Political and International News

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Political and International News


Foreign Investments

Food/Consumer Product Safety Issues

Energy & Environment

Insurance & Finance

Defense & Exports Control

Cross - Straits

General News

US Chamber China Trade & Investment News

October 07, 2008




October 07: The transaction value in China's futures market has exceeded $7.91 trillion from Jan-Sep. During the first nine months, more than 920 million deals have been inked, representing an increment of 102.02 percent, compared with that in the same period of the 2007. In September alone, the number of futures deals and the total transaction value grew 24.70 percent and 55.67 percent year on year to 106,526,280 and $879.31 billion, up 24.70 percent and 55.67 percent respectively year on year.



October 06: China will issue low-tariff quotas for imports of 1.945 million tons of sugar and 287,000 tons of wool in 2009, unchanged from 2008, as part of its commitment to the World Trade Organization. The Commerce Ministry said 30 percent of the sugar quotas were for private firms and importers could apply from October 15 to October 30.



October 06: China expressed regret over the European Union's decision to launch a sunset review of anti-dumping duties on leather shoes from the country. It opposed the extension of the anti-dumping measures inflicted on the made-in-China shoes by any means. A split EU decided two years ago to levy anti-dumping duties up to 16.5 percent on imports of Chinese shoes from October 07, 2006. The original measures should last two years and expire soon, but the review would decide whether to extend them.



October 06:  The extensive plans to develop trade links between Xinjiang and Central Asia have led Middle Eastern investors to become interested in assisting China in opening up the region to global trade. The stakes seem to be more than just about money.



October 06: Growth in good exports lost steam in 1H 2008 in USD and volume terms while commodity prices inflated imports - meanwhile shifting composition of exports increased vulnerability to lower external demand. Exports, FAI and private consumption are all projected to post lower growth in 2H 2008 and 2009. Private consumption may be hurt by lower exports, the lagged impact of the inflation hike of late 2007-early 2008, a softening labor market and falling stock prices.





October 06: According to Karri Ho from the International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China (IFACT-GC), from September 29 to October 01, IFACT-GC representing the Motion Picture Association and the CJ Mark Committee in Hong Kong, which represents Japanese rights owners, joined forces with over 120 officers from the Hong Kong Customs Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau and the Special Task Force in a territory-wide anti-piracy operation against a series of distribution and retail outlets selling pirated optical discs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.




Political and International News

October 07: Michael Titarenko, director of the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Science said that the Chinese government has been taking a steady, sure and gradual manner in popularizing and carrying out reform-related policies to ensure most of the Chinese people can understand and accept them.



October 07: China and Vietnam will open a direct transport service between their respective border cities of Pingxiang and Lang Son by year end. Song Jian, director of the International Road Transport Administration under the China Friendship Gate Port said irregular shuttle buses, government vehicles and private cars would be allowed to pass the shared Friendship Gate Port and drive in each other's city.



October 06: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd, exchanged opinions on relations between their two countries as well as the international financial crisis and climate change. Wen spoke positively of the development of the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Australia. He said China is willing to work with Australia to intensify coordination and cooperation, and meet the complicated global challenges in a bid to promote harmonious and sustainable development of the world.





October 07: A US recession won't drag China down with it, because only 7 percent of China's economic output is generated by exports to America, with half of those being consumer goods. China's economy is slowing, but this is in direct response to the series of policy tightening through 2007 and early 2008. Massive urban infrastructure development and gradual easing of interest rates or regulations should enable China to skate through the current episode with GDP bottoming at about 8 percent.



October 06: In recent days, the large-scale survey "China in the eyes of the world " was released in Beijing. The main recipients of the survey are foreigners who came to China during the Olympic Games. Most of the foreigners not only praise China's economy at present, but also are very optimistic about China's future economic development. More than 60 percent of foreigners think China will become the world's largest economy in next 20 years.




Foreign Investments

October 07:  Bank of China, the nation's second largest lender, has won the regulatory approval to set up a branch in Brazil. The new branch, which is to be located in the financial center of the country São Paulo, will be providing credit assistance to both Chinese and Brazilian companies which are involved in bilateral trade. The Brazilian branch will have a registered capital of $60 million.



October 07: Citigroup Incorporation, the biggest US bank by assets, won regulatory approval to open two lending companies in central China's Hubei province that will provide loans to rural residents in the world's fastest growing major economy. The provincial branch of the China Banking Regulatory Commission approved Citibank (China) Company's formation of Hubei Jingzhou Gong'an Citi Lending Company and Hubei Xian'ning Chibi Citi Lending Company.



October 06: MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a global leader in the production of energy under the control of Warren Buffett, has inked deal with BYD Company Limited, which is a China-based battery and automobile producer, to subscribe 10 percent stake in the latter. According to the contract, MidAmerican Energy will acquire 225 million new shares of BYD.



October 06: Bank Muscat, the largest lender in the Gulf state of Oman, is seeking opportunities to invest in mainland's city commercial banks.



October 06: London-listed F&C Asset Management PLC plans to set up a fund-management joint venture in China with Shanghai-listed Hua Xia Bank Company. The proposed joint venture company will them a foothold in a vast and fast-growth market with 1.3 billion potential customers



October 06: China National Bluestar (Group) Corporation, which is 20 percent-owned by US private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP, has officially launched. The launch marks the conclusion of one of the biggest investments by a private-equity firm in China outside the financial sector. The deal was first announced in late 2007. Chemicals maker Bluestar, which was wholly owned by China National Chemical Corporation, or ChemChina, before Blackstone bought its stake for $600 million, will become a Sino-foreign joint venture.



October 06: Japan, China and other holders of US government debt must quickly reach an agreement to prevent potential panic sales leading to a global financial collapse. Asian countries hold half of the global holdings of US Treasury bonds. China alone accounted for much of the increased demand in 2007/08 meaning it bears a great burden. It may be less willing to keep accepting US IOUs or US advice




Food/Consumer Product Safety Issues

October 07: China is posting inspectors to monitor dairy companies and imposing rules to improve accountability among milk suppliers, as it moves to restore consumer confidence in the industry. The government is moving to expand the number of state-certified independent testing labs to test products for impurities.



October 07: China's Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) will promulgate a series of measures to enhance the supervision on the production process of dairy products in response to the widening scandal involving contaminated milk powder made by leading domestic dairy groups.




Energy & Environment

October 07: The Asian Development Bank is providing $116.9 million in credit guarantees to support improved energy efficiency in China. The ADB has selected Johnson Controls Incorporation as a partner energy management company and Standard Chartered PLC as a partner financial institution in an energy efficiency pilot program. China, now the world's second-largest energy consumer and one of the leading greenhouse gas emitters, has a growing need to improve energy efficiency.



October 07: Beijing raised the retail price of gasoline and diesel by as much as 4 percent to offset the higher cost of providing the capital city with cleaner fuels. Gasoline prices will climb by $29 a metric ton and diesel prices will increase by $42.5 a ton for fuel sold only in Beijing. On January 01, China introduced a costlier fuel with cleaner emissions in Beijing to cut pollution before the August Olympic Games.



October 07: A large nonferrous metal deposit has been discovered in Hainan Province, with 254,000 tons of molybdenum deposit, according to Hainan Provincial Mineral Association.  The porphyry molybdenum deposit, located in Baoting County, Hainan Province, is estimated to be among Top 10 largest molybdenum mines in China valued at more than $1.46 billion.




Insurance & Finance

October 07: China will cut interest rates as many as five times by the end of 2009 and will step up spending to limit the effect of the "global financial tsunami'' on the nation's economic growth. The central bank will cut borrowing costs by 27 basis points each time, reducing the one-year lending rate to as low as 5.85 percent next year from 7.2 percent now. Government spending may add as much as 3 percentage points to economic growth.



October 07:  ZTE Corporation, China's largest listed telecoms manufacturer, will establish a R&D and production base in Xi'an with a total investment of $879.24 million. ZTE has signed the investment agreement with the management commission of Xi'an Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone on building the new facility, which is expected to be constructed in eight years.



October 07: Power producer China Huadian Corporation plans to sell $292.6 million worth of three-year medium-term notes on the interbank market October 16. China Huadian, the parent of Huadian Power International Corporation, will use the proceeds from the sale to supplement its working capital and repay bank loans.



October 07: Suzhou New District Hi-Tech Economic Development Group Corporation, which holds a 40.37 percent stake in Shanghai-listed Suzhou New District Hi-Tech Industrial Company Limited, has won the approval from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to issue corporate bonds worth $146.5 million on the interbank market on October 09.



October 06: Shanghai Alliance Investment, an investment arm of the city government, has injected about $6 million in the Shanghai-based integrated circuit design company Penstar Technology International.



October 06: The Beijing branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will launch two more small enterprise service centers within 2008. At the end of 2008, the branch will have four service centers providing exclusive financial service to small enterprises.



October 06: China State Grid Corporation plans to sell $2.19 billion worth of one-year bills on the interbank market October 14. The company will use the proceeds from the bill sale to supplement its working capital and to repay bank loans.



October 06: Property developer China Enterprise Company plans to issue up to $175.6 million worth of bonds to supplement its working capital and repay bank loans. The bond sale, which will have a maturity of between five and seven years, is subject to shareholders' approval.



October 06: China's central bank has reopened a nascent market for corporate debt, in its latest move to increase local companies' access to funding and help them cope with a slowing domestic economy and the global financial crisis. Chinese authorities have picked up their efforts to sustain the nation's fast economic growth as the global credit crisis has worsened and worries about high inflation have faded. At the beginning of August, the People's Bank of China relaxed credit quotas, increasing the amount most banks can lend this year by 5 percent.



October 06: China's cabinet recently approved a trial program for margin trading and short-selling - a long discussed policy move to help develop the stock market which has fallen 2/3 since the peak last fall. Shorting stocks could allow investors to hedge their exposures but could be more destabilizing in the short-term. This move comes when other countries have imposed curbs on short-selling.




Defense & Exports Control

October 07: China canceled several military and diplomatic contacts with the US to protest a planned American arms sale worth $6.5 billion to Taiwan.  China will continue to work with the US to try to persuade North Korea to scrap its nuclear weapons program.




Cross - Straits

October 07: China condemns US arms sales to Taiwan.




General News

October 07: The average wealth of China's richest men and women fell by a third from 2007, the first decline in seven years, as financial turmoil eroded stock prices. The 50 richest people in Hurun's 2008 China Rich List had $2.43 billion of personal wealth on average, down from $3.61 billion in 2007.



October 06: China has ordered its telecommunications operators to share their core infrastructure to cut down on the duplication of investment in the sector. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will set up a task force of officials from the ministry, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, and the operators, China Mobile Communications Corp., China United Telecommunications Corp. and China Telecommunications Corporation, to implement the arrangement. The ministry said penalties will be imposed on companies that don't follow the order, which came into effect October 01.



October 06: Current high iron ore prices are a function of the convergence of a number of factors related to demand and supply, freight and foreign exchange that will unwind over time and leave iron ore exposed to potentially significant falls. As a group the BRICs are expected to grow their steel use by 10.3 percent during 2008-2009 but slowing in global economic activity is, however, placing downward pressure on these estimates, which will lead to lower demand for iron ore than previously thought.



October 06: As part of its large jet program, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Limited set up an aircraft service company. It's named COMAC Shanghai Aircraft Customer Service Company Limited. It provides aircraft maintenance and repair, pilot training, aviation equipment and materials leasing and consulting for aviation technologies for both large planes and regional aircraft.     



This message and its contents are intended solely for the use of the Asia Task Force addressee. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately.

Prepared by: PSi, Inc., 9 East 38th Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10016.



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