Much of the reaction on Monday to the announcement of China’s financing numbers for January has focused on the sharp month-on-month increase in bank credit. However, a more telling picture can be had from looking at Total Social Financing (TSF) – the widest official measure of financing in the economy – on a year-on-year basis.
By TSF, Chinese financing in January was virtually flat at Rmb2.58tn, up from Rmb2.54tn in January 2013. This 1.6 per cent increase was well below the 9.5 per cent year-on-year increase in TSF last year and the 22.6 per cent expansion in 2012. Continue reading »
The FT’s Ben Marino travels to Hebei province to visit a rural community that is opening online shops selling Inner Mongolian cashmere to fashion-conscious internet shoppers across China.
Which tapering programme is bigger – the US Fed’s or China’s? Of course, the two processes are different in several aspects, but each represents an unwinding of monetary stimulus for the global economy.
The question is particularly topical after US Fed Chairman Janet Yellen reaffirmed her commitment this week to keep reducing US asset purchases and China’s central bank pledged to keep its monetary policy unchanged in 2014. Continue reading »
Consumer stocks are in and heavy industry is out in a shake up of the two most important equity indices listed in Hong Kong.
China Mengniu, the mainland dairy producer part-owned by Danone, will join Hong Kong’s best known index, the Hang Seng 50, following a review of its constituents completed this week. Continue reading »
By Jason Bedford, independent consultant
Many of the risks surrounding China’s trust sector have been misunderstood and consequently overstated. The Rmb3bn ($495m) China Credit Trust (CCT) product that was rescued at the 11th hour late last month was far from typical of trust products in general – and neither was its potential default new news; it first defaulted in 2012.
Some market watchers saw the CCT scare as a “Lehman Brothers moment” for China that was narrowly averted, but could strike again in a different guise. They may be disappointed. Those trying to understand the risks from China’s shadow financing need to put the trust sector into a more sober context. Continue reading »
Just when world markets need them least, new signs of underlying economic weakness are emerging from China.
Data from China Confidential, an FT research service on China, show that the real estate market – one of the key 2013 engines of Chinese growth – is starting to sputter. Continue reading »
Source: HSBC / Markit
The monthly temperature-taking of Asian manufacturing, aka the purchasing managers index, is out for some of Asia’s bigger economies – and at first glance, things look good.
China may have seen its HSBC/Markit (in contrast to the official government) index fall below the 50 mark that separates contraction from expansion, but India, Indonesia and South Korea all look in good shape.
Or do they? Continue reading »
You can bring a horse to water. But can you stop it from drinking (too much)? In the upcoming year of the horse, China’s leaders need to figure out exactly that, as its local governments thirst for debt threatens to derail the economy. Will they succeed?
Liu Mingkang, former chairman of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission (pictured), left no doubt about the government’s intention to stop the flood of lending: “The signal is clear cut,” he told beyondbrics in an exclusive interview. “The torrent [of local government debt] is becoming quite limited.” Continue reading »
China’s anti-corruption campaign hit hard last year: sales of Maotai liquor are down, luxury sales are on the slide, and the number of high-end clubs and restaurants shrank. Everything, it seems – except Macau’s casinos.
With the start of the Year of the Horse, a new influx of mainland gamblers will rush into the former Portuguese colony, now the only legal place to gamble in China. The turnaround from a year ago is remarkable. Continue reading »
As China prepares to ring in the Year of the Horse, celebrations are expected to be more frugal than previous years as a high-profile austerity and anti-graft campaign gains momentum. Ben Marino reports from Beijing
It would be exaggerated to call Davos the “money Oscars”, as Jon Stewart did on the Daily Show. But this year, WEF participants did like to think of countries as winners or losers, especially among emerging markets. In this last roundup, beyondbrics summarises who, to paraphrase the FT, “was hot – and who decidedly not.”
Continue reading »
Still depositing your money in the bank? In China, you would be laughed at by your friends, who are either buying wealth management products or rushing into the online currency funds offered by the three internet giants – Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.
In response, the “big five” national banks – Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of Communications – have had to raise savers rates to the upper limit set by the central bank in an attempt to keep their depositors’ money. Continue reading »
Estimated purchasing managers index from HSBC for China suggests a shrinking manufacturing sector. James Kynge, emerging markets editor, and John Authers discuss if the risks of a shadow banking default will turn a managed slowdown into a hard landing.
It was quite the wake-up for attendees at the WEF debate on Chinese-American-European cooperation. After a “well meant advice” of Harvard Professor Joseph Nye about Chinese policies in the South China sea, Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man, had had enough.
“I’m not happy with the professor’s comments,” he said. “This is an economic debate. Not a political one. This is not polite.” In this initial and later reaction, he revealed a few interesting things about his strategy and temper – and made it seem as though influential Chinese are misunderstood by the outside world. Continue reading »
By Leslie Palti-Guzman of Eurasia Group and Tatiana Mitrova of the Russian Academy of Sciences
As the global market for natural gas is transformed, Russia and its national champion Gazprom have found their long-term export strategy challenged. No longer able to rely on their core European market, the Russians are looking eastwards, where they have long been seeking a strategic gas deal between Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) that would provide an easily accessible market for gas from new fields in eastern Siberia. Continue reading »