China Business Briefs 26/1/14

Not much happening today with the imminent Chinese New Year.

ECONOMY

Fear grips markets as investors worry about China’s growth and US profits | South China Morning Post Fear is back in the market. Investors are worried about slower economic growth in China, a gloomier outlook for US corporate profits and an end to easy-money policies in the United States and Europe. They’re also fretting over country-specific troubles around the world – from economic mismanagement in Argentina to political instability in Turkey.

MOC calms talk of more FTZ pilots – Xinhua | English.news.cn China is still reviewing the applications of prospective new free trade zone (FTZ) pilots and hasn’t green-lit the establishment of any yet, a commercial official said on Friday.

“We are still studying other places’ FTZ applications and the State Council hasn’t approved any new set-up,” said an official of the Ministry of Commerce’s International Trade and Economic Relations Department.

re: The Auditors » Blog Archive » One Way Or Another: The SEC Versus The Chinese Big Four Firms Let’s break down the companies affected by the judge’s decision. I am assuming it will eventually be implemented in some form.

The PCAOB site lists 151 companies with mainland China auditors. That compares with 132 companies with audits signed by Hong Kong firms. (Numbers are skewed for KPMG which reports all issuer audits on one form, filed by Hong Kong, but PCAOB attributes all KPMG China issuer audits to mainland China.) The mix is different. PwC dominates on the mainland but an independent firm, Albert Wong & Co, has the most audits of Chinese issuers in Hong Kong.

I agree with Professor Paul Gillis that the ban will not affect US-listed companies audited by Hong Kong firms immediately, unless or until those companies start requiring SEC fraud investigations, too. In that case, the SEC and PCAOB will run into the same problem they have on the mainland. The PCAOB is prohibited from inspecting its registered firms auditing US issuers in Hong Kong. The SEC will run into the same “Chinese secrecy law” when trying to get audit work papers out of Hong Kong to investigate frauds as it has out of Shanghai or Beijing.

Reforms will result in fairer competition in China – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Ongoing reforms in China will result in fairer competition in the country, the vice president of a leading business school said Friday.

Consumers in China will be better off thanks to tougher competition on the market, Hellmut Schuette, vice president and dean at China Europe International Business School told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

Major bank headquarters maintain deposit interest rate – Xinhua | English.news.cn China’s five major state-owned banks said Friday that their headquarters still maintain the deposit interest rate and surges reported on Thursday were individual cases by some branches for special clients or businesses.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, announced on June 7, 2012 that the upper limit of the floating band of deposit rates would be adjusted to 1.1 times the benchmark, or up 10 percent at most. Local commercial banks began lifting the deposit interest rate after the announcement.

China Seeks to Attract Skilled Foreign Workers-Caijing China will speed up the exploration of immigration policies this year to  attract skilled foreign workers, a senior official said on Thursday.

However, Zhang Jianguo, head of the State Administration of Foreign Experts  Affairs, did not give details on when the policies will be  introduced.

Hangzhou closes live poultry markets to combat bird flu[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, has suspended the trading of live poultry in order to halt the spread of the H7N9 bird flu virus.

The city banned the trading in its main urban areas on Friday, according to local health and industrial and commercial departments.

Solar industry bouncing back on mainland China after prolonged downturn | South China Morning Post The mainland’s solar panel industry is showing signs of booming again after a prolonged downturn – raising fears of another bust when the splurge of public money that is driving a spike in demand dries up.

But industry officials worry fast-growing generation capacity will increase fiscal pressures on China and Japan and force them to cut subsidies, which will then hit demand, just as happened with previous big solar users Germany, Spain and Italy.

COMPANIES

China’s Fosun Wants To Surpass Ping An Insurance In 2014 – Forbes For Guo Guangchang, chairman of China’s largest privately owned conglomerate Fosun Group, the ultimate goal is to be like Warren Buffett. To transform Fosun into a long-term strategic investment company much like Bershire Hathaway, the goal in 2014 would be to beat Ping An Insurance, the mainland’s second largest insurer that also provides financial and banking services, Guo said.

SOHO to increase Beijing holdings to 50% – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn SOHO China, a Hong Kong-listed property developer that specializes in commercial property, intends to hold half its property in Shanghai and half in Beijing, the company’s chairman said on Thursday.

Pan Shiyi made this comment when explaining that SOHO had sold out three projects in Shanghai last year.

“As we found that our holding property had reached 75 percent in Shanghai and only 25 percent in Beijing, we decided to restructure our portfolio to achieve a 50-50 split in both Beijing and Shanghai,” said Pan.

Spring Airlines bucks industry trend with 10% profit growthWantChinaTimes.com At a time when most airlines have seen profit declines due to restricted business flight demand, Spring Airlines, China’s only budget airline, reversed the downtrend to see profit growth of around 10% last year, Shanghai-based China Business News reports.

In 2013, total profits in China’s airline industry reached 27.3 billion yuan (US$4.5 billion), down 7.7% from 29.6 billion yuan (US$4.9 billion) a year earlier, while Spring Airlines, which owns 40 aircraft, enjoyed a profit growth of about 10%.

Tesla China chief unveils aggressive growth plan for China | Reuters U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) expects its China sales to contribute one third of global sales growth this year, a senior executive said, adding that a trademark issue stalling full-entry into China had been resolved.

Veronica Wu, vice president of Tesla’s China operations, told Reuters the Palo Alto, California-based company planned to open stores in 10-12 Chinese cities by the end of 2014, including its flagship store in Beijing that opened late last year.

Tesla Announces Lower-than-Expected Price of $121k for Model S in China Tesla Motors, the electronic car startup co-founded by PayPal billionaire Elon Musk, announced that Model S will be sold for 734,000 yuan (US$121,280), lower than over 1 million yuan as previously speculated by the public.

Tesla claimed this is a fair price, although it is still about 40% more expensive as compared with $81,070 in the U.S. According to Tesla, the extra amount is generated from taxes, customs duties, and transportation costs. The company also breaks down the amount to $3,600 for shipping and handling, $19,000 for customs duties and taxes, and $17,700 for VAT.

America is in an Energy Renaissance; Don’t Get Too Excited About Cheap(er) Oil One reason for a potential surge in price is a major uptick in Chinese demand. 2013 was the slowest oil demand growth for China in decades, but next year, PetroChina (NYSE: PTR) estimates it will more than double last year’s growth. This could put a higher premium on international oil prices for the year, and further down the road as China becomes more and more reliant on oil imports.

25-year corporate tax holiday for US$ 1.3 billion offshore Colombo Port City | The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka The move to build Colombo Port City follows an unsolicited tender from China Communications Co. Ltd (CCC). The project is more expensive than the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (US$ 210 million), Phase 1 of the Hambantota Port (US$ 361 million) or the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (US$ 350 Million) put together.

Noble’s macro trading head in Asia quits to make hedge fund comeback | Reuters Noble Group Ltd’s  head of macro trading in Asia, Allan Bedwick, has quit and is preparing to make a comeback in the hedge fund industry, sources said on Friday.

Bedwick managed his macro hedge fund firm, Sequence Asset Management, until 2012 and had moved to Noble Group last year.

Posted from Diigo.

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