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The Daily Brief for Wednesday, 29 March 2017

China’s conglomerate puzzle: Fosun’s billionaire Chairman Guo Guangchang, self-styled disciple of Warren Buffet, just announced a 28% jump in net profit for the financial services-to-healthcare-to-entertainment and leisure conglomerate he helped found 25 years ago. So why, asks Ben Richardson, was there a major shakeup of management on the same day the group announced its impressive earnings?

Asia’s economic crossroad: Myanmar is in the middle of many grand connective schemes, including China’s One Belt One Road, Japan’s East-West Economic Corridor, the ASEAN Free Trade Area, India’s opening of its remote ‘seven sisters’ northeast region as well as the multilateral Great Asian Highway Network. Christopher Briggs examines how this infrastructural integration can be the economic key to unlock Myanmar’s many untapped consumer markets, abundant natural resources and underlying trade potential.

Bankruptcy for Westinghouse: Toshiba has approved a Chapter 11 filing for its US nuclear unit Westinghouse, allowing for a renegotiation or break in current construction contracts, although project owners are likely to seek damages. Nikkei Business Daily reports that Washington provided the utility a US$8.3 billion guaranteed credit facility to construct two reactors in the southern US and there are also ongoing Westinghouse nuclear projects in India, the United Kingdom and China.

South Korean shipbuilding: Ailing shipyard, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Engineering, is capitalizing on demand for tankers that can ply melting Arctic seas by launching the world’s first ice-breaking liquefied natural gas tanker, reports Asia Times. The US$320 million vessel is one of 15 on order from Saint Petersburg-based shipper Sovcomflot and will operate from Russia’s second largest LNG plant at Sabetta, on the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia.

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China Digest for Wednesday, 29 March 2017

AIIB approves three joint financing programs worth US$285 million

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank released its first batch of loans in 2017 – three joint financing programs with a combined total of US$285 million, Caixin reported on Tuesday. The three programs included two projects to improve the functionality and safety of large scale reservoirs and facilitate the infrastructures in Indonesia, as well as a project in Bengal of natural gas facility construction.

People will be punished for companies’ bad credit

Anyone associated with a trade firm that has bad credit, such as lawyers, board directors, supervisors, administrative managers and others, will be restricted from buying plane tickets or going abroad, Finance China said. The National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Bank of China, the General Administration of Customs and 30 departments signed a memorandum of cooperation to promote a credit punishment mechanism on Tuesday. Anyone who has been punished will be scrutinized when they try to register a new company, said Li Guo, the customs vice-minister.

Land supply increased to build affordable homes in Beijing

Beijing will increase land supply to build 15,000 affordable homes in 2017 to improve people’s lives, Xinhua state news agency said on Tuesday. The move aims to meet one of the key programs targeted in 2017. This type of housing has previously been sold at an average price of 18,000 yuan per square meter. It is expected to play a dual role of improving people’s living conditions and dampening the soaring housing price, it added.

Capital gets tough on property market speculation

The municipal government has announced nine new policies in 10 days to tame speculation in the real estate sector, China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday. Sales had decreased by 30%, it added.

Master plan in works for Beijing

The Urban Planning, Land and Resources Commission will today start consultation on the capital’s master development plan for the next 15 years, Sina Finance reported on Tuesday. Under the plan, metro networks will nearly double from 574km in 2016 to 1000km, green coverage will increase by 45% and the population would remain at 23 million.