Posted inAT Finance, Beijing, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Middle East, Vietnam, World

The Daily Brief for Tuesday, 18 April 2017

China, more growth: Beijing’s economic growth accelerated for the second straight quarter and again beat expectations, reports Steve Wang & Ben Richardson. Growth in manufacturing and core productive industries accelerated from the final quarter of 2016 to 6.4%, the fastest clip in nine quarters, with state-owned enterprises the key driver behind the latest recovery.

VietJet’s bikini marketing: Nguyen Phuong Thao, CEO of VietJet and Vietnam’s first woman US dollar billionaire, has risen to the top of this male-dominated society by mixing a global vision with risqué sex appeal. Ma Nguyen writes that Thao denies the strategy of dressing female cabin crew in swimwear, replete with pre-flight dances for passengers, is an exploitative stunt, saying: “whatever brings happiness to our customers, that makes us happy.”

China’s Brexit train: When the so-called ‘Silk Road’ train left a Brexit-bruised London for China last week it demonstrated, according to the British government, the huge global demand for quality UK goods. But, asks Richard Cook , is its cargo, of whisky, soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and baby products, really a recipe for renewed global greatness?

Slow lane Jakarta: The Indonesian capital was ranked the world’s most congested city, according to data that showed Jakarta motorists made 33,240 stop-starts a year, more than Istanbul (32,520), Mexico City (30,840) and Bangkok (27,480). John McBeth reports that widespread downtown train construction, intended to ease the capital’s epic traffic jams that already cost the economy US$3.4 billion per year, means the issue will get worse before it gets better.

Posted inChina

China Digest for Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Major SOEs should take lead on Xiongan, says Sasac party boss

The Communist Party boss of Sasac, the body that oversees major state-owned companies, says these so-called central enterprises should take the lead role in construction of Xiongan New Area, the Paper reported.

Ship orders tumble; deliveries soar

Orders for new ships dropped 25.4% in the first quarter to 5.54 million deadweight tons, Economic Information Daily reported, citing Commerce Ministry figures. Vessels completed in the period jumped 87.7% to 15.76 million dwt.

2 million housing units up for grabs as eligibility relaxed

The ministry of housing aims to allocate 2 million public housing units for rent this year, adding to the 11.66 million households now covered. Eligibility requirements will be relaxed to include more low-income families, migrant workers and new entrants to the labor markets, the Paper reported.

Where did all the imports go?

China iron ore inventory.

Last week’s trade data showed China imported 95.56 million metric tons of iron ore in March, less than a million tons shy of the January 2016 record high. But while ore purchases rose 11% by volume, they more than doubled in value. Which begs a question: why pay such a steep price when the shipments pile up as inventory?

Chang’e 5 to lift lunar skills to next level

The planned launch later this year of the Chang’e 5 lunar probe, with its mission to bring samples back from the moon, will take China’s abilities in space exploration to the next level, Tian Yulong, chief engineer at the State Administration of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, was cited by the Paper as saying.

Shenzhen sees better M&A as path to killing zombies

Shenzhen Stock Exchange plans improvements to mergers and acquisitions involving listed companies, including clear procedures for delisting and better reorganization and combination of businesses, as a way to resolve the issue of so-called zombie enterprises, Yicai reported.

Insurance chief relieved of position; key leadership posts unfilled

Xiang Junbo has been removed as China Insurance Regulatory Commission chairman after being put under investigation by the Communist Party’s disciplinary arm, Xinhua news agency reported. His deputy, Chen Wenhui, will be interim head of the regulator, which is also without a party secretary and deputy secretary due to this year’s ongoing leadership shuffle, Caixin said.

LeTV, Yidao unit issue statement denying cash misuse

LeTV issued a joint statement with its 70% owned Yidao Yongche on Monday evening to deny allegations by the unit’s former chairman turned whistleblower, Zhou Hang, that the ride-hailing company is experiencing financial difficulties because LeTV misused 130 million yuan (US$ 18.87 million) of its money, Security Times reported. Local media had earlier reported that the Uber rival is facing financial difficulties and had been unable to pay suppliers or drivers.

Guangdong study under way on banks’ use of arbitrage

Guangdong’s bank regulator has ordered financial institutions it oversees to report on their use of different types of arbitrage, Yicai reported.

Big cities see one-fifth jump in residential land prices

Prices of residential land in first-tier cities rose on average 19.6% in 2016, Caixin said, citing Ministry of Land data. Nationwide, prices were 7.91% higher.

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