Click here to subscribe to the China Spectator daily newsletter.
Your daily digest of the biggest business news in China, translated and summarized every day.
Former Minsheng Bank chairman denies he is under investigation
Dong Wenbiao, the former chairman of Minsheng Bank has denied that he is currently being investigated by authorities in relation to allegations of corruption, according to a report in The Paper.
Dong, who has made numerous public appearances over recent weeks, hosed down speculation that he had been caught up in the troubles engulfing the private bank.
The bank's president, Mao Xiaofeng, resigned earlier this week, after media reports that he had been taken away to assist the country’s anti-corruption investigators.
Dong Wenbiao resigned his position at the bank last August in order to take the reins of China Minsheng Investment Corp. one of China’s largest private investment funds.
China local govt reap record revenue in 2014
Despite a forecast of a fall, local government revenue from land leases in China reached a new high in 2014 reports National Business Daily.
According to the paper, local governments collectively received over 4.25 trillion yuan from leasing land in 2014, a 3.2 per cent increase on 2013, according to fiscal revenue data released by the Ministry of Finance on Monday.
The revenue from land leases exceeded initial estimates by 17 per cent.
According to the draft budget announced last March, local governments were expected to collect 3.63 trillion yuan from land sales, which would have represented an 11.8 per cent fall on the amount raised in 2013.
Details of new free-trade zones could be released soon
China's central government could soon reveal details of the plan to approve new free-trade zone in Tianjin, Fujian and Guangdong, according to an unsourced front-page report in today's China Securities Journal.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced that the State Council had given approval for the establishment of the three new FTZs in December.
The paper says that details related to the three new trade zones along with more information about the expansion of the existing Shanghai FTZ could be announced soon.
The report also states that the three trade zones will be formally established soon after the detailed plans are announced and that the new 2015 version of the 'negative list' related to foreign investment will apply in the new zones.
Lanzhou and Guangxi have also lodged applications to establish free-trade zones with the related departments.
Guangzhou lowers its GDP growth target
Guangzhou, one of China’s largest cities, has lowered its GDP growth target to a single digit for the first time in the last two decades after failing to meet its official growth target of 10 per cent last year.
The city government’s growth goal for 2015 is 8 per cent. Apart from Shanghai and Tibet, 26 Chinese provinces have lowered their GDP growth forecasts. Shanxi, Gansu and Liaoning lowered theirs by as much as three percentage points.
A researcher from the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences says Guangzhou should follow Shanghai’s example of abolishing its GDP growth target once for all.
China buys up half the world’s luxury goods
Chinese buyers are responsible for 46 per cent of the global consumption of luxury goods, according to the Fortune Character Research Institute.
Total Chinese luxury goods consumption in 2014 was US$106 billion, up 4 per cent from the year before. However, consumption in Chinese domestic market declined 11 per cent to US$25 billion.
On the other hand, Chinese tourists spent a record US$81 billion outside of China. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of Chinese tourists going abroad more than doubled from 53 million to 117 million within four years.
Chinese tourists are mostly buying luxury goods abroad due to price disparities.
Minsheng Bank expected to appoint a new CEO in April
Minsheng Bank, one of the largest private banks in China, is expected to appoint a new president in April following reports its chief executive was taken away by anti-corruption investigators.
Minsheng’s shares fell as much as 10 per cent on the Hong Kong stock exchange and 6 per cent in Shanghai. One of Minsheng’s most prominent shareholders urged the government to resist the temptation to appoint an outsider who is unfamiliar with the bank to run it.