Posted inBangladeshChinaEuropean UnionIndiaNorth KoreaNortheast AsiaPakistanSouth AsiaWorld

The Daily Brief for Tuesday, 13 June 2017

NK-Pressure on China: A US think-tank says Pyongyang’s effort to circumvent United Nations international sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs could be be defeated by targeting a relatively small number of Chinese companies, reports Asia Times. Washington-based C4ADS says just a few interconnected Chinese firms accounted for the vast proportion of trade with North Korea, leaving the impoverished country’s procurement network vulnerable to targeted, enforced sanctions.

Pakistan’s internet ‘blasphemy’: Pakistan’s first capital punishment sentence for a “cyber blasphemy” crime has been handed down by an Anti-Terrorism Court after a man was found guilty of sharing sacrilegious content on his Facebook page. F.M. Shakil writes that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and its specialist counter terrorism agencies are increasingly being used by a powerful hard-line clergy to silence opponents.

India’s ISIS lessons: The majority of Islamist extremists in Europe are the offspring of Muslims who settled in European countries and they are often confused about their cultural identity. Seema Sengupta writes that Europe could learn from India’s holistic approach to countering radicalization that, by shifting the onus on to elders and religious leaders, has reduced young Muslim’s vulnerability to recruitment and radicalization.

Bangladesh, Trump investigates: Embattled Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina is on the political rebound after receiving unexpected help from US President Donald Trump. Subir Bhaumik writes that after Trump met the Bangladesh Prime Minister in Riyadh, a US Senate Committee launched an investigation into whether Hilary Clinton, as US Secretary of State, aided Hasina’s opponents by intervening “in an independent investigation by a sovereign government simply because of a personal and financial relationship”.

Uyghur crackdown continues: In the latest tightening of the screws on China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, authorities have banned the use of several baby names, including Muhammad, Haji, Islam and Imam. Ben Hillman reports that authorities have said the naming regulations are designed to curtail “religious fervor” but the ruling also targets Uyghur nationalism, which is often conflated with Islamic extremism in China.

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Posted inBeijingChinaGuangzhouShanghaiWorld

China Digest for Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Cosco buys 15% of SIPG for US$2.78 billion

China Cosco Shipping Corp will become the third largest shareholder of Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) after it completes the US$2.78 billion purchase of 3.476 billion shares, Caixin reported. A SIPG exchange notice said state-owned Shanghai Tongsheng Investment sold 15% of its 19.78% stake to Cosco Shipping. The largest shareholder is the Shanghai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission followed by China Merchants Group.

Beijing, Shenzhen house prices slide in May

Home prices in Beijing and Shenzhen dropped 4.09% and 0.36%, respectively, in May from a month ago, the National Business Daily reported on Tuesday. A Chinese Academy of Social Sciences study found that property prices rose 5.39% in Guangzhou and 0.44% in Shanghai in May. The study is based on housing inventory prices at the end of each month.

Shanghai city targets errant developers, real estate agents

A municipal government notice warns of a “clean-up” operation on errant property developers and agents in Shanghai, and promises to protect the rights of homebuyers, the Paper reported on Monday evening. Developers complying voluntarily will be given lenient penalties.

Interest rates set to rise to curb property speculation: Yicai

Increases in interest rates on mortgages would continue this year, an op-ed by Yicai said on Monday evening, citing industry experts and unnamed sources from Beijing bank branches. It said interest rates on housing loans in Beijing had been raised as of Monday evening, but no figures were provided. Data from the People’s Bank of China showed that from January to April, the number of medium to long-term housing loans did not decrease, although new loans saw a slight decline, it said.

Mengniu among five firms rebuked for issuing overseas bonds

The National Development and Reform Commission reprimanded Mengniu, China Water Affairs Group and three other companies for issuing bonds overseas without prior registration, the Paper reported late Monday night. Firms must register their intent to issue bonds abroad with the NDRC.

Stamp duty on securities deals fall 3.6% in May

The finance ministry said revenue from stamp duty on securities transactions fell 3.6% year on year in May to 9.9 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion), the Shanghai Securities Journal said on Monday. Fiscal revenue increased 3.7% year on year to 1.607 trillion yuan, with spending rising 9.2% to 1.68 trillion yuan in May, it added.

Crayfish output hits 900,000 metric tons in 2016

The country harvested 900,000 metric tons of crayfish, from both farms and wild catch, in 2016, making it the largest producer of crayfish in the world, the agricultural ministry said in a Caixin report on Monday. Farmed crayfish grew from 270,000 metric tons in 2007 to 850,000 metric tons 2016, a staggering 221% increase, the ministry report said.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.