.

Warning sounded on failures linked to cash crunches | South China Morning Post Yu E Bao, managed by Tianhong Asset Management and sold online by Alibaba Group, offers an annualised return of 6.7 per cent, compared with the 3 per cent official one-year savings rate. Some funds are offering higher rates, with news portal Eastmoney.com marketing a product that targets 10 per cent.

“Clearly, yields of 8-10 per cent are not sustainable,” Schneider said.

Despite talk of reform, no sign of rebalancing in China’s data | South China Morning Post Last year, investment was the biggest driver of growth, contributing 4.2 percentage points of the 7.7 per cent rise in gross domestic product.

In contrast, consumption – both by households and the government – made up a relatively meagre 3.9 percentage points (with net exports making a small negative contribution to growth).

That reverses the picture from 2011 and 2012, when the growth contribution of consumption edged ahead of investment for the first time in years.

China urged to increase domestic consumption to rebalance economy | South China Morning Post For years economists have been urging China to rebalance its economy and Chinese officials seemed to have heard the call.

While rebalancing could happen simply through a collapse in the current investment model, less devastating would be incremental reforms that realigned incentives. Cheaper imports from a stronger renminbi, private sector reforms, tax incentives and interest rate liberalisation are touted as possible remedies for the current growth model.

China’s clampdown on shadow banking begins to bite | South China Morning Post Interbank lending rates rose sharply again last week. On Friday, the seven-day repo rate climbed above 7 per cent from 4.35 per cent on Thursday.

Trust companies source their funds through the interbank market. The fact the interbank market is prone to regular credit squeezes suggests a key financing channel underpinning the shadow banking sector is becoming less viable.

But most alarmingly is the possibility of a default of a three billion yuan wealth management product at the end of the month. The firm backing the instrument, Zhenfu Energy, a coal miner, has gone bust.

Annual Forecast 2014 – The View from Stratfor / ISN Severe risks to social and economic stability will persist, mainly from recent credit accumulation, threats to employment from slower growth and rising public anxiety over corruption and environmental degradation. However, despite the risk of systemic financial crisis, the central government has the resources to manage these concerns throughout 2014.

China’s Economy Slows on Investment Spending – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s economy grew 7.7% on-year in the fourth quarter, down from 7.8% in the third quarter. Annual growth in 2013 came in at 7.7%, unchanged from 2012. Here’s a breakdown of some of what the data tell us:

Slower Growth in China Will Put Pressure on Energy Stocks (^DJI, CVX, XOM) Slower growth in China will have a negative effect on demand for oil, and now that Libya’s exports are picking up, there will be increased pressure on margins for oil explorers. It’s a double-edged sword for ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) , which may make more money on refining, but will make less profit on exploration and production if the price of oil falls.

What China’s Electricity Usage Said About GDP Growth in 2013 – China Real Time Report – WSJ The country’s electricity consumption also corresponded with the increase in production. Electricity usage grew 7.5% last year to 5.3 trillion kilowatt hours, faster than a pace of 5.5% in 2012, according to data released last week by the country’s National Energy Administration, as energy-intensive industries such as steel production boosted power demand.

Pakistan in Talks to Acquire 3 Nuclear Plants From China – WSJ.com Pakistan is in talks with China to acquire three large nuclear power plants for some $13 billion, Pakistani officials said, in a further blow to international efforts to restrict the trade in nuclear technology.

The agreement, if reached, would help plug the crippling gap in Pakistan’s electricity supply and cement its strategic regional alliance with China, which is aimed against mutual rival India. Alarming Washington, the China-Pakistan nuclear trade bypasses international rules against nuclear exports to countries—like Pakistan—that have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Ministry of Finance ‘Wants More SOEs to Hand over Profits’ – State-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are linked to what the government calls “the budget system” are required to hand over a certain proportion of their net profits depending on their line of business. The levels range from 5 to 20 percent for SOEs around the country. China National Tobacco Corp. is the only enterprise that is required to hand over 20 percent of its profits.

The comments by the ministry official are in line with the central government’s desire to reform SOEs. Backers of change say the public should get a greater share of profits from SOEs, which, they argue, have not honored their obligations to society. A major Communist Party meeting in November decided to make SOEs hand over at least 30 percent of their profits to the government for social security spending by the end of 2020.

US Steel Market Diverging, Baosteel Raising Prices Last week, Chinese iron ore port stockpiles rose 2.14 million tons week-on-week, while weekly shipments from Australia and Brazil dropped by a huge 9mt to 9.5mt. China imported a total of 820.3mt of iron ore in 2013, up 10% year-on-year, with Chinese steel output likely to have reached 775mt last year, up from 720mt in 2012.

China Workforce Slide Robs Xi of Growth Engine – Bloomberg Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, who in November unveiled the broadest policy shifts since the 1990s, are facing a labor force decline that the United Nations estimates will total almost 30 million in the decade through 2025. China’s working-age population, or people age 16 to 59, fell by 2.44 million in 2013, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

Major cities losing their allure for new graduates – Chinadaily.com.cn A study released last week by online recruitment company Zhaopin and Peking University’s Institute of Social Sciences found college students are showing less interest in working in China’s mega-cities – Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou – after graduation.

Only 38.7 percent of the 10,800 students from 200 universities interviewed said they would choose to work in the three cities after graduating, a downward trend for three consecutive years, from 53.8 percent in 2011 and 42.1 percent in 2012.

Proposal to force video uploaders in China to use real names China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) yesterday issued a notice that proposes, among other things, anyone who uploads a video to the internet must be registered on the hosting website with their real name (hat-tip to Techweb for spotting).

Let’s take a look at China’s $13.5 billion online gaming industry (INFOGRAPHIC) This new infographic from the Go-Globe team shows lots of facts and figures on the Chinese online gaming industry right now. Some of the highlights include:

  • China’s online game operators made RMB 82.1 billion ($13.5 billion) in 2013.
  • That’s estimated to grow to $16.1 billion by the end of 2014.
  •  Tencent (HKG:0700), the same company that makes WeChat, is China’s gaming giant.
  •  Action RPGs are the most favored genre, led by PC-based gamers.

China’s economy: Doing stuff, not making stuff | The Economist Those looking for a “rebalanced” Chinese economy had to look elsewhere: not in China’s pattern of spending, but in its pattern of production and income. For the first time since 1961, China’s production of services (which include transport, wholesaling, retailing, hotels, finance, real estate and scientific research, among other things) exceeded its industrial output (see chart). The new figures meant that China’s economy is now primarily based on doing things for people not making things for them. For a country renowned for its industrial clout, this marked a long-awaited turning point.

Slew of IPOs to Test Whether New China Stocks Have Broken an Old Pattern – WSJ.com China’s securities regulator is about to find out whether changes it implemented to the application system for initial public offerings will cure offerings’ tendency to start strong and then lose steam.

When Neway Valve (Suzhou) Co. made its debut on Friday, marking the first new listing in mainland China in more than a year, it kept to the script of starting convincingly. Shares rose 43% to 25.34 yuan ($4.19), just below the opening-day upper limit of 25.43 yuan. But on the second day of trading, the valve manufacturer’s shares fell by the maximum 10% permitted, in line with a trend that, in part, prompted the China Securities Regulatory Commissionto stop approving IPO applications in November 2012.

Virtual telecom operators business nears reality|Industries|chinadaily.com.cn Sixteen companies are expected to get licenses for virtual telecom operators- business of resale mobile communication services- by the end of the year and open for business in 2014, Economic Information Daily reported.

Virtual operators business is reselling mobile communications services to introduce its own brand of telecommunication services through leased telecommunication operator’s network and facilities or other forms of cooperation.

China sets final duties on U.S. solar materials | Reuters China hit the United States with final anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of solar-grade polysilicon on Monday, the latest move in what has been a contentious trade battle in the solar industry.

The anti-dumping duties, announced by China’s Commerce Ministry, were in line with initial levels levied last year of up to 57 percent on imports of the raw material used to make solar panels.

CSRC opens door for HK funds – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Investors in the Chinese mainland will be able to buy Hong Kong fund products in the near future as the regulator has eased access to the mainland’s capital market for Hong Kong financial institutions, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said at a press conference Monday.

The securities regulators on both sides have reached a basic agreement on mutual recognition of funds, which means that Hong Kong incorporated fund companies can sell funds to mainland customers directly, and vice versa, said Tong Daochi, director general for the Department of International Affairs at the CSRC

Uralkali signs potash deal with China for $305/ton – MarketWatch The contract to sell 700,000 tons to the Chinese National Agricultural Means of Production Group Corp. until the end of June indicates a possible end to the uncertainty in the potash market. Prices have fallen more than 25% from $400 a ton last summer, prompted by Uralkali leaving a trading partnership with Belarus and breaking an informal global pricing cartel.

China abandons failed cotton stockpiling programme – FT.com Beijing’s effort to use the state reserves system to maintain cotton plantings and thus a secure supply of raw materials for textile mills has backfired spectacularly. Higher prices meant that cotton flowed to the state reserves – which now by some estimates account for half of world cotton stocks – while denying mills the supply they needed.

COMPANIES

Lenovo Said to Be in Advanced Discussions to Buy IBM Server Unit – Bloomberg Lenovo Group Ltd. (992) is in serious discussions to acquire International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)’s low-end server business, and a deal may be signed within weeks, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Lenovo, the world’s largest personal-computer maker, has completed due diligence, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The companies failed to agree last year on a price for the assets, estimated to be worth $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion. The person didn’t have details on the current price or structure of the proposed deal.

CNOOC estimates oil output growth below target for third year | Financial Post Top Chinese offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd is aiming for an up to 4.3 percent output increase this year, excluding contributions from acquisition Nexen, well below its average annual growth target for 2011-2015 for a third year.

CNOOC has vowed it will still meet the annual growth target of 6-10% for the five years through 2015, increasing its capital spending budget by as much as a third from last year to almost $20 billion and aiming to get 20 projects into construction this year while launching up to 10 more.

(PR) CNOOC Limited Announces its 2014 Business Strategy and Development Plan – WSJ.com The Company’s net production target of 2014 is in the range of 422 to 435 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), including approximately 69 million BOE as a result of the acquisition of Nexen Inc. (Nexen). The Company’s net production for 2013 is estimated to be around 412 million BOE, including 61 million BOE of production as a result of the acquisition of Nexen.

Jardine to Buy 20% Stake in China Luxury Auto Dealership – Bloomberg Jardine Strategic, the owner of hotels to convenience stores around Asia, will invest about HK$5.6 billion ($722 million) in Beijing-based Zhongsheng, a distributor of luxury car brands including Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche. The Chinese company will use the funds to expand the number of sales outlets in the country, according to a statement yesterday.

Glorious Property Plunges After Buyout Rejected: Hong Kong Mover – Bloomberg Glorious Property Holdings Ltd. (845) fell by a record in Hong Kong trading after shareholders rejected an offer by Chinese billionaire Zhang Zhirong to take the company private.

Glorious Property dropped as much as 30 percent and closed 27 percent lower at HK$1.25, the biggest decline since Oct. 2, 2009. The Hang Seng Index fell 0.9 percent.

4G push expected to hurt profits at China’s Big Three mobile network operators | South China Morning Post In a report released on Monday, Barclays cut its share price targets for China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom to reflect lower revenue forecasts for all three companies this year and next year.

“We see little incentive for China’s telco companies to focus on profit growth – 4G comes with all the excuses to [avoid doing] that,” said Anand Ramachandran, lead author of the Barclays report and the firm’s head of telecommunications, internet and media equity research for Asia, excluding Japan.

Xiaomi teams up with Xunlei to provide multimedia content|Companies|Business|WantChinaTimes.co China’s smartphone maker Xiaomi is likely to team up with Xunlei, a download manager developed by Thunder Networking Technologies, to provide phone users with multimedia content downloading services.

The deal will be inked in the week starting Jan. 20. Although the deal has not yet been confirmed, sources from the industry said that the two companies will work well together, Xiaomi providing the hardware, and Xunlei, the content.

Peugeot Plans $4.1 Billion Capital Increase to Boost Funding (1) – Businessweek Dongfeng Motor Corp. (489) may first contribute funding through a sale reserved for Peugeot’s Chinese partner, with a rights offering to follow that Dongfeng would also participate in, the Paris-based automaker said in a statement. The French state may also buy shares in both sales, the automaker said.

To keep up with China Mobile, China Unicom rolls out 42M 3G From what we can surmise, 42M is the standard of 3G used in some mobile hotspot wi-fi routers. Peak download speeds reach up to 42Mbps, reportedly fast enough to download a high-definition movie in one minute. Unicom says that’s comparable to 4G LTE, but perhaps it’s best to think of it as ’3.5G’.

China’s Qihoo aims at 35% search engine share by end of year Qihoo president Qi Xiangdong said last week, according to the Chengdu Evening News (via Marbridge Daily), that the company is aiming to reach 35 percent market share by the end of 2014.

Qi says that Qihoo now has 24 percent share, though the CNZZ data that we prefer to look at pegs the company’s So.com search engine at precisely 22.5 percent.

ZTE reports likely swing to net profit in 2013 – MarketWatch Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier ZTE Corp. said Monday it likely swung to a net profit in 2013, after suffering a hefty loss in the previous year, thanks to cost cuts and efforts to cut back on low-margin business contracts.

In its preliminary financial results filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange, ZTE said it expects a 2013 net profit in the range between 1.2 billion yuan ($198 million) and CNY1.5 billion, a reversal from a net loss of CNY2.84 billion in 2012.

China Mobile will have to make nice with internet firms | China Economic Review Over-the-top (OTT) applications such as Tencent Holdings’ messenger WeChat and Sina Corp’s micro-blogger Sina Weibo are largely dependent on mobile data networks to reach customers. China Mobile, and the country’s two other operators have spent the better part of a decade and tens of billions of dollars putting those networks in place, only see the internet giants scrape off the top of their profits. When users use apps such as WeChat they don’t send texts or make calls that they have to pay for.

China Auto Industry News | PSA and Dongfeng Close To Inking Deal | China Car Times – China Auto News Dongfeng are looking to take a significant stake of their joint venture partner PSA with a capital injection of 3 billion Euro with the French government expected to take a similar amount which will help PSA stay liquid as the European car market continues to slump. Peugeot posted a 5% sales decline in global sales in 2013, whilst Chinese sales jumped 26% to 550,00 units.

Alipay for Taxi Has Expanded to 40 Chinese Cities The taxi app Kuaidi, which is venture backed by Alibaba, now supports Alibaba’s payment solution Alipay in 40 Chinese cities, covering more than 400,000 taxi drivers, according to Alipay. Alipay was integrated into Kuaidi in May 2013.

Novus Energy Inc. announces completion of acquisition by Yanchang Petroleum International Limited – EIN News Novus Energy Inc. (“Novus” or the “Company“) (TSXV: NVS) is pleased to announce that the previously announced  acquisition of the Company by Yanchang Petroleum International Limited  (“Yanchang Petroleum International“) through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Yanchang International  (Canada) Limited, pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta) (the “Arrangement“) has been completed. Pursuant to the Arrangement, Novus shareholders  will receive C$1.18 in cash per common share of Novus.

Lenovo rewards top new designs[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn The 2014 Lenovo Innovators Competition kicked off in Beijing a few months ago and concluded on Jan 19, 2014. By following the release of the final results, 44 outstanding works from candidates were selected and will remain on display to the public at Beijing’s 798 Art Zone through the Chinese New Year holiday.

ICBC Macau’s Hengqin plan is still in pipeline | Macau Business Daily Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau) Ltd (ICBC Macau) says the mainland authorities are still considering its plan to get a foothold on Hengqin Island.

Last week one of ICBC Macau’s competitors, Luso International Banking Ltd, got permission to open a representative office on Hengqin, which could be a step towards setting up a branch there.

GoXBTC’s closure raises trading concerns|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com China-based bitcoin trading site GoXBTC announced on Jan. 4 that its services will be discontinued from Jan. 18, citing growing costs and the regulatory risks of operating in China as reasons. The announcement resulted in holders of the virtual currency selling their holdings at cut-throat prices, the newspaper explained. “It was really a clearance sale. One bitcoin can be sold for as low as over 3,000 yuan (US$495),” said a trader on an online forum.

Ethiopia: ERA Awarded 6.5B Birr worth Road Projects to Chinese Companies China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) is awarded three projects in Addis Abeba for 4.6 billion birr. The projects include the continuation of the Rapid Adama Expressway and two projects connecting the expressway with the capital.

China Railway No.3 Engineering Group Co Ltd. is awarded a project totaling 161.23kms, in Amhara region for 1.4 billion birr. The project include the 89.23kms long project which starts in Gashena, 620 km north of Addis Abeba in the North Gonder Zone.

Another Chinese company, China Railway Seventh Group Co Ltd., is awarded a 44km road in Zagora (Kechen Meda), which involves five large bridges, each 30m long. The contract has been awarded to  for 485 million birr.

Smart operator reaps rewards[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn Xu, chairman of the Yuemei Group, now does 40 percent of his business in Africa and the remaining 60 percent in China. He predicts that those numbers will be reversed in three to five years. The company’s current annual output in Africa is worth $30 million.

China Construction Bank (Asia) becomes Multifonds’ latest Asian client – bobsguide.com Multifonds, the leader in single-platform, multi-jurisdictional investment fund software, today announces that China Construction Bank (Asia) [CCB (Asia)] has become its latest Asian client.

Posted from Diigo.

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