China business news digest

China’s largest property developer eyes overseas projects and 14 provinces prepare for a massive spending binge.

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Your daily digest of the biggest business news in China, translated and summarized every day.

Central bank releases provincial break down of aggregate financing in 2014

Jiangsu, Guangdong and Beijing have topped a list that ranks China's provincial-level regions according to the total volume of financing that flowed from the financial system to the real economy in 2014.

In Jiangsu, a coastal province directly north of Shanghai, over 1.3 trillion yuan of funds flowed into the real economy. Aggregate financing to the real economy also exceeded 1 trillion yuan in Beijing and Guangdong.

The list, which is provisional, was published by the People's Bank of China yesterday.

The national total for aggregate financing was almost 16.5 trillion yuan in 2014, according to the central bank.

(Phoenix Finance)

Ma Lin a front-runner for new head of Minsheng Bank: reports

Speculation about who will replace the outgoing head of Minsheng Bank has been rife this week.

Ma Lin, who previously was head of the Jilin branch of the bank, is a top candidate for the role of president, according to a report in yesterday's Time Weekly.

The shift may not occur until April or May. In the interim, the chairman of the bank's board, Hong Qi, will serve as the bank's president. 

(Time Weekly)

Beijing ramps up tax collection

Chinese tax authorities are cracking down on multinational companies as well as wealthy business people in a bid to raise more tax revenue for government coffers. 

The deputy head of State Administration of Taxation Zhang Zhiyong, said the government collected an extra 52.3 billion yuan in tax revenue from anti-avoidance measures as well as investigations. Beijing fined Microsoft for a record US$140 million last year.

The tax authorities are also eyeing wealthy people with assets stashed away in overseas tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands.  

(The Paper)

Chinese state-owned oil majors are tightening belts

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation says it will cut its capital expenditure by as much as 26 per cent to 35 per cent in 2015 due to lower oil and gas prices. The planned expenditure for this year is between 70 billion and 80 billion yuan.

Two other major state-owned oil companies, Sinopec and PetroChina, also scaled back their investment last year. The total M&A budget for the big three oil majors for 2014 was only US$3bn, down 90 per cent from the year before.

CNOOC plans to produce between 475 million and 495 million barrel of oil next year, up 10 to 15 per cent from the year. Chinese domestic oil fields will contribute to 67 per cent of total production and the rest will come from overseas oil fields.

(The Paper)

China’s largest property developer eyes overseas projects

The Chairman of China’s largest property developer Vanke, Wang Shi, says the company needs to shift 15 to 20 per cent of its total investment abroad to diversify its risk from the property bubble in China.

Mr Wang, says there is a property bubble in China, but it’s not clear whether it will actually burst. China’s economy is slowing but the process of urbanisation is still progressing and there are still opportunities, he said.

Mr Wang also warned of the risk of loose monetary policy as central banks around the world indulge in money printing and cutting interest rates. Wang says Vanke needs to avoid risky investments in third and fourth tier cities in China and should allocate between 15 and 20 per cent of their money to invest in overseas projects.

(Phoenix Finance)

Explosive growth in mobile internet users

China has a mobile internet user population of 557 million, an increase of 57 million people from the year before. The percentage of mobile internet users as a proportion of total users has increased from 81 per cent to 85.6 per cent.

134 million people use their phones to book tickets, hotels, trains and travel packages, an increase 194.6 per cent from the year before. Mobile phones have also replaced the PC as the number one preferred channel for watching videos.

304 million Chinese people use mobile phones to make payments. Mobile users make up 46.9 per cent of people in the country who use on-line payment systems.

(Sina Tech)

Provinces prepare for spending binge

Sichuan has become the fourteenth province to announce a massive investment plan on Monday reports Shanghai Securities News.

According to the paper, the 3 trillion yuan investment plan brings the total amount of investment across fourteen provinces to approximately 15 trillion yuan, exceeding total national tax revenue in 2014.

Sichuan joins Fujian, Hubei, Hunan, Henan in announcing trillion-plus investment plans. Anhui, Ningxia, Guizhou, Guangxi, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang also announced plans in the hundreds of billions.

Investment will range widely across transportation, energy, agriculture, forestry, water conservancy, IT, infrastructure and environmental protection.

(Shanghai Securities News

Economic fraud suspect extradited to China

One of China’s most wanted economic fraud suspects has been extradited back to China after 10 years on the run in Italy reports the Beijing News.

According to the newspaper, Zhang Mou, fled the country with 1.4 million yuan in late 2005. The female former member of a Hebei-based financial securities company is alleged to have swindled the money from her clients between 2000 and 2005.

Italian police arrested Zhang in October 2014. It is the first extradition of its kind to China from a European country.

(Beijing News

Key areas for reform in 2015 highlighted in provincial government work reports

SOEs, budgets, rural issues and prices are key areas marked for reform by local governments this year.

Over the past couple of weeks, provincial-level governments across China have been holding their annual political congresses.

As part of the process, a total of 28 of the country's 31 provincial-level governments have announced the areas of key reform for 2015.

Most provinces have focused on four key issues, according to a report posted to the website of National Business Daily that initially appeared in Shanghai Securities Journal.

The four areas targeted for reform are: SOE reform, fiscal and financial reforms, rural reform and price reforms.

Jilin, Hainan and Guangdong are yet to release their provincial government reports for 2015.

All of the 28 reports released so far mention SOE reform, with the use of key words like "mixed ownership", "full market listing" and "state asset investment trials" common.

(National Business Daily)

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