China National Petroleum Corp

China Business Briefs 12/1/14

Sorry about there being no blogpost yesterday. Enjoy today’s bumper issue.

ECONOMY

Beijing Tests Tools to Tackle Bad Debt – WSJ.com China’s government is gearing up for a spike in nonperforming loans, endorsing a range of options to clean up the banks and experimenting with ways for lenders to squeeze value from debts gone bad.

Write-offs have multiplied in recent months. Over-the-counter asset exchanges have sprung up as a way for banks to find buyers for collateral seized from defaulting borrowers and for bad loans they want to spin off. Provinces have started setting up their own “bad banks,” state-owned institutions that can take over nonperforming loans that threaten banks’ ability to continue lending.

Caixin Explains: What the Central Gov’t Thinks of Shadow Banking – Problems regarding shadow banking have long concerned the central bank and the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), but it was not until a meeting in July that the State Council made a priority of addressing the problem. A lot more attention was paid to the CBRC’s research on the matter, which constituted the basis of the document that was circulating.

The CBRC had argued that trust companies and some off-balance-sheet operations of commercial banks were not shadow banking, considering that they were not highly leveraged. Also, the Ministry of Commerce had long opposed treating pawn shops and financial leasing companies as shadow bankers.

China uncovers thousands of disaster risks in oil and gas sector | Asia-Pacific | BDlive China has uncovered about 20,000 disaster risks in its oil and gas sector during a nationwide safety probe following a pipeline blast that killed 62 people last year, the country’s safety watchdog said on Thursday.

People’s Bank of China keeps pressure on money markets – FT.com Last week, hours before 2013 came to an end, the People’s Bank of China delivered an unwelcome surprise to some of the country’s biggest banks. Despite frazzled nerves after a liquidity squeeze just one week earlier, the central bank told them it wanted to conduct a bond repurchase operation, a move that would take cash out of their hands for a few days.

“Everyone said it was like a new year’s message from the PBoC. They were telling us that money is going to stay tight,” says a senior credit trader with a European bank in Shanghai.

China Keeps Dancing With a Lehman Moment – Chovanec – MoneyBeat – WSJ China’s year-end cash crunch, the one that the government didn’t want journalists to call a cash crunch, is a very serious situation, Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management, said this morning on the MoneyBeat show.

Oilweek – The big chill China is an oil-producing superpower. Last year the country’s state-owned oil companies spent $35 billion buying foreign assets. One result: the country’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) now produce almost as much oil outside the country as such OPEC kingpins as Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. These overseas acquisitions are being operated as commercial investments, in the sense that oil from far-flung businesses is mostly being used to supply traditional markets. Add those volumes to China’s position as the world’s fifth-largest producer from domestic fields and the end result is a network of SOEs that is global in scope.

Women Add To Their Lead On Forbes China’s New List Of 50 Top Financial Planners – Forbes Women added to their majority on the new list, taking up 31 spots, compared with 28 last year. Their success, according to Forbes China managing editor Bridge Kang, comes in part from a convention in Chinese households that “men earn the money and women manage it.” That in turn helps female professional financial planners and advisers build good relationships among industry executives and customers, Kang said.

China Exports to Face Tough 2014 as Yuan Climbs – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s export growth was disappointing in the final month of 2013due to lackluster demand from developed markets, data released Friday showed.

But there could be more problems in store for China’s exporters in 2014 as the yuan currency’s continued appreciation against the U.S. dollar makes the country’s goods more expensive in world markets.

Maturing of municipal bonds puts pressure on Chinese citiesWantChinaTimes.com Municipal bonds worth 285 billion yuan (US$47.1 billion) will be due in 2014 and bonds worth 140.6 billion yuan (US$23.2 billion) will be due in 2015, according to Shanghai-based China Business News. The total outstanding amount of municipal bonds in the nation is estimated in a range of 2.7-3.3 trillion yuan (US$447-546 billion), the paper reported.

China Auto Industry News | China Ends Microgrowth Myth With 13.9% Growth | China Car Times – China Auto News 2011 and 2012 ushered in the era of ‘micro -growth‘ for the Chinese auto market where auto sales slipped from the 30-40% range as seen in the previous decade to to 2.5% and 4.3%, respectively. It was widely thought, and accepted, that micro growth would be the norm rather than the exception for the Chinese automotive market. However, 2013 saw a strong rebound to 13.9% sales growth where sales grew to just under 22 million units over the course of the year with an exceptionally strong December where sales rose 17.9% year-on-year to 2.13 million units according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM)

Fitch’s China shadow banking guru quits – FT.com Charlene Chu, who as a senior director of Fitch Ratings was among the first to flag the growth of China’s massive shadow banking sector, is leaving the credit rating agency. Her departure ends an eight-year spell as a thorn in the side of the Chinese banking industry.

Ms Chu was one of the first to highlight the dangers of both shadow banking and China’s mammoth stimulus plan, rolled out in early 2009 in response to a collapse in global trade.

China iron ore imports grow 10% in 2013 – FT.com The strength of Chinese iron ore demand confounded analysts last year, with 2013 imports rising 10 per cent year-on-year to 820m tonnes, as steel mills defied expectations with an 8 per cent rise in output, according to estimates by the state-backed industry association.

Reversal of fortune in China’s peer-to-peer lending boom – FT.com Dozens of the P2P lending websites that sprang up in recent years have shut down. The biggest companies are unscathed so far, but the rapid collapse of smaller rivals highlights the mounting difficulties in the Chinese micro-lending industry as economic growth slows and monetary conditions tighten.

It is a dramatic reversal of fortune for China’s peer-to-peer websites, which, for a small service fee, connect people wanting to invest money with those looking to borrow small amounts.

Dubai property market attracting more Chinese investors|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com The bubble created in Dubai’s real estate market burst in 2008, but the sector is now making a comeback, attracting global investors including those from China, reports Shanghai’s China Business News.

Housing prices in Dubai have surged by nearly 30% over the past year, with Dubai-based real estate developers, such as Nakheel Properties, recruiting salespeople that can speak Chinese to attract Chinese investors entering the market.

China central bank guides yuan slightly lower, downside seen limited – Economic Times China’s yuan edged down against the dollar on Thursday after the central bank fixed a slightly weaker midpoint but traders said the potential for any sharp correction was limited as Beijing appeared to want to keep the yuan largely stable for now.

Spot yuan was trading at 6.0546 per dollar at midday, falling 0.06 percent from 6.0512 at Wednesday’s close, after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set its midpoint at 6.1109, down 0.05 percent from Wednesday’s 6.1079. “Thursday’s midpoint guides the yuan to weaken slightly,” said a trader at a Chinese state-owned bank in Shangh

Chinese banks rush to float bonds abroad|Economy|News|WantChinaTimes.com McKinsey predicted that Chinese banks will raise 2 trillion yuan (US$330 billion) in funds from overseas markets, via issuance of stocks and bonds, in the next five years.

The trend will be fueled by the increasing difficulty of Chinese banks in raising funds on the domestic market due to rising bad debts, a sluggish stock market, rising funding costs, and the deleveraging process.

China mulls national pollution permit trading system | Reuters China will look into establishing a nation-wide trading system for pollution permits as part of efforts to use market mechanisms to help clean up its environment, the country’s top environment official said.

In remarks published on the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (www.mep.gov.cn) on Friday, minister Zhou Shengxian said China was working on new regulations for pollution permits and would also publish proposals for new pilot trading projects as soon as possible.

Private capital to play bigger role in China’s healthcare services|Policy|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan can now run their own hospitals in every city at prefecture level or above, while it was previously stipulated that they could do so only in municipalities and provincial capital cities, according to a circular publicized by the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Thursday.

Investors from foreign countries can also set up wholly foreign-funded medical institutions in the newly established Shanghai Free Trade Zone and in certain other regions, according to the circular, which was jointly signed by the commission and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, although it did not specify the other regions.

Half of China’s coastal outfalls over-discharging sewage – Xinhua | English.news.cn Half of China’s 156 coastal outfalls are discharging excessive sewage into the ocean, according to the State Oceanic Administration.

According to a survey conducted by the administration in November, 78 ocean outfalls are discharging excessive sewage, with municipal drainage being the biggest contributor.

Survey results showed that South China’s Guangxi is the most serious among six coastal provincial regions in over-discharging. Fourteen of its 15 ocean outfalls discharged excessive sewage.

China to expand cross-border use of RMB: PBOC – Xinhua | English.news.cn China will continue to expand the cross-border use of the Chinese currency, the Renminbi or yuan, this year, China’s central bank said Friday.

The Chinese yuan’s cross-border settlement reached 3.64 trillion yuan(596.6 billion U.S.dollars) in the first eleven months of 2013, which was 350 times the amount in 2009, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said at a work-planning meeting.

China fires back at U.S. for criticism on fishing curbs | Reuters China defended on Friday its new fishing restrictions in disputed waters in the South China Sea against criticism from the United States, saying the rules were in accordance with international law.

Beijing claims almost the entire oil- and gas-rich South China Sea and rejects rival claims to parts of it from the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.

Washington called the fishing rules “provocative and potentially dangerous”, prompting a rebuttal from China’s foreign ministry on Friday.

Securities regulator shares audit data with US counterparts – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn The China Securities Regulatory Commission has shared the audit details of four Chinese companies listed abroad with overseas regulators, in a further move to crack down on illegal activities and protect the interests of investors, the watchdog said on Friday.

Cabinet approves new zones – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn China’s cabinet on Friday approved the establishment of new zones in Northwest China’s Shaanxi and Guizhou provinces in the southwest, the latest move to open up inland regions.

Shaanxi’s Xi’an-Xianyang New Area and Guizhou’s Guiyang-Anshun New Area got the nod from the State Council, adding to a string of “new areas”.

Some previous new areas are the Chongqing Liangjiang New Area (approved in 2010) and the Lanzhou New Area (2012). But while the Chongqing and Lanzhou areas were designated as State-level development areas, along with four other such areas, the two latest areas approved didn’t achieve that top position.

Proposed pension reform divides opinion – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn The public is critical that government officials do not need to input into the country’s pension pool but will enjoy higher annuities after retirement than their peers from enterprises and farming due to different plans.

China adopts different pension plans for enterprise employees, rural residents, urban dwellers and workers with government and government-sponsored institutions. This has caused a gap in pension payments, Zheng Gongcheng, a professor with Renmin University of China, told the People’s Daily, flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

China’s Liquidity Paradox-Caijing Consider this: Despite China’s swelling foreign-exchange reserves – the result of persistent current-account surpluses – market and interbank short-term interest rates are soaring. How did this happen, and what should policymakers do about it?

China December Exports up 4.3Pct, Trade Surplus $25.6B-Caijing China’s exports grew 7.9 percent in 2013 while imports expanded 7.3 percent from a year ago, resulting in a trade surplus growth of 12.8 percent, government data showed.

Trade surplus in the year hit 1.61 trillion yuan ($259.8 billion), with exports at 13.72 trillion yuan ($2.21 trillion) and imports 12.11 trillion ($1.95 trillion), according to data released by the General Administration of Customs today in Beijing.

COMPANIES

China Disciplines 48 For Pipeline Explosions In Qingdao – WSJ.com Two Sinopec executives in charge of the pipeline and a safety director were removed from their positions, Xinhua said. Three local officials in charge of an economic development zone in the Huangdao district of Qingdao—where the blasts occurred—also were dismissed, according to Xinhua.

In 2011, the State Council issued similar disciplinary warnings to 64 people responsible for four accidents at state-owned China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s largest energy company. Jiang Jiemin, CNPC’s former chairman, was among those disciplined for the accidents, which included a pipeline explosion in the port city of Dalian that didn’t result in casualties. Mr. Jiang was promoted two years later to head a government commission that oversees state-owned companies.

China Petroleum and Chemical Rating Increased to Buy at TheStreet (SNP) | Ticker Report China Petroleum and Chemical (NYSE:SNP) was upgraded by investment analysts at TheStreet to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, Stock Ratings Network reports.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) (SNP): New Analyst Report from Zacks Equity Research – Zacks Equity Research Report – NASDAQ.com We are downgrading our recommendation on Sinopec to Underperform from Neutral, ahead of fourth quarter results.

China Railway tops charts for proper monetary insulation|WantChinaTimes.com China Railway Group, the nation’s largest construction company, came in on top for accounts receivable, tight cash flows and provisions for bad debt among China’s 36 listed firms related to the high speed rail sector, National Business Daily reports.

China Railway issued a statement on Jan. 6 to clarify that its high level of debt is related to the nature of the industry and not dissimilar from others in the sector. Its liability-asset ratio of 84.84% remains normal and the risk controllable. What should be noticed its high debt ratio has remained for years, the report said.

China’s State Grid buys biggest chunk of HK Electric’s IPO: sources | Reuters Government-owned State Grid Corp of China is coming in as the biggest cornerstone investor in a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) worth up to $5.7 billion by Li Ka-shing-backed HK Electric Investments, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Li’s Power Assets Holdings Ltd is planning to list its Hong Kong electricity business, HK Electric Investments, as it seeks funds for overseas expansion. The IPO is set to be launched on Monday, they added.

The first Chinese game console: Huawei’s Tron Tron is a small, cylindrical console that runs Android 4.2.3 and connects to TVs via HDMI (it is capable of 1080p output). All told, it’s about the size of a coffee mug. Huawei says the device will sell for $120 or less and come with 16 or 32 GB of storage. Internally, it’s using Nvidia’s Tegra 4 processor, and the Tron also has wi-fi and bluetooth connectivity and even a USB 3.0 port. Here’s a video of the thing in action via Huawei News:

Fosun buys Portuguese insurer for $1.4b – Chinadaily.com.cn Fosun International’s chairman Guo Guangchang said in statement on Thursday that the Hong Kong-listed company outbid US investment fund Apollo Global Management LLC to acquire an 80 percent stake in state-owned Caixa Seguros e Saude SGPS SA, Portugal’s largest insurance group, which is owned by state bank Caixa Geral de Depositos SA.

Shui On Land CEO Resigns as Billionaire Lo Takes Active Role – Bloomberg Shui On Land Ltd. (272), the Chinese developer that’s been selling assets to cut debt, said Chief Executive Officer Freddy Lee quit after less than three years and billionaire Chairman Vincent Lo will resume a more active role.

Shui On has been selling assets as it seeks to pay down debt and improve its cash position. The developer announced last month that it will sell a project in Shanghai to China Life Insurance Group Co. for 3.32 billion yuan ($549 million). New York-based Brookfield Property Partners in November invested $500 million into Xintiandi, which operates the popular entertainment complex in Shanghai.

U.S. Market Still Out of Reach for Chinese Car Makers – WSJ.com GAC Motor isn’t the only Chinese auto company shunning this year’s U.S. show. For the first time since Chinese auto maker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. debuted at the show in 2006, no Chinese car company will hold an exhibit this year.

Five years ago, many Chinese auto makers were hatching ambitious plans for going global. While some have been stepping up efforts to build their presence in emerging markets, for the most part they have fallen silent on their ambitions tapping demand in developed economies.

Kuga recall leaves buyers bruised – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Chang’an Ford will recall 80,857 Ford Kuga SUVs produced between September 21, 2012 and November 13, 2013 from February 21, 2014 because of substandard steering knuckles, Chang’an Ford announced on December 27, 2013 on its website.

Goubuli prepares to put big dough into expansion[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn An eatery giant known for its steamed stuffed buns, and with an ambitious expansion plan to buy a United States coffee chain, is joining a growing number of Chinese enterprises in going global.

Goubuli Group, a renowned Chinese food corporation based in North China’s Tianjin, announced on Thursday that it plans to buy a US cafe chain company in the first half of the year.

Greenland Group Plans for A-share Listing-Caijing China’s state-owned property developer Greenland Holding Group Co. said today it aims to float shares in the domestic stock market.

The company plans to submit materials for an A-share listing to China’s securities regulator as soon as next month, said Greenland chairman Zhang Yuliag today.

Observer-Reporter | Chinese coal giant enters Greene Co. natural gas joint venture Officials with Energy Corporation of America and China Shenhua Energy Co. subsidiary Shenhua America Holdings Corp. announced a 50/50 joint venture to develop 25 natural gas wells in Greene County over the next 18 months.

China Tops Rolls-Royce’s Largest Market in 2013-Caijing China has toppled the US to become the largest market for Rolls-Royce Motor  Cars in 2013 with the country’s growing class of crass new riches.

The British-headquartered luxury carmaker sold 3, 630 cars around the world  last year, up from 3, 575 a year ago. 2013 also marked its fourth consecutive  year to report record sales.

Infiniti China Sales Surge – WSJ.com Infiniti, the premium car division of Nissan Motor Co., said its auto sales in China surged 54% in 2013 and the brand expects to maintain its growth momentum this year in the world’s largest auto market.

The company sold 17,108 Infiniti-brand cars in China last year, Johan de Nysschen, senior vice president of Japanese auto maker Nissan Motor and president of Infiniti, said Saturday. Infiniti posted a 16% decline in sales in 2012 amid a territorial dispute between Japan and China over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Tencent’s Personal Cloud Storage Service Micro Cloud Releases 2.0 Version Chinese Internet giant Tencent recently released version 2.0 for its personal cloud storage Micro Cloud (Weiyun in Chinese) with a number of features that aims to turn the product into an integration service from a storage service. The new 2.0 version is expected to hit market on January 15 (source in Chinese).

WeChat’s Rank Rocketed up in the U.S. during Recent Holiday Season, but Dropped down soon AppAnnie has added new features to its free Store Stats tool that you can track apps’ performance on Google Play, iOS, Amazon, and Mac App Store apps in up to 10 countries at once.

For instance, you can see the rank history of WeChat on iOS Store in multiply countries as below. What immediately drew my attention is a peak during the past holiday season. The graph in orange is WeChat’s performance on the U.S. iOS Store. It’s unknown what marketing efforts by Tencent, WeChat’s parent company, helped it.

Steve Wozniak drops into Xiaomi Beijing HQ According to former Google and Android VP turned Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra, who just posted a photo and some details to his Google+ page, Woz is a new convert to their phones. Woz declared that it’s “very emotional for me to be a part of Xiaomi now” – a reference to him using a Xiaomi Mi3 (not working for the ambitious phone-maker).

A tale of two China stocks: NQ Mobile vs. Baidu – The Cody Word – MarketWatch Put simply, I know how hard it is to stay on top of and believe in the numbers that U.S.-based companies publish. To think that I could successfully do so in most any foreign-based company is rather insane. On the other hand, when I see someone like Muddy Waters’s Carson Block target a company like NQ Mobile out of China, it piques my interest, because I do think there’s money to be made finding companies who are pushing the envelope overseas.

Sam’s Club Has Potential in China Because China has the largest population in the world (1.35 billion people), you would think that this move should automatically lead to exceptional results. However, if you look at retailers that have attempted to make names for themselves in China in recent years, their moves haven’t gone so well, and this group includes Wal-Mart. Sam’s Club differs from Wal-Mart’s namesake stores, and this might be a positive for the potential of Sam’s Club in China going forward.

Warren Buffett’s Chinese Cars Are Coming to the U.S. (BRK-B, GM) BYD has done some intriguing work with hybrids and electric cars. But BYD has a long history of optimistic predictions, and the company has had a rough time staying competitive even in its home market. But the Berkshire Hathaway investment has given the company some global cred. Is it time to take them seriously?

Ford and Tencent Work Together To Bring Tencent’s QQ Music To Cars | China Car Times – China Auto News Ford have teamed up with Tencent’s QQ, China’s largest chat and social platform, to introduce QQ Music into all Ford SYNC systems. QQ Music features China’s leading online music streaming platform, and is the most popular music app among Chinese smartphone users, with more than 200 million monthly users and 40 million daily users.

Tencent, Alibaba Have their Eyes on Mobile Payment Prize – The transactions are part of what is sometimes referred to as online-to-offline, or O2O, business, an arena where Alibaba and Tencent are busy battling for supremacy. Late last year, Tencent, which is listed in New York, invested in Didi Dache. Before that, Alibaba put cash into promoting a similar app, called Kuaidi Dache.

And the rivalry is not limited to taxi-hailing apps. The two firms are expanding their offline frontiers to shopping malls, movie theaters, convenience stores and restaurants. Both are beefing up their mobile payment systems – the key to connecting online and offline services – to compete head to head with credit cards and cash payments.

BoCom HK rides wave of bond issuance – Debt – Deals – News – FinanceAsia.com Bank of Communications (BoCom) Hong Kong branch raised a $700 million three-year senior unsecured note on Wednesday, smartly riding the wave of other bond issuance that has hit the debt markets in the first week of the new year.

The bank’s debut Reg S-registered paper had an initial guidance of 170bp over Treasuries and ended up pricing 25bp tighter at 145bp over Treasuries, according to a term sheet.

Surprising hedge fund plays include Bitcoin and China stocks (ACGBY)-ACGBY-PNGAY-Stockhouse news Two examples that come to mind are Ping An Insurance Group Co. (OTO: PNGAY, Stock Forum) and the U.S. listed version of Agricultural Bank of China (OTO: ACGBY, Stock Forum), both of which are known to be heavily owned by hedge funds.  To this day, despite China stocks being in a bear market, PNGAY has not only seen increased liquidity due to hedge fund presence, but the stock recently experienced a run-up that can only be attributed to hedge fund-created momentum.

China Railway Group Ltd : China : CHINA Railway Group to FUND the UK s £50bn high-speed RAIL LINE | 4-Traders China Railway Group has approached Downing Street to fund the UK s £50bn high-speed rail line. This comes a month after Chinese premier Li Keqiang expressed China s interest in the infrastructure project to Cameron.

See how Noble Group earnings could rebound in 2014 | Singapore Business Review The earnings outlook for Noble Group is looking brighter as prices and crush margins may soon see a resurgence, according to Barclays Research.

Noble Group may see its agricultural business margins recover as well as revive its volume growth, which will help the company post better earnings this year.

Chinese Tycoon’s Vanishing Seen Linked to Probe of State-Firm Officials – WSJ.com Hua Bangsong, one of China’s richest men, controls a vast engineering-services empire, Wison Group, which develops chemical plants for the nation’s major oil companies and international giants like Germany’s  BASF SE. But the 48-year-old hasn’t been seen by colleagues since August, when he was detained by Chinese investigators.

Bank of China London Branch successfully issues 2.5 billion RMB Bonds | 4-Traders On 9th January 2014, the book building of the first London offshore RMB bonds issued by Bank of China London Branch was successfully completed? making it the highest value single issue of RMB bonds in London and providing UK and European investors with an additional high quality RMB product.

Fears OCBC may overpay for Wing Hang | Macau Business Daily Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Southeast Asia’s second-biggest lender, fell to an almost four-week low in early Singapore stock trading yesterday amid concern it may pay too much to take over Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank Ltd.

MVP Group pushes JV talks with CNOOC for Recto Bank | ABS-CBN News The group of business titan Manuel V. Pangilinan is aiming to reach a commercial agreement with state-owned China National Offshore Oil Co. Ltd. (CNOOC) to finally pave the way for exploratory works at the disputed Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, its spokesperson yesterday said.

World’s largest bank opens branch in Calgary Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in the world in total assets, officially opened a Calgary branch Wednesday.

The move marks the first foray into Alberta for the bank’s Canadian subsidiary, known as ICBK. There are already five branches in Toronto and two in Vancouver.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China : Pak-Sino to constitute Experts Working Group | 4-Traders Pakistan and China have decided to constitute an ”Experts Working Group” on setting up energy and development projects in Pakistan with focus on their financing.

This was decided at a meeting between Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Chairman Jiang Jianqing in Beijing.

Construction of the Yaoundé-Nsimalen highway takes shape – Business in Cameroon The roadwork initially scheduled for early 2013 will now be completed in thirty-six months by the Chinese company, China Communications Construction Company Ltd for 36.7 billion FCfa.

Posted from Diigo.

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China Business Briefs 6/1/14

ECONOMY

China draws up new rules to curb shadow banking risks – FT.com The draft regulations, a copy of which was obtained by the Financial Times, mark an attempt by the government to better co-ordinate regulation of the country’s shadow banks, but also indicate a more permissive official stance than many observers had anticipated.

China approves pilot plan to set up 3-5 private banks | Reuters China has approved a pilot scheme allowing the setting up of three to five private banks, the regulator said on Monday, in a step to boost financial support for cash-starved smaller firm

Chinese leaders have pledged to open up the banking sector, now dominated by big state-owned lenders, to private investors to help boost competition and increase lending to small firms, who are often neglected by the big banks.

Diverse ownership to boost SOE reforms – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns Ding Yifan, deputy director of the Institute of World Development under the State Council’s Development Research Center, said a communique, issued after a key meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, set diverse ownership as the future development direction.

The move is a result of complaints about SOEs’ low efficiency and them receiving too many favors from government, said Ding in a program on Chinese reforms aired on Sunday on China Xinhua News Agency Network Co. Ltd. (CNC).

The three big listing themes in 2014 | South China Morning Post While Hong Kong’s equity market may have yet to shake off its holiday lethargy, IPO Watch is casting a glance back into 2013 to explore three important issues that may serve as a guide for stock picking among this year’s listing hopefuls. At least one of the trends is likely to emerge as the defining issue of the city’s listing market in 2014.

China to strengthen delisting rules – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn More issues need to be made clearer concerning the legal basis for delisting in such cases, the definition of a major violation, and the approach for delisting, Monday’s Shanghai Securities News quoted Xiao Gang, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, as saying.

Half of delistings in recent years in China were voluntary due to companies’ strategic restructuring or privatization, according to Xiao. He added that delisting will become a neutral mechanism, under which rule breaking or legal violations will not be tolerated.

China’s “Big Four” Banks Extend New Loans of CNY180B in December-Caijing China’s biggest four banks extended 180 billion yuan of new loans in December, while new deposits attracted by the state-owned banks surged 1.2 trillion yuan in the same month, reported by the Shanghai Securities News.

With money supply well above target, there is a good chance that banks are cautious in extending loans as planned, said Lu Zhengwei, chief economist with Industrial Bank. Chinese banks all together lent 8.4 trillion yuan in the first 11 months of this year, leaving 600 billion for December if they follow strictly of the full year target of 9 trillion yuan.

China Wages Seen Jumping in 2014 Amid Shift to Services: – Bloomberg Lu Ting, a Hong Kong-based economist for Bank of America, said in an e-mail that he sees wage growth of 11 percent this year after an estimated 10.7 percent gain in 2013. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. analysts said in interviews that they predict 10 percent to 15 percent increases.

China’s ruling Communist Party is pushing for pay increases to retain public support and to accelerate the nation’s shift away from polluting and capital-intensive manufacturing to a more services-driven economy. In minimum-wage increases so far announced for 2014, workers in Shenzhen in Guangdong province get a 13 percent boost and the gain for those in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, is 15.6 percent.

Govt campaign to ensure migrant workers’ wages – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said in a statement that five working teams will be sent to eight provinces including Zhejiang and Hubei to inspect employers’ salary payments to migrant workers as well as local governments’ related supervisory work.

The statement said that the campaign will urge local authorities to take effective measures to ensure migrant workers get paid in full before the Spring Festival, which falls on Jan 31.

Regional Conflicts in the South China Sea Could Rival the Middle East One Day The South China Sea reportedly holds 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That might actually only tell half of the story as the US Geological Survey estimates that as much as 22 billion barrels of oil could lie underneath the seabed. Unfortunately, there’s no clear way to define who “owns” these resources, as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei all believe some, or all, of these resources belong to them.

This is in fact one reason why nearly a third of all global crude oil passes through the South China Sea each year. The combination of potentially disputed oil underneath the sea, as well as its importance in the global oil trade makes this region a potential future hotbed for conflict. Clearly, peace in the South China Sea is vital to maintain regional stability.

Futures market records major increase |Markets |chinadaily.com.cn Combined trading volumes in the futures market in 2013 jumped to 2.06 billion contracts, 42.15 percent year-on-year growth, the CFA said.

China’s Financial Futures Exchange’s trading volume jumped to 190 million contracts in 2013, an 84.22 percent increase with trading value of 141 trillion yuan, representing an 85.92 percent year-on-year increase.

Rising home prices send China’s ‘Rat Race’ scurrying underground | Reuters That’s pushing more and more newly arrived urbanites underground. Of the estimated 7.7 million migrants living in Beijing, nearly a fifth live either at their workplace or underground, according to state news agency Xinhua. Beijing’s housing authority refuted this statistic, saying in an email to Reuters that a government survey last year found only about 280,000 migrants living in basements and that only a small percentage of Beijing’s basements were being used as dwellings.

Foreign Banks Are Optimistic on China Reform, Ernst & Young Says – Businessweek “With gradual and successive financial reforms taking place in China, foreign banks are optimistic about their future in China,” Ernst & Young said in a statement in Shanghai today after surveying 38 overseas lenders. Respondents expect a “modest improvement” in their performance over the next three years, the New York-based accounting firm said.

Foreign lenders are struggling to expand their market share of less than 2 percent in the world’s second-largest economy, where banking assets more than doubled since 2008 to 147 trillion yuan ($24 trillion) as of Sept. 30. Global banks face government restrictions on adding branches and offering products as local rivals churn out record profits.

China’s domestic and outbound tourism to keep growing in 2014|Economy|News|WantChinaTimes.com The report made a positive prediction for 2014, forecasting that both the number of tourists and their spending will increase. The number of people traveling abroad may reach as high as 114 million, a 16% hike from 2013, and their spending will increase by at least 18%, according to the report. In terms of country-wide travel, the number of domestic tourists is estimated to reach 3.58 billion, while they are forecast to spend 3.2 trillion (US$528.8 billion).

Luxury cigarette prices fall after Beijing ban|Economy|News|WantChinaTimes.com Prices of luxury cigarettes have been slashed in Beijing following the Chinese government’s ban on extravagant official spending, reports the Beijing Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League in Beijing.

Taobao lures Russian shoppers – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Russians, especially young people, have increasingly been buying goods from China. Taobao data showed about $2 million worth of goods were sent to Russia in February. The figure doubled in May.

China’s Leaders Move to Rein In Steel Mecca – WSJ.com In the past two months, the local government in Hebei, a province roughly the size of Oklahoma that produces a quarter of China’s steel, has orchestrated a parade of furnace shutdowns. The head of its top steelmaker has resigned. Mills are scrambling to switch to more fuel-efficient material.

Chinese leaders are telling the province that its measures aren’t enough. Spurred in part by severe pollution that drifts from Hebei to next-door Beijing, the central government has set a goal of lopping off nearly a quarter of the province’s steelmaking capacity.

China to open tech niches to foreign investors – MarketWatch China will open information services and data storage services to foreign investment in the free trade zone, according to a notice posted on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Foreign ownership cannot exceed 50%.

Online data processing will be opened to foreign investment, but foreign ownership cannot exceed 55%. So will virtual private networks, though foreign ownership in these will be limited to 50%.

The 2014 Outlook for the People’s Bank of China – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s central bank needs to get a mix of offense and defense right in 2014. On the offense, People’s Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan was brought back for a third term by China’s top leaders, despite Mr. Zhou having reached the bank’s retirement age of 65. Mr. Zhou’s mission: to put in place a reform agenda that stalled under China’s former leaders.

On defense, the PBOC must decide how to slow China’s escalating debt, which has grown so rapidly over the past five years that it reminds Chinese and foreign economists alike of the credit bubbles that eventually burst in the U.S., Europe and other parts of Asia. First, the PBOC must decide what to do. Boost interest rates? More tightly regulate so-called shadow lenders, such as trust companies and informal lenders, which work out complicated deals with the banks to hide risky loans?

China’s growth is a contradiction, but that’s how we like it | China Economic Review China Economic Review has compiled a list of the best predictions for 2014 while also assuring readers that the world will look at China with awe, antipathy, disgust and envy all at once this year.

Private businessmen crimes rise – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Private entrepreneurs were found guilty of, or had allegedly committed three-quarters of 357 publicly reported entrepreneurial crimes in the country over the past year, the results of an annual Chinese entrepreneur crime report showed over the weekend.

China Evaluating Tax on Foreign Exchange & Capital Flows | China Briefing News China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) – the regulatory body that oversees all movements of capital out of, and into the country has called for an “in depth study” on the potential imposition of a so-called “Tobin Tax” – a tax on all spot conversions of one currency into another. Named after the Nobel Prize winning economist James Tobin, the tax was originally meant to be used for curbing short term round trip excursions into another currency to prevent deliberate destabilization of national currencies being wrought by market traders.  China however seems to be evaluating its use as a means to control currency flows even as the Chinese RMB is being liberalized.

What’s Trust in China Got To Do With Our Success? Integrity and caring build trust in China. We should be doing that with our workers in China, but we should also insure or direct reports and other important positions have that. Trust in China is worth big money. It makes teams go and must come from top leaders.

China IP infringement As China lawyers, we are all too frequently contacted by our clients who need help dealing with IP infringement in China. As a first step, we analyze the situation and propose a course of action.  The following is an amalgamation of memoranda, done so as to convey both what goes on out there and how to deal with it.  Most importantly, however, it is intended to provide a path towards preventing IP infringement through proactive trademark and copyright registrations.

Video: Ice Festival preparations hot up in Harbin, China – Telegraph According to organisers, the festival is one of the largest in the world stretching to 6,458,400 square feet.

COMPANIES

China Railway Group chairman dies – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns The chairman of China Railway Group Ltd Bai Zhongren died at his home Saturday, Securities Times reported Sunday.

The company’s spokesperson has confirmed the information, but said the company’s operations were normal, the report said. The report also said that Bai had been suffering depression for years, without disclosing the reason why he died.

China Railway Group President Bai Zhongren’s Death From An Unspecified Accident Might Be A Suicide: Local Media However, China Business News, a local newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said that the 53-year-old jumped to his death from a fourth-story window at his home, after suffering from depression in recent months due to his company’s mounting debt.

China Railway Shares Plunge After Company President’s Death – Wall Street Journal – WSJ.com The shares of China’s second-largest construction contractor by revenue after China Railway Construction Corp. fell as much as 7.2% in Hong Kong on Monday, then recouped some of the losses, to end 4.1% lower at 3.75 Hong Kong dollars (US$0.48) per share. It was the lowest close since July 15.

China Harbin Bank Seeks to Raise $1 Billion Via Hong Kong IPO – WSJ.com If it gets listing approval from Hong Kong’s stock exchange, Harbin Bank would be the fourth Chinese bank to go public in Hong Kong since a wave of offerings kicked off in November. Chinese banks have been raising money through Hong Kong IPOs as a way of replenishing their capital amid tighter regulatory requirements, and as bad loans increase while the economy slows.

In December, Hong Kong was home to a $3 billion offering by China Everbright Bank, the country’s 11th largest bank by assets, in what was the city’s biggest IPO of 2013. Everbright Bank’s IPO came just weeks after two smaller Chinese banks, Huishang Bank Corp. and Bank of Chongqing, raised about $2 billion in total in November.

In China you can now hail a cab and pay the driver on WeChat That was fast – just days after Chinese tech giant Tencent (HKG:0700) threw some cash into the massive series C funding round for taxi-hailing app Didi Dache, WeChat, Tencent’s behemoth messaging app, has added a feature that lets users hail a taxi on-demand using Didi’s network.

Alibaba and Sina Weibo partner up to bring Weibo Wallet to mobile The introductory splash-screen for the updated Sina Weibo app – now at v4.2 – tells users they can make payments within Weibo for any product that someone shares or links to within the app. It promises that “paying online is just a tap away.” A “Wallet” section now appears in the “Me” area of the Sina Weibo app. However, it’s poorly implemented right now, and there’s no explanation of how to connect this new Weibo Wallet to any e-payment service or bank card.

Oil Tycoon Denies Hu Yaobang’s Family Is Linked to His Business – Oil tycoon Wang Letian says that the family of former Communist Party general secretary Hu Yaobang was not linked to his deals for oilfields.

Wang bought several fields in 2008 in the northwestern province of Shaanxi from state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) via an intermediary, Zhou Bin, the son of a former top leader. Zhou is currently embroiled in a corruption investigation.

Wang said that he paid for the oil fields and buying them through an intermediary was a choice he made only reluctantly because private oil companies had no access to productive reserves.

China Mobile Probes Loss-Making Exit From Hong Kong TV – Bloomberg China Mobile Communications Corp., the parent of the world’s largest phone company, is probing a decision by its Hong Kong unit to exit the territory’s television market at a loss one year after introducing service.

China Mobile is investigating whether the transaction meets its internal guidelines as well as regulations of China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the company said in an e-mail today. The sale involved a unit that owned spectrum to broadcast mobile television service in Hong Kong, the company said, without identifying the buyer.

CNOOC to close new energy unit – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn China’s third-largest national oil company decided to end one of its renewable energy subsidiaries, according to media reports, as the country’s lackluster new energy market continues to struggle with limited demand and high production costs, analysts said Sunday.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) plans to dissolve its subsidiary CNOOC New Energy Investment Co, a Beijing-based firm which mainly explores and produces several forms of renewable energy including wind power, coal-based clean energy and biomass energy, the Beijing-based Economic Observer newspaper reported Friday.

Dalian Wanda building theme park to rival Shanghai Disney Resort|WantChinaTimes.com China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, plans to spend 30 billion yuan (US$5 billion) to build a theme park to rival the Shanghai Disney Resort as he explores possibilities for the future of his property development company, reports the Beijing News.

“I’m targeting Disney. I never have blind faith in foreigners. I will prove that a tourism project built by the Chinese can compete with the so-called famous brands from the United States,” Wang said.

Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., Energy Corp. of America plan Marcellus wells – Pittsburgh Business Times The biggest coal company in the world, China’s state-owned Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., is making a big commitment to drilling for natural gas in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Shenhua is making a $90 million investment in a joint venture with Energy Corporation of America to drill for natural gas in Greene County.

SINOPEC Engineering Group Co Ltd : Sinopec plans to build $3.1bn plant | 4-Traders Sinopec Engineering Group said it has entered into a deal to build a $3.1 billion plant in northern China to turn coal into petrochemicals, as China seeks to reduce its reliance on petrochemical imports.

Sinopec Engineering will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction of the 18.67 billion-yuan project in Inner Mongolia, which it said would be the largest of its kind in the world.

Taking off – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Cathay Pacific Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways, is one of several companies betting on a sharp increase in air freight in coming years.

The company spent HK$5.9 billion ($760 million) in 2013 to build a new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport. It now has the capacity to deal with 2.6 million tons of goods annually, taking the total annual freight capacity at Hong Kong International Airport to 7.4 million tons.

Qunar Jumps on Mobile User Growth as Ctrip Tumbles – Bloomberg Qunar, based in Beijing, rallied 11 percent on Jan. 3 to the highest level since its U.S. debut in November. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most traded Chinese stocks in New York slid 1.5 percent, capping a 2.5 percent slump last week. Ctrip.com, China’s biggest online travel agency, led declines on the gauge with a 7.9 percent retreat.

In China, Crowd-Funded Concerts Are Catching On With Fans – China Real Time Report – WSJ On a recent weeknight in Beijing, about 800 people gathered at a club in downtown Beijing to watch a performance by pop singer Li Quan and Li Daimo, a singer made popular by the “Voice of China” TV show. At home, several hundred more participants were tuning into the concert live from their computers or smartphones.

The concert was organized by Xiami, a Hangzhou-based online music portal owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, in its first such initiative using crowd-sourced funding via Alibaba’s Taobao online shopping platform.

China,Germany,Japan,United Kingdom : CHINA launches SHANGHAI INSTITUTE OF MARINE INSURANCE | 4-Traders China launches its first marine insurance association called the Shanghai Institute of Marine Insurance.

The association s members include Chinese insurers Ping An Insurance (PAI), People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) and China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC).

Foreign companies, including Lloyd’s, Sumitomo Mitsui and Allianz are also members.

Honda says Dec China auto sales up 60 pct y/y | Reuters Honda Motor Co Ltd and its two local joint ventures sold a record 101,465 automobiles in China in December, up 60.4 percent from a year earlier, the Japanese automaker said on Monday.

AMEC plc : Amec Gets 6-Year Nexen Petroleum UK EPC Contract | 4-Traders AMEC PLC, an international engineering and project management company, said Monday it has been appointed by Nexen Petroleum U.K. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd., to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for their North Sea offshore assets.

Li Ka-shing to spin off Hong Kong electricity distribution unit – FT.com Li Ka-shing’s power generation and supply group will set up the first test of Hong Kong’s equity markets for 2014 when it begins marketing the spin-off of its local electricity distribution business to investors on Monday.

It is the biggest listing in the city since AIA’s $20.5bn sale in 2010 and the largest anywhere in Asia since Japan Airlines’ $8.5bn deal in September 2012, according to Dealogic.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Used This Strategy to Win Over China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) employs a tactical marketing strategy that always helps the company to succeed even when it was expected to fail. While entering a new market which presents both challenges and opportunities the company does rush to cut deals with market leaders. Instead, it actually goes for the smaller players.

Minsheng uses aircraft business to expand overseas | South China Morning Post While many of the big names in mainland banking have expanded overseas by opening branches or acquiring foreign assets, China Minsheng Bank has adopted a different approach and is building its brand through aircraft leasing.

Its Minsheng Financial Leasing unit, one of the first five mainland financial leasing companies with a banking background to be approved by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, has recently expanded its private jet leasing to commercial aircraft after setting up Minsheng Commercial Aviation in Hong Kong.

Interview: Innovation key to success of Lenovo – Xinhua | English.news.cn “Lenovo’s innovation lies in its technology, products, business model and cultural management. Its name, which was changed from Legend in 2003, is a combination of ‘legend’ and ‘novo’, a Latin word meaning new,” Yang told Xinhua during an interview.

In 2013, Lenovo ranked first in the PC market taking 17.7 percent of market share worldwide. It is welcoming the post-PC era with 4G technology, Internet development and multiple terminal devices, said Liu.

Firms’ Acquisition Fight Shows How Rules for Overseas Investments Are Changing – A recent acquisition battle between two Chinese companies over a Cayman-registered semiconductor firm has shed light into the China’s changing overseas investment approval system.

Why NEXON’s BNB Failed to Accuse Tencent’s “QQ堂” of Copyright Infringement? | Bridge IP Law Commentary In recent years, there is serious plagiarism in the field of online games. Considering that online game acts as computer software, however, laws protect its “code” other than game mode and method. The case in today’s post will disclose this principle for us.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 3/1/14

ECONOMY

How China crashed the Nafta party | Kevin P Gallagher and Enrique Dussel Peters | Global development | theguardian.com **Great piece** Looking back, our research shows that China has significantly penetrated many of the new markets opened by Nafta. In a paper published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, we document the extent to which Chinese products have taken away market share in the US, and how China has begun to take Mexican markets from the US as well.

China official services PMI falls to 54.6 from 56 – MarketWatch **Still decent growth, higher than manufacturing as you’d expect** China’s official nonmanufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 54.6 in December from 56.0 in November, according to a statement on Friday from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

Local-government debt: Counting ghosts | The Economist IN MANY countries, governments struggle to contain their debt. In China, the authorities struggle even to count it. Last August and September, 54,400 auditors fanned out across the country, quizzing local officials, scrutinising their books and inspecting their pet projects in an effort to tally the Chinese government’s liabilities. They went from top to bottom, examining 31 provincial-level governments (which are typically responsible for tens of millions of people), 391 cities (often home to a million or more), 2,778 counties (with populations of hundreds of thousands) and over 33,000 townships (which are typically home to about 10,000 people). Never has so much been audited by so many.

Beijing airport world’s 2nd-busiest |Industries |chinadaily.com.cn Beijing Capital International Airport was the world’s second-busiest airport in 2013, serving more than 83.69 million passengers as of Dec 31, an increase of 2.2 percent from 2012, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The airport ranked No 2 in terms of passenger throughput for the third year in a row, and handled 567,000 flights in 2013, an increase of 1.9 percent compared with 2012.

China LGFV Sells First Dollar Bond as Yuan Borrowing Costs Rise – Bloomberg Shanghai Chengtou Corp. sold the first onshore dollar-denominated bond by a local-government financing vehicle in China as yuan borrowing costs surge.

The funding unit issued $200 million of AAA rated notes with a 3.3494 percent coupon on Dec. 27, according to a statement posted on the website of the Shanghai Clearing House on Dec. 31. The bond was priced to yield 300 basis points more than six-month Libor, the statement said.

Taiwanese-invested business sweating in China’s credit crunch|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Due to the credit crunch at Chinese banks at the turn of the year, many Taiwanese-invested enterprises in China have been forced to resort to underground financiers, driving up the latter’s interest to nearly 200% per annum.

The banking credit crunch has been reflected in soaring banking interest rates. The rate for seven day mortgaged repo loans has climbed to over 8.9% in a single leap. Shanghai’s A-share market has taken a 6.75% decline in 2013.

PwC forecasts sharp increase in IPOs in 2014 – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn A-share IPO activities will be robust in 2014 after having been suspended for more than a year, and the number of IPOs is expected to reach 300, a significant increase over 2012, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in a report released Thursday.

Among the 300 new listings, 40 are expected to be on the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, with 260 on the small and medium-sized board and the Growth Enterprise Board (also known as ChiNext) of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, said Frank Lyn, managing partner at PwC China, at a press conference in Beijing.

Shanghai focuses on blue chips, investor confidence |Markets |chinadaily.com.cn **Information disclosure is often poor. See the information available here** The SSE said it will diversify products to meet investor demand, improve the structure and quality of listed companies, elevate blue-chip shares, and continue pushing for better information disclosure.

“We could not predict market trends in 2014, but we believe stronger protection of investors will help to improve the user experience and attract more investors,” a top official of the exchange was quoted as saying.

Chen Guangbiao on Buying New York Times: It’s not a Joke -Caijing **That won’t reassure anyone** In an article published on the official Global Times on Friday, Chen said the U.S. knows little about a civilized and open-minded China while New York Times articles about China are hardly fair and objective.

Vice-minister calls for new economic growth model |Economy |chinadaily.com.cn China’s current economic growth model is “unsustainable,” and an “updated” style based on innovation must be forged, said deputy finance minister Wang Bao’an.

He characterized the feature of China’s growth model as “high input, high resource consumption, high pollution, high growth” and “low output, low efficiency, low profit, low tech”.

Pimco Sees Dim Sum Refinancing Boom on Cash Crunch – Bloomberg **A nice way of putting it** Pacific Investment Management Co. sees a 2014 boom in issuance outside the mainland by Chinese companies, driven by a record amount of Dim Sum bonds set to expire and a cash crunch in domestic markets.

“A lot of local and Dim Sum bonds are coming up for maturity so there will be a lot of refunding needs,” said Raja Mukherji, the Hong Kong-based head of Asian credit research at Pimco, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund. “Given that onshore rates have been ticking up in China, corporates may choose to go to the offshore bond markets and extend their maturity.”

China Moving Ahead on Water Prices – WSJ.com The changes are part of a wider government reckoning that current state-controlled pricing structures for everything from water to electricity and natural gas are broken. Underpriced resources help Beijing protect its citizens and industries from inflation, but experts say they are contributing China’s environmental woes and long-term concerns about economic sustainability.

Under the plan, the heaviest consumers—or top 5% of households—will pay at least three times the base rate of water. The second tier will pay 1.5 times the base rate, while the lowest tier—roughly 80% of urban households—wouldn’t be affected by the changes, according to the NDRC.

Why Investors are Willing to Take Bold Bet on the Money Burning Taxi App Business? **What about the taxi companies – opening access etc?** Two crucial considerations for venture capitalists in determining whether to invest in a company are team (background, experience, execution power, and complementarity) and direction (market potential, policy and competitors). The investment rounds of domestic taxi apps can be explained from these aspects (source in Chinese).

Local Flavor Returns As China Box Office Sales Boom and Outperform Foreign Films – China Real Time Report – WSJ Local productions powered a 27% rise in China’s box-office sales last year, according to one estimate, as Chinese-made films outdrew foreign movies after losing their top position in 2012.

China’s box office raked in 21.6 billion yuan ($3.17 billion) last year, according to consulting firm Artisan Gateway. That’s compared with 17.07 billion yuan for 2012 and a mere 950 million yuan in 2002, when China first began shaking up its state-run movie houses and started allowing modern theater chains.

Chongqing, Dalian, and Shenyang Offer 72-Hour Visa-Free Stays to Foreign Travelers | China Briefing News **Some kind of progress** In order to take advantage of these new visa-free policies, foreign travelers must hold a valid passport from one of the 51 countries named, a third country visa and tickets to depart the city to a third country or territory within 72 hours. During their layover, foreign travelers are permitted to engage in various activities such as tourism, business, and cultural communication, but are not permitted to travel beyond the administrative regions of Chongqing, Dalian or Shenyang.

Closer Look: The Era of Deifying GDP Growth Is Over. Now What? – In the past, if you asked to what extent the Chinese worshiped GDP growth, this was the answer: it was nothing short of almighty.

But that era is gone. GDP is no longer deified not only because the condition of the environment now weighs heavily in the performance evaluation of government officials. More importantly, the pursuit of high growth rates has become the greatest enemy of real growth.

Building a Foundation – **Sounds like a “Constitutionalist” argument** China has achieved great success from a low base, but the growth will not be sustainable unless institutions supporting innovation are fostered, Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist and the co-author of Why Nations Fail, said at 4th Caixin Summit on December 19 in Beijing.

Why Nations Fail is based on the assertion that institutions are the key difference between successful and failed nations. Countries that develop political and economic institutions that are “inclusive” to a broad base tend to thrive, the book argues. Countries where power and opportunity are concentrated in the hands of a few have “extractive institutions” and tend to fail.

Shanghai’s housing market extremely robust in 2013 – Xinhua | English.news.cn **”Overheated”, more like** Over the past year, 12.82 million square meters of new homes were sold across the city, up 36.6 percent year on year, Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co said in a latest report. They were sold at an average price of 24,177 yuan (3,983 U.S. dollars) per square meter, an annual growth of 7.6 percent.

Sales of new homes by area and costing above 2 million yuan grew by double digits year on year in 2013, while those priced under 2 million yuan rose by single digit, DTZ said after compiling data released by the city’s real estate trading center.

Disclosure rules bring clarity – People’s Daily Online A clearer picture of companies about to go public is emerging with the regulator mandating more complete disclosure from the first group of Chinese enterprises to issue shares under new regulations.

Under IPO rules released by the China Securities Regulatory Commission in November, prospectuses must include updated financial data and supplemental information about developments that occur after companies submit financial reports to IPO reviewers.

Concern expressed over rising debt risk – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Lian Ping, Shanghai-based chief economist at Bank of Communications, told the Global Times Thursday that it is highly risky for the central government to allow LGFVs to borrow money to ease liquidity shortages.

“This is an emergency measure [for] when a large-scale debt problem has occurred,” Lian said. “If the borrowing activities are not scrutinized closely, however, the burden of local government debt will definitely become heavier.”

Turning the Table on Museum Displays, Chinese Huanghuali Wood Furniture Gets a Chance to Shine – China Real Time Report – WSJ In 1996, Christie’s held a major sale of Chinese furniture in New York. More than 100 tables, chairs, screens, boxes and cabinets from the Ming and Qing dynasties were put up for auction, setting sales records and sending a clear signal of the strength of the market.

Auction successes mean more public attention—and that in turn translates into greater public interest.

COMPANIES

Ping An to launch mobile financial services platform – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, the world’s second-largest insurer by market value, plans to officially launch its mobile financial services platform before the upcoming Spring Festival, which falls on January 31 this year, news portal finance.sina.com reported Thursday.

The platform, dubbed “Yiqianbao,” mainly features online payment and social networking services and users can manage their money, and even their daily life, said the report, citing a New Year’s address by the company’s chairman Ma Mingzhe to his employees.

China sets up group for rare-earth production – MarketWatch Rare-earth production quotas, mining permits and other policies will be coordinated in China by a new group, the state-run Economic Information Daily newspaper said in a report on Friday.

Rare-earth producers Inner Mongolia Baoutou Steel Rare-Earth Group Hi-Tech Co. Ltd. (600111.SH), China Minmetals Corp., Aluminum Corp. of China, Ganzhou Rare Earth Group Co. Ltd., Guangdong Rising Nonferrous Metal Co. Ltd. and Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd. (600549.SH) are included.

Chinese Firm Linked to CNPC Suspected of Fraud in Iraq – “We would like to inform you that you should suspend all the activities of your company with Hermic especially the contract of water pipeline 24,” Hussain wrote, without giving any reason.

MOC is a state-owned Iraqi oil company. In May 2010, CNOOC signed a technical service contract (TSC) with the Missan oil block in southeastern Iraq. About four months earlier, another Chinese oil giant, China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) also won a TSC with Halfaya oilfield owned by MOC.

China Mobile’s Costly iPhone Deal with Apple – Digits – WSJ Since Apple confirmed the deal with China Mobile, brokerages have been swiftly reducing their earnings forecast for the world’s largest carrier by subscribers  because of steep capital outlays for a new network and anticipated handset subsidies. The carrier will also have to contend with lower interconnection fees from rivals as of Jan. 1 as part of the Chinese government’s latest effort to promote competition.

China No. three smartphone maker aims to double sales target in 2014 – Yahoo!7 China Wireless Technologies Ltd, the country’s third biggest smartphone maker by sales, plans to double its sales target this year, the latest budget Chinese handset maker eyeing a windfall in the world’s largest mobile phone market.

The Chinese firm, the parent of Coolpad smartphone-maker Yulong, aims to ship 60 million units, including 40 million 4G phones, it said on its official microblog late on Thursday.

Why I’m Not Worried About iPhone Pre-Orders in China Telecom Corporation Limited (ADR) (CHA) | Next iPhone News In a market that buys more smartphones than the U.S. has people, 100,000 phones is just a small drop in the bucket. It’s also the number of pre-orders China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) took for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s latest iPhones in its first two days of availability, according to Wedge Partners. The largest wireless carrier in the world took fewer early pre-orders than its smaller competitors, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHU) and China Telecom Corporation Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHA) – 120,000 and 150,000, respectively.

Perhaps the China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) deal isn’t as major as people thought. I’m not really worried about it, though.

New Bagamoyo port to restore town’s lost glory Further, Tanzania has already signed a framework agreement with China Merchants Holding International Co. Ltd. to carry out the construction of the port as well as the railway network leading to it and the special economic zone. The total amount of these three parts could total more than 10 bn US Dollars.

Chinese Car News | Auto Brands to Watch in the Chinese Market in 2014 | China Car Times – China Auto News But let’s not focus on the big brands in 2014, we should look at other brands beyond the headline grabbers that we have seen over 2013.

China’s Demohour rakes in millions in series A funding round Chinese crowdfunding site Demohour announced today it has received “millions” of US dollars in funding from Matrix Partners China and Intel Capital, according to Tech 163.

China’s Meituan on course to sell $500M in daily deals per month Extrapolating that $16.4 million daily number, Meituan is close to pulling in $500 million per month in sales revenue. That’s more than double its rate in May 2013, when the company revealed monthly transactions worth $155 million.

Engines spluttering on Dongfeng-Peugeot deal – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn The long-stalled Dongfeng-PSA deal finally saw some signs of movement recently. A National Business Daily report said on December 26 that the cooperation between Dongfeng and loss-making French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën is expected to start with Dongfeng buying into a PSA research center in Shanghai.

“The two companies are still negotiating the potential purchase,” the report said, citing a source at Dongfeng Peugeot Citroën Automobile Co, the China joint venture set up by the two companies back in 1992.

Yanzhou Discount Widens as Gaming Data Boosts Melco Crown – Bloomberg The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. retreated 1.4 percent to 104.60 yesterday, following a 6.9 percent gain in 2013. Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. (YZC), China’s fourth-largest coal producer, tumbled 9 percent, while China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. slid to a two-month low. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. surged 24 percent after announcing a joint venture with a state-owned company, and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL) rose to a record.

Crowdfunding Site DemoHour Secured Millions of Dollars Series A Funding from Matrix Partners and Intel Zhang You, founder of Kickstarter-like crowdfunding site DemoHour booked millions of dollars of Series A funding from Matrix Partners China and Intel (source in Chinese). The capital will be used to develop crowdfunding services for hardware and art, etc, said Zhang.

Launched in July 2011, the site received $500 thousand seed fund from a Taiwanese angel investor in the same year, according to Baidu Baike (a wikipedia-style service in Chinese).

Tencent hits the road to map China’s biggest ‘street view’ Started with just three areas in late 2011, Tencent’s (HKG:0700) street view imagery is now the most comprehensive in China. In a country where Google has not been permitted to roll out its iconic Street View cars, Tencent has filled the void, rolling out camera cars and sending guys with panoramic cameras to cover dozens of cities from all possible angles.

Chinese P2P lending site Dianrong gets funding Chinese peer-to-peer lending service Dianrong raised “tens of millions of dollars” in a series A funding round from Northern Light Venture Capital, according to Kuailiyu.

As of the end of November 2013, more than RMB 100 million ($16.5 million) was lent through Dianrong. Kuailiyu states China’s P2P lending market is worth RMB 20 to 40 billion ($3.3 billion to $6.6 billion) per year and is growing at a rate of 300 percent year-on-year. In 2012, China’s then 200 P2P lending firms handed out RMB 10 billion ($1.65 billion). Other major domestic players include Renrendai, Haodai, PPDai, and Rong360.

Peer-to-peer online platform tries to muscle in on banks’ loan business | South China Morning Post By combining discount loans with a new asset class, a group of former bankers has launched Hong Kong’s first peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending platform.

Dispensing with the cost-heavy model of office branches and sales staff, and by employing cutting-edge risk analysis modelling, P2P platforms match borrowers with individual investors looking for high single-digit percentage returns.

Cost overruns dispute puts Panama Canal project in jeopardy | South China Morning Post Work on the massive Panama Canal extension project may be suspended after a clash between the builders and the Panamanian authorities over US$1.6 billion in cost overruns, according to a statement from the building consortium on Wednesday.

Panama Ports Co, part of Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa conglomerate, operates the ports at both ends of the cana

HK IPOs in 2014: What to Look out for This Year -Caijing With Hongkong Electric, AS Watson, Shuanghui, and Alibaba looking to tap HK’s  capital market, this year’s IPO fundraising is expected to grow to CNY200billion  (US$33billion), of which at most CNY120billion is likely to come from two  spin-offs inside Li Ka-shing’s empire.

Why Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd.’s Shares Popped Today What: Shares of solar module maker Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (ADR)  (NYSE: YGE  ) are up 22% today after announcing a new venture in China.

Now what: Most Chinese solar stocks are up big today so there’s a rising tide lifting Yingli along with this news. As for the Shuozhou Coal deal, I think it’s an incremental positive but not a game changer for Yingli. The company still has too much debt and needs to make strong operational improvements to make a profit and that’s what I’ll be looking for in 2014 before buying into this stock.

Analyst: Don’t ‘Over-Exaggerate’ Apple’s China Mobile Deal – Part 2 Based on the assumption that Apple will require a volume commitment of 5 million units in 2014 and that China Mobile will employ a similar subsidy policy as China Telecom and China Unicom, the analyst calculated a total subsidy bill of 10.3 billion renminbi for the full year. He also reminded investors that since China Mobile’s fiscal 2013 budget was only 27 billion renminbi, the additional subsidy burden represents a “meaningful” 36.1 percent year-over-year increase.

Bank of Communications Co Ltd : China’s CPI to expand 2.6% y/y in December | 4-Traders China’s consumer price index (CPI) is likely to accelerate 2.6% y/y in December this year, as compared to an expansion of 3% y/y recorded during the previous month. According to Bank of Communications (BOCOM), the country’s CPI is projected to expand 3% next year, higher than the estimated level in this year.

Yingli Green Energy Announces Joint Venture with Datong Coal Mine Group – PR Newswire – The Sacramento Bee Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE: YGE) (“Yingli Green Energy” or the “Company”), the largest vertically integrated photovoltaic (“PV”) module manufacturer in the world, known as “Yingli Solar”, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yingli Energy (China) Company Limited (“Yingli China”), has entered an agreement (“Agreement”) to establish a joint venture (“Joint Venture”) with Shuozhou Coal Power Co., Ltd.(“Shuozhou Coal Power”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Datong Coal Mine Group Co., Ltd. (“Datong Coal Mine Group”), which is China’s third largest state-owned coal mining enterprise. The Joint Venture will develop and construct solar power plants in Shuozhou city, Shanxi province.

Posted from Diigo.