Huawei

China Business Briefs 24/4/14

Economy Finance Auto Energy Tech Property Agriculture Retail

Economy

Manufacturing remains weak[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn The preliminary reading was 48.3, compared with 48.0 in March. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

Domestic demand improved slightly, as suggested by an increase in new orders. The sub-index reading rose to 47.7 in April from 46.5 in March. Output rebounded to 48.0 from 47.2.

Infrastructure projects set to boost growth – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn China announced 80 major public infrastructure projects on Wednesday to arrest the economy’s slowdown while experimenting with wider access for private and overseas investors.

The projects will cover railway and harbor construction, new infrastructure needed by information technology, major clean energy projects such as hydropower, wind power and photovoltaic power, as well as modernization projects in oil and gas and chemical industries.

China Opens 80 Projects in State-Run Sectors to Investors – Bloomberg The projects are in industries including railways, ports and clean energy, according to a statement posted on the central government’s website yesterday that cited a State Council meeting. The projects are also in information technology, oil and gas pipelines, coal-to-chemicals and petrochemicals, it said.

State-controlled companies including PetroChina Co. (857) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386) have been leading a drive to find private investors amid a push by Premier Li Keqiang to give markets a bigger role in the allocation of resources. The country’s economy grew 7.4 percent in the first three months of the year, the slowest pace in six quarters.

Weakening RMB affecting dim sum bond market|Finance|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Continued depreciation of the renminbi has made investors more cautious in credit checks of offshore RMB bond issuers as the fear of a market reaction has caused some Chinese companies to turn to dollar bonds to raise cash.

Since mid-February, the Chinese currency has depreciated by nearly 3%, meaning investors snapping up “dim sum bonds,” or RMB-denominated bonds issued outside the Chinese mainland, can no longer speculate on a rising yuan.

China Resources ‘mistress’ business link tracked – FT.com China Resources, the state-owned conglomerate whose chairman was detained last week by anti-corruption investigators, has allocated many of its investment banking deals over the past five years to institutions employing the chairman’s alleged mistress.

From 2009 until 2012, Credit Suisse was one of the most prominent advisers on acquisitions and capital market activity carried out by China Resources and its numerous subsidiaries, according to data from Dealogic financial services information. This period coincides with the employment of Yang Lijuan, who also goes by the name Helen Yang and who is alleged to have been the mistress of the disgraced China Resources chairman Song Lin.

Contrarian Fund Will Seek Opportunities in Suffering Chinese Shares – WSJ.com Value Partners Group Ltd., a money manager based in Hong Kong, plans to open a fund in the third quarter to snap up shares in companies such as coal miners and steelmakers. They have been big decliners since China’s government started making noise about pollution and taking aim at energy-intensive heavy industries.

“They are too severely punished, to the point where it’s worth thinking about deep value buying,” said Cheah Cheng Hye, chairman and co-chief investment officer of Value Partners Group Ltd., which will likely look to raise at least US$50 million for its contrarian fund.

Finance

Chinese firms turn to foreign investors to borrow – MarketWatch Businesses based in mainland China–led by banks, property developers and energy companies–at the end of last year had a total of $169.2 billion of bonds outstanding held by investors outside China, up 60% from the previous year and more than double the amount from 2011, according to a new analysis by Nomura Holdings Inc. Many of the bonds are sold in Hong Kong, a Chinese city that operates under its own laws, and in the Caribbean. Of all the estimated $2 trillion of Chinese corporate bonds outstanding, about 8% is held by foreigners, the Nomura study shows.

Chinese brokerages queue up for next round of IPOs | GlobalPost The China Securities Regulatory Commission published the application prospectuses of 19 firms on its website on Tuesday evening, bringing the total to 65 applicants over the last five days.

One firm, Guotai Junan Securities Co Ltd, has applied for an IPO in Shanghai that could raise nearly 22 billion yuan ($3.5 billion), according to Reuters calculations.

Short-Seller Accuses Chinese Rubber Recycler of Doctoring Financials – WSJ.com Short-seller Glaucus Research Group California LLC on Thursday accused a Taipei-listed Chinese foam-rubber recycler of doctoring its financials.

In a 32-page report, Glaucus said it believes Asia Plastic Recycling Holding Ltd , based in China’s Fujian province, has overstated its net income by around 10 times, citing Chinese government tax records. Glacus also said public-land records show the company paid much less than it reported in acquiring two pieces of land and in expanding a factory since 2011.

Auto

Tesla CEO Pledges to Build Up Support Network in China – WSJ.com Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk pledged to enhance the auto maker’s support network in China to help broaden use of the company’s niche electric car, and offered new details about a $5 billion battery factory Tesla plans to build in the U.S.

Speaking in Beijing Tuesday at a ceremony marking the first handover of a Tesla vehicle to a customer in China, Mr. Musk said U.S.-based Tesla is building out hundreds of service centers around China but didn’t offer a time frame for their completion.

Energy

China Ends Environmental Ban on CNPC, Sinopec Refining Projects – Bloomberg Overturning an eight month-old ban, China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petrochemical Corp. can resume applying for clearance from the Ministry of Environmental Protection for new refining and petrochemicals projects, the ministry said today on its website.

CNPC, China’s biggest oil and gas company and parent of PetroChina Co. (857), and Sinopec Group, Asia’s biggest refiner and parent of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386) known as Sinopec, were banned from seeking environmental clearances in September 2013 following a review of their emissions in 2012. The ban effectively prevented the companies from building new refineries and petrochemical facilities.

PetroChina Company Limited Given Average Rating of “Buy” by Brokerages (NYSE:PTR) | WKRB News PetroChina Company Limited (NYSE:PTR) has received an average recommendation of “Buy” from the twelve brokerages that are covering the company, ARN reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation and seven have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $102.00.

CNOOC Ltd offers $4bn bonds -Upstreamonline.com The overseas arm of state-run China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is offering $4 billion worth of bonds to help repay loans related to its takeover of Canada’s Nexen last year.

CNOOC Ltd revealed it planned to sell $1.25 billion three-year notes, $2.25 billion 10-year notes and $500 million 30-year notes.

CNOOC Ltd names new Nexen boss -Upstreamonline.com Current executive vice president of CNOOC Ltd Fang Zhi will take over for Kevin Reinhart as Nexen’s chief executive, the company said.

Reinhart, who has worked for Nexen for 20 years, was named interim chief executive in early 2012 following the abrupt departure of former boss Marvin Romanow. Reinhart has held the position since then and oversaw the $15.1 billion sale to CNOOC Ltd, which was finalised in February last year.

Tech

Competition, Subsidies Hit China Mobile Earnings – WSJ.com China Mobile, however, has been dependent on homegrown 3G technology, which is compatible with fewer handsets. To maintain its dominant position, the company plans to double its capital spending to $12 billion this year to build a speedier 4G network. Apple and other major smartphone makers including Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Corp. and HTC Corp. already make phones to support this 4G standard.

China Mobile added 1.34 million 4G users in February, of which about one million were new iPhone users, Chief Executive Li Yue told The Wall Street Journal last month. The company said Tuesday it added 1.45 million 4G users in March, but it didn’t give a breakdown of iPhone users.

Tencent $2.5bn bond sale defies tech sector gloom – FT.com The deal, announced to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday, is part of the company’s medium-term notes programme established earlier this month, and is split into three-year and five-year tranches. The shorter duration debt offers a yield of just over 2 per cent while the notes maturing in 2019 – the bulk of the deal, at $2bn – pay out 3.4 per cent.

The five-year portion was priced at a spread over US Treasuries of 165 basis points, a new low for the company. It paid a spread of 375 bps in its first US dollar deal in 2011, and 275 bps in 2012.

Alibaba Starts to Sells First Ever Private Brand Hardware Tmall Box for 299 Yuan | TechNode Alibaba starts to sell set-top-box Tmall Box today on its B2C e-commerce site Tmall. This is the first time for the Chinese Internet giant to commercialize private brand hardware, although it has released last year another set-top box Wasu Rainbow together with Wasu Media, one of the several state-authorized content providers.

The product is priced at 299 yuan (around $48), while 10,000 Tmall credits will be distributed to each buyer, who can purchase 100 yuan worth of products on Tmall.

Xiaomi announces expansion into 10 more countries this year This afternoon Xiaomi, China’s fast-growing smartphone maker, held a meetup in Beijing to announce it would enter some new markets and also reveal a new product it had been teasing for the past several weeks.

  • Asia: Malaysia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Europe: Russia, Turkey
  • Latin America: Mexico, Brazil

Uber rolls into Beijing, now in 5 cities across China As is Uber’s usual strategy, the Beijing debut is a quiet ‘soft’ launch ahead of a more high-profile entrance at a later date. Uber gave rides to two Beijing luminaries earlier today – local tech blogger Keso, and Beijing newbie Hugo Barra, the Googler who’s now heading the global push at phone-maker Xiaomi.

New competition coming soon in China 4G, broadband | South China Morning Post Just a day after China Mobile (0941.HK; NYSE: CHL) reported some of its worst results in years, new developments in the telecoms space are showing why the nation’s leading telco will face a rough time for the rest of this year and quite possibly well beyond that. According to the latest media reports, China’s telecoms regulator could issue 4G licenses for the main technology being used by China Mobile’s two rivals as soon as next month, injecting a major shot of competition into the market. The second telecoms news bit comes in broadband, with reports that the nation’s newly formed national cable TV company has formally registered and will start business soon.

Huawei to boost its smartphone brand via new retail, online push | South China Morning Post “There are different ways to build a brand,” said Shao Yang, vice-president of marketing for Huawei’s consumer business group. “We will adopt measures not that new to the market but new to Huawei.”

Shao said the China market will be the focus of the company’s efforts in 2014, mainly because of the launch of 4G networks on the mainland. The company trails only Samsung and Apple as a leading producer of smartphones. It plans to manufacture 80 million smartphones this year, having shipped 52 million units in 2013.

China mobile Zong wins Pakistan’s 3G, 4G spectrum – Xinhua | English.news.cn Pakistan raised 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in its first auction for 3G and 4G mobile phone networks on Wednesday and China Mobile Pakistan, or Zong, emerged the sole winner of Pakistan 4G spectrum license and one of four winners of the country’s 3G spectrum licenses.

Property

China Money Network − CITIC Capital, Sonae Sierra Launch Property Management Joint Venture CITIC Capital Holdings Limited and international shopping center operator Sonae Sierra says they have launched a joint venture to provide management and leasing services to shopping centers in China, according to a company announcement.

Headquartered in Shanghai, the joint venture will focus on adding long-term value to shopping centers in China. It will start by providing property management services to retail projects currently invested by CITIC Capital.

Agriculture

Shanghai Dairy planning independent public listing|Companies|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Shanghai Dairy Group, a subsidiary of Bright Dairy and Foods, plans to go public independently, the subsidiary’s chairperson Shen Weiping told Shanghai-based China Business News, denying rumors about Shanghai Dairy’s capital being invested into the listed Bright Foods stock-trading platform.

Shen also said that Shanghai Dairy had reached an agreement with Nestle to build a milk production line in the Heilongjiang region of northeastern China to supply milk to Nestle’s baby formula brands. The planned investment will be worth several billion yuan, Shen stated.

Posted from Diigo.

 

China Business Briefs 16/4/14

There won’t be a posting of the business briefs tomorrow, as I am flying to Beijing (in about three hours) for a two week visit. I will try to keep on posting once there, but visits and reunions may take precedence.

I am looking forward to seeing Iain Shaw and co, former staff of the Beijinger (and former colleagues of mine) who are starting up The Cleaver Quarterly, a magazine on Chinese food around the world. Check out their kickstarter thing here if you’re interested.

Economy Finance Auto Infrastructure Energy Telecoms Property Travel Tech Agriculture Retail Healthcare

Economy

China’s first quarter GDP grows 7.4% – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn China’s economy grew 7.4 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed on Wednesday.

The NBS said that preliminary data showed the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 12.8213 trillion yuan ($2.08 trillion) in the first quarter.

The figures suggest growth in the world’s second-largest economy in the beginning of year 2014 was stable and that the economy was generally in good health, as Chinese authorities promoted reforms, innovation, restructuring and improvement of people’s well-being, according to the NBS.

Chinese incomes continue surging in Q1 – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn The average per capita disposable income rose 11.1 percent year on year to 5,562 yuan (908.82 US dollars) in the first quarter. Deducting inflation, the actual growth was 8.6 percent, according to the NBS.

The income gap between urban and rural residents narrowed with the actual income growth in rural China 2.9 percentage points higher than that in its urban areas in the first quarter, according to the NBS.

China’s Economic Growth Slows to Six-Quarter Low After Credit Reined In – Businessweek China’s expansion moderated to the weakest pace in six quarters and property construction plunged, testing leaders’ commitment to keep reining in credit as risks mount of a deeper slowdown.

Gross domestic product rose 7.4 percent in the January-to-March period from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Beijing, compared with the 7.3 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Industrial production and fixed-asset investment trailed projections.

China’s expansion slows as property construction falls | Money | The Malay Mail Online Gross domestic product rose 7.4 per cent in the January-to- March period from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Beijing, compared with the 7.3 per cent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Industrial production and fixed-asset investment trailed projections.

The weakest first-quarter property-investment growth since 2009 signals credit is tight and demand is faltering, adding to economic and default dangers as Premier Li Keqiang grapples with risks from shadow banking and local-government debt. A deeper slowdown would put pressure on leaders to expand stimulus or limit the pace of changes intended to give market forces a bigger role in the world’s second-largest economy.

Chinese Police Confront Trust Investors Demanding Repayment – Bloomberg Chinese investors demanding their money back from a troubled 973 million-yuan ($156 million) high-yield product in Shanxi province were confronted by police in front of a China Construction Bank Corp. (939) branch.

People wearing white masks with the words “despicable bank” and “pay back our money” were among at least 30 investors facing special-forces officers in dark uniforms in Taiyuan city, about 521 kilometers (324 miles) southwest of Beijing. The nation’s second-largest bank is the custodian of the Songhuajiang River No. 77 trust, which missed six payments as of last month, according to the Economic Observer.

Electricity, Steel Hint at Economic Uptick in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ Official data shows China’s economy in the first quarter grew at its slowest pace in 18 months, but two proxies point to some resilience.

Electricity output—an indicator favored by Premier Li Keqiang over gross domestic product—and crude steel production grew faster in March than in the preceding two months. In addition, steel output in March hit a record high, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

China’s slowing growth potential minefield for leaders – The Globe and Mail Slowing growth presents a potential minefield for Chinese leadership, whose chief concern is maintaining a rising standard of living for its own people. To that end, officials have sought to discount the value of GDP as a measure of well-being, instead deliberately underscoring other statistics. “Maybe a more important thing to look at is employment and income,” said Mr. Sheng. And those numbers still look good. The first quarter saw 3.74-million urban jobs created, slightly more than the year before. Rural income is up 10.1 per cent, while urban salaries swelled 7.2 per cent. At the same time, consumer price index growth of 2.3 per cent has allowed many of those gains to flow in to consumer pockets, rather than back into groceries.

Slowdown curbs Q1 lending activity – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn Money supply growth decelerated further in March amid a reform-induced economic slowdown, according to figures released on Tuesday by the People’s Bank of China.

The central bank said that the expansion of M2, a broad measure of money supply, slowed to 12.1 percent year-on-year from 13.3 percent in February. The market consensus was for an increase of 13 percent.

Slower deposit growth, which limits banks’ ability to lend, was a factor. Yuan deposit growth fell to 11.4 percent year-on-year in March from 12.5 percent in February.

Higher-value exporters survive turmoil in market[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn Higher-value Chinese exporters are more immune than low-cost manufacturers in the face of market turmoil from such things as weak demand, exchange-rate fluctuations and rising costs, said exhibitors at the Canton Fair that opened on Tuesday.

China not Currency Manipulator: US Treasury-Caijing “China’s currency yuan, or renminbi (RMB) appreciated on a trade-weighted basis in 2013 but not as fast or by as much as is needed,” the US Treasury said  in the latest semi-annual Report to Congress on International Economic and  Exchange Rate Policies.

According to the report, the yuan appreciated by 2.9 percent against the US  dollar in 2013, and China’s current account surplus declined to 2.1 percent of  gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, down from 2.3 percent of GDP in 2012 and  from a peak of over 10 percent in 2007.

Yangtze River Delta becomes epicentre for China credit risk | South China Morning Post Suzhou, an ancient city in Jiangsu province 100 kilometres west of Shanghai, lives in legend as one of China’s most beautiful, famous for its elegant gardens and charming canals.

More recently, it became an industrial powerhouse, sitting at the heart of the Yangtze River Delta region that, along with the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong, drove the mainland’s economic boom.

Now it is ground zero for a painful corporate deleveraging that has tacit government approval. A third of all loan delinquencies come from the region, and credit is getting harder to come by.

Finance

Citic Pacific to Pay $36B for Parent’s China Assets – Bloomberg The steelmaker and property developer will pay 49.9 billion yuan in cash and issue almost 16.6 billion shares at HK$13.48 each, according to a Hong Kong exchange filing today. Citic Group Corp. will hold 75 percent of Citic Pacific following the transaction and a share sale by the Hong Kong company, it said.

The transaction comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping advocates the most sweeping changes since Deng Xiaoping’s liberalization in 1978, including loosening yuan trading and allowing more private investments in state businesses. The deal gives Citic Pacific a stake in China’s largest brokerage, as well as banking, energy and infrastructure assets.

China Money Network − S&P Downgrades Fosun International’s Credit Rating Shanghai-headquartered Chinese privately owned conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. has been downgraded by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services because of the company’s increasing leverage level as a result of its acquisitions, according to a notice issued by S&P.

Fosun’s long-term corporate credit rating is downgraded to BB from BB+ with stable outlook.

BRIEF-Ping An Insurance’s Jan-Mar premium income totalled 108 bln yuan | Reuters Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd

* Says January-March premium income totalled 108 billion yuan ($17.37 billion)

Source text in Chinese: link.reuters.com/tan58v

BRIEF-China Life Insurance’s Jan-Mar premium income totalled about 132.2 bln yuan | Reuters China Life Insurance Co Ltd

* Says January-March premium income totalled about 132.2 billion yuan ($21.25 billion)

Source text in Chinese: link.reuters.com/tet58v

Auto

Volvo likely to become China’s next official car brand: report|Companies|Business|WantChinaTimes.com **I wonder what % of Audi’s revenues come from China** China’s president Xi Jinping, who visited the Chinese-owned Volvo car plant in Ghent, Belgium on April 1 during his European trip, seems to have become the best spokesman for the automobile brand after a photo of him and the Volvo XC60 model was published. Volvo could likely become the new choice for official cars in China, according to the Guangzhou-based Time Weekly.

Infrastructure

SOE accounting puzzle blurs frugality drive – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn **Article repeated from Xinhua – evidently CRCC’s arse is being kicked** Many Chinese state-owned enterprises(SOEs) that were under fire last year for exorbitant “reception” fees hid the item in their latest financial results, renewing public concerns over their sincerity to cut extravagance.

China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd. (CRCC), one of the country’s largest construction companies, spent 837.5 million yuan (135.1 million U.S. dollars) on receptions in 2012. The company was punished following public outrage over the alleged abuse of state assets.

In its 2013 financial report released in late March, CRCC canceled the item called “receptions” in its accounting statement. Meanwhile, the item named “management fees,” which included the sub-item “receptions” in the 2012 report, surged by nearly 2.2 billion yuan last year.

World’s longest plateau rail tunnel completed – People’s Daily Online The Xinguanjiao Tunnel, the world’s longest plateau rail tunnel on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, was completed on Tuesday, local authorities said.

Spanning 32.645 km, the tunnel was finished on Tuesday afternoon, making it the longest rail tunnel in China, according to Zhi Changying, an official with the China Railway Tunnel Co. Ltd. (CRTC), a partner in the project.

Sierra Leone Sports: Bo stadium handed over to Salone « Awoko Newspaper Renowned Chinese company, Xinjiang Beixin construction and Engineering Group Company Limited on Friday April 11th handed over the four thousand seater stadium to government through the Ministry of Sports.

Before the handing over ceremony, one of the Engineers Tai Xie who also doubles as interpreter told Newday that they started the construction of the Stadium on the 25th of December 2008 and they finished the project on 25th December 2013 spanning over a five year period.

Energy

China Natural Gas Output Rises in March to Highest in Two Years – BloombergNatural gas output in the world’s largest energy consumer rose 7.6 percent to 11 billion cubic meters last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing show today. That’s the highest since March 2012. NBS didn’t release output figures for January 2013 because the data was distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Chinese government sees expanding gas supply as a way to curb air pollution that has frequently exceeded limits recommended by the World Health Organization. The National Energy Administration said in its work plan in January that gas output is forecast to rise 12 percent from a year earlier to 131 billion cubic meters this year.

China State Grid Considers Dollar Issue Amid State-Giant Sales – Bloomberg State Grid Corp. of China, the nation’s largest power distributor, is considering a dollar-denominated bond offering following sales from other government-backed giants.

The company will meet investors in the U.S. and Asia from April 21, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. China Petrochemical Corp., known as Sinopec Group and parent of Asia’s largest oil refiner, raised $5 billion selling securities April 2 in Asia’s biggest dollar bond offering in a decade.

China builds up nuclear power grid – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn “China will install another 800 gigawatts of capacity for nuclear power, about 70 percent of which will use our technology for steam turbines and other key components,” Chen Chaoming, vice-president of Nuclear China-Alstom Thermal, told reporters in Beijing during the 13th edition of Nuclear Industry China, organized by the Chinese Nuclear Society.

“Despite the post-Fukushima delays,” he said, referring to the Japanese disaster of three years ago, “China’s nuclear market has a huge potential for growth. Basically, it is because China’s nuclear industry is still at a nascent stage. Power generated by nuclear plants accounts for less than 2 percent,” he said.

PetroChina Company Ltd.: Notice of Annual General Meeting for the year 2013 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an annual general meeting of PetroChina Company Limited (the “Company”) for the year 2013 (the “Annual General Meeting”) will be held at 9 a.m. on 22 May 2014 at Beijing Oriental Bay International Hotel, 26 Anwai Xibinhe Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing.

PLN teams up with Chinese firms on marine project | The Jakarta Post State owned electricity company PT PLN has teamed up with three Chinese companies — Technology Intern Shijiazhuang Enric Gas Equipment Co. Ltd, Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute of CIMC and PT Enviromate Technology International Cui Li — to develop marine transportation of compressed natural gas (CNG) in Indonesia.

The marine CNG transportation project, which will transport CNG from Gresik, East Java to Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, via a CNG vessel, is the first project of its kind in the world.

Telecoms

Huawei world’s top communications equipment supplier in 2013|Companies|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Drawing from China’s huge mobile communications market, Huawei became the world’s largest communications equipment supplier in 2013, overtaking Ericsson, according to the Chinese-language CBN Weekly.

The company raked in net profits of US$3.47 billion on sales of US$39.5 billion in 2013, compared with US$1.9 billion and US$35.3 billion for Ericsson. Cisco was third.

Property

China First-Quarter Home Sales Post Decline on Tight Credit – Bloomberg The value of homes sold fell 7.7 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($177 billion) in the three months to March from the same period a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The last time home value sales dropped in the first quarter was in 2012. New property construction declined to 291 million square meters (3.1 billion square feet) in the quarter.

Is glut developing in retail building sector?[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn Despite a rapid growth in retail sales, less-experienced developers could soon be learning a hard lesson from a market with a supply glut, says a retail property trend report released by Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest privately held real estate services company.

The report forecast that the new supply of commercial properties in 30 cities that it monitors will total 75 million square meters, and a peak of new supply with more than 20 million sq m will flood the market this year.

Hoping for Price Rises? Here’s the Harsh Reality, CCTV Tells Home Buyers – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s latest message about the property market is simple and aimed at the man on the street: The home you’ve bought isn’t a one-way bet. Deal with it.

That message has been pumped out through China’s state broadcaster as part of Beijing’s efforts to curb people’s enthusiasm for homes as an investment tool. Such appetite for property has driven economic growth, but also led to imbalances in the country’s economy and social tension.

Hebei Hopes to Turn Cities into Satellites by Pushing Them into Beijing’s Orbit – The housing market in Baoding heated up after media reports that provincial officials in Hebei want to develop some cities into satellites of Beijing, and Baoding might host some central government offices.

A Hebei official has said the idea is still just that, and that the central government has not approved anything.

However, the plan shows the province is enthusiastic about developing its economy, and has identified problems in the capital – overcrowding, heavy traffic and terrible air pollution – as problems it could use to its advantage.

Travel

WeChat Adds Air Ticket Booking Service | TechNode WeChat’s m-commerce offerings has added flight booking service that is provided by LV.com (formerly 17u.cn), a Chinese online travel service Tencent has a stake in. Payments, of course, are supported by WeChat Payment.

Firms decline to comment on merger rumors – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Ctrip.com International and Qunar.com Inc, two Chinese NASDAQ-listed online travel service providers, both declined to comment Tuesday on market rumors that they will merge in a deal that would create an online travel service giant with a market capitalization of over $10 billion.

The rumors, as reported by China Business Journal over the weekend, claimed that search engine giant Baidu Inc, the majority shareholder in Qunar, will swap its shares in Qunar for Ctrip shares, resulting in Baidu taking a controlling stake in Ctrip.

Sikorsky Helicopter Receives Chinese Nod – Analyst Blog – NASDAQ.com **UK political buffs may remember Sikorsky from the Westland affair** Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a unit of  United Technologies Corp. (UTX), declared that its S-76D aircraft has received China’s  certification, jumpstarting its delivery to Chinese customers.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued a validation type certificate for the helicopters, which will  support expansion of Sikorsky’s operations in a potentially  profitable market and strengthen its foothold in the Chinese market.

Tech

Alibaba Plans Hong Kong-Style Fee as Carrot for IPO Banks – Businessweek Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is planning to award about one-third of the fees for its initial public offering in the form of incentive bonuses to coax better performance from underwriters, people with knowledge of the matter said.

China’s largest e-commerce company plans to pay at least 1.1 percent of the total IPO proceeds in fees, two people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Estimates of Alibaba’s valuation suggest the company could raise as much as $18 billion in the sale, making the potential fee pool almost $200 million. While the e-commerce giant is preparing for an IPO in New York, performance incentives are common in Hong Kong and have been used by companies including Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.

China’s Alibaba sees profit double ahead of long-awaited IPO As the tech world awaits Alibaba’s US IPO, here are some new financial figures to chew on. The Chinese ecommerce juggernaut pulled in US$3.06 billion in revenue in Q4 2014, which is up 66 percent on the same period a year before. Alibaba’s Q4 net income hit $1.36 billion in net income in Q4, which has more than doubled (up 110 percent) from the previous year.

Alibaba’s Q4 numbers were boosted by the popularity of China’s equivalent of Cyber Monday, which happens every November 11. On that day, Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao marketplaces saw $5.7 billion spent by shoppers in just 24 hours.

Baidu enters China’s mobile payments war with Baidu Wallet Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), the Chinese tech giant best known for its search engine, announced yesterday it will roll out a new mobile wallet app called Baidu Wallet (baidu qianbao), reports Jinghua.cn (via Techweb).

Like its main rivals from Alibaba (Alipay) and Tencent (Tenpay and WeChat Payments), Baidu Wallet serves as a Swiss army knife for the average Chinese consumer’s finance needs. By binding bank cards to the app, users can transfer money to friends’ accounts, top up their SIM cards, pay for virtual goods in video games, purchase movie tickets, and buy goods from any vendor that accepts Baifubao, Baidu’s third-party payment solution.

Agriculture

Noble Group to sell stake in agriculture unit for US$1.5b – Channel NewsAsia China’s largest grain trader COFCO Corp will buy a 51 per cent stake in Singapore-listed Noble Group Ltd’s agriculture business unit for US$1.5 billion, Noble said on Wednesday.

The two companies plan to form a partnership that will link COFCO’s grain processing and distribution business with Noble Agri’s agricultural unit.

Noble Group Limited – Did it sell the agriculture business at right price – which of the brokers is right? – Yahoo Singapore Finance After failing to spin off its agriculture business in 2011 it has now again plans for an IPO after divesting majority stake to COFCO. The question still remains whether this segment deserves better valuations.

Retail

An Overview of China’s Retail Industry | China Briefing News Underpinned by the steady rise of household income, China’s retail market has become one of the most lucrative and rapidly growing in the world. China is currently the world’s second largest retail market, and Asia’s largest. It is expected to surpass the U.S. to become the world’s largest retail market by 2016. After years of accelerated growth and annual expansion rates of 10 percent or more, China’s growth in 2013 slowed down to 7.7 percent – level with the figure for 2012. This slowdown in growth is consistent with China’s effort to carry out a major overhaul aimed at weaning its economy off its decades-long reliance on heavy industry, export-oriented manufacturing, state-driven investment, as well as investment in infrastructure. Meanwhile, to rebalance the nation’s economy, policymakers are attempting to shift towards a more consumption- and service-driven model, hoping to foster and sustain more productive growth over the next decade and beyond.

Reaching for the red | China Economic Review This is a characteristic trait seen in previous emerging markets like Japan that eventually opened up their palates to other varieties, notes Guilllame Delglise, CEO of Vinexpo, a global wines and spirits exhibition, but it will take time for the same to happen in China.

In an interview during a recent visit to Shanghai, Delglise, who was previously Asia Pacific director for Laurent-Perrier, also told China Economic Review that officials in Beijing are not inclined to serve champagne to their guests, and explained why that might be good for marketers of bubbly as they chase affluent urban youngsters at fancy nightclubs.

Healthcare

China Money Network − TPG, Fosun’s Privatization Target Chindex Receives Higher Takeover Proposal NASDAQ-listed Chindex International, Inc., the operator of high-end United Family hospitals in China, says the company has received a superior take-private proposal from an unspecified financial bidder, according to a company release.

The new bidder is willing to pay $23 per share for all outstanding American Depository Shares (ADS), valuing the company at around $414 million.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 6/2/14

Economy   Finance   Auto   Infrastructure   Energy   Telecoms   Property   Tech   Media

Economy

Four reasons the yuan will struggle to gain acceptance | South China Morning Post Yet a look at the economic history books advises caution. Over the past 50 years, other currencies – including the deutschemark, its successor the euro, and the Japanese yen – had been tipped to steal the dollar’s crown.

All failed. And the obstacles the yuan will have to overcome to unseat the dollar are just as formidable as those that defeated the three earlier pretenders.

Intel Economist Sees Pollution Contributing to Slower China Growth – China Real Time Report – WSJ Mr. Thomas predicted slower growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy, in part because of rising concern about air-pollution problems. He said Intel, like many non-Chinese companies, has installed additional air filters in its facilities in China and that many employees use air filters in their homes.

Shenzhen has China’s highest minimum wage|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com The Shenzhen city government announced that the city’s minimum wage has been raised from US$213 to US$241 a month, which has made it the city with the most expensive labor in China. The minimum wage in the city in 1992 was US$39.

In 2013, Shanghai had the largest minimum wage, followed by Shenzhen and Guangdong. In addition to Shenzhen, the growth for the minimum wage in Xinjiang was 31%, 29.8% in Jiangsu, 19.2% in Guangdong, 11.7% in Shanghai and 11.1% in Beijing.

What’s Driving China’s New Economy? Three months after the conclusion of China’s Third Plenum, the state seems to be fulfilling every prophecy set out by economists. These meetings, used by Chinese political leadership to set policy goals and the general direction of the country, seem to show that the state may be giving up its usual stance on intervening in the market for something a little more hands-off. This move is still in its infancy, but in an economy expected to be the world’s strongest by 2020, the move seems to be one a long time in coming.

Although China’s slowing economy has been compared to a near-apocalyptic sign of failing markets, indications show the slow to be a forced suppression of an economy that had been bubbling in the early 2000s. This bubble is now being deflated, says Professor Yiping Huang, by Premier Li Keqiang’s government who seeks less market volatility. In an economic view that has been dubbed “Likonomics,” the Chinese premier calls for the establishment of a market built on no stimulus, deleveraging of current assets, and structural reform.

GlaxoSmithKline hails drug pipeline after 2013’s China scandal The pharmaceutical giant unveiled its drugs pipeline as it revealed that turnover rose 1% to £26.5bn in 2013, while pre-tax profits inched up by 0.7% to £6.6bn. Sales continued to slide in its scandal-hit China division, but the pace of decline slowed down: drug and vaccine sales were down 18% in the final quarter of 2013, compared with a 61% drop in the previous quarter.

Chinese authorities have accused GSK of being a “criminal godfather”, running a £320m slush fund to bribe doctors and hospital officials with cash payments and visits to prostitutes, in order to sell its products.

Finance

Big Four’s Chinese Affiliates May Mull Workarounds – China Real Time Report – WSJ The Big Four’s Hong Kong affiliates aren’t affected by the ruling, and if they were to temporarily take over some of the Chinese affiliates’ work, it might minimize the disruptions the suspension would cause for the Chinese firms’ clients, some observers believe.

But others say a switch would be unfeasible as the Chinese firms’ reason for refusing to give the SEC the documents it wanted – they said Chinese laws on state secrecy prevented them from turning over the documents – could also apply in certain cases to the Hong Kong firms if they took over the work. That could leave the Hong Kong firms similarly unable to comply, and potentially subject to U.S. sanctions.

Singapore Bank Expands China Presence; OCBC Buys Ningbo Bank Shares – WSJ.com A week after announcing that it was in exclusive negotiations to buy Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank Ltd., OCBC said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy up to 207.5 million new ordinary shares in Bank of Ningbo, which is undertaking a private placement of shares to current substantial shareholders. The 383 million-Singapore-dollar (US$303 million) investment will raise the Singaporean bank’s stake in the Chinese lender to 20% from 15.35%.

Westpac to launch derivatives business in China – MarketWatch Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC.AU) plans to launch a new derivatives business in China, tapping into increased capital flows after Australia and China agreed to allow each other’s currencies to be directly converted last year.

The Sydney-based bank said Thursday it has been granted a general derivatives license by the China Banking Regulatory Commission. It will offer derivatives trading from its branches in Shanghai and Beijing, where it has already built up its dealing rooms in the past year to support yuan trade.

Bank of China International hires Ex-Goldman metals chief – Yahoo Singapore Finance Bank of China International (BOCI) has recruited former Goldman Sachs (GS.N) metals trading chief as an adviser to help it expand its commodities business.

BOCI’s appointment of Stephen Branton-Speak as an adviser is one of the highest profile metals industry hires by a Chinese bank since Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd bought the London Metal Exchange (LME) for $2.2 billion in 2012.

Auto

Aston Martin recalls 75% of the cars it has built since 2008 – FT.com The British supercar manufacturer is recalling almost 18,000 cars – 75 per cent of the cars it built since 2008 – after discovering a Chinese supplier used fake materials in its cars’ accelerator pedals.

Infrastructure

Rail will cost more than Sh1.3trn – PIC | The Star The committee also found out the railway line awarded to China Roads and Bridges Corporation will be constructed in line with the Chinese specifications.

While appearing before the committee on Monday, former Transport Minister Chirau Mwakwere told the committee that CRBC is a credible firm having constructed the 1,390km Shanghai- Beijing railway.

But the committee has information that CRBC was just a sub-contractor in the project and that various audits carried out in China had raised serious audit queries against the firm.

Sierra Leone News: Amb. Zhao visits Hydro & Regent Grafton Rd Construction sites « Awoko Newspaper Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo less than a month after taking office as the new Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone has made a visit to the Hydro construction at Charlotte and the Regent  Grafton Road sites.

Energy

Moving Average Crossover: Great News for CNOOC Limited (CEO)? – Tale of the Tape – NASDAQ.com CNOOC Limited (CEO) could be a stock to avoid from a technical perspective, as the  firm is seeing unfavorable trends on the moving average crossover  front. Recently, the 50 Day Moving Average for CEO broke out  below the 200 Day Simple Moving Average, suggesting short-term bearishness.

This has already started to take place, as the stock has moved  lower by 15.8% in the past four weeks. Plus, the company  currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) meaning that now could  definitely be the time to get out of this potentially in-trouble  stock.

Ethiopia: How Foreign Oil Companies Annihilated the Lives of Ordinary African Population in Ogaden Region February 13, 2013, China’s oil and gas producer of Petro-trans negotiated with Somaliland’s officials for the possibility to extend Berbera  port’s container and mineral export services to help China’s grasping  ways to profit Ogaden gas and oil financially but has scrapped plans to  build a liquefied natural gas facility. Now China’s GCL Poly Petroleum signed  a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday January 8, 2014, with  the government of Djibouti that will allow the company to construct two  pipe lines stretching from Ethiopia to Djibouti.

Regional commentators believe that China is good for Africa leaders  but it’s bad for Africans as long as human rights concerned. And it uses  the key president’s issue to penetrating, like the European colonial  times, more or less. Sad and angry Somali people in Ogaden say, every  coming year it is Dhina’s day-dreaming to produce oil and gas from Ogaden region and Ethiopia’s nightmare of being an oil-industry nation, dreams likely to be a needle in a haystack.

China’s Oil Pipeline Through Myanmar Brings Energy—and Resentment – Businessweek Until recently, 80 percent of China’s oil and gas imports were transported by ship through a narrow waterway separating Indonesia and Malaysia, known as the Strait of Malacca. The possibility that hostile forces could one day block that crucial passageway and starve the country of energy has long made China’s leaders nervous.

Petrochina’s Neutral Rating Reaffirmed at Zacks (PTR) | Ticker Report Zacks reiterated their neutral rating on shares of Petrochina (NYSE:PTR) in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning, AnalystRatings.Net reports. The firm currently has a $102.00 price target on the stock.

Maintenance at UK’s Buzzard oilfield set for Q2 and Q3 -Suncor – Yahoo Finance UK Britain’s biggest oilfield Buzzard will undergo routine, planned maintenance in the second and third quarters of 2014, Suncor, which owns a 29.9 percent stake in the field, said.

Nexen (KSE: 005720.KSnews), Buzzard’s operator and a unit of Chinese state company CNOOC (HKSE: 0883.HKnews) , has said that it aims to improve Buzzard’s reliability in 2014.

Telecoms

WeChat’s money gifting scheme lures 5 million Chinese users Last week WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, launched a feature letting users based in China gift money to friends and family.

The feature went viral in China, and yesterday parent company Tencent disclosed to Chinese media that during the first two days of Spring festival, over five million users participated in the scheme, exchanging over 20 million envelopes. At its apex, over 585,000 people sent over 121,000 red envelopes within a five-minute stretch.

Probe against Huawei over hacking of BSNL network – The Hindu The Centre told Parliament on Wednesday that an inter-ministerial team had been formed to investigate the hacking of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. network in Andhra Pradesh allegedly by the Chinese telecom equipment-maker Huawei.

In probably the first case of its kind, the Centre is investigating corporate rivalry between Huawei and another Chinese company, ZTE, which has bagged the BSNL’s network-expansion project, including in Rajahmundry, that led to the alleged hacking.

Property

China’s housing market is looking ugly, which is scary for its financial system – Quartz Sales have “showed a sharp decline” (paywall) in January, compared to Dec. 2013, according to China Confidential, a Financial Times research outfit, even when controlling for softness due to the Chinese New Year holiday. Official data show prices still high in December (the last month for which data were available), but those will likely be dragged down in the coming months.

Housing investment is a big engine of China’s economy. And though slower growth could help end China’s dangerous reliance on credit-backed investment, an abrupt slowdown will freak out global markets and throttle commodity prices.

Chinese government foundation teams up with investors in Hong Kong and Dubai to build resorts catering to elderly | South China Morning Post China Ageing Development Foundation, a fund under the Ministry of Civil Affairs, has formed an alliance with investors in Hong Kong and in Dubai for an aggressive plan to build 12 upmarket retirement and health resorts on the mainland and overseas to tap the country’s rapidly greying population.

“Population ageing in China is expected to lead to a burgeoning demand for aged-care services over the next 40 years. It is now recognised that the ageing of China’s population will have far reaching implications for society, for the economy and for the ability of the government to meet the expectations of the community,” the consortium said in a written reply to questions from the South China Morning Post.

Tech

China’s Top Revenue-generating Mobile Apps of 2013 App ranking and analytics service App Annie released top trends of 2013 on iOS and Google Play. For Google Play isn’t widely accessible in mainland China and the majority of Chinese users download Android apps through dozens of other stores, the revenues in China market recorded by App Annie are mainly from iOS platform. What’s interesting is the most revenue-generating non-game categories include dating, messaging, navigation, among others.

Glu Mobile: Better Play Than Zynga [Apple Inc., Zynga Inc] – Seeking Alpha Following the announcement of Apple’s (AAPL) deal with China Mobile (CHL), the mobile gaming stock most likely to benefit, in my opinion, from a double-whammy of an additional 24 million iPhones held in the hands of gamers in China, of which, whose spending on gaming apps soared 247% (y-o-y) in 2013 is: Glu Mobile (GLUU).

I also expect Glu Mobile could reach $9 in 2015, but, first, the lead-up to my analysis.

Media

This Movie Beat Iron Man 3 in Chinese IMAX Corporation Theaters (DIS, IMAX) But that young record fell this week. That’s right — not even Iron Man’s robotic power could hold back the magical armies of the Middle Kingdom this time. Chinese kung fu production The Monkey King just laughed at Iron Man‘s $1.5 million first-day sales, on its way to a $1.8 million opening day in IMAX theaters.

So IMAX is finding new ways to grow in the crucial Chinese market. Furthermore, the company should be able to apply the lessons learned here in other important markets, accelerating revenue growth in places like Latin America and major European markets.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 5/2/14

Economy   Finance   Auto   Infrastructure   Energy   Telecoms   Property   Travel   Tech   Agriculture

Economy

China’s strong currency problem – Craig Stephen’s This Week in China – MarketWatch There are other vulnerabilities too exposed by China’s renewed popularity as a destination for “hot money” playing the yuan carry trade.

For one, it means its economy and financial system is now reliant on the fickle and potentially destabilizing short-term foreign capital its closed financial system was designed to guard against. This is hard to quantify but claims Hong Kong banks have on mainland counterparts give an approximation of the size of these yield-seeking structured products. As of October, those claims were a record HK$2.3 trillion ($295 billion), up 53% since the end of 2012

China Money Network − Is A Re-Run Of The Asian Financial Crisis Likely In 2014? The emerging market world may not be facing a re-run of the late-1990s, as some have suggested, but the precarious position of some emerging markets makes it likely that several economies will run into trouble over the next couple of years.

Events remain in a state of flux but there are five questions that we have been asked over the past week or so that merit a first stab at answering.

Pimco’s Bill Gross Says He Avoids China ‘Mystery Meat’ – Bloomberg Bill Gross, who oversees the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., said the pace of economic growth in China is among the biggest questions in developing nations and the largest risks for markets.

“I call China the mystery meat of emerging-market countries,” Gross said yesterday during an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle. “Nobody knows what’s there and there’s a little bit of bologna, so we’re just going to have to wonder going forward through this year as to the potential problems in China and other emerging markets.”

China Policy Institute Blog » Middle Power Pushback: Explaining Australia’s China Challenge In 2007, China overtook Japan as Australia’s largest trading partner, reflecting unprecedented levels of demand for iron ore and coal resources to power Chinese economic growth. In 2012, Australia and China signed a ‘Strategic Partnership’, which was highly vaunted by the then Gillard Labor Government as marking a new era in the bilateral relationship. While the Sino-Australian ‘Strategic Partnership’ did not constitute a security agreement, much less a formal alliance, for supporters of closer ties between Beijing and Canberra it represented a major step forward.

China Money Network − HK Millionaires Will Possess $1.7T In Combined Wealth In 2017 There will be more than 339,000 millionaires in Hong Kong in 2017, and the amount they possess will increase by 53% to over $1.7 trillion in combined wealth, according to a report release by London-based wealth management research firm WealthInsight.

Austerity drive among factors taking toll on luxury market – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn China’s luxury goods market has slowed from 7 percent growth in 2012 to around 2 percent in 2013, with expectations of similarly slow growth in 2014, according to the China Luxury Goods Market Study by consultancy Bain & Co.

Chinese shoppers now do about two-thirds of their luxury shopping abroad, which has triggered a slowdown in domestic store traffic and store openings, the report said.

Foreign retailers learning how to click with Chinese fashionistas[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn “Cyber Monday” and “Black Friday” are no longer unfamiliar terms to China’s price-savvy middle class. A growing number of English-speaking credit card holders have joined the international fray.

The popular trend of cross-border online shopping is being spearheaded by a number of shopaholics who understand how to buy things overseas. They usually choose items with price differences or things that tend to be unattainable in China.

Finance

The dark economic thoughts of Charlene Chu | South China Morning Post Charlene Chu, a former senior director and head of China financial institutions at the ratings agency Fitch, has been talking to Britain’s Telegraph about why she feels that China is on the verge of a crisis.

Chu left Fitch last year and will join US-based Autonomous Research later this year. She maintains that a banking crisis in China is not just an outside chance but a certainty. “The banking sector has extended US$14 trillion to US$15 trillion in the span of five years. There’s no way that we are not going to have massive problems in China,” she told the newspaper.

China and the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act | China Briefing News For several years now, the United States has been preparing legislation under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a complex reporting and withholding regime intended to enable the U.S. to better access offshore accounts, investments and income of U.S. citizens who have failed to rigorously report these holdings. Despite several nations’ embrace of the FATCA, China has continued to delay negotiations with the U.S. Treasury over whether or not to allow Chinese financial institutions to report U.S. taxpayer or U.S. firm information to the United States Government.

Auto

China Has How Many Cars? More Cities To Implement Limiting Car Sales? | China Car Times – China Auto News Chinese media are today reporting that the total number of vehicles on Chinese roads has broken the 250 million barrier for the first time, with 31 cities boasting a vehicle population exceeding one million vehicles.

Out of China’s 1.3 billion people, only 280 million people have a driving license however over 18.44 million people took their driving tests in 2013. Drivers with less than one years driving experience under the belt caused 15% of all accidents in China last year, down slightly from 16.7% a year previously but drivers with more than 3 years of experience caused 51,000 accidents causing 14,000 deaths and 56,000 injuries.

Carmaker Tesla gambles on ‘fair price’ strategy in China despite risk of losing prestige | South China Morning Post In China, where higher prices mean prestige, Tesla, a US maker of luxury electric cars, is taking a bold step to win customers and cachet by restricting its mark-up to half of what some of its rivals can command.

In an unusual blog post last month, the firm announced the lower-than-expected 734,000 yuan (HK$933,000) China price tag for its high-end Model S electric car. The price, still 50 per cent higher than in the United States, includes only “unavoidable” taxes and transport costs, it said.

Infrastructure

Changing the rules of engagement on infrastructure – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Although there are roads, bridges, railway lines and various other government buildings that stand testimony to the Chinese capabilities, companies are now gearing up to participate in projects such as urban facilities, modern transportation and manufacturing.

Sun Guoqiang, general manager of CGC Overseas Construction Group, a Chinese construction major that has been in Ethiopia for more than 15 years, says that although there are still plenty of construction projects in Africa, his company will move away from the business in five to 10 years.

Sierra Leone News: Grafton road to be handed over as Independence gift -Wang Kai Ge « Awoko Newspaper The General Manager of China Railway Seventh Group Ltd, constructing the Regent  Grafton Road has told this medium that they intend to finish the road and hand it over to Sierra Leone government on the 27th of April as their own gift to the people of Sierra Leone as they celebrate Independence.

Energy

Research and Markets: Concise Analysis of the Asia Pacific Oil and Chemicals Storage Industry – Forecasts to 2017 “Concise Analysis of the Asia Pacific Oil and Chemicals Storage Industry   – Forecasts to 2017”, is the essential source for industry data and information relating to the oil and chemicals storage industry in Asia   Pacific. It provides asset level information relating to active and planned oil and chemicals storage terminals in Asia Pacific. The profiles of major companies operating in the oil and chemicals storage industry in Asia Pacific are included in the report.

Telecoms

China Mobile’s 4G expansion drives smartphone supply buildup in China | South China Morning Post Analysts see the 4G network roll-out being led by China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless network operator, changing the competitive landscape for smartphones in the domestic market, where most of the country’s 1.23 billion subscribers at the end of December were still tied to old 2G cellular infrastructure.

While Apple recently hogged the headlines by having China Mobile as a new carrier-partner for the iPhone, the domestic brands led by Lenovo, Huawei Technologies, ZTE and Coolpad were expected to step up their supply of cheaper smartphones to help the operator sign up more 4G subscribers nationwide, analysts said.

Chinese New Year welcomed in with 13.6 billion messages in 1 day on China’s top social network While everyone’s talking about WeChat, it’s easy to forget that Tencent makes another social network that’s even more popular. It’s called QQ. Today Tencent (HKG:0700) revealed that QQ’s users sent a total of 13.6 billion QQ chats on the instant messaging service during Chinese New Year’s Eve, the busiest and most raucously celebrated day of the year.

Chinese tech giant Huawei enters Nepal’s market – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Speaking during the launching program held in Kathmandu, Huawei representative Li Ji said that the Chinese tech giant in partnership with Nepal Telecom, the country’s State-owned telecommunication service provider, has the potential to bring a positive change in the lives of Nepalese nationals.

Apple silences FaceTime Audio for iPhone and iPad buyers in China Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) FaceTime was updated with audio support in iOS 7, but a growing number of iPhone and iPad owners in China are realizing that they’ve been left out. Anyone who has bought a made-for-China iPhone 5s, 5c, or newest-gen iPad will find that they only get the option to make FaceTime video calls, with the audio ability nowhere to be seen.

Property

China Savers’ Penchant for Property Magnifies Bust Danger – Bloomberg Some 66.1 percent of family assets were in housing in 2013, a national survey of about 28,000 households shows. Mortgage debt as a share of disposable income rose to 30 percent from 18 percent in 2008, according to estimates by Nicholas Lardy at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

The buildup raises the stakes for any slide in property prices amid China’s efforts to head off defaults by local governments and developers that propelled a run-up in borrowing that now amounts to more than double the size of the economy, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. A hit to household wealth could impair consumer spending, rebuffing policy maker efforts to rebalance the economy toward domestic demand.

Travel

Countries tap into China’s medical tourism market|WantChinaTimes.com South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan have been actively developing their medical tourism industry, capitalizing in part on the growing demand for such service among China’s nouveau riche, reports the Guangzhou-based New Express.

The policy is also in line with the expanding global medical tourism market, which has seen an annual growth rate of 20% in recent years, with the market scale topping US$100 billion in 2012 alone, the paper said.

Tech

Alibaba’s Average Valuation Rises to $153 Billion After Earnings – Bloomberg Alibaba is valued at an average of $153 billion, based on the estimates of 10 analysts. That compares with the $120 billion average of six analyst estimates in October. The company last week reported profit of $792 million for the three months ended September, a 12 percent increase from the June quarter, as revenue surged 51 percent to $1.78 billion.

Analysts expect the company, based in Hangzhou, China, to hold the biggest initial public offering since Facebook Inc. (FB) Goldman Sachs Group Inc. valued Alibaba at $150 billion in a Jan. 29 report, saying that may be a “conservative” estimate.

Hon Hai to launch B2B e-trading platform|Companies|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Hon Hai Precision Industry — the world’s largest contract electronics maker, also known by its trading name Foxconn — will launch a business to business (B2B) trading platform in early March, a move perceived as a way for the company to broaden its business model, market sources said on Tuesday.

The sources said Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou made an internal announcement before the Lunar New Year holiday, saying that the Taiwan-based company will gear up to develop its electronics commerce business this year.

Smart Air filters China’s pollution with budget air purifier Despite having no business background, setting an arbitrary price point, and starting off with no name recognition whatsoever, Beijing-based startup Smart Air has sold over 2,500 cheap and frankly ugly do-it-yourself air purifier kits, almost as many replacement filters, and another 600 of the more powerful “Cannon” kits since sales began in mid-September.

The scrappy team of four is making waves across polluted Chinese cities with an incredibly simple fact: by strapping a HEPA1 filter to a household fan, you can clean the air in your home for just RMB 200 ($33).

China’s solar firms consider response to US probeWantChinaTimes.com After the US Department of Commerce recently initiated anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on imports of silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) products from China and Taiwan, Chinese PV makers plan to jointly discuss countermeasures by focusing first on cutting the scope of products covered by the probe, the Shanghai-based China Business News reports.

Agriculture

Bigger farms reap bigger fortunes upon rural land reform – Xinhua | English.news.cn Lured by better employment and salaries, as many as 260 million farm workers have left the countryside for cities. A side effect of the exodus is a vast amount of land being left uncultivated. Farmers have very little wriggle room in land transfers and don’t make much money from land deals anyway, so they often simply abandon their land and start afresh on their urban journey.

With food security and the economic potential of rural and ex-rural residents foremost in their minds, authorities are promising more property rights for farmers. These include transfer and mortgage of land-use rights, and the ability to take shares in large farming entities, according to a document released after the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee last November.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 29/1/14

I will be travelling over the next two days and might be unable to blog during that time. My visit to Beijing has generally been very pleasant. Will be back in three months.

ECONOMY

China’s retail investors are leading grassroots financial reform | China Economic Review Grassroots movements bring to mind angry petitioners on the streets or the little man fighting against the big, ugly institution. It doesn’t conjure images of investors handing over their cash to bankers, who then pile that money into real estate or coal projects.

But in China, a grassroots financial movement fomenting off the balance sheet involves just that. And in some ways, it too is the story of a marginalized group of people, depositors, pushing back against an almighty, unmovable force, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

Micro-credit firms lent RMB227bn last year: People’s Bank|WantChinaTimes.com China had 7,839 micro-credit firms by the end of last year, which made 227 billion yuan (US$37 billion) in new loans, according to the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank.

The total loan balance reached 819.1 billion yuan (US$135.4 billion), according to central bank figures.

China trust deal raises thorny questions – FT.com The last-minute rescue raises a thorny question for the future of the Chinese economy. Has the deal confirmed the widespread belief that the government will do whatever it can to stave off trouble, hence fuelling more risk-taking? Or has the near-default taught investors that high yields come with high risks?

China’s Rescue of Troubled Trust May Stoke Risk-Taking – Bloomberg China’s eleventh-hour rescue of wealthy investors in a high-yield trust threatens to drive more money into the nation’s $6 trillion shadow-banking industry, undermining regulators’ efforts to deter excessive risk-taking.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the nation’s largest lender, yesterday told customers who had invested in the 3 billion-yuan ($496 million) trust product that they can sell their rights to unidentified buyers to recoup the principal. Some clients plan to visit ICBC branches to demand more interest ahead of tomorrow’s 5 p.m. deadline for accepting the offer, according to Du Ronghai, a Guangzhou-based investor.

China Industrial Profit Growth Further Declines in December: NBS-Caijing Total profits of China’s industrial companies rose 6 percent year-on-year to  CNY942.53 in December, compared with a growth of 9.7 percent a month ago and 17.3 percent a year earlier.

For the full year of 2013, industrial profit rose 12.2 percent year-on-year  to CNY 6.28 trillion, compared with a growth of 5.3 percent in the previous  year.

China’s ‘invisible man’ quits forex role – FT.com Zhu Changhong had been the chief investment officer for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the agency that manages China’s $3.8tn mountain of foreign exchange reserves. He left a starring role at Pimco, the world’s largest bond house, to join SAFE in late 2009 and is now expected to return to the private sector, according to two people familiar with his decision.

Trained as a physicist, Mr Zhu earned the “invisible” moniker for his extreme reluctance to make public appearances. He has never given any media interviews, and the only photos of him online are a grainy picture from his student days and an unidentified shot from the time of his return to China.

China yuan weakens to 6.1073 against USD Wednesday – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Chinese currency Renminbi, or the yuan, weakens 20 basis points to 6.1073 against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

China Further Eases Foreign Exchange Control over Capital Accounts | China Briefing News The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) of China promulgated a circular on January 24 to improve and further ease the administrative control over capital account foreign exchange items (Huifa [2014] No.2, hereinafter referred to as “Circular 2”). Circular 2 will enter in to effect on February 10.

The approval procedure for profit repatriation will be simplified and banks will no longer review any transaction documents if the remittance amount is under US$50,000. For remittance of profit over US$50,000, banks in principle do not need to review the audit report and capital verification report; however, they will still check the board resolution on profit distribution and the original tax record-filing documents to verify the authenticity of the transaction.

The Misfortunes of the Big Four in China Overall, the judge’s 112-page ruling on the audit work of the Big Four in China makes for interesting, and at times damning, reading. You can click here to access it.The judge’s decision should probably be required reading for anyone working in Chinese private equity and capital markets transactions with Chinese companies. Investments in Chinese companies worth many tens of billions of dollars rely, at least to some extent, on the accuracy and reliability of Big Four audits. That audit bedrock looks shakier now than it did a week ago.

H7N9 bird flu: Chinese provinces halt live poultry trade | World news | theguardian.com Authorities in eastern China have banned live poultry sales after an increase in the number of people infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu, state media has reported as the busy Chinese new year travel period gets under way.

So far this year H7N9 has killed 19 people in China and infected 96, according to the official Xinhua news agency, which cited the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chinese firms dominate Arab Health Congress 2014|WantChinaTimes.com Chinese companies are the biggest participant in the ongoing Arab Health Congress 2014, the largest health fair in the Middle East and North Africa that started in Dubai on Monday.

Among the 3,900 companies participating in the four-day congress, 510 are from mainland China, 29 are from Hong Kong, while 107 are from Taiwan.

China ends 2013 with a total of 417 million 3G subscribers China’s grand total on 3G at the end of 2013 is a whopping 417.3 million, up from 233.5 million in December 2012; that’s a 78.7 percent rise. Check out the growth from 2010 to the most recent number:

Beijing Urges Steelmakers to Pursue Overseas Iron-Ore Assets – WSJ.com China is urging its steel companies to buy more iron-ore assets abroad amid signs that many have been losing their appetite for such investments.

The National Development and Reform Commission this week said Chinese steelmakers should keep building up stakes in global iron-ore assets in the interests of China’s strategic security and “speaking rights,” or influence, in global trade. China’s ore imports rose 10% last year to a record 819 million metric tons, according to customs data.

Chart Of The Day: How China’s Stunning $15 Trillion In New Liquidity Blew Bernanke’s QE Out Of The Water | Zero Hedge You read that right: in the past five years the total assets on US bank books have risen by a paltry $2.1 trillion while over the same period, Chinese bank assets have exploded by an unprecedented $15.4 trillion hitting a gargantuan CNY147 trillion or an epic $24 trillion – some two and a half times the GDP of China!

UK embraces Chinese investment Chinese interest appears to lie in the future of high speed rail in the UK. China currently has the world’s largest and fastest growing high speed rail network of its own, boasting nearly 6000 miles of track, and may now be turning its attention to the UK’s own aging and oversubscribed railway network. Although Chinese investors will not be placing any direct financing into the construction phase of the new £50bn ‘HS2’ line, Chinese bidding for the concession to operate the new railway or invest in schemes around the route and its stations seems likely. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang noted, following talks with Mr Cameron, that “The two sides have agreed to push for a breakthrough and progress in co-operation in the areas of nuclear power and high speed railway.”

Norway’s sovereign fund halves coal exposure | Reuters Norway’s $817 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has halved its exposure to coal producers, with most of its remaining interest in the sector in Chinese companies, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

COMPANIES

Citic Group Unit May Invest in Trust Product, Morning Post Says – Bloomberg A unit of Citic Group Corp., a Chinese state-backed conglomerate, may take part in bailing out investors in a troubled 3 billion-yuan ($496 million) trust product, Oriental Morning Post reported.

The transaction is under way, the newspaper reported yesterday, citing a person close to Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (601398) The person declined to give the name of the unit or the amount it plans to invest, according to the report.

China’s Tencent WeChat App Launches Electronic Hongbao – China Real Time Report – WSJ When China celebrates the Lunar New Year on Friday, millions of red envelopes stuffed with cash are expected to change hands among families, friends and colleagues. But this year, there’s a new spin on this old tradition, with the gift-giving happening right on people’s smartphones.

On Tuesday, Wechat, the social networking and messaging app from Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, launched a new feature that allows users to send these envelopes of money to each other electronically. Givers must first link the app to their bank accounts, then they can send specified amounts of money to their Wechat contacts through a personal message or to put the cash up for grabs in chat rooms full of friends. Receivers can transfer the funds back into their own bank accounts. (This reporter successfully grabbed three this morning.)

Alibaba Posts Profit on Demand Ahead of Potential IPO – Bloomberg Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders was $792 million in the three months ended September, up from a loss of $246 million a year earlier, according to a presentation from Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), which owns a 24 percent stake in China’s largest e-commerce company. Revenue rose 51 percent to $1.78 billion.

Weibo’s value shrinks by US$500m after market report|WantChinaTimes.com The stock price of Sina Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, fell by 11.32% from US$84.60 on Jan. 15 to US$75.02 on Jan. 17, which was a result of a recent Chinese report, according to Beijing’s Economic Observer.

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) released a report on Jan. 16 in which it said that the number of Weibo users had dropped by 9.2%, or 27.83 million last year. The market misinterpreted the Weibo or microblog users mentioned in the report as Sina Weibo users, as a result of which Sina Weibo’s market value shrunk by US$500 billion after the report’s release.

PetroChina: Discounted Growth Play With Significant Upside – Seeking Alpha PetroChina (PTR), China’s only super major, has a history of strong financial growth and is well positioned to take advantage of China’s growing demand for diversified energy sources. Currently trading at only 9.3x earnings, the PTR stock looks like the rare gem that offers growth at a value price.

Wal-Mart to upgrade China vendor compliance after state TV criticism | Reuters U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said on Wednesday it will upgrade its vendor compliance process in China, requiring more documentation and making use of a computer-based system to help suppliers manage associated paperwork.

The announcement came after state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) criticized the world’s No. 1 retailer for circumventing its quality control process and fast-tracking some products with higher profit margins.

Shipping lines shed assets to offset poor performance – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn China Shipping Container Lines Co, a main subsidiary of State-owned China Shipping (Group) Co, has forecast a net loss of 2.63 billion yuan ($435 million) for 2013, as the company underwent a shrinking global shipping market, aggravated by the challenges of overcapacity and international competition.

To avoid financial loss, CSCL began to sell its quality assets in the second half of 2013. However, the company only managed to complete a 49 percent share sales of Lianyungang New Oriental International Container Wharf with Singapore’s port operator PSA International Pte Ltd within the year, gaining 260 million yuan in sales profit.

Huawei, Lenovo poised to close gap with smartphone leaders | South China Morning Post Huawei Technologies and Lenovo are expected to intensify competition in the global smartphone market after both companies recorded strong unit shipment growth last year.

Data released yesterday by technology research firm IDC showed the two Chinese technology giants captured a combined 9.4 per cent market share last year, when total industry shipments topped 1 billion units for the first time.

Why Baidu Acquired Renren’s Group-Buying Site By acquiring the remaining shares in Nuomi, Baidu actually does something rare, as the company is well-known for buying only controlling stakes. At the same time, by selling all of its stake in Nuomi, Renren –which has been largely overtaken by Sina‘s Weibo and Tencent‘s WeChat in the past two years– may be trying to make its portfolio of services more compact. The social network company may focus more on improving user and monetization metrics of its promising game business, rather than releasing new services.

Hong Kong Property Tycoons Settle Family Feud – China Real Time Report – WSJ A yearslong feud involving the family behind one of the world’s biggest property empires appears to have come to a happy ending, with a deal reached to equally divide family-owned shares in Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. to the three Kwok brothers and their families.

The agreement in essence restores eldest brother Walter Kwok as a beneficiary of the family trust that controls the property company, commanding a market capitalization of 260 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$33.5 billion).

CICC, Qianhai Financial Plan $3.3B Joint Cross-Border Fund Beijing-based China International Capital Corporation (CICC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qianhai Financial Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Administrative Bureau of Qianhai Economic Zone in Shenzhen, to establish a joint development fund, according to an announcement.

The CICC Qianhai Development Fund will target to raise a total of RMB20 billion ($3.3 billion). It plans to complete first closing of RMB5 billion ($833 million) before June 30 this year.

Toyota Supplier Sees China Sales Doubling on Orders From VW, GM – Bloomberg Tsubakimoto Chain Co. (6371), a Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) supplier, forecasts China auto parts sales to more than double in four years as carmakers including Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. raise orders to diversify supply chains.

The maker of transmission chains and gears expects sales to jump to more than 12 billion yen ($117 million) by March 2018, Toru Fujiwara, managing executive officer, said in a Jan. 27 interview. The board has approved plans for a new plant in China as early as this year, he said.

China Money Network − KPCB-Backed Chinese Group-Buying Site ManZuo.com Sold To Suning Nanjing based Chinese home appliance retailer Suning Commerce Group Co. says it has acquired Chinese group-buying site ManZuo.com for around $10 million, according to media reports.

Kingsoft to Take Security Software Business KIS and List it on U.S. Market Kingsoft Corporation (SEHK: 3888), a leading applications and entertainment software developer in China, announced today that it planned to spin off security software business and list the sector on NASDAQ or New York stock exchange. Kingsoft has filed to Hong Kong Stock Exchange for the spin-off.

Kingsoft’s security software business is operated by Kingsoft Internet Software Holdings Limited (KIS), also known as Kingsoft Network in China. The company is principally engaged in development and operation of security software and web browser Liebao, as well as cross-platform value-added services and online advertising.

Noble Group Limited (via noodls) / NOTIFICATION ON SUBSIDIARY Noble Group Limited (the “Company”) wishes to announce that on 23 January 2014, the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Noble Clean Fuels Limited (“NCFL”), has subscribed for a 51% shareholding interest in Watt Power Limited (“WPL”), a company incorporated in the United Kingdom.

Moody’s assigns A1 to China Shipping Overseas Finance 2013 Limited’s bonds Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a definitive A1 rating to the credit enhanced bonds issued by China Shipping Overseas Finance 2013 Limited (unrated).

The bonds are supported by an irrevocable standby letter of credit from  the Bank of China Limited (BOC, A1/P-1/D, stable),  Macau Branch.

RPT-UPDATE 2-Shaanxi Coal debut hit by volatility in China’s reopened IPO market | Reuters Shares of Shaanxi Coal Industry Co Ltd jumped in their Shanghai debut but came off earlier stratospheric highs in a roller coaster day as China’s newly reopened initial public offering market drew out aggressive punters.

Shaanxi Coal, which raised $660 million in the biggest mainland China listing since 2012, had soared by its daily limit of 44 percent in early trade. That triggered a suspension until five minutes before the market’s close and prompted an announcement from the exchange that it had taken measures against two retail investors who had driven the price up aggressively.

KWM advises Agricultural Development Bank of China on RMB bonds issuance | Firm News | The Lawyer King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has advised the Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) on the successful issuance of RMB bonds worth ¥3bn (£300m) and getting listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The bonds are issued to institutional investors with terms of two years and three years respectively at the interest rate of 3.08 per cent and 3.28 per cent per annum.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 20/1/14

Lots of economic data out today, but the main stories are 1. another spike in interbank lending, and 2. the Shanghai Composite has gone under the 2000 barrier.  The systemic reasons for the sharp rise inter-bank lending are interesting, but we seem to be entering very dangerous territory for the Chinese economy, with the banks at particularly risk Their lazy days of soaking up low interest-paying deposits from the public to lend to SOEs are over. With the shadow banking industry also at risk, we are likely to see some severe pain in the financial sector. Accordingly, several state-owned banks are trading below their book value.

These are very delicate times.

ECONOMY

Crunch Escalates as Money Funds Rival Shadow Banks: China Credit – Bloomberg A doubling in China’s money-market funds in the past six months is draining bank deposits and raising the risk of financial failures during cash crunches, according to Fitch Ratings.

China Money Market Rates Soar – WSJ.com China’s financial system is showing fresh signs of stress with short-term borrowing costs for banks soaring on heavy demand for cash ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and rising worries over the vast shadow-banking sector.

The rising rates in the money markets is also hammering stocks with the benchmark Shanghai Composite falling past the key level of 2000 to 1996.47, its weakest in almost six months and down 5.7% this year, the worst performer in Asia.

China banks in bond market push | News | IFRAsia China’s biggest banks are stepping up their use of the international capital markets in search of cheaper, longer-term funding.

Two Chinese lenders raised US$1.95bn in the US dollar bond market in the first two weeks of this year, more than half the US$2.67bn issued by China’s entire banking sector in 2013.

The deals have pushed credit spreads wider as market participants brace for a record volume of G3 bonds from Chinese banks in 2014.

Pressure Rises on Chinese Shadow Lender – WSJ.com Pressure is building on China’s largest bank and a major shadow lender to bail out investors facing a nearly $500 million hit, potentially the first loss for a key part of China’s vast but loosely regulated shadow-banking sector.

China Credit Trust Co., the shadow lender, told investors on Thursday that it may take legal action to recoup three billion yuan ($496 million) related to a troubled loan, without specifying against whom, according to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Major banks in China see share prices fall below NAV|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Prices of China’s A-share banking stocks have one by one fallen below their net asset value (NAV) per share. The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) saw its prices fall as of Jan. 15, with the country’s other major state-run banks set to quickly follow, according to Shanghai Securities News and our sister paper Want Daily.

Among the 16 listed banks, 12 have seen their share prices fall below their NAV per share. The remaining four banks — Ping An Bank, Bank of Ningbo, China Minsheng Bank, and China Merchants Bank — may soon approach the line however, as there their price-to-book ratio, or P/B ratio, stands at just 1.01, 1.01, 1.09 and 1.04, respectively.

China’s economic growth slows in line with forecasts – Economic Report – MarketWatch Among other data released Monday, industrial production slowed to 9.7% annual growth in December, from November’s 10% gain. The Wall Street Journal and Reuters surveys put the median forecast at 9.8%.

December retail sales increased by 13.6% compared to the year-earlier period, after a 13.7% rise in November, with the result matching the projected increase from the Reuters survey.

China economic growth continues to cool – FT.com Gross domestic product in the world’s second-largest economy expanded 7.7 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with the same period a year earlier – a slowing from 7.8 per cent growth in the third quarter, according to figures released by the government on Monday.

China’s full-year GDP growth in 2014 is expected by economists to come in at about 7.4 per cent, which would be the country’s slowest pace since 1990, when Beijing faced international sanctions as a result of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

China’s economy grows 7.7 percent in 2013, more cooling seen | Reuters China’s economy grew 7.7 percent in 2013 after easing in the final three months on sagging investment growth, a cooldown that some analysts say is a sign of the more sober times ahead as the government wrestles to implement major reforms.

How Much Did Consumption Contribute to China’s 2013 GDP Growth? – China Real Time Report – WSJ Economists may not know for months how much China’s emerging consumer class contributed to last year’s 7.7% growth. But by one economist’s estimate, last year it continued to slide.

Ma Jiantang, chief of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, said consumption contributed 50% of GDP last year and investment 54.4%. Trade of goods and services was a negative 4.4%, he said.

China central bank guides yuan slightly lower, downside seen limited – The Economic Times China’s yuan edged down against the dollar on Monday after the central bank fixed a slightly weaker midpoint, but traders said any sharp correction would be suppressed by the central bank.

Spot yuan was trading at 6.0522 per dollar at midday, falling 0.03 per cent from 6.0502 at Friday’s close, after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set its midpoint at 6.1083, down 0.07 per cent from Friday’s 6.1041. Traders said December and 2013 economic data published by the government on Monday had no impact on trading as the yuan’s exchange rate remained in the tight grip of the central bank.

China 2013 new home sales surge past $1.1tn – FT.com China’s real estate frenzy continued unabated last year, with buyers snapping up more than $1.1trn worth of new homes, roughly the same amount as was spent on all home sales in the US in 2012.

China – which only embraced home ownership less than two decades ago – ramped up sales as the new premier Li Keqiang eased off on the previous administration’s attempt to artificially cap house prices.

Beijing land sales likely to set new monthly record|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com By Jan. 16, the revenues from land sales in Beijing had exceeded 30 billion yuan (US$4.9 billion), but still many plots of lands are to be auctioned in the remainder of the month, said a department from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources.

Exporters in Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta seek relief from surging yuan | South China Morning Post A stronger yuan adds salt to the wounds of factory owners already suffering from rising wages, worsening labour shortages, weak demand and government policies of weeding out labour-intensive, pollution-inducing and energy-consuming industries.

The yuan’s appreciation shows no signs of abating, and it is on track to gain a further 2 to 3 per cent against the US dollar this year, economists say.

Chinese shipbuilding industry rides wave of restructuring – Xinhua | English.news.cn Though Chinese shipbuilding has yet to come in from the cold, recent restructuring, cuts in overcapacity and upgrades have given the troubled industry more hope, a report showed.

The industry received in 2013 new orders with dead weight tons (DWT) of 70 million, up 242 percent year on year, according to a report posted by the Information and Technology Ministry.

Lock-up shares worth 23 bln yuan come online – Xinhua | English.news.cn Lock-up shares worth 22.6 billion yuan (3.7 billion U.S. dollars) will become eligible for trade next week in China.

The volume marks a slight rise from the 20.83 billion yuan from Jan. 13 to Jan. 17, according to information from the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Under the mainland’s market rules, major shareholders of non-tradable stocks are subject to one or two years of lock-up before they are permitted to trade.

Beijing Lays Siege to China’s Steel Output – China Real Time Report – WSJ The steel slowdown began in September, with the deceleration becoming most marked in November. In December, daily average production of the industrial metal fell to 2.01 million metric tons, China’s lowest level for the year.

The slide stems in part from an all-out campaign that President Xi Jinping’s government is waging to cut the industry’s bloated capacity and environmental pollution. China produces about half the world’s steel, and the amount of redundant capacity in the country is more than the annual steel output of the U.S. The overproduction has already weakened Chinese steel prices, which ended the year 7.2% lower than when 2013 began. Global composite carbon steel prices followed the trend, falling 2% last year, according to data from the consultancy MEPS.

Beijing-owned US debt sustains growth; not political tool: CNSWantChinaTimes.com As of November 2013, China owned US debt amounting to a total of US$1.3 trillion, and remains the country’s largest creditor.

US debts owned by China increased by 11% in 2013 from the previous year, the report said, adding that US debt remains an important market for China.

Minimum wage raised in 26 provinces, cities in China|Policy|Business|WantChinaTimes.com The paper reported that the minimum wage in Beijing, Zhejiang, Henan, Guizhou, Shanxi, Shandong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Tianjin, Shanxi, Shanghai, Guangdong, Yunnan, Xinjiang, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Anhui, Fujian, Hunan, Hainan, Shenzhen and Inner Mongolia has been raised as of Dec. 31, 2013. The minimum monthly wage in Shanghai is now US$216, while the minimum hourly wage for a blue-collar worker in Xinjiang is US$2.

For China, north is a new way to go west – The Globe and Mail China is not an Arctic country. Its northernmost point on the Russian border – a settlement called Mohe that is nicknamed “China’s north pole” – is well shy of the Arctic Circle.

Yet in Beijing lately, officials have made a point of calling their country a “near Arctic” state. China is increasingly casting a hungry gaze north: Its companies are exploring for oil and resources that can be mined, its diplomats are making friends with Nordic countries – with the notable exception of Canada – and its yuan are paying for polar research projects in the Antarctic and Norway.

Hard luxury brands set up shop in Macau – FT.com Macau, the special administrative region of China and undisputed champion of the global gambling industry, is going through a period of unprecedented growth.

Given a Chinese population eager to place bets, and a gambling revenue of $45bn in 2013 – an increase of nearly 20 per cent on the previous year – it is easy to see why. And Macau’s gamblers have an appetite for luxury goods.

Citi offers automated RMB cross-border pooling in Shanghai free trade zone | Reuters Citi (C.N) said on Monday it had launched an automated RMB cross-border pooling solution for its clients in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone, a move that could help multinational companies optimize their cash management and enhance capital efficiency.

The solution enables companies to automatically sweep RMB between their onshore and offshore entities freely, without providing supporting documents or applying for approvals on a deal basis.

Shanghai mayor vows progress on free-trade zone this year | South China Morning Post At the annual meeting of the city’s legislature, which opened yesterday, Yang Xiong underscored the significance of making the yuan fully convertible inside the 28.8-square-kilometre testing ground for economic reforms in the country.

The mainland’s first free-trade zone was launched in late September with the aim of allowing the yuan to be convertible on the capital account, meaning for investment and financial transactions. The details of the zone have yet to be announced.

Premier vows to help startups – Chinadaily.com.cn The premier promised better support from the government for student entrepreneurs facing difficult job-hunting prospects, and he said their perseverance will lead to larger possibilities of success when building up businesses.

Growth in China’s outbound investment not dramatic but steady – as it should be | South China Morning Post Official data may show faster growth for last year, but it will be still be nothing like the explosive gains in the middle of last decade.

Why not? Beijing just pegged foreign exchange reserves at US$3.82 trillion. There are hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign currency more at domestic banks. In that light, another US$50 billion last year would have been a drop in the bucket.

A Sino-British pact on cross-border fund sales? Not so fast | South China Morning Post As China opened up its economy to the world, Hong Kong has long enjoyed the exclusive right to develop certain new products and services.

Now there are straws in the wind that the mainland may not only sign a mutual recognition agreement with Hong Kong to allow the selling of fund products in each other’s markets but may soon also sign a similar accord with Britain.

London sees renminbi transactions take off – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Rapidly rising renminbi transaction volumes are supporting London’s ambition of becoming the Western world’s offshore yuan center, according to figures released on Thursday by the City of London Corp.

Trade finance transactions using the Chinese currency totaled 27.94 billion yuan ($4.61 billion) in the first half of 2013, up from 13.8 billion yuan a year earlier.

China Vehicle Sales Reach 22 million Units in 2013 | China Briefing News China became the first country to sell in excess of 20 million auto units last year, with nearly 22 million passenger and commercial vehicles being sold in the country over that time. This figure represented a 14 percent increase over 2012, and was double the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers estimate. Of these, 59.7 percent of the market was taken by foreign joint ventures. Volkswagen replaced General Motors as the top China seller for the first time since 2003, while Ford sales grew by 49 percent and Japan’s Toyota enjoyed a record year, despite political problems with China.

COMPANIES

Dalian Wanda to List Two Businesses This Year: Wang Jianlin -Caijing Wan Jianlin, the richest Chinese man said he is attempting to list two of  Dalian Wanda Group’s businesses this year as his conglomerate keeps growing fast  in a slow-down of the world’s second largest economy.

The Dalian Wanda chairman didn’t disclose which businesses he is planning to  list but speculations have been focusing on Wanda Cinema Line, the largest  cinema operator in Asia and Wanda Commercial Properties Co. Ltd., which both  which have been waiting for an IPO on mainland markets for three years.

Petrochina Buy at Chinavestor Based on gas pricing reforms and higher oil prices, we expect Petrochina’s business prospects to improve over the forthcoming quarters. Given Petrochina’s share of the natural gas market, they are likely to overturn downstream losses incurred in 2012 and improve their share price significantly in 2013. The revisions in gas prices are predicted to be considerably higher for industrial users than residential users. Petrochina has traded at PER of 12.5x in 2012, reflecting a 56% premium over CNOOC (NYSE:CEO) , who utilizes more aggressive E&P tactics and realised higher EPS values.

China Grand Automotive Readies Hong Kong IPO – WSJ.com China Grand Automotive Services Co., in which U.S.-based private-equity firm TPG Capital has a stake, is planning to raise $500 million to $800 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering in the second quarter at the earliest, people with a direct knowledge of the deal said Monday.

Steel firms in China’s dirty North get the hammer|WantChinaTimes.com New Wuan Iron and Steel Group, the largest private steel firm in China’s largest steel-producing province, is slimming down its annual capacity to 8 million tons by 2017. The slash, more than 50% of its 2013 output, is indicative of major tremors in the nation’s steel industry, reports the Chinese-language Economic Observer.

Game firms in China solicit endorsements from Japanese porn stars|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Two years ago, when Japanese adult film star Sola Aoi showed up on stage at online clothing retailer VANCL’s end of year party and was hugged by Chinese business tycoons, it was seen by many in the industry as a fun way of boosting morale. Now, more and more internet firms are following suit, Sina’s technology news webportal reports.

Recently, Qihoo 360 Technology, an antivirus software firm, invited another Japanese adult film star, Takizawa Laura, to its annual party, attracting media attention, while one unnamed Shanghai video game firm, in addition to inviting a Japanese porn star to endorse one of its video games, reportedly offered a special prize for its best performing employee at its end of year party of a one-night-stand with the porn star.

China’s re-opened IPO highway proving a bumpy ride – FT.com In China, initial public offerings are a bit like London buses – you wait 14 months, and then 50 come along at once.

On Friday, the first new listed company since November 2012 – Neway Valve – made its trading debut in Shanghai. The stock rose more than 40 per cent, an encouraging sign for the hundreds of other new listings that are expected through the year.

1 Android Player That Wants to Piggyback on Apple Chinese manufacturer Huawei looks to stand out in the Android crowd with reverse charging in its Ascend Mate 2. It’s a solidly built 6-inch device, but do consumers really want to use one phone to charge another?

Opportunity in China’s food crunch – Craig Stephen’s This Week in China – MarketWatch The imminent listing of Shuanghui International Holdings in Hong Kong — which last year gobbled up America’s largest hog producer — is set to put China’s food industry in the spotlight. There is big money to be made feeding China as it faces up to a self-made food crunch.

Baidu continues to enter households with wireless music box Baidu (NASDA: BIDU), the Chinese internet giant best known for its search engine, has recently unveiled its latest hardware product – a wireless music-streaming box that retails for a smooth RMB 99 (about $16).

Chinese firm constructs high-speed railway in Turkey – People’s Daily Online A photo taken on Jan. 4, 2014 shows a trial train take a test run on the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railway constructed by China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) in Turkey. Chinese railway department officals said on Jan. 17 that second phrase of the principal project of Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railway has been completed, marking the first of its kind in overseas market is about to open to traffic in a short term.

Shell, PetroChina Gas Venture in Australia Reviewing Job Numbers – WSJ.com Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) and PetroChina Co. (PTR) are looking to cut jobs in an effort to contain costs at their venture in eastern Australia, where the energy companies plan to build a multibillion-dollar operation for extracting and exporting natural gas trapped in underground coal seams.

A spokesman for Arrow Energy Pty. Ltd., a 50-50 venture between Shell and its Chinese partner, said the company is focused on reducing overall costs and continues to assess options to develop its gas reserves. Those options include looking at possible collaboration opportunities, he said.

Xiaomi, Gionee grab 10th largest market share from HTC|Technology|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Taiwan’s HTC dropped out of the top ten for global smartphone market share last year as its Chinese rivals Xiaomi and Gionee saw their market shares increase, according to market research institution TrendForce and our Chinese-language sister newspaper Commercial Times.

US mulling partnership with China in Congo Inga 3 dam project | South China Morning Post In an unusual move, the US government is considering partnering with Chinese state firms in financing the US$12 billion Inga 3 dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the world’s costliest and possibly most controversial dams.

A Chinese consortium comprising Sinohydro and China Three Gorges Corp, both state-owned enterprises (SOEs), are bidding for the project, according to media reports.

Jidong Cement reaps hefty profit in 2013 – Xinhua | English.news.cn Tangshan Jidong Cement Co., Ltd, the largest cement supplier in northern China, estimated net profits in 2013 would rise between 70 percent and 100 percent year on year to reach over 306 million yuan (50 million U.S. dollars).

Earnings per share for Jidong stood at the range of 0.227 yuan and 0.267 yuan, up around 0.1 yuan from a year earlier, the company said in a business report filed on Saturday to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Goubuli to slash bun prices in Tianjin – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn The price cut came shortly after Goubuli’s revelation of its plan to buy a famous American coffee chain. Without revealing the name of the coffee chain, Goubuli said on January 8 that the deal is expected to take place in the first half of the year.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 14/1/14

ECONOMY

Red Flags in China – Can It Prevent a Major Financial Crisis? | Matthew Kerkhoff | FINANCIAL SENSE China’s policymakers have been working to shift their economic model towards consumption, and away from excess investment spending. An explosion in lending is beginning to saddle China with the same problems that have plagued other debt-ridden nations.

Take a look at the chart below, from The Wall Street Journal, which shows the rise in China’s debt levels compared with other countries before their respective financial crises. Looks strikingly similar if you ask me.

China pouring billions into London real estate – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns Research released last December by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc, a Chicago-based real estate service and investment company, showed Chinese investment in London real estate has risen more than 1,500 percent since 2010, increasing from 54 million pounds to more than 1 billion pounds at the end of the third quarter of 2013.

This increase means that Chinese investment in London real estate now accounts for more than 50 percent of the total figure for Chinese investment in the rest of Europe, which stood at 1.9 billion pounds in 2013.

China Military to Stop Buying Foreign-Branded Cars, Xinhua Says – Bloomberg China’s military will stop buying foreign-branded vehicles as part of a campaign to promote frugality and reduce waste, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The military will also limit official trips and lavish receptions and ban its members from receiving gifts and souvenirs, Xinhua said. The armed forces will strictly control new construction of official buildings or the renting out of office space, according to the report.

US challenges China over compliance with WTO ruling – FT.com The United States has for the first time challenged China’s compliance with a World Trade Organisation ruling, claiming the country had failed to make changes ordered by a WTO dispute resolution panel.

The dispute alleges China refused to comply with a 2012 ruling that barred the country from imposing duties on a type of heavy steel manufactured in the US. The complaint asserted that the inaction was costing US companies about $250m per year.

New areas underscore China’s westward shift of development|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com China’s State Council, the country’s cabinet, recently approved two national-level new areas in western China, namely the Xixian New Area in Shaanxi province and Gui’an New Area in Guizhou province, increasing the number of new areas in the western region to four — on top of Liangjiang New Area in Chongqing and Lanzhou New Area in Gansu province, reports Shanghai’s China Business News.

Fuzhou’s US$16bn new town to emulate Shanghai FTZ|Policy|Business|WantChinaTimes.com A proposal for the development of a new district in Fuzhou and the city government’s plan to upgrade the Fuzhou development project to the national strategic level has been announced by the city mayor, reports China Business Journal.

HK should grow into a full-fledged financial market: HKEx – Xinhua | English.news.cn Hong Kong should grow into a full- fledged financial market and become the global financial center of Asia, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) Chief Executive Charles Li said Tuesday.

Speaking at the Seventh Asian Financial Forum, Li said that in the last 30 years, China’s reform has been made mainly through three events — trade, which brought China the first bucket of gold, foreign direct investment, which has engaged China with the world market, and capital market formation. Hong Kong has becomes the offshore capital center of the Chinese mainland, and essentially has helped it grow into an important destination for world’s largest banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

Chief of China’s wealth fund bullish on US private sector | South China Morning Post China’s sovereign wealth investment fund is poised to launch a buying spree in global infrastructure projects and advanced technology companies after deleveraging in the US and European private sectors has run its course, its chief said.

However, Ding Xuedong, chairman and chief executive of the US$575 billion China Investment Corporation, cautioned that the outlook for US investments could be clouded by the tapering activity of the US Federal Reserve.

Guangdong outlines big FTZ plans[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn The Guangdong provincial government has vowed to realize liberalization of trade in services in the South China province and its neighboring Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions by this year through CEPA (the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement).

China Provinces Set Lower Growth Goals for 2014 – Bloomberg Some Chinese provinces are setting lower growth targets for this year than in 2013, adding to signs that expansion will slow as the government focuses on policies to sustain the economy in the long term.

Hebei, which borders Beijing in the north, set an 8 percent growth goal amid “unprecedented pressure” from air-pollution controls, according to an annual work report published today in the official Hebei Daily. Last year’s target was 9 percent. Fujian in the southeast and Gansu and Ningxia in the northwest are also targeting slower expansion, state-run websites show.

Hedge Funds’ Bets on China Pay Off – WSJ.com One reason for the strong performance is hedge funds stayed away from stock benchmarks loaded with shares of debt-laden state-owned enterprises, a sector that is struggling as the country enacts reforms aimed at increasing competition, said Richard Johnston, Asia head for alternative investment advisory firm Albourne Partners.

Chinese Search Market Saw 40% Increase in Revenue in 2013 The total revenues made by Chinese search services in 2013 is 39.32 billion yuan (about $6.5 billion), a 40.1% increase, according to the latest report by Chinese online data service iResearch. The increase rate is, however, lower than that for the previous year.

Foreign banks lured to Shanghai free-trade zone are left in limbo over regulation delay | South China Morning Post Foreign banks that were lobbied by the Chinese government to open branches in the mainland’s first free-trade zone in Shanghai have been left with little to do by ambiguous guidance and regulations that have yet to come into force.

However, after three months of preparation, many foreign banks are still left with very little to do in their new offices in the free-trade zone (FTZ), since most regulations are still at an un-actionable stage, said lawyers and accountants.

Detroit’s Plan: Export Cars, Import Chinese Investment – China Real Time Report – WSJ Even as Chinese auto makers shun the Detroit auto show, local officials and automotive industry players are hoping to transform Motor City into a hub for Chinese investment.

The Detroit Chinese Engineer Association has around 1,600 registered members, according to Zifeng Nie, chairman of its technical council. He estimates the total number of Chinese engineers working in the Detroit area to be around five times that figure. There are around 87,000 engineers in total in Michigan.

China’s Stocks Rebound After Reaching Cheapest Levels on Record – Bloomberg The Shanghai index’s 14-day relative strength measure, measuring how rapidly prices have advanced or dropped during a specified time period, was at 26.2 yesterday. Readings below 30 indicate it may be poised to rise. Trading volumes were 21 percent below the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

China branded products Succeeding at selling consumer products (really most products) in the United States virtually always requires more than just having the lowest price.  Unless and until Chinese companies truly understand this (rather than paying it mere lip service), the threat of Chinese companies taking over the US consumer market is minimal at best.

Liam Halligan: It pays to keep an eye on events in the East – Telegraph Among the most under-reported major trends in the world, this emerging Sino-Russian economic and diplomatic link-up will do a great deal to shape   the world economy in the years and decades to come.

As recently as 2003, cross-border trade between Russia and China amounted to just $12bn (£7.28bn). Over the last decade, that total has risen seven-fold, reaching $88bn last year.

China’s water shortage is so bad it could turn out the lights China has lost more than an entire Netherlands-worth of wetlands in the last decade—340,000 sq. km, or 9% of China’s total land—to agriculture, development, and climate change, according to new figures from its State Forestry Administration. It’s the latest in a long line of ominous warnings about the water supply in China, which has one-fifth of the world’s population but only 6% of its freshwater.

Chinese investors should avoid Britain’s rotten egg rail project | South China Morning Post **This is typical of British attitudes towards infrastructure or engineering works – investment in property is fine, but anything more ambitious gets sneered at** According to reports last week, Chinese state companies are eager to invest in Britain’s planned HS2 high-speed railway from London to Birmingham, and beyond to Manchester and Leeds.

They would be better advised to find another use for their capital. Although construction work has yet to start, HS2 shows all the signs of a classic British cock-up in the making.

5 Things Needed For an Education Startup in China Below are the 5 things entrepreneurs ‘should get’ for their education startup in China, according to Terry:

COMPANIES

Sinopec Plagued by Pipeline Crisis -Caijing **This is frightening** A schematic diagram of the national oil pipeline network shows that almost every province throughout the country has petrochemical pipelines, and many  cities incorporate multiple types of pipelines. And in each city, there are a  greater number of municipal grids that are even more complex. According to data from PetroChina Pipeline Company, there are more than 8,000 pipelines nationwide  that are in violation of current regulations.

China Railway Group Ltd : ANNOUNCEMENT-PASS AWAY OF PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | 4-Traders **Only took a week and a 10% share-price fall** The board of directors (the “Board”) of China Railway Group Limited (the “Company”) announces with deepest grief that Mr. Bai Zhongren, the President and an executive director of the Company, passed away on 4 January 2014 due to accident.

China Securities Regulator Investigating Sinovel Wind Group – WSJ.com **Who are the auditors, Deloitte?** Sinovel Wind Group Co., China’s onetime wind-power champion, signaled renewed scrutiny by Chinese regulators into its accounting problems in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange late Sunday.

In the filing, Sinovel said it received a notice of an investigation from the China Securities Regulatory commission, adding to challenges that also include U.S. criminal charges and weak demand for wind turbines.

China Crackdown on IPO Pricing Gains Momentum With Bids Ignored – Bloomberg Chinese companies marketing initial  share sales are settling for lower valuations than most  investors were offering to pay, evidence that a government crackdown on overpriced deals is yielding results.

Beijing Utour International Travel Service Co. (002707), Hebei Huijin Electromechanical Co. (300368) and Yangzhou Yangjie Electronics Technology Co. (300373) priced IPO shares at below-average valuations for their respective industries after rejecting most investor bids for stock as too high, according to statements on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s website today.

Delay in SUV Launch Hits Great Wall Motor – WSJ.com Great Wall Motor Co.’s shares fell to a six-month low Tuesday after the Chinese auto maker said it deferred the launch of a sport-utility vehicle.

Analysts said the delay highlights the challenges China’s largest SUV maker by sales faces as it seeks a more upscale image to better complete with foreign car makers.

Huawei Pushes into Living Room With Game Console – China Real Time Report – WSJ Over the past few years, China’s Huawei Technologies has been branching further outside its mainstay telecommunications equipment business to sell more consumer products like smartphones, tablets and set-top boxes for TVs . Now, it’s making a push into the living room with a video game console.

Huawei has been trying to establish itself as a consumer brand as it seeks new engines for revenue growth beyond the market for telecom networking gear. Over the past few years, Huawei has become a major smartphone vendor in China, but it still has a long way to go in terms of consumer recognition, and the new game console could be a step toward building a more familiar brand.

RSI Alert: China Petroleum & Chemical (SNP) Now Oversold – Forbes In trading on Monday, shares of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. Inc (NYSE: SNP) entered into oversold territory, hitting an RSI reading of 29.5, after changing hands as low as $75.24 per share. By comparison, the current RSI reading of the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is 47.0. A bullish investor could look at SNP’s 29.5 RSI reading today as a sign that the recent heavy selling is in the process of exhausting itself, and begin to look for entry point opportunities on the buy side. The chart below shows the one year performance of SNP shares:

China Petroleum and Chemical Rating Lowered to Underperform at Zacks (SNP) | Zolmax Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are downgrading our recommendation on Sinopec to Underperform from Neutral, ahead of fourth quarter results. During the first nine months of 2013, the company witnessed a sharp fall in crude oil prices. This during the first nine months of 2013, dragged down Exploration and Production (E&P) segment’s operating profit by 15.5% year over year.

AB InBev to Buy Chinese Brewery Brand in CY3.8Bn Deal: Reports -Caijing Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Belgian-Brazilian multinational beverage and  brewing group, is planning to buy a Chinese brewery brand with 3.85billion yuan, Chinese media reported.

Ginsber, the north China-based brewer, was the eighth  largest beer brand by sales volume in Chinese market in 2011 when AB InBev surpassed Beijing-based Yanjing Brewery to become the market’s third largest brand.

Chat app WeChat launches four games in Southeast Asia It seems like the chat app competition has become a battle after all – according to WeChat, the China-based messenger will be rolling out four games for users residing in Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.

We reported earlier that WeChat had brought its game service into Indonesia, with four titles to begin with. But this news proves that it won’t stop there. WeChat will bring four games to the new markets in Southeast Asia, three of which already launched in Indonesia.

Shuanghui to apply next week for US$6 billion Hong Kong IPO, sources say | South China Morning Post Shuanghui International, China’s largest meat processor, plans to apply as early as next week for a listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange to raise up to US$6 billion, making it one of the biggest initial public offerings in Asia in years, people close to the situation say.

Yum Brands China same-store sales rose in December – MarketWatch Yum Brands Inc.’s China same-store sales rose an estimated 2% during December, increasing for a second straight month, but declined an estimated 4% for its fourth quarter.

The restaurant company has been trying to recover from food-safety concerns related to KFC chicken suppliers more than a year ago. Yum in November began an advertising and social-media campaign to assure people that its food is safe.

China Construction Bank VP to Lead China Everbright Bank | 4-Traders China Construction Bank vice president Zhao Huan will be appointed as president of China Everbright Bank amid a reshuffle of several bank executives, China Business News reported on Monday.

The report also said that Zhu Xiaohuang, president of China Citic Bank, would leave his post to become chairman of China Citic Group’s board of supervisors. The bank, China’s seventh-largest lender by assets, has so far declined to comment on the matter.

Chinese Smartphone Startup OnePlus Aims at Developed Markets OnePlus is a newly established Chinese smartphone brand officially announced today in Beijing.

It’s not just another phone brand by low-cost manufacturing China or aimed at less developed markets. OnePlus will be about high specs, comparatively low prices, selling directly online and shipping to the rest of the world, especially developed markets.

Bright Food gets 2nd Aussie firm – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Bright Food Group Co Ltd, China’s second-largest food producer, acquired a midsized Australian dairy company following the purchase of Manassen Foods in the same country.

Manassen, in which Bright Food has a 75 percent stake, has signed a deal to buy Mundella Foods, a four-decade-old company in Western Australia, according to Bright Food spokesman Pan Jianjun.

China Merchants eyes deals in logistics | South China Morning Post China Merchants Group will take advantage of merger and acquisition opportunities in the mainland’s fragmented logistics and infrastructure sector as local governments deleverage, said the company’s chairman, Fu Yuning.

There are over 100,000 logistics players on the mainland but there are a lack of major players with advantages of scale.

China shoes: feeling the pinch – FT.com Three years ago Chinese shoe sellers were increasing their sales at a 20 per cent clip – and they were adding stores even faster. Stock valuations could be as dazzling as Dorothy’s ruby slippers. Now that sales are flat or falling, shares have followed suit and a rebound looks unlikely.

China’s Bold $10 Billion Investment in Nigerian Hydrocarbons Well, never mind the experiences of Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, and Eni, Chinese companies are willing to brave the Nigerian new frontier and invest onshore there. On 10 January, the federal government in Abuja approved a $10 billion in Chinese oil exploration in the Bida Basin.

More Obstacles Ahead for Chalco Despite Year-end Profits – State-owned Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (Chalco), the nation’s biggest producer of aluminum, turned a profit before the year’s end by selling 12.9 billion yuan of assets to its parent company. The sale allowed it to stave off a risk warning on mainland exchanges.

The company said on January 10 that it expects to earn about 1 billion yuan in net profits in 2013, which means the company could avoid getting branded as an “ST share.” ST or Special Treatment, is a risk warning issued by the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges for listed companies that have two consecutive years of negative net profits.

China Telecom Offers South Pole Mobile Service | 4-Traders China Telecom Corporation Ltd. (NYSE: CHA and SEHK: 0728) has offered e-Surfing mobile communication service in South Pole, making first mobile phone call from there, ending the history for China to have no mobile communication service in South Pole. Thus, China Telecom becomes the first Chinese telecom carrier to open mobile communication service in South Pole.

Uganda inches towards oil sales With China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the only holder of an oil production license for the Kingfisher Discovery Area, expectations are that 2014 will likely be the year for the government to issue more production licenses to other firms.

China Seeks to Invest in Dutch Grain Trader – WSJ.com Chinese state-owned food company Cofco Corp. offered to buy a minority stake in Netherlands-based grain trader Nidera BV, the latest move by the world’s most-populous country to secure access to food resources.

Cofco submitted a binding bid for the stake last month, a person familiar with the transaction said. The stake is valued at around US$250 million, but it wasn’t clear how much Cofco offered to pay. The terms of the deal were being discussed, the person said.

ZURICH inks MoU with BANK OF CHINA to explore bancassurance opportunities in MALAYSIA | 4-Traders Zurich Insurance Malaysia Bhd declared that it has entered into a deal with the Bank of China Ltd for the expansion of bancassurance opportunities in Malaysia, by selling insurance products to the bank s clients.

It is stated, Zurich can provide the right guidance and surety which will be significant in Bank of China s business expansion here in Malaysia.

Fed Approves Chinese Bank for Expansion in California – Syndication Content Article – American Banker The Federal Reserve will allow Hong Kong-based Wing Lung Bank to expand in California as Chinese lenders boost their U.S. presence.

Wing Lung plans to establish a San Francisco branch and upgrade its existing office in Alhambra, California, to a full- service operation, the Fed said today in a statement.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China : ICBC to Sell CNY100bn Certificates of Deposit in 2014 | 4-Traders Industrial and Commercial Bank of China announces that it plans to issue CNY 100 billion certificates of deposit in 2014 after ten Chinese banks completed the first round of such issuances at last year end.

ICBC points out that it will determine how many certificates will be sold and how long the certificates will mature in quotas filed this year and single issuance will be not less than CNY 50 million. Outstanding certificates will be not higher than quotas planned for the entire year at any time this year.

China data center roundup: Dawning, HongDa Telecom and CloudKC | Datacenter Dynamics Phase 1 of the 20m CNY Xinjiang Cloud Computing Data Center has come online.

Phase 1 of the project has seen 48 high-performance servers and storage systems deployed, and offers optical fiber connections by China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.

Posted from Diigo.

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.

China Business Briefs 9/1/14

ECONOMY

China’s 2012 GDP revised to 51.95 trillion yuan – Xinhua | English.news.cn China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2012 has been revised to 51.95 trillion yuan (8.52 trillion U.S. dollars), 52.8 billion yuan higher than the preliminary reading released in September, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.

Primary industries took up a 10.1-percent share in the GDP structure, while secondary and tertiary sectors accounted for 45.3 percent and 44.6 percent respectively, remaining unchanged from readings of the preliminary verification.

China Asks Systemically Important Banks to Comply With Disclosure Rules – WSJ.com China’s banking regulator said Wednesday that it has asked the nation’s large commercial banks to disclose their off-balance-sheet exposures, in an effort to align its regulations with international practices.

The guideline applies to the Chinese banks identified by FSB as systemically important, as well as other banks with on- and off-balance sheet assets worth at least 1.6 trillion yuan ($264 billion), the CBRC said.

Carson Block backs China short calls as buyers circle – Market Extra – MarketWatch “Investors seemed to forget the lessons of 2011 by the time we got into 2013,” said Block, the founder of Muddy Waters Research and the man who became famous in the investing world two-plus years ago when a research report he wrote help set in motion the collapse of Sino-Forest Corp., a Toronto-listed firm that managed forest land in China.

China’s World: Beijing Should Scrap the GDP Target – WSJ.com Here’s another idea: Scrap the national GDP target altogether. It would send a powerful message that Beijing is serious about shifting the drivers of growth.

The target is a relic of the Stalinist planned economy, the basis on which the government planned the allocation of scarce resources for industrial production. Its continued existence is testament to how far China has to go to fully embrace a market economy, one that operates according to market signals.

China’s Toxic Debt Doctors Prepare for Surgery – Regulators eager to resolve China’s local government debt conundrum are setting standards for an emerging class of asset management companies (AMCs) responsible for settling bad loans without Beijing’s help.

One standard, issued in early-December by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), set the floor for each local AMC’s registered capital at 1 billion yuan. It was the first financial parameter of its kind since CBRC and the Ministry of Finance started promoting these debt restructuring vehicles in May 2012.

Chinese Consumers Bought Over 20 Million Vehicles In 2013 As Foreign Automakers Jockey For Market Share China’s 2013 auto sales figures are incomplete until next week, when the December figures will be released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. But as of November, Chinese have exceeded U.S. sales in every month of 2013 by as much as double the number of vehicles purchased in the world’s second-largest auto market.

China is importing more US-built cars|Business|chinadaily.com.cn According to the latest information from the US Department of Commerce, 1.9 million vehicles were exported from the US in 2012. China was among the top five markets for light vehicles made in the US, a list that also includes Canada, Mexico, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Robots replacing low-end workers in China|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com As Chinese plants lay off workers in the wake of rising labor costs, producers of industrial robots have found their domain expanding, according to Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Review, citing the example of the Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) Group.

Speculative investment hurting China’s economy: report|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com The preference of Chinese investors to plow their money into financial markets rather than in the physical economy poses a great challenge for the country, which is trying to reinvent its manufacturing sector, reports the Chinese-language Economic Information Daily.

The sizable profits to be made from financial asset speculation in a market with ample liquidity and growing foreign capital attracted by an appreciating currency have pulled money away from investments in business, the paper said.

Oil-Tanker Data Show China Shift – MoneyBeat – WSJ Although China’s economic growth has diminished since the early post-financial-crisis period, when massive government stimulus made the country the last great hope of exporting nations, its gross domestic product growth has maintained a level above 7.5% that is enviable in most developed countries. It imported 255 million barrels of oil in the first 11 months of 2013, or 5.6 million barrels a day, up 3.2% on year. Its steady demand combined with the U.S.’s declining need for imports thanks to its energy boom have skewed the global flow of both oil and products.

Shenzhen to ease access – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Shenzhen’s government aims to further relax the restriction of access to domestic and overseas financial institutions and plans to encourage more private capital to enter the financial services industry, Shanghai Securities News reported Wednesday.

Guangdong Starts Electricity Sales Pilot Involving Open Bidding – Late last year the southern province started to allow large industrial consumers of electricity and generators to determine the price together through open bidding. The move gained nationwide attention since it dealt with the nation’s rigid power pricing mechanism. It was designed to minimize resistance from monopolistic state power grid.

COMPANIES

Bank of China Chooses London to Sell Yuan-Denominated Bonds – MoneyBeat – WSJ China took another step towards broadening the use of its currency outside its shores Wednesday, with state-run Bank of China set to become the third Chinese  lender to sell yuan-denominated bonds in London.

Bank of China, the country’s fourth-largest lender and the sole yuan clearing bank in Hong Kong, Wednesday opened the sale of three-year bonds, with early signs suggesting a yield of 3.50%, one of the banks working on the deal said. The sale is expected to be concluded Thursday morning.

Bitcoin Banned by Alibaba’s Taobao After China Tightens Rules – Bloomberg Taobao Marketplace, one of the main platforms that link buyers and sellers on Alibaba, will bar from Jan. 14 the sale of Bitcoin and related products, including mining software and hardware for the virtual currency, the company said on its website yesterday.

Baidu in 2014: Can It Keep Rolling? (BIDU) China’s leading search engine raced back into investor fancy last year. Game-changing acquisitions and accelerating growth projections work wonders on discarded former market darlings. The stock soared 77% last year, and that’s pretty remarkable since it was trading lower for 2013 at its midpoint. However, now that Baidu is armed with new toys that will increase its presence in mobile and online video, it will be interesting to see if it can live up to heightened expectations.

BoCom sees 2014 growth at 7.8% – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn China’s economy is expected to grow by around 7.8 percent in 2014, as both domestic and external demand will be sufficiently stable to maintain the overall economic growth momentum, Bank of Communications (BoCom) said Wednesday in its annual forecast for the country’s economy.

But the economy still faces downward pressure, including challenges arising from the central government’s pledge to de-leverage and rebalance the economy for longer-term sustainability, which might put short-term growth at risk, Lian Ping, chief economist with Shanghai-based BoCom, told reporters in Beijing Wednesday, while releasing the outlook report.

Anhui Conch to Step Up Acquisitions With Record Cash Level – Bloomberg Anhui Conch Cement Co. (914), China’s biggest cement producer by market value, plans to add as much as 30 million metric tons to capacity through acquisitions amid a government drive to consolidate production.

Rural Mobile Commerce Service MMB Launches Low-cost Smartphone Q1 Maimaibao (MMB.cn)  started in 2006 as a m-commerce retailer targeting at the rural China. It offers more than 50,000 items, from apparel to digital devices, and daily transactions are 20,000, according to the company intro.. As one of the biggest of this kind, MMB has developed its own logistics service to serve customers who buy through WAP pages and don’t have any online payment account. The company is funded by investors including Tencent and reached partnership with the latter on mobile shopping.

China’s Meizu plans to launch smartphones in US market in Q3 Chinese phone-maker Meizu unveiled its latest flagship phone, the MX3, last September, but it’s getting a fresh wave of coverage today as the company makes its debut at CES in Las Vegas. Meizu also revealed today that it will launch for the first time in the US market in Q3 of 2014.

Huawei talks up global goals at CES – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Colin Giles, executive vice-president of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said Huawei’s goal this year is to deliver 80 million smartphones, a 28 million increase over last year’s number.

According to Giles, Huawei’s global brand awareness increased by 110 percent from 25 percent in 2012 to the current 52 percent. Over the past 18 months, Huawei’s brand awareness increased three to four times in countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Japan. In the US, it rose from 9 percent to 22 percent.

Mobile Video Contest Co-Hosted by China Mobile and Youku Tudou Breaks New Records, Generating More than 100 Million Yuan in Mobile Box Office Sales – Yahoo Finance An annual mobile video contest co-organized by by China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL; 0941 HK), and Youku Tudou Inc., China’s leading Internet television company, broke new records in 2013 with 110 million yuan in mobile box office sales and one single title garnering more than 5 million yuan from mobile video-on-demand sales, which is a new record in China.

Bank of China Limited : Bank of China London Branch issues RMB-denominated bonds | 4-Traders On 8th January 2014, Bank of China London Branch will issue RMB-denominated bonds, providing UK and European investors with an additional high quality RMB product.

China Life Insurance Stock Rating Upgraded by Deutsche Bank (LFC) | North Fork Vue China Life Insurance (NYSE:LFC) was upgraded by Deutsche Bank from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports.

SAIC Motor Corporation Limited : SAIC Motor 2013 Sold 5.1mn Cars | 4-Traders SAIC Motor posts that it sold more than 5.1 million complete cars in 2013, up 13.7% year on year. The company became the first Chinese automaker with an annual sales volume of over 5 million units.

Netizens React On Weibo To Mysterious Death Of Bai Zhongren, President Of China Railway Group Ltd. (601390) The story quickly spread through China’s major papers, but Chinese netizens were even quicker to call bluff in turn on the media report, pointing out that since China Railway Group Ltd. is a state-owned enterprise, the theory doesn’t make sense. Most executives of state-owned enterprises are bureaucrats and Communist Party officials who only assume the leadership of these companies for a few years before moving on to other posts.

Chinese company interested in rail link | Nuneaton News China Railway Group has expressed it wants involvement in the line in North Warwickshire.

The project attracting Chinese interest is the proposal, put forward six months ago, to restore the 11.7 kilometres (7.3 miles) Stonebridge Railway, together with a link to the planned HS2 Birmingham Interchange station and ‘people mover’ connections to Birmingham Airport, the existing Birmingham International Station and the National Exhibition Centre.

Moving further into West Africa’s frontier market – MarketWatch China is a huge investor in Sierra Leone. According to the country’s Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, China’s Kingho Energy Group Co., Ltd  (private) will spend more than $6 billion in the development of mineral resources there. These projects include the construction of a railway and a deep-water port.

China State Const. Eng. Corp Ltd : Strategic Cooperation Agreement Signed | 4-Traders On December 25 2013, a strategic Cooperation Agreement on Qingyang Red Star Macalline Project was signed between China Construction Seventh Engineering Division Corp. Ltd. (CSCEC Seventh Bureau) and Gansu Wanhui Real Estate Ltd. The total contract price is 2 billion yuan.

Red Star Macalline Project, located in Qingyang City, Gansu Province, covers a total building area of approximately 900,000sqm. Being made up of large shopping malls, residences, office buildings and hotels, the Project will become a local landmark upon completion. (from CSCEC Seventh Bureau)

RPT-Fitch Upgrades China State Construction International to ‘BBB’; Outlook Stable | Reuters Fitch Ratings has upgraded China State Construction International Holdings Limited’s (CSCI) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB-‘. The Outlook on IDR is Stable. The rating action follows Fitch’s reassessment of the credit profiles of CSCI’s parent companies.

Bank of China Limited : China : Bank of China Achieves Customer-Centric Transformation with IBM | 4-Traders Bank of China and IBM have successfully completed the launch of the Bank s next generation global online banking platform, providing 100 million customers with a fully integrated experience spanning branch, phone, mobile and web banking. The Bank leveraged IBM s business consulting expertise to revolutionize all aspects of its online banking strategy including site redesign, improved functionality and interactivity as well as implementation of more personalized services.

SinoShip News – BOCOM Finance Leasing completes first ship charter deal in FTZ Bank of Communications (BOCOM) Finance Leasing has signed shipbuilding contract with China Shipping Industry for the construction of three 9,400 teu containerships.

The ships will be leased to CMA CGM under a long term bareboat chartering contract upon completion. The deal is also the first ship charter deal BOCOM operated through its SPV in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Athabasca Oil loses its third executive since May The company is suffering from a shortage of capital as it waits for Alberta government sign-off on the Dover oilsands project it shares with PetroChina. Once final approval is granted, it expects to sell its 40 per cent share of the project to PetroChina for $1.3 billion.

China State Const. Eng. Corp Ltd : CSCEC Wins the Bid for RJZQ-1 Section of Ruichang-Jiujiang Railway | 4-Traders On December 29, 2013, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd. won the bid for RJZQ-1 Section between Ruichang and Jiujiang Railway Station Project with the contract value reaching nearly 1.9 billion yuan.

Bank of Communications Co Ltd : BoCom Settled at Horgos Int’l Border Cooperation Center | 4-Traders Bank of Communications’ central sub-branch at Sino-Kazakhstan Horgos International Border Cooperation Center opened on January 6, marking BoCom has settled at the center as one of the first financial institutions.

Posted from Diigo.

China Business Briefs 7/1/14

ECONOMY

Rural transformation underpins Chinese economy[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn China has long been a large agricultural nation, therefore the work concerning agriculture, countryside and farmers (the three rural issues) have always been the top priority of the Chinese government. The Central Rural Work Conference provided the first opportunity for the country’s new government to make plans for the three rural issues.

Besides ensuring domestic production of grain, the conference also made decisions about the position of agriculture, safety of farm produce, land rights, development of rural areas and raising farmers’ income.

Analysis: Cash crunch signals policy dilemma for China’s reformist central bank | Reuters China’s central bank looks set to risk another cash crunch at the end of January, barely a month after the last market squeeze, as policymakers press ahead with a crackdown on shadow financing and other risky bank lending.

Periodic cash squeezes as banks scramble for fresh funds highlight the policy dilemma the PBOC faces in 2014, as it pushes financial reforms to help rebalance the world’s second biggest economy away from the investment- and exports-led model that powered its rapid rise.

China’s Cabinet Drafts Shadow-Banking Plan – WSJ.com The plan, which was distributed to regulators by the State Council on Dec. 10 and hasn’t yet been made public, sets out to limit the growth in loans created outside formal channels for bank lending, according to a copy of the document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The framework calls for stronger oversight of such informal lending by the central bank and other regulators.

The plan falls short of launching a full-blown crackdown on the sector, suggesting the leadership’s preference for maintaining a key source of credit for the economy but one that has contributed to industrial overcapacity and high debt levels at local governments.

China’s reforms: The pain begins – Craig Stephen’s This Week in China – MarketWatch Despite 2014 beginning with some disappointing data as HSBC’s China services index slumped to 50.9 for December, it looks like authorities will be applying tough-love austerity rather than the usual pump-priming response.

Ashmore becomes first to gain access to invest directly in China – FT.com China has taken a significant step towards opening its multitrillion-dollar capital markets to the outside world by giving a western asset management group freedom to invest in its domestic stocks and bonds.

Ashmore Group has become the first group outside Hong Kong to announce it has been granted a licence to invest directly in China’s $3.4tn domestic equity market, which is quoted in renminbi and known as the A-share market, and its $4.7tn bond market.

Few Specifics Mean China Banks Could Stay in the Shadows – China Real Time Report – WSJ But equally important was what the State Council didn’t say: It made no mention of trying to sharply ratchet down China’s debt which since 2008, has grown to 216% of GDP from 128% and could climb to 271% by 2017 if not corrected, according to Fitch Ratings. Indeed, the framework regulation goes out of its way to call shadow banking is an “inevitable” result of financial innovation and has played an “active” role in serving the economy and broadening the investment channels for Chinese individuals.

Major Corruption Prosecutions up in 2013-Caijing China’s procuratorial authorities investigated 27,236 embezzlement and bribery cases between January and November last year, sentencing 36,907 people, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said in a statement on Sunday.

Of those cases, 80 percent were considered major or important, which the top procuratorate defines as embezzlement and bribery cases involving more than 50,000 yuan ($8,270) or earmarking public funds over 100,000 yuan.

Sales of luxury goods decline substantially in China|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com Luxury goods sales in China have dropped significantly after rapid growth over the past few years, with some noted fashion brands closing some of their stores in the country, according to Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald.

According to Bain & Company statistics, luxury goods sales in mainland China slowed down in 2013 to a 2% growth rate, compared with the 7% annualized increase in 2012 and 30% in 2011. The consulting firm projected that the downtrend would continue in 2014.

Coking coal prices continue to work in steelmakers’ favour | Business Standard China, which remains relentless in raising steel production even while phasing out high-cost capacity, has to put greater reliance on imports of iron ore, since domestic supply is falling short of requirements of its steel mills. Production cost in many of the mines in China being double that in Australia and Brazil, the country is better off by importing than raising local production.

China destroys ivory stockpile in ‘significant symbolic step towards saving Africa’s elephants’ – Telegraph More than six metric tons of tusks, ivory ornaments and carvings were fed into   crushing machines by forestry and customs officials in southern Guangdong province, where much of China‘s ivory trade is focused.

Much of the ivory on the market in China is legal – bought from African governments selling off their stockpiles of seized tusks in 2008. But the continued demand also drives a trade in illicit ivory “laundered” with fake provenance certificates.

China adjusts measures in Shanghai FTZ – Xinhua | English.news.cn The State Council, or Cabinet, said in a statement that it decided to temporarily adjust measures in an effort to reform the country’s foreign investment management and open the service sector wider to overseas investors.

The government will also relax controls over foreign investment in fields covering international shipping, credit investigation, performance brokerage, entertainment, training and telecommunications within the zone.

Law cuts into guides’ earnings – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn The law took effect on Oct 1 and bans forced shopping during trips. Three months later, many tour guides are looking for new jobs, since much of their income came from the commissions they earned by herding tourists into shops.

Dell looks at China as source of innovation[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn Chinadaily.com.cn interviewed Amit Midha (President, Dell Asia Pacific and Japan Region) on Dec 19, 2013, in Xiamen, Fujian province. Midha talked about Dell’s strategy.

P2P firms in China dropping like flies|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com The total transaction value of major P2P platforms in China reached 49 billion yuan (US$8.1 billion) in 2013, with an average interest rate reaching 23.24%, according to the report. Seventy four platforms had difficulty meeting the demand from cash withdrawals, mostly in the fourth quarter. The situation is gravest in Zhejiang province, where 17 P2P firms bit the dust in 2013, followed by Guangdong with 11 and Jiangsu with nine. December casualties fell to 10, compared with 30 in November and 18 in October.

China suspends ban on foreign video game console sales China’s State Council said it has temporarily lifted a ban on selling foreign video game consoles, paving the way for firms like Sony Corp, Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd to enter a nearly $14 billion market.

The suspension of the 14-year-old ban permits “foreign-invested enterprises” to make games consoles within Shanghai’s free trade zone and sell them in China after inspection by cultural departments, the government said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.

China’s online video viewers watch for 5.7 billion hours every month (INFOGRAPHIC) This new infographic, put together by the Go-Globe team, shows just what a massive business it is. China now has 450 million online video viewers who collectively spend 5.7 billion hours per month watching stuff. There will be an estimated 700 million viewers by 2016. 76.3 percent of surveyed users say they prefer online videos over China’s very dour and propaganda-filled state television.

McKinsey Greater China – What might happen in China in 2014? It’s 2014, and Gordon Orr is back with his annual predictions for the coming year in China. In this podcast, he discusses some of his prognostications with Nick Leung and Guangyu Li. Gordon is a Director based in Shanghai. Guangyu is a Partner there. Nick is the Managing Partner of McKinsey’s Greater China Practice.

Cheap cash and speculation has never been tougher | China Economic Review Shadow bankers are no match for the central bank when it comes to throwing China’s financial system into a panic. Back-alley lenders have handed out a mere US$4 trillion in cash at exorbitant interest rates. No surprises here. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), on the other hand, managed to send shock waves through the banking system and push markets into turmoil twice last year.

China 2013: A Year in Review with Shaun Rein | China Briefing News This week, China Briefing is featuring a series of specially-commissioned articles and interviews from prominent China-based writers regarding their thoughts on the key developments in the country during 2013, and what lies ahead in 2014. Today’s interview features Shaun Rein, author of “The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World” and managing director of the China Market Research Group.

Taiwan Rejects Bitcoin ATMs – China Real Time Report – WSJ The island’s financial regulator said Monday that physical teller machines for the virtual currency “will not appear” here, after Las Vegas-based RoboCoin, which makes bitcoin ATMs, reportedly said it had chosen Taiwan and Hong Kong as its first spots to expand in Asia.

China Auto Industry News | Chinese Manufacturers Rushing to Brazil | China Car Times – China Auto News Rapidly developing markets in South America, led by Brazil, are shaping up to be the new focus of investment in the future.

China Private Equity, M&A & Capital Markets, from China First Capital Think it’s easy to be a private equity boss in China, to keep your job and keep your LPs happy? It’s anything but.

COMPANIES

Report Says Death Of China Railway President May Be Linked To Anti-Corruption Campaign – Forbes The 21st Century Business Herald, citing anonymous sources working in China’s railway sector, said Bai’s death may be related to the ongoing anticorruption campaign that led to the downfall of Liu Zhijun, China’s former railway minister who was given a suspended death sentence in July for abuse of power and taking bribes. Under Liu’s tenure, China’s railway builders were mired in debt, waste and embezzlement. China Railway Construction Corp.Ltd., the country’s second largest infrastructure contractor, spent 837 million RMB ($135 million)on hospitality in 2012. A year earlier, the National Audit Office found officials embezzled 187 million RMB ($28 million) from just the Beijing-to-Shanghai portion of the high-speed railway project.

China Railway reassures after president’s death – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn China Railway Group Limited said Monday that the company’s debts and risks are under control, after its president committed suicide over the weekend allegedly because of the firm’s high debts, China News Service reported Monday.

The company had debt of 408 billion yuan ($67.41 billion), and assets worth 503 billion yuan by the end of September 2013, according to the company’s third-quarter earnings report.

China Mobile Probes, Unicom Meddles [China Mobile Ltd. (ADR), China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (ADR), China Telecom Corporation Limited (ADR)] – Seeking Alpha We’re just a week into the New Year, and already new signs of political shenanigans at the nation’s 2 leading wireless telcos, China Mobile (HKEx: 941; NYSE: CHL) and China Unicom (HKEx: 762; NYSE: CHU), are hinting at turbulence ahead as Beijing tries to liberalize the state-dominated telecoms services sector. Media are reporting that China Mobile has launched an internal probe into a botched initiative in Hong Kong, which looks to me like an extension of Beijing’s fast-expanding series of anti-corruption probes at major state-owned firms. In the meantime, media are reporting separately that a top Unicom executive has left the company to join one of the nation’s newly licensed virtual network operators (VNO), in a deal that looks aimed at undermining Beijing’s plans to inject new competition into the telecoms services sector.

Alipay apologizes for leak of personal info – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn The leak of information via the country’s largest third-party payment platform has sparked a public outcry over transaction security at a time when the Internet is soaring as a major shopping avenue

“The leaked data revealed only transaction information before 2010. They excluded sensitive information such as usernames or passwords, which were ciphered through a sophisticated method that is not available to anyone,” according to a statement by Alipay on Sunday.

Luring Beyonce Fashion Fans Spurs LightInTheBox Rally – Bloomberg LightInTheBox Holding Co. (LITB), a Chinese online retailer, surged 20 percent New York after saying it bought Seattle-based Ador Inc., a website that sells clothes and accessories similar to those worn by celebrities from Beyonce Knowles to Taylor Swift.

Telecom Deal by China’s ZTE, Huawei in Ethiopia Faces Criticism – WSJ.com The Ethiopian network’s glitches underline the broader troubles that sometimes face poorer nations as they borrow heavily to invest in telecommunications, roads, utilities and other infrastructure to help lift them out of poverty.

China’s financial firepower helps its firms win many of these contracts. But in agreeing to such deals, some governments appear to have flouted rules meant to foster sound public investment. When countries sidestep such rules, say experts at institutions such as the World Bank, big projects often cost more and are more likely to be poorly executed.

Ford Blows Past Toyota and Honda in China (F, TM) Ford China sold 935,813 vehicles last year, the company said in a statement. That was more than Toyota (NYSE: TM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) , though it’s still a long way from the more than 3 million sold by the twin titans of China’s auto market, General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Volkswagen (NASDAQOTH: VLKAY) .

Was Tencent’s Unverified Non-Competition Agreement Illegal? | Bridge IP Law Commentary Abstract: many of Tencent’s non-competition contracts being reported online are false due to invalidity. If the contracts were true, one might wonder the intelligence and morality of Tencent’s managers and officers. These agreements are arrogant, domineering, selfish and ignorant of relevant laws. It is hard to imagine how these contracts could come from a listed company with billions of dollars. Additionally, Tencent could possibly pay large amounts of compensation to departing employees in order to fully comply with the relevant laws.

Buffett-Backed BYD Says Chinese Cars to Debut in U.S. – Bloomberg BYD plans to introduce about four models for its U.S. debut at the end of 2015, said Stella Li, the senior vice president in charge of the company’s U.S. business, in an interview last week in Shenzhen, China. Though BYD wasn’t ready when it earlier sought to enter the U.S. car market in 2010, the company is more prepared this time, she said.

Ctrip Reportedly Invests Over $100 Million in Overseas Travel Platform ToursForFun Chinese online travel giant Ctrip reportedly invested more than $100 million in overseas tourism service ToursForFun (report in Chinese). According to official website of ToursForFun, the company will become part of Ctrip’s North American branch, which was set up in last November.

Founded in 2006, ToursForFun is a thriving online travel supplier dedicated to providing online purchasing experience for all travel needs. It is focused on overseas tours and vacation packages in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, and South & Central America.

Former Google China Head John Liu Joins Qihoo 360 John Liu, former vice president at Google Inc. and head of Google China, has joined Qihoo 360 as Chief Business Officer.

Dr. Liu left Google China in July 2013 after six-year stay there. He was the successor to the former Google China chief Kaifu Lee, founder of VC firm Innovation Works.

China Greenland to Invest $2 Billion in London Developments – Bloomberg The state-owned company, which is investing in the U.K. for the first time, will sign an agreement with Minerva Ltd. today to acquire the Ram Brewery site in Wandsworth in southwest London, the two firms said in an e-mailed statement. The completed development will be valued at 600 million pounds, according to the statement. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

Schindler Holding Ltd : Press release: Schindler to equip China’s tallest building | 4-Traders Schindler China, the Chinese division of the Schindler Group, has been awarded a major contract for a 115-story megatall skyscraper currently under construction in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

When complete, Shenzhen’s Ping An Finance Center will include office and retail space and stand 660 meters high, making it the tallest building in China. The structure will feature Schindler’s 7000 high-rise series elevators and Schindler’s cutting-edge PORT transit management technology.

DailyNews Online Edition – Passers-by bother bridge builders CONSTRUCTION of the 680- metre Kigamboni Bridge has been extended to July 2015 following a number of unforeseen challenges that afflict the project.

The project, which is financed by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), is carried out by the China Major Bridge Engineering Company and China Railway Jiangchang Engineering (Tanzania) Limited as well as Arab Consulting Engineers.

AMEC plc : AMEC to hire 150 for China contract | 4-Traders ENGINEERING company AMEC estimates it will need to hire another 150 workers after being appointed by China’s state-owned CNOOC to provide services for its substantial North Sea oil and gas interests.

The firm has been hired by Nexen Petroleum UK, which has been a subsidiary of CNOOC since the $15 billion (pound(s)9.1bn) acquisition of its Canadian parent in February.

10 Online Tourism Startups You Should Not Miss Chinese startup database ITjuzi recently released the newest round-up of online tourism services. In ITjuzi’s database, there are overall 337 startups fall into this vertical category, while 41 companies or 12.2% of the total have secured capital injections in the past year. Please read the Chinese report here.

Let’s take a look at the 10 must-visit tourism sites recommended by the database:

Chexim plans to issue up to 4 bln yuan dim sum bonds – Yahoo Finance The Export-Import Bank of China (Chexim) plans to issue up to 4 billion yuan ($660.99 million) of dim sum bonds in Hong Kong to institutional investors, kicking off a strong offshore yuan bond pipeline expected this year.

Uganda reviewing nine applications for oil production licences – Yahoo Finance UK In September last year Uganda awarded the first production licence to China’s CNOOC (HKSE: 0883.HKnews) for the Kingfisher (LSE: KGF.Lnews) discovery, which contains an estimated 635 million barrels of crude reserves, of which 196 million are recoverable. CNOOC plans to spend $2 billion to develop the field over a four-year period.

CHINA TELECOM to focus its efforts in five areas this YEAR | 4-Traders The first one would be assuring it to change the way it serves customers and expand fundamental services.

4G commercialisation would be accelerated by the company and it would toughen 4G and 3G and broadband service integration.

Deutsche Bank Initiates Coverage on China Life Insurance (LFC) | WKRB News Analysts at Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on shares of China Life Insurance (NYSE:LFC) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “hold” rating on the stock.

China Mobile Ltd. : VWO, BZQ: Big ETF Outflows | 4-Traders Looking at units outstanding versus one week prior within the universe of ETFs covered at ETF Channel, the biggest outflow was seen in the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), where 9.2 million units were destroyed, or a 0.8% decrease week over week. Among the largest underlying components of VWO, in morning trading today China Mobile (CHL) is down about 0.3%.

Jeep Cherokee Pricing Revealed For China – $61,000USD to $76,000USD | China Car Times – China Auto News Jeep’s pricing for the New Cherokee was revealed earlier today, the base 2.4L model starts at 375,900RMB and rises to 459,900RMB for the top of the line 2.4L model, the flagship 3.2L pricing hasn’t yet been announced but it is expected to be in the 500,000RMB and rising area.

Posted from Diigo.