Daily Archives: Aug 10, 2012

China’s burgeoning moneyed elite provides just the kind of international tourists many countries long to have – just look at the Olympics, where Chinse visitors have proved the biggest spenders.

But Argentina is missing out on as much as $5bn a year in Chinese tourist spending by having visa rules that are too rigid, warns the Argentine-China Chamber of Production, Industry and Trade. 

High temperatures are hurting crops in Russia and the US alike, raising fears over food prices. But food inflation isn’t the only issue that should worry policy makers.

Rising temperatures across the globe also hurt developing nations’ economic growth more than developed countries, according to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For every one-degree centigrade increase in temperature, a poor country can expect economic growth to drop by about 1.3 percentage points. But wealthier nations were found to be far less affected by temperature variations. 

When is a 137 per cent jump in net profits just not enough? When you’re the State Bank of India and you’ve added Rs74.8bn ($1.35bn) in bad loans during the quarter ended in June, according to results released on Friday.

SBI’s bad loans now make up 5 per cent of total loans, compared to 3.5 per cent during the same period last year and 4.4 per cent last quarter. That helps explain why its shares closed down 4.11 per cent  in a flat market – that despite reporting $678.4m in net profits, compared with $286.3m last year. 

Exports of west African oil are on the rise, with Asian nations increasing supplies from the region. According to a recent report by Reuters, China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and others in the region bought an average of 1.74m barrels of oil per day from west Africa for first nine months of 2012, up about 8 per cent from the same period a year ago.

The 2012 figures represent an overall record for the region, the report states, with exports to Asia rising more than 50 per cent over the last five years to meet growing demand. The reasons for the demand, however are not entirely clear cut. Is this a response to Iranian sanctions, as suggested? 

Every four years the Olympic Games inspire us to do the inexplicable: stay up half the night just to catch the medals ceremony for sports we have never heard of. Each new Olympiad provokes couch potatoes around the world to sprout a new interest in sports – and a new willingness to buy sports equipment. 

* China’s growth engine starts to sputter

* China car sales defy broader slowdown

* SpiceJet Cuts Delhi Flight Plan on Fees

* Gu Kailai declared ‘main perpetrator’ 

When is corruption not corruption? When you work hard and you steal just a little bit, apparently.

For a glimpse into everything that is wrong with Indian governance, look no further than Shivpal Singh Yadav, minister of public works of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, and the uncle of the state’s chief minister. 

Another week of healthy-looking flows into EM bond and equity funds. Investors seem to be in holiday mode, taking a break from the eurozone and other risks and focusing instead on better short term news.

Figures from EPFR, the fund flow tracker, show that EM bond funds had inflows equal to 0.45 per cent of assets under management in the week to Wednesday, or $720m in EPFR’s sample universe. EM equity funds had inflows equal to 0.12 per cent of AUM, or $772m. 

Friday’s picks from the bb team: poor results at Tata Motors show that India’s car market can’t seem to get out of first gear; with onshore fields running out, Russia’s oil industry stands at a crossroads – will it look for help from abroad or to consolidate at home? Conflict in neighbouring Syria could expose Turkey’s ethnic divisions; plus, why poorer countries stomach higher oil prices. 

By Donna Kwok of HSBC

While you can’t pay your taxes online in RMB in Hong Kong yet, some employees already receive their automated monthly salary payments in the Chinese currency. The offshore RMB (called the CNH because it refers to the Chinese currency in Hong Kong) has a long way to go before it matches the stature or everyday usability of the Hong Kong or US dollars. But it is catching up, fast. 

A new agreement between China and Taiwan on investor protection agreement is designed to encourage trade across the sometimes tumultuous strait.

But many in Taipei are more interested in whether the pact will provide physical protection for Taiwanese businessmen in China, particularly those who end up in detention. 

* Gu Kailai declared ‘main perpetrator’

* Yahoo’s $4bn reversal? Alibaba cash may stay put

* UN urges US to cut ethanol production 

Brazil bulls. They do exist. Beyondbrics has found one in the form of Caixa Economico, the Brazilian bank wholly owned by the government.

The country’s largest mortgage lender on Thursday said it planned to increase its loan book by a whopping 42 per cent this year as it looks to take advantage of its private sector rivals’ retrenchment.