Posted inBeijing, China, France, Hong Kong, Macau, Pakistan, South Asia, World

The Daily Brief for Tuesday, 16 May 2017

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this newsletter we said that Emmanuel Macron was “anti-globalization”. We have corrected this to read that he is seen as an ally to China “against an anti-globalization US.”

America’s phase zero: US leaders often appear so confident of winning in wartime that they are myopic about what happens during peacetime – the so-called “phase zero” in US military terms. However, writes Grant Newsham , impressive and alarming improvements in China’s naval and air forces over the the last decade have happened faster than all but a handful of US analysts predicted.

Silk Road gold: President Xi Jinping invokes Ming dynasty heroes, geopolitical development strategies and wild Asian geese analogies to portray China’s New Silk Roads initiative as the flagship of a trade-focussed new world order. Pepe Escobar writes that the big question now is how skillfully China can deploy soft power to rewrite the rules of the global trade game without upsetting other key players.

Pakistan market boom: Investors loaded up on blue chip counters in Karachi’s KSE100 Index ahead of an expected announcement from global benchmark provider MSCI that it would upgrade the country to emerging market status. Nick Westra reports that the index jumped 1.55% to a record high of 52,555.07 in MOnday morning trading, with more than 670 million shares changed hands in a rally last week.

Two Chinese cities: For Beijing, Macau is the model post-colonial child while neighboring Hong Kong has turned out to be China’s anti-patriotic enfant terrible, writes Kent Ewing. On July 1, President Xi will visit Hong Kong to mark the 20th anniversary of Chinese rule and Beijing looks set to be increasingly intolerant of more dissent and protests.

China’s Macron fascination: People in China are fascinated by France’s new president and his marriage to Brigitte Trogneux, his former teacher and 25 years his senior. More significantly though, writes Xuan Loc Doan is how Emmanuel Macron is seen as a friend to China, through his interest in China’s history, and as an ally against an “anti-globalization” US.

Posted inBeijing, China

China Digest for Tuesday, 16 May 2017

CIRC to inspect institutions for deception, data distortion

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission will inspect industry firms for deception, concealment, data distortion and other sale tactics that lead to market chaos, Yicai reported. CIRC officers will inspect seven banking agencies, 16 institutions and its subsidiaries.

CBRC to propose 46 new rules this year

The China Banking Regulatory Commission will propose 46 rules this year, focusing on bankruptcy and wealth management among other issues, Caixin said on Monday evening. The rules will be announced after the People’s Bank of China sets new guidelines, the report said. The 46 CBRC rules can only take effect when the State Council gives approval.

Social Security Fund managed US$289.8 billion in assets in 2016

Total assets managed by the Social Security Fund reached 2 trillion yuan (US$289.8 billion) at the end of 2016, and has accumulated 403.318 billion yuan worth of investment income over the past three years, Yicai reported. National Social Security Fund Council President Lou Jiwei said it would expand the scope of investment this year.

Tougher rules on non-locals buying homes in Hebei

Non-local residents of Hebei province should provide no less than three years’ social security proof or tax certificates to purchase properties around Beijing and Xiongan districts, the Securities Daily reported.

Kaifeng tightens sales on new property

Homeowners in Kaifeng, Henan province, will only be allowed to sell their new purchases three years after receiving a property certificate, the Paper reported. The city also clamped down on prices, which can only be 10% higher than the sale of nearby properties.

National registration required on wealth management products

Banks and financing firms must now register information on their underlying assets and liabilities on wealth management products on a national platform, Jiemian reported on Monday evening. The platform, set up in September last year, took effect on Monday.

Online market fund Yuebao posts 4% returns

Alibaba’s online investment startup Yuebao posted an annual rate of return of 4%, the first time this investment product reached this level since a slump in 2015, the Securities Daily reported. Similar startups like Yuebao are expected to post similar returns, which are almost on a par with financial products offered through banks, which saw 4.5%.

PBOC sets up fintech working group

The People’s Bank of China has established a working group on fintech on Monday, the Economic Information Daily reported on Tuesday. The group will spearhead development of the fintech sector, and the use of big data and artificial intelligence in regulatory technologies, it added.