Posted inAT Finance, Beijing, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, Northeast Asia, South Korea, World

The Daily Brief for Friday, 31 March 2017

Indonesian tax evasion: The nine-month Indonesian tax amnesty ended today and only 146 trillion rupiah (US$11 billion) in assets was actually repatriated back into the country from offshore jurisdictions. John McBeth reports that Indonesia is currently in a zealously patriotic mood and officials had hoped much more — up to US$75 billion — would flood back into the country but the amnesty has been useful, if only by shining a revealing light on how and where wealthy Indonesians stash their overseas millions.

Paying for Fukushima: Six years after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, three global nuclear corporations are fighting for their very survival, writes Shaun Burnie. The bankruptcy filing by Westinghouse Electric Co. and its parent company Toshiba Corp is a defining moment in the global nuclear power industry but these losses are a fraction of what Tokyo Electric Power Co is looking at as a result of Fukushima.

China’s manufacturing upswing: Activity in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded at its fastest pace in nearly five years in March, an official survey showed on Friday. Reuters reports that this is the latest in a series of upbeat 2017 data reports that have come even as Beijing tries to rein in speculative bubbles in the red-hot property market and control risks in the broader financial market from years of debt-fuelled stimulus.

Trump meeting Xi: China has confirmed the dates of President Xi Jinping’s trip to the US to meet his counterpart Donald Trump, reports Asia Times.
The pair will meet at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on April 6 and 7 for the first face-to-face talks between the two leaders, who have jarred over trade, China’s regional ambitions and how best to deal with North Korea and its weapons programs.

President Park arrested: Ousted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye has been arrested over the corruption and abuse of power scandal that brought her down, reports Agence France-Presse. The Seoul Central District Court ordered Park’s arrest on charges of bribery, abuse of authority, coercion and leaking government secrets, after a marathon court hearing on Thursday.

Posted inBeijing, China, Chongqing, Guangzhou

China Digest for Friday, 31 March 2017

PBOC to build platform for digital currency

The central bank should seek further digitalization, building an innovative platform for the exploration of digital currency, China Securities Journal reported on Thursday, citing deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Fan Yifei at an internal meeting. The bank should also set up a decision-making platform based on big data.

‘One surplus, one deficit’ on international payments

The 2016 balance sheet of international payments witnessed “one surplus, one deficit”, the Beijing News reported on Friday. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) released the latest data on its website on Thursday. The current account had a surplus of US$196.4 billion. The capital and financial account saw a deficit of US$417 billion, a 4% decrease from last year. The pressure of capital outflow has eased somewhat and the “one surplus, one deficit” situation was expected to remain in 2017, said a SAFE spokesman. And the yuan currency will be more flexible, he added.

Reassign workers to avoid layoffs, says ministry

Departments and central-government-owned enterprises should reassign workers to avoid layoffs amid the campaign to reduce production, Xinhua said. The Ministry of Human Resources and Capacities issued the suggestion in a joint notice with four other departments. “One-on-one” assistance should also be provided when necessary.

Mortgages will be a smaller slice of total bank loan pie

Banks will be more inclined to provide loans to industrial companies as the regulations are tightened on property market transactions, Xinhua reported on Thursday. China Construction Bank saw the number of new mortgages in 16 major cities in January decline by 30% compared to December and the same period last year, the report added.

Guangzhou tightens housing rules within a week

The Guangzhou city government tightened its property policy on Thursday, extending the length of time before a home can be resold, Sina Finance reported. Residents who buy new homes can only sell it two years after gaining the property ownership permit, while companies and institutions must wait three years. A week ago, Guangzhou rolled out new rules on buyers where single people can only purchase one flat and those without local residency must prove payment of social insurance of at least five years.

Seven new free-trade zones to open

The third batch of seven free-trade zones in Liaoning, Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Chongqing would officially open on April 1, China Securities Journal said on Friday, citing confirmation from local administrations of commerce.

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