What's news

Updated: 2013-05-30 07:13

(China Daily)

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What's news

In the frame

A promoter displays a bluetooth pressure sensitive stylus called the "Jot Touch 4" by Adonit during a pre-show news conference for the 2013 Computex Taipei show on Tuesday. Computex is Asia's biggest annual IT trade fair, which opens on June 4. Mandy Cheng / AFP

Yuan at lowest level in more than two weeks

The yuan fell the most in more than two weeks as the Chinese central bank lowered the daily fixing, forcing the currency to weaken to stay within the permitted trading band. The People's Bank of China cut the reference rate 0.06 percent to 6.1856 per dollar, 1.04 percent below Tuesday's spot close. The yuan is allowed to fluctuate a maximum 1 percent on either side of the fixing. The Dollar Index rose 0.5 percent on Tuesday as US data showed improving consumer confidence and higher home prices in the world's largest economy. The index slipped 0.13 percent on Wednesday.

Carlyle Group buys shopping center stakes

Carlyle Group LP, the world's second-largest manager of alternative assets, has bought minority stakes in two Chinese shopping malls, seeking to tap a retail property boom spurred by rising domestic consumption. Carlyle's Asia real estate group bought 49 percent of Suzhou In-City Mall and Hangzhou Gudun In-City Mall in eastern China, both owned and operated by SZITIC Commercial Property Co. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Household electrical appliances subsidies to end

Subsidies on five categories of energy-saving household electrical appliances will end in June, according to an online announcement on the official website of the Ministry of Finance. "Air conditioners, flat-panel television sets, refrigerators, washing machines and water heaters will no longer be subsidized," it said. In an attempt to drive domestic demand and promote wider use of green appliances, the State Council unveiled the subsidies - ranging from 70 yuan ($11.42) to 550 yuan - in June last year.

Property tax extension 'likely in second half'

Policymakers are entering a crucial period on deciding whether the property tax program will be extended beyond the current pilot cities of Shanghai and Chongqing, sources said. Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province, is likely to be included in any expansion, the official China Securities Journal reported on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources. The State Council has approved the proposal by the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, to expand the program, most likely in the second half of the year, said the source.

Shanghai's finance sector to outperform GDP

Shanghai's financial sector saw steady growth last year, with the overall 2012 Shanghai Financial Prosperity Index rising to 2,838, up 12 percent year-on-year, despite last year's complicated domestic and international environment. Lian Ping, executive member of the Experts Committee of the Shanghai Financial Association and chief economist at the Bank of Communications, has predicted the sector will continue to outperform GDP for the next few years.

New Chery assembly plant planned for Malaysia

Chery Automobile plans to set up a jointly owned factory in Malaysia in 2014, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Wednesday, to fully assemble vehicles. Chery first entered Malaysia in 2008, but the country still prohibits the import of cars with less than 1.8-liter displacement to protect its own suppliers, Proton and Perodua. Most of Chery's products have displacement less than 1.8 liters and if the import ban continues, Chery will postpone construction.

Fitch sounds alert on accumulation of assets

Chinese banks are adding assets at the rate of an entire US banking system in five years. That signals a crisis is brewing, according to Charlene Chu of Fitch Ratings. Total lending from banks and other financial institutions in China was 198 percent of gross domestic product last year, compared with 125 percent four years earlier, according to calculations by Chu, the company's Beijing-based head of China financial institutions. Fitch cut the nation's long-term local-currency debt rating last month, in the first downgrade by one of the top three rating companies in 14 years.

Dim sum bonds dominate property fundraising in May

Dim sum bonds dominated bond-raising activities in the Chinese property market in May after a mild slowdown in sales and a continuing rise in property prices in April, Moody's Investors Service said on Wednesday. "About $1 billion in offshore bonds was issued by four rated developers all of which were RMB-denominated dim sum bonds," said Franco Leung, a Moody's assistant vice-president and analyst. The issuers were Fantasia Holdings Group Co Ltd, Yanlord Land Group Ltd, Greentown China Holdings Ltd and Powerlong Real Estate Holding.

Steelmakers question Platts' price index

Chinese steelmakers, the world's biggest iron ore buyers, are questioning the reliability of the main industry price index for the raw material provided by Platts, citing concerns about transparency and trading volume. "We are skeptical because we don't know the size of the deal samples and how they work out the indexed prices," said Wang Liqun, deputy general secretary of the China Iron & Steel Association. China started its own spot trading platform last year, introducing a weighted average daily price in March.

Leather sales, profit growth both shrink in Q1

The leather industry has recorded slower sales and profit growth in the first quarter of this year, according to a report from the China Leather Association. Sales of leather goods, including shoes, and fur were up 12.9 percent, but that was 4.3 percent lower than the same period last year. Profits rose 9.3 percent to 13.9 billion yuan ($2.27 billion), a rate 15.6 percent less on a yearly basis.

Chinese go on Australian shopping spree

Chinese acquisitions in Australia have hit a record $8.5 billion so far in 2013, almost triple the $2.9 billion achieved in the same period last year, a report by financial services provider Dealogic showed on Wednesday. Two bids in particular stand out one from State Grid Corp of China for a 60 percent stake in SPI (Australia) Assets and are for a 19.9 percent stake in SP AusNet for a combined total of $7.5 billion announced in May - the largest deal in the Asia-Pacific region and the largest outbound deal from China this year.

Soybean imports expected to increase 19 percent

China's soybean imports are predicted to jump 19 percent in May and June from a year earlier, after falling in the first four months of 2013, Oil World said. Total imports in the two months may climb to 13 million metric tons from 10.9 million tons in the year-earlier period, the Hamburg-based researcher wrote on Wednesday. That's after incoming shipments dropped by 2.6 million tons in the first four months to 15.5 million tons, Oil World said. Limited US soybean supplies as well as export sales and planting delays have helped prop up prices, according to Oil World.

EU extends bicycle protectionism

The European Union extended 20-year-old trade protection against bicycles from China to Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia, saying Chinese manufacturers used the four countries to evade the levy. The EU said Chinese exporters of bikes to Europe shipped them via Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka and arranged assembly operations via Malaysia and Tunisia to dodge the 48.5 percent duty. Separately, the EU lowered the levy to 19.2 percent for one Chinese exporter and to zero for two others including Ideal (Dongguan) Bike Co.

China Daily - Agencies

(China Daily USA 05/30/2013 page14)