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The Daily Brief for Monday, 27 March 2017

Beijing’s industrial surge: Profits in China’s industrial sector surged 31.5% during January and February, with the ruling Communist Party’s sprawling manufacturing business operations, propelled by a strong upstream commodities rally, responsible for half of a US$34 billion (234.3 billion yuan) gain in earnings, reports Steve Wang. Industrial profits for the two-month period topped one trillion yuan for the first time in history, thanks to a 13.9% jump in overall industrial revenue that outpaced a 13.3% increase in costs, China’s National Bureau of Statistics revealed on Monday.

Policing Indonesia’s extremism: Police chief General Tito Karnavian, widely viewed as an incorruptible professional, was hand-picked by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo last July and will serve until 2023, a longer period in the job than any of his predecessors. John McBeth writes that Karnavian, who is a Muslim, often speaks out against Islamic extremism but will have has his work cut out as religious tensions rise ahead of the April 19 Jakarta gubernatorial election.

Watching North Korea: Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile failure did little to defuse the growing tension in East Asia as North Korea says it will continue testing missiles in response to what it calls provocation from South Korea and US military exercises. Peter J. Brown writes that by mobilising the satellite assets of UN member states, to increase the volume of satellite-based intelligence gathering, the concealment of the locations of North Korea’s mobile missile launchers would become much more difficult.

Hong Kong election: In Sunday’s scripted chief executive election, there were more police deployed on the city’s streets to deal with angry protesters than there were electors casting votes, writes Kent Ewing . Nearly two-thirds of the 1,194-member Election Committee followed Beijing’s wishes to vote in former chief secretary for administration Carrie Lam, who will now have to work hard to heal Hong Kong’s growing economic and social rifts.

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China Digest for Monday, 27 March 2017

Boao Forum calls for further economic globalization

The Boao Forum appeals to governments and private businesses to push for opening-up of markets that will be inclusive of growth and economic cooperation, Xinhua state news agency reported on Saturday. Economic globalization is an inevitable result of technological advancement and global governance systems must be improved, the report added.

Countries must be vigilant on reflation: PBOC

Global economic recovery should not be too dependent on monetary policy and countries must remain vigilant against reflation, said Zhou Xiaochuan, the director of the People’s Bank of China, Xinhua reported. Zhou, who was speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia on Sunday, believes that after many years of quantitative easing, many countries will have excess liquidity and it is now the high time for them to focus on long-term structural reform, the Economic Information Daily said on Monday.

Shanghai, Europe in talks to open up bond, forex markets

The Shanghai Clearing House is in talks with counterparts in London, Germany and Europe to open up various markets such as onshore bonds, foreign exchange, stocks and capital, Securities Daily reported on Sunday, citing director Xu Zhen. It wants to strengthen the financial infrastructure essential for connection systems.

Internet a new solution for sale of non-performing assets

Information technology can help verify the identity of bidders and improve symmetry on online auction platforms that dispose of bad assets, China News Service reported, citing Zheshang Asset chief strategist Li Wei at the 2017 China Non-performing Asset Disposal Summit in Hangzhou. This would enable asset management companies to display a list of bad assets to potential bidders and better manage risks, Li said. More than 2,500 judicial courts had joined Alibaba’s Xianyu Auction platform by March 2017, handling over half of the auctions, it added.

Vanke’s 2016 net profit breaks US$3.05 billion mark

Net profit at leading real estate developer Vanke stood at 21 billion yuan (US$3.05 billion) by the end of 2016, a 16% increase from 2015, Caixin reported. Its annual report said Vanke broke the 20 billion yuan mark for the first time. Vanke said 40% of the profit would go to shareholders. Revenue stood at around 240.5 billion yuan, increasing 23% year on year, it added.

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