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The Daily Brief for Wednesday, 31 May 2017

ISIS, Indonesia next? After the surprise siege of Marawi City in the southern Philippines, indications are that Indonesia is next on the Islamic State hit list. John McBeth writes that Indonesian, Malaysian and other foreign fighters are known to be in Marawi and, as ISIS influence diminishes in the Middle East, Jakarta security forces are preparing for a jihadi move into Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population.

Hong Kong, 1967: Mounting grievances, a darkening public mood turning violent, government and police seen as enemies of the people – for many, that’s an apt description of Hong Kong as it approaches the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule.
Kent Ewing writes that those are in fact the same conditions that caused the 1967 riots and Hong Kong current leaders would be wise to remember the events of 50 years ago.

India-Germany, golden opportunity: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Berlin this week could not have come at a more opportune moment, writes Seema Sengupta. Europe’s increasing strain with the US represents a golden opportunity for an India that is keen offer an alternative a Chinese-led new world order.

China PMI number: Shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai drifted in directionless trade as investors seemed to be chewing over the latest Purchasing managers’ index numbers from China, reports Steve Wang and Liu Hsiu Wen. The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for May remained unchanged, which was slightly better than expected, but gave no real indication of the economy’s trajectory in the coming months.

Posted inBeijingChinaShanghai

China Digest for Wednesday, 31 May 2017

CSRC bans major shareholders from block sale of stock

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) ordered major shareholders of listed companies to stagger the disposal of their stakes, the Securities Daily reported. Shareholders will also be barred from selling their holdings in one block in a “massive and disorderly” manner that may disturb market order and hurt public confidence.

Beijing second-hand property prices fell 2.4% in May

Prices of second-hand housing fell 2.4% in the capital for May compared to the previous month, the Securities Daily reported. The largest decline of 20% was in the Tongzhou and Yizhuang Development Zone due to tighter regulations.

Most banks axe discount on first mortgages in Guangdong

Around 80% of bank branches in Guangdong province have axed the discount on first mortgages, setting the interest rate back to the benchmark, Sina Finance reported. In Shenzhen, four state-owned banks reduced the interest rate discount for first mortgages from 10% to 5%, as the property market in Shenzhen remained hot, Caixin reported.

Pace of rent increases slows in April

Prices in the rental market rose a mere 0.2% in April, especially in tier one cities, showing a slowdown, China National Radio reported, citing the National Bureau of Statistics. Real estate agents said graduating students stimulated the market, while Beijing and Shanghai promised to build more public housing but it would take a year to build.

Six counties upgraded as cities this year

Longchang in Sichuan province is among six counties that had been upgraded as municipalities since April this year in a bid to reduce the population and development gap between large and small cities, Yicai reported, citing the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Yu’e Bao to sets limit on new personal accounts

An online money market fund under Ant Financial, Yu’e Bao, will impose a 250,000 yuan (US$36,437.75) limit on new personal accounts, Yicai reported, citing Tianhong Asset Management, which manages the fund.

Surcharge on electricity prices axed

The State Grid Corporation of China said a utility surcharge had been axed, reducing electricity prices by 1.1 fen per kilowatt, but five other levies remain, Xinhua reported. Based on current national consumption levels, people would save a total of 35 billion yuan.

Size of China’s public offering funds reached 9.5 trillion yuan

Total assets in the country’s publicly offered funds, or mutual funds, reached 9.5 trillion yuan as of April 30, a 236.65 billion yuan increase since the end of March, the China Internet Information Center reported.

15 logistics firms in data-sharing deal with Jack Ma’s Cainiao

Chinapost, EMS, SF Express are among 15 logistics companies that had signed contracts with Jack Ma’s Cainiao Network to share data on May 29, said the Paper. The companies will cooperate on digital express billing and customer service to promote Ma’s data driven business model in the logistics industry. Cainiao said tie-ups aim to tackle increases in deliveries that stood at 30 billion in 2016 and expected to exceed 100 billion in 2020.