China business news digest

Chinese iron ore stockpile drops below 100 million tonnes and census reveals strong growth in high-tech manufacturing.

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Chinese iron ore stockpile drops below 100 million tonnes

Stockpiles of iron ore at Chinese ports have dipped below 100 million tonnes for the first time since February this year, signalling a modest recovery in the country’s embattled steel sector.

Iron ore stocks have been piling up at Chinese ports as the economy slows in China. The total stock of iron ore at Chinese ports was only 64 million tonnes in May 2013 and increased to above 100 million tonnes in about nine months.

In order to produce one tonne of steel, mills need 1.65 tonne of iron ore. The total amount of imported iron ore has been increasing while steel production stagnates.


China will revise its GDP figure

China will revise its GDP figure modestly in light of the country’s third economic census which concluded this year.

The head of the National Bureau of Statistics says the GDP figure could be revised upward by about 3 per cent.  The Chinese government revised its GDP figure by 4.45 per cent in 2008, adding another 1.34 trillion yuan to the GDP figure after completing a nationwide economic survey.

The Chinese statistical agency is traditionally weak in collecting data from the service sector.

(Beijing News)

Privately controlled steel mills want more power

Private Chinese steel mills want to have more bargaining power over state-owned steel plants as Beijing seeks to attract more private sector money to rejuvenate the ailing industry.

The average debt to asset ratio is more than 100 per cent for state-owned steel mills. The industry is battling against razor-thin profit margins, excess capacity as well as a slowing property sector.

China’s largest private sector steel firm wants to have a controlling stake in state-owned firms otherwise it is not interested in investing. State-owned firms still have access to bank funding despite crippling debt burden and thin margins.

(The Paper)

Economic census reveals strong growth in high-tech manufacturing 

China high-tech manufacturing sector generated 11.6 trillion yuan in revenue last year, according to the results of China's third national economic census announced by the National Bureau of Statistics yesterday.

This revenue is more than double that generated by the sector in 2008

Profits from high-technology manufacturing have also more than doubled since 2008, reaching 723.4 billion yuan in 2013.

Ma Jianteng, the head of the NBS, told reporters that the strong growth in high-tech manufacturing was closely connected to the increased level of support provided by the government.

However, Mr Ma said that an even more important factor was the ever-strengthening role of the market.

Data from the census results also revealed an increasingly important role for the services sector in China's economy.

The proportion of workers employed in the tertiary sector as a proportion of total employment has increased by 3.5 percentage points over the five years to the end of 2013.

The country had 7.85 million small and very small enterprises at the end of 2013 in the secondary and tertiary industries, accounting for 95.6 per cent of the total and providing 50.4 per cent of total employment.

Authorities will announce changes to the GDP estimate for 2013 (as determined by the additional data included in the economic census) on December 19.

(China National Radio)

Who own a stake in China's 'first private bank' ?

Further details of which companies hold a stake in the recently approved Shenzhen Qianhai Weizhong Bank (WeBank), were published in report in The Paper today.

According to the report, in addition to the three companies that had already been identified as backers of the new private bank - Tencent (30 per cent), Shenzhen Baiyeyuan Investment Co. (20 per cent) and Shenzhen Liye Group (20 per cent) – among the other stakeholders are:

Shenzhen Chunyong Investment Co ( 9.9 per cent).

Shenzhen Henggang Investment Co Ltd (5 per cent).

Shenzhen Brightoil Petroleum Group (4 per cent).

A subsidiary of the Yongjin Group (3 per cent).

Sintave (3 per cent).

Shenzhen Gionee Communications Equipment Co., Ltd. (3 per cent).

The company is being established with registered capital of 3 billion yuan ($US500 million).

Earlier reports said that the new lender, which received regulatory approval on December 12 and completed its commercial registration on December 16, will focus on personal loans as well as extending credit to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Although many media reports say that the financial institution will be China's 'first private bank,' China Minsheng Bank has been operating as a private lender for many years.

Webank is one of five new private banks that were approved by the CBRC earlier this year.

(The Paper)

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