PCCW

China Business Briefs 15/1/14

ECONOMY

China’s shadow banking loans leap – FT.com Funds from trust companies and other entities in the shadow sector rose to their highest level on record and accounted for more than 30 per cent of aggregate financing, the People’s Bank of China said, up from 23 per cent the previous year.

China’s shadow banking sector has helped fuel an alarming run-up in the debt owed by local governments, which have established off balance sheet vehicles to borrow money for development projects. A recent report by China’s National Audit Office estimated that local government debts had reached almost $3tn by June last year, rising 70 per cent from the previous audit conducted at the end of 2010.

Is China’s Focus on Reform Clouding the Picture on Shadow Banking? – China Real Time Report – WSJ Fealty to the idea of reform made China slow to recognize that shadow lending was turning into what Cornell University economist calls an “untamed beast in China.” With the encouragement of Messrs. Li and Xi, the central bank has been focusing on its top priority: freeing interest rates so they move according to market sentiment, say banking officials, not on curbing shadow banking

So far lending rates have been deregulated. Next up are deposit rates – a much dicier proposition because banks could compete for customers by offering such high interest rates that they can’t cover their costs.

China urges IMF to give more power to emerging markets | Reuters China called on the IMF on Wednesday to stick to a commitment to give emerging markets more power at the world body after U.S. lawmakers set back historic reforms that would give developing countries a greater say.

The remarks by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei were an indirect criticism of the United States, the biggest and most powerful IMF member, where lawmakers failed on Monday to agree on key funding measures, though Hong did not mention the United States by name.

China’s overcapacity easing: Deutsche Bank – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn China’s industries beset by overcapacity have entered a more favorable demand-supply balance, Deutsche Bank said on Tuesday.

The bank estimated the cement industry would reduce its added capacity by 35 percent in 2014 while the steel sector could raise its use ratio to 78 percent.

China Credit Growth Slowed in Second Half of 2013 – WSJ.com The People’s Bank of China on Wednesday said new credit issued in the Chinese economy fell by 10.7% to 7.135 trillion yuan (about $1.18 trillion) in the second half of 2013 compared with the year-earlier period. But for all of 2013, overall credit rose 9.7% to 17.29 trillion yuan compared with 2012. The central bank’s data concerns total social financing, a broad measure of credit in the Chinese economy.

BBC Asks The Hard Question: Will Americans Drive Chinese Cars One Day? | China Car Times – China Auto News With the Detroit Auto Show kicking off this week, the UK’s Britain’s BBC has noted that there is no Chinese prsence at the show for the first time since 2006. The BBC delves into the history of Chinese cars, their current status in China, and also the development of Korean auto brands in the US market with their generosity in warranty guarantees and eventual stylish demands, but the question remains: Will American’s one day look to Chinese cars the way they look to Korean cars today?

Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Debuts 4th Batch of 19 Startups in Beijing Microsoft Ventures Accelerator, a program which has accelerated 154 startups in the past two years, just debuted its fourth batch of 19 startups coming from Chinese mainland, Singapore, and Taiwan. These new companies which were handpicked from 420 applicants range from Internet finance, education, smart wearables, etc. This session of the program will last six months from Jan to July this year.

Hong Kong faces threat from Guangzhou port – FT.com Tens of thousands of litres of Admiral Vodka, a Lithuanian brand, lie in large blue vats in a warehouse in the southern Chinese port of Nansha waiting to be bottled for shipment to consumers in southeast Asia.

The 900,000 litres that Nansha – the main port in Guangzhou – handles annually, alongside European wine, Scottish whisky and polyethylene plastic from the United Arab Emirates, are just a few examples of how the lesser known hub has helped Guangzhou gain ground on Hong Kong and become the world’s seventh largest

China’s fuel exports to rise 30% in 2014: CNPC – MarketWatch It is is expected to produce 313 million metric tons of refined-oil products this year which may lead to a surplus of 13.39 million tons, according to CNPC Research Institute of Economics and Technology in an annual report. Exports of refined-oil products grew 17.5% in 2013, according to customs data.

Saudi to keep 2014 China crude contract volumes steady -trade | Reuters China’s top crude supplier Saudi Arabia is set to ship about the same volumes to Chinese buyers in 2014 as it did last year, as the world’s second-largest oil consumer takes more from Iraq and Central Asia, traders said.  Iraq has been offering cheaper prices and better payment terms to Asian buyers this year as it increases its output, while two new refineries in China are designed to run on crude from suppliers in Kazakhstan, Russia and the Middle East.  Since those two refineries will provide the bulk of China’s oil demand growth in 2014, Saudi Arabia has been left with little room to increase its Chinese contract volumes. That means its 20 percent share of the China market will fall.

Shangha Gold Exchange to Launch Yuan-Denominated Gold Contract in New Free-Trade Zone – China Real Time Report – WSJ Gold buyers in the world’s biggest consumer of the precious metal want more of a say in its price, and the government wants to increase the international use of its currency: The Shanghai Gold Exchange is combining these two wants with the upcoming launch of an “international board” for gold trading in Shanghai’s pilot free-trade zone. Now, the question is whether investors demonstrate a need for gold contracts denominated in China’s currency.

China Auto Industry News | Used Car Warranties in China – The Next Big Thing | China Car Times – China Auto News The used car industry has slipped into China – hidden by the desire for new cars being so huge that the glut of near new vehicles must find new homes – and is now presenting itself as a premium choice for many to build upon or integrate their business into.

China Shoe Factory Owners Detained After Deadly Fire – WSJ.com Authorities detained the owners of a shoe factory in the eastern Chinese city of Wenling where a fire on Tuesday killed 16 workers, according to local officials.

COMPANIES

Can Qihoo 360 Close the Revenue Gap With Baidu? Although the company has gained significant traffic share from Baidu, Qihoo still hasn’t ramped up monetization. Analysts at Stifel expect 2014 to be the year Qihoo flips the switch and closes the gap between market share and revenue share, and they upgraded the stock earlier this week.

Apple’s China Mobile deal to extend beyond handsets – The Wall Street Journal – MarketWatch Apple Inc.’s deal with China Mobile Ltd. to sell iPhones won’t be limited to handsets, but will also entail broad cooperation between the two companies, the chairman of the world’s largest carrier said Wednesday.

China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua said that already multi-millions of Apple’s iPhones have been ordered by its customers, signaling strong demand for the device. Apple’s iPhones will begin selling at China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier by subscribers, starting Friday.

China’s biggest dating site now has 100 million lovelorn users How many of Jiayuan’s 100 million users are active? According to the newest numbers in Jiayuan’s Q3 financial report (the company went public in 2011) that we looked at in November, it has 5.43 million monthly active users. That’s up an almost glacial 3.5 percent from Q3 2012.

Tesla to build a network of car charging stations in China The network will be similar to the one Tesla is building in the US and plans to build in Europe. It will serve car owners traveling between major cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai. Tesla owners will be allowed to use the charging stations free of charge.

Sanyuan set to suffer first annual loss since 2009 – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn Dairy producer Sanyuan Group estimated losses of between 185 million yuan ($30.63 million) to 215 million yuan for 2013, according to a pre-announcement released on Tuesday.

The Beijing-based dairy group attributed the predicted loss to rising material costs, and a fall in investment.

Haier expanding brand presence in US market|Companies|Business|WantChinaTimes.com China’s leading electrical appliance maker Haier Group has been trying to deepen its penetration into the US market because its brand name is not as well-known as its global counterparts in the country, Tencent’s financial news portal finance.qq.com reports.

In its latest move, Haier was one of six global television suppliers to unveil their line of “flexible” televisions at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Breaking New Ground – Liu Chuanzhi, co-founded what is now Legend Holdings – owner of Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker and seller – has dedicated his life to exploring new ground and pushing boundaries.

Caixin editor-in-chief Hu Shuli recently interviewed Liu. Excerpts from their conversation follow.

Insurance Group Bets Big on Banking and Real Estate – and Pushing Regulatory Limits – Eighteen months after it was established, at the end of 2012, AIG already boasted assets of 510 billion yuan. The figure surpassed 600 billion yuan in 2013, a source familiar with the company said.

Much of the growth apparently owes to the company’s 35 percent holding in Chengdu Rural and Commercial Bank (CDRCB), which it acquired for 5.6 billion yuan in mid-2011. In less than three years, the bank’s assets have grown from slightly more than 100 billion yuan to more than 300 billion yuan.

Apple-China Mobile deal a ‘watershed’ moment: Tim Cook A deal to sell iPhones on China Mobile‘s vast network is a “watershed” moment, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC on Wednesday.

“This is a watershed day,” said Cook, who is in Beijing ahead of Friday’s launch. He referred to China Mobile as a great cellphone firm with a “very fast network.”

Dispute over foreign bank assets sent to New York’s highest court – Yahoo Finance In the second case, privately held Tire Engineering and Distribution of Sarasota, Florida, has been trying to get the Bank of China to turn over money the tire maker is owed after winning judgments against China-based competitors.

The bank has refused, saying Chinese banking laws prohibit it from complying with U.S. court orders to freeze customer bank accounts.

Richard Li’s PCCW Said To Sell Beijing Property For $900M – Forbes A real estate firm controlled by Richard Li, the billionaire son of Asia’s richest man, announced this week that it is in advanced talks to sell a Beijing office building for a price that is said to be in the range of $900 million.

BoCom Financial Leasing to Issue CNY200mn Financial Bonds – Financial and Business News – MENAFN Bank of Communications Financial Leasing intended to issue CNY 200 million three-year financial bonds on January 16, the first term in 2014.

The bonds have fixed rate, the interests will be paid based on an annual basis and the coupon rate is determined by the bid-inviting results. Bank of Communications will act as the lead underwriter of this issuance and Agricultural Bank of China, CITIC Securities and UBS Securities will serve as joint lead underwriters.

ZPMC mulling German shipyard deal – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co Ltd, the world’s largest maker of cranes and large steel structures and known as ZPMC, is negotiating the acquisition of a German shipyard – part of its drive to diversify and expand its maritime engineering business.

ZPMC aims to buy JJ Sietas Schiffswerft, a Hamburg-based shipyard with a history of more than 300 years, Huang Qingfeng, vice-president of ZPMC, told China Daily. He visited the shipyard and talked with local politicians and business executives in October.

China’s Huawei profit jumps on smartphones, U.S. asks Hua-who? | Reuters China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, known more for its telecom networking prowess than its razor-thin smartphones, is starting to see success in its consumer electronics business, though the key U.S. market remains elusive.

Huawei became the world’s third-biggest smartphone manufacturer last year, mainly due to a fast-growing Chinese market. That is helping to cushion the impact of a global slowdown in network equipment spending, which caused the company to miss its revenue growth target last year.

Investor’s ALert – Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), China Telecom Corporation (NYSE:CHA), China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), Qihoo 360 Technology (NYSE:QIHU) | Gaining Green Companies looking to do businesses in China often stumble because they don’t understand the local market, said Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) CEO Robin Li, operator of China’s largest search engine. Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) stock opened at $178.90 in last session, and closed at $179.66, while the day range of stock is $176.61 – $180.22. The stock showed a positive weekly performance of 2.50%.

Ping An 2013 gross premium totals $44.36 billion | Business Insurance Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. posted a total gross premium of 268.7 billion Chinese yuan ($44.36 billion) during 2013, an increase of 15.03% year on year, Chinese news website Hexun.com reports.

Premiums posted by the insurer’s property/casualty arm Ping An Property & Casualty Co. Ltd. totaled CNY 115 billion ($19 billion).

Yanzhou Coal Buy at Chinavestor We recommend a BUY for Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. (NYSE:YZC). With an average revenue and net income growth rate of 33% and 56%, the company has growth potential very far into the future. It is clear that the company is very generous in using its resources to invest in new and promising coal projects.

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to China Overseas Insurance Limited – MarketWatch Best Asia-Pacific Limited  has assigned a financial strength   rating of B++ (Good) and an issuer credit rating of “bbb” to China   Overseas Insurance  Limited  (COIL) (Hong Kong). The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect COIL’s improvement in loss experience, low underwriting expenses and the strong support it receives from its parent company, China State Construction International Holdings Limited (CSCI), one of the largest construction companies in Hong Kong and ultimately owned by China State Construction Engineering Corporation  (CSCEC), a Chinese state-owned construction company.

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.

NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand A former senior executive at China Mobile Ltd’s state-owned parent has been expelled from the Communist Party amid a company-wide probe into suspected corruption.

Xu Long, who was general manager of China Mobile Communications Corp’s Guangdong office, was expelled from the party due to “severe discipline violations,” according to a statement posted on Wednesday on the website of Guangdong province’s disciplinary committee.

China CNR Said to Pick Banks for $1.5 Billion Hong Kong Offering – Bloomberg China CNR Corp. (601299), the nation’s second-biggest trainmaker, picked China International Capital Corp., Macquarie Group Ltd. and UBS AG (UBSN) to work on a first-time share sale in Hong Kong, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Shanghai-listed China CNR plans to raise as much as $1.5 billion in the offering this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The company has yet to file an application to the Hong Kong stock exchange, they said.

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%.

1.4M Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 5S Shipped For China Mobile’s Launch Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is ready to kick off its China Mobile launch with a bang. A new report surfaced that Foxconn shipped about 1.4 million iPhone 5S units for the launch at China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941).

Agricultural Bank of China goes live with Avaloq platform in Hong Kong The Avaloq group, an international leader in integrated and comprehensive banking solutions, has successfully put the Avaloq Banking Suite into operation at Agricultural Bank of China’s Hong Kong branch.

Chinese Real Estate Developer Dalian Wanda Group Still Has Plenty of Cash to Burn – China Real Time Report – WSJ Wanda, which is one of a handful of large but unlisted property developers in China, still has plenty of cash to burn: The company said over the weekend at its annual meeting that its revenue jumped 31% on-year to hit 186.6 billion yuan ($30.9 billion) in 2013. That marked the eighth consecutive year its revenue rose by more than 30%, the company said in a statement on its website that 2013.

To date, Wanda said it has 380 billion yuan worth of assets world-wide and has opened 85 malls and 54 hotels across China.

Posted from Diigo.

Advertisements

China Business Briefs 13/1/14

ECONOMY

Yuan Reaches 1993-High on Record Fixing as Taper Concern Eases – Bloomberg The currency advanced by the most in a month as the People’s Bank of China strengthened the daily fixing by 0.1 percent today to 6.0950 per dollar, the highest since a peg to the greenback was scrapped in July 2005. U.S. employers added 74,000 workers in December, the least since January 2011, the Labor Department said on Jan. 10. China had a trade surplus of $25.6 billion in December, according to official figures released Jan. 10.

China Moving Closer to Bank Failure: Xinhua-Caijing China is moving closer to allowing its banks actually fail, the official Xinhua reported, citing Yan Qingmin, deputy chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission.

The market will have the final say in future, Yan told the forum, which means banks would have to stay out of the market if they end up insolvent. Such a remark from the regulator has signaled the state’s exit from its support to deposits in commercial banks and the government will for the first time allow its banks to go bankrupt, Xinhua said.

China’s 2013 exports rise 7.9%, imports up 7.3% – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn China’s exports rose 7.9 percent year on year to $2.21 trillion in 2013, while imports increased 7.3 percent to $1.95 trillion, customs data revealed on Friday.

The foreign trade surplus widened to $259.75 billion in 2013, an increase of 12.8 percent from a year earlier, said Zheng Yuesheng, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs.

Nation’s salary growth strong: Report – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn According to the 2014 Hays Asia Salary Guide, which was released on Thursday and polled about 2,600 employers across the region, 67 percent of the surveyed Chinese employers said they will increase employees’ salaries above 6 percent, compared with 66 percent last year.

US scrutinises Chinese investments most over national security: law firm | South China Morning Post The Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviewed 23 transactions proposed by Chinese companies in 2012, followed by 17 for Britain, traditionally top of the list for scrutiny, and 13 for Canada, US law firm Kaye Scholer said in a report.

Investors still not sold on rail sector – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn Some see these losses as a sign that China’s rail assets are undervalued, despite a recent industry overhaul. In actuality though, investors have good reason to be bearish on the rail sector.

Chinese Developers Set to Increase Investment In Foreign Real Estate – Forbes Chinese developers have been purchasing big real estate projects in the world’s most important cities in the past year. They will continue the shopping spree this year, with other Chinese groups to follow the trend soon, according to real estate analysts.

New property bureau to be set up – BUSINESS – Globaltimes.cn China will establish a new bureau specifically designed for property registration this year in a push to facilitate property management reform, the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), the country’s top land regulator, said over the weekend, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

On top of the establishment of the new bureau, relevant regulations that will lay the ground for a unified regi­stration system will be released this year, Xu Deming, vice minister of land and resources, said Saturday at a two-day annual work conference.

China Believes that it Can Duplicate Our Success Given our recent success in producing oil and natural gas, it shouldn’t shock anyone that other countries believe they can follow suit. China now has hopes of doubling its oil production by 2030. Because it will be relying heavily on unconventional production methods, the help of current experts in these areas will be needed. Equipment & service providers Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) and Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) have already begun successfully setting up shop in China. They will be helping producers like CNOOC (NYSE: CEO) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A  ) tap these vast resources. For more, tune in to the clip below.

Why China Wants to Kill Off Bitcoin The press releases may seem mundane, but the reality is, China has a big incentive to keep Bitcoin out of the hands of its citizens. China maintains very tight capital controls, limiting the amount of cash citizens can move outside the country.

Bitcoin effectively circumvents any and all capital controls. Prior to a widespread ban, Chinese citizens could buy Bitcoin to sell for another currency, or even buy homes in foreign lands. Yes, homes. Several homes have been listed with prices in Bitcoin.

COLUMN-Record China crude oil imports flatter to deceive: Clyde Russell | Reuters Taken together, net crude and fuel imports last year were 5.83 million bpd, up about 160,000 bpd, or 2.8 percent, from 2012’s 5.67 million bpd.

This figure is a truer reflection of the overall state of Chinese import demand.

Closer Look: Same Game, Different Names – The end of a listing freeze on mainland stock exchanges has reinvigorated investor appetites for new shares. This comes along with the intention of many company founders to cash out of newly-listed companies. When such demands intersect, sparks are bound to fly.

RMB appreciation unappreciated as inflation dampens affordability|WantChinaTimes.com The 35.7% appreciation in the value of the yuan during this eight-year period has been a positive development for Chinese exchange students studying overseas, but locals who have remained in the country are complaining that their money is becoming less valuable given that the consumer price index, the main measure of inflation, has averaged around 3.1% per year.

Milk, Games and Movies: China Stocks to Watch in 2014 – China Real Time Report – WSJ One area to watch: dairy products. The government’s relaxation of its one-child policy and antitrust measures targeting international competitors are both good news for the domestic milk industry, Bank of Communications Schroder Fund Management Co. said in a recent research report. Retail prices of China’s dairy products rose 5.7% in 2013 on-year, up from an increase of 3.2% in 2012, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed—faster than inflation, which clocked in for the year at 2.6%.

China can avoid Japan-style property bubble: official | Reuters China’s policy fine-tuning and ongoing urbanization can help it to avoid a Japan-style property bubble, a senior housing official said, amid fears a housing market crash could lead to a hard landing for the world’s second-largest economy.

Beijing has allowed local governments to take differentiated property tightening measures, rather than a one-size-fits-all bid to cool the market, Vice Housing Minister Qiu Baoxing said in remarks published in the Southern Metropolis Daily.

Luxury cars drive UK exports to China – Telegraph British exports to China are rising at a blistering pace and are poised to overtake those of France for the first time in the modern era, driven by sales of Range Rovers and other luxury cars to the country’s new rich.

Fresh data released by China’s authorities show that imports from Britain rose 14pc to $19.1bn (£11.6bn) last year, with more than 40pc of total sales coming from vehicles and transport goods.

Closer Look: Why Overpriced IPOs are not a Reason for Intervention – All of them have one thing in common: the price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of their proposed offering price was much higher than the average PE ratio of comparable companies in the secondary market.

Five companies scheduled to start their online road shows for an initial public offering on January 13 postponed their issuance on the previous day, putting the number of companies to halt their stock issuance last minute at six.

China ‘equity return’ is a misnomer – Craig Stephen’s This Week in China – MarketWatch The lack of correlation between China’s growth and stock-market performance has frustrated money managers for years and spawned a variety of theories to try to explain this misnomer. Some look more useful than others, but they are worth reviewing as new explanations arrive.

Little consensus on renminbi appreciation this year | China Economic Review The bank’s Deputy Governor Yi Gang went a bit further last week, saying that China’s currency was close to equilibrium and would not require more intervention.

If that’s true, and China intends to stop buying US treasuries on a regular basis, the value of the yuan should appreciate considerably this year and in the years to come as China’s trade surplus is set to rise too. The IMF says the country’s current accounts surplus will double between 2013 and 2017.

COMPANIES

Death blast hits Sinopec for $963m – The Standard China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (0386) announced yesterday it had suffered a direct loss of 751.72 million yuan (HK$963.69 million) from a deadly accident in Qingdao last November for which chairman Fu Chengyu has received disciplinary penalties.

Fu was given a demerit on administration, while vice chairman Wang Tianpu, president Li Chunguang, chief safety officer Wang Yongjian and supervisor and director of general production Yu Renming were given “serous demerit on administration,” the firm said.

Chinese app store Wandoujia seals $120 million in funding Wandoujia, one of China’s top Android app stores, has secured a massive $120 million in funding, the Beijing-based startup revealed today.

The investment is led by SoftBank (TYO:9984), the Japanese mobile telco, with some funds also coming from DCM and Kaifu Lee’s Innovation Works Development Fund (IWDF). It’s the second major cash boost for Wandoujia, coming long after its $8 million in series A funding in 2011, which was led by DCM and Innovation Works.

Billionaire Li’s PCCW, Pacific Century Premium Suspend Trading – Bloomberg PCCW Ltd. (8), controlled by billionaire Richard Li, and its property unit Pacific Century Premium Developments Ltd. (432) halted their shares from trading in Hong Kong.

Pacific Century Premium plans to release a statement relating to “inside information and unusual price and trading volume movements,” the company said in a filing today. Shares of the Hong Kong-based property developer surged 15 percent to HK$3.07 before the trading halt.

WeChat brings in over 100,000 taxi rides in 9 days It’s been about a week and a half since WeChat, the messaging app that’s dominating smartphones in China, added taxi booking and payments to its range of services. The maker of WeChat, Chinese web giant Tencent, added support for the Didi Dache service after investing nearly $100 million into it. Today the fine folks at 36kr say that the total number of completed transactions – meaning taxis hailed and paid for inside of WeChat – have surpassed 100,000.

KFC Crisis in China Tests Ingenuity of Brand Builder – WSJ.com More than a year into the crisis, Yum is still struggling. Now Mr. Su and Chief Executive David Novak say the Louisville, Ky., company can turn things around in 2014, vowing that new menu items and digital-media initiatives will revive the brand in China. “I fully expect a strong comeback year,” Mr. Su said in a rare interview last month.

Some investors are getting restless. Yum’s shares—which had been propelled for years by its China growth—are up only 12% since late November 2012, when Chinese state media started reporting on food-safety concerns surrounding KFC suppliers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26% in that period.

President Death Leaves Heir Overdue Rail Payments: China Credit – Bloomberg Shares in China’s second-biggest builder of railways have fallen 4.9 percent in Hong Kong since the company said Jan. 5 that President Bai Zhongren had died in an accident and that Chairman Li Changjin will take over his job before a successor is chosen. The yield on 2023 dollar-denominated debt of a company unit reached an eight-week high of 5.03 percent on Jan. 9, up from 3.88 percent when they were sold last January.

The Beijing-based company had 531.6 billion yuan ($87.9 billion) of liabilities on Sept. 30, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Its long-term debt to equity ratio of 129 percent would put it in the worst 3 percent on the Hang Seng Index, while its ability to cover interest payments with earnings would be in the worst 1 percent.

Li & Fung to Launch Factory-Safety Business – WSJ.com Li & Fung Ltd. , the buying agent for retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., said it is setting up the unit to provide factories with consulting services on safety, compliance and efficiency, as well as access to financing and insurance.

Dogfight on the cards | South China Morning Post A dogfight is looming in the horizon as more budget carriers come on stream, bringing them head-to-head with the likes of Cathay Pacific Airways, China Southern Airlines and Air China.

There are about 60 budget airlines operating nearly 1,000 aircraft in the Asia-Pacific but only four in Greater China – encompassing the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan – deploying fewer than 80 aircraft.

OCBC Said in Talks for All-Debt Financing for Wing Hang Deal – Bloomberg Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC) is in talks with lenders including Bank of America Corp. and HSBC Holdings Plc about an all-debt financing for its acquisition of Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank Ltd. (302), according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Singapore-based OCBC plans to sell stock later to help repay the short-term loan, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Talks between the companies are centering around a valuation of almost 1.9 times Wing Hang’s book value, though no terms have been finalized, one person said.

Service firms pay 67% of tax revenue – Xinhua | English.news.cn The service industry paid nearly two-thirds of Shanghai’s tax revenue last year and financial firms took the lead as they made up 40 percent of the 100 top service taxpayers, underlining the city’s goal to be a global financial center.

The Bank of Communications Ltd was the top service taxpayer with 16.2 billion yuan, followed by Shanghai Pudong Development Bank with 10.4 billion yuan, and Shanghai GM Sales Co Ltd with 8.4 billion yuan.

Onecard, China’s version of Coin, is your digital credit card As well as storing your credit cards and being swipe-able in China’s point-of-sale devices in stores, OneCard will go a couple of steps further than Coin in also storing prepaid cards and membership/loyalty cards. Even better, it promises to support the tap-to-pay function on Beijing’s and Shanghai’s public transport systems. It also incorporates NFC, but that’s of limited usage pretty much anywhere.

Moody’s assigns A1 to BOC Hong Kong Branch’s MTN program drawdown Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an A1 rating to the benchmark-size  senior unsecured notes to be issued by Bank of China Limited (BOC) Hong  Kong Branch.

ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: New issues feel impact of competition | Reuters Bank of China, meanwhile, also announced a two-tranche offering, which took the shine away from BoCom’s 3-year bonds printed last week, which were, therefore, last quoted at 186bp/184bp over the 2-year US Treasury, or 3bp wider.

Sinohydro Group Ltd : 32 Years After, No Power At Mambilla Hydro-Power Project | 4-Traders According to the report, the project was contracted at the sum of $3.2 billion (equivalent N508 billion) to the China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) and another Chinese consortium, Sinohydro, with the proposed structure of the contract stipulating that Sinohydro cover 70 per cent of the project while CGGC would execute the remaining 30 percent.

Hong Kong Electric Eyes up to $3.6 Billion From IPO | 4-Traders HK Electric Investments, which owns power plants and electricity-distribution networks in the city, is selling 4.43 billion units in an indicative price range of HK$5.45-HK$6.30 each, it said in a statement late on Sunday. At the US$3.6 billion size, it will be the region’s top deal since Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd raised US$4 billion from an IPO in Japan in June, according to Dealogic.

£24bn rival to Panama Canal to break ground this year – Telegraph Its construction is essential to deal with a surge in global trade and the rise of colossal supertankers, many of which are too large for the ageing   Panama Canal, more than 500 miles to the south.

The project’s funding is being led by the Chinese telecoms billionaire Wang Jing, whose HKND Group won a licence for the development last year.

Chinese Startup Hopes to Capture Apple’s Magic – China Real Time Report – WSJ The Chinese company, which is planning to expand abroad, paid Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to appear on Sunday in front of reporters at its headquarters in Beijing. Mr. Wozniak showed up at the event–labeled as the “Lei Jun & Woz Tech Talk”–with Xiaomi’s founder and chairman, Lei Jun, and told reporters that Xiaomi’s products were “excellent” and “good enough to crack the American market.”

What U.S. Coffee Chain Could China’s Goubuli Be Looking to Buy? – China Real Time Report – WSJ Zhang Yansen, chairman of closely held Chinese bun maker Goubuli, has been in the Chinese press this week saying he is in the final stages of negotiations to acquire a well-known American coffee chain, without disclosing the name. He gave some hints though: It has hundreds of shops in 40 countries spanning the U.S., Europe and Asia.

China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (LFC): New Analyst Report from Zacks Equity Research – Zacks Equity Research Report – NASDAQ.com We maintain our Neutral recommendation on China Life as strong market position, growth in premiums and investment income is expected to outweigh the headwinds like higher expenses and declining cash flow.

Posted from Diigo.