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The Daily Brief for Friday, 12 May 2017

Japan’s corporate silence: The negative attitude to criticism typically shown by Japanese banks, brokerages and corporations still remains typical of Tokyo’s backward corporate attitude, writes Yuriy Humber . Despite the supposed corporate governance reform brought in by Abenomics, the reality is that investors, both domestic and overseas, in Japanese stocks are still wary of being labeled as troublemakers and frozen out.

Washington welcomes Russia: This week’s visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the White House raised expectations for July’s historic first meeting between Trump and Putin. M.K. Bhadrakumar writes that the meeting is all part of Trump’s redefinition of the US’ post-World War II foreign policies that could, ultimately, significantly redraw the world’s security architecture.

Obor and America: In an about-face, the United States has confirmed that it will send representatives to China’s strategically key Belt and Road Summit this weekend, writes Lin Wanxia. The Washington delegation prevents an embarrassing absence of major Western nations at the high-profile meeting hosted by President Xi Jinping. To date, reports Asia Times, China’s banks have made loans worth US$480 billion for Obor projects.

Noble, huge losses: Noble Group lost over US$0.5bn in value during a trading rout this week as its share price was pummeled to a 15-year low, reports Nick Westra. Noble’s founder and Executive Chairman Richard Elman also announced he is stepping down, after three decades of service.

Posted inChinaShanghai

China Digest for Friday, 12 May 2017

Chinese banks provided US$480 billion in loans to Obor projects

China Business News estimated that the country’s major banks had extended loan and credit worth more than more than US$480 billion to One Belt, One Road (Obor) projects. Projects were also exempt from foreign exchange controls, China Banking Association Vice-President Pan Guangwei said at a briefing ahead of the high-profile summit that starts on Sunday.

PBOC fines payment providers Alipay, Tenpay

The People’s Bank of China fined Alipay and Tenpay 30,000 yuan each because the dominant payment service providers failed to fulfill registration requirements on users. They share more than 90% of China’s mobile payment market and the fines serve as a warning.

Local governments raise basic pension payments

Shanghai and Inner Mongolia join six local governments in raising basic pensions for both urban and rural residents, China News said. Shanghai payments will rise to 100 yuan per person per month and to 20 yuan per month in Inner Mongolia.

Ninth price cut in domestic oil prices for 2017

The central government said domestic oil prices would be cut in 2017 in the ninth adjustment this year. Prices for petroleum will be cut by 250 yuan per metric ton and diesel by 235 yuan per metric ton from May 12.

Year-end launch plan for Shanghai crude oil futures

The Shanghai Futures Exchange will support the Shanghai International Energy Exchange Center’s preparations to list crude oil futures, which will be launched by the end of this year, The Paper reported.

National vehicle sales drop 18.1% in April

Vehicle sales dropped 18.1% in April and 2.2% year on year due to weak market demand and tighter taxes, Caixin reported, citing China Automobile Association data. The association expects price increases in the second quarter of this year and a fierce price war.

Hangzhou banks cut interest rates on first-time home loans

Banks in Hangzhou cut the interest rate on first-time mortgages from 10% to 5%, the Securities Daily reported.

Shenzhen to develop land to cool high property prices

The Shenzhen municipal government plans to increase land by 28 square kilometers for development before 2020 in urban and rural areas to ease rising property prices, Caixin reported. The city is now 976 square kilometers.

More than 40 new local AMCs approved

The China Banking Regulatory Commission has approved more than 40 local asset management companies (AMCs), Sina Finance reports. A market researcher said the four existing AMCs could not handle the amount of non-performing assets.