Decreases in the amount of US Treasuries held by China should not be “over-interpreted.” That’s the message from an anonymous spokesman for China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), as reported by the China News Service on Thursday. The decreases were attributed to short-term adjustments in response to the US Federal Bank raising interest rates, the spokesman emphasized. The Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% on December 14, only the second increase in a decade. However, China’s holdings of US Treasury bonds fell for a fifth consecutive month in October, to US$1.157, according to Fed figures released week. That means China has fallen behind Japan as the second largest foreign holder of US government.
7 monopoly industries set for reforms in 2017
Electricity, oil, natural gas, railways, civil aviation, telecommunications and military suppliers are the state-owned enterprise (SOE) sectors identified for reform in the year ahead, according to a report on Friday by Securities Daily that cites analysts. Without specifying which sectors they relate to, Yicai reports that four pilot SOE reform schemes have been outlined by the National Development and Reform Commission.
Two cities tighten housing purchase limits after central government meeting
The city of Wuhan, in Hubei province, expanded its purchase limits on homes to three more districts on Thursday, with citizens in these areas banned from buying third properties. Meanwhile, Zhengzhou, in Henan province, has introduced a new rule requiring incomers without local residency to have at least a two-year record of tax and social insurance payments to the city before buying a house there. The measures are in accordance with the central government’s instructions on “restraining real estate bubbles”, which were reiterated at a meeting of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs on Wednesday.
New energy to replace burning 150 million metric tons of coal in northeast: Xi
Xi Jinping said on Wednesday afternoon that a drive to use “new energy” sources for household heating in the north of China will significantly contribute towards the goal of cutting down coal use by 150 million tons by 2020. As reported by Yicai, Xi was speaking during the 14th Central Economic Work Conference. The coal objective is set out in the 13th Five Year plan for renewable energy published on December 19. The north of China is currently enveloped in a thick winter smog caused in large part by burning coal.
Zheshang Property and Casualty Insurance says it needs time to audit claims
Zheshang Property and Casualty Insurance, the insurance company behind the sale of Cosun Group bonds on the online financial supermarket platform Ant Finance, said on Thursday night that following the bonds’ default, the high number of claims being filed meant it would “need time to audit” them. As reported by the 21st Century Business Herald, Zheshang said in a statement that uncertainty remains over whether it will be able to retrieve a 600 million yuan (US$86.37 million) assets deposit from Cosun. Separately, a report in Caixin on Thursday said that the China Insurance Regulatory Commission is concerned over Zheshang’s risk exposure, which could hit more than 1 billion yuan (US$140 million).