Posted inAT Finance, Beijing, China, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Syria

The Daily Brief for Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Iran-Syria, what next? Iran says it fired six ground-to-ground missiles from Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps bases in Western Iran and claims they hit Islamic State targets in Syria “with high precision after flying through the Iraqi airspace.” M.K. Bhadrakumar writes that although the missile strike clearly constitutes a snub to the US, there are other more important downstream implications.

China’s nimble reactors: Beijing’s development of new and small-scale nuclear reactor designs that could be used in isolated regions, on ships and even aircraft, is part of an ambitious plan to wrest control of the global nuclear market. David Stanway reports that within weeks state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation will start piloting a small modular reactor dubbed the “Nimble Dragon” on the southern island province of Hainan.

Rohingya murders rise: Officials in Myanmar indicate at least 33 Rohingya civilians have been murdered in the last seven months, several of whom occupied village-level administrative positions or were believed to be government informants, reports Kayleigh Long. Although the number of deaths pales in comparison to the body count racked up during the military’s brutal counterinsurgency campaign last year, the killings suggest the conflict in northern Rakhine State has entered a dangerous new phase.

Is Duterte fading? It’s almost a month into the on-going siege of Marawi by a large contingent of Islamic State-linked fighters and Manila now faces a daunting post-conflict reconstruction challenge and a real threat of renewed clashes. Jason Castaneda writes that President Duterte now also faces challenges and needs to reassure Filipinos about his personal health while also displaying effective leadership to help address the region’s growing ISIS problem.

Singapore-first family feud: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong apologized to the Singapore nation on Monday evening as a family feud with his younger siblings continued to play out over social media. Kirsten Han reports that the rare public split between members of the country’s first family has captivated Singaporeans while raising hard questions about Lee’s style of governance.

Posted inChina, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, World

China Digest for Tuesday, 20 June 2017

HKEx to develop innovation board for start-ups

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing would set up a new “innovation board” to attract start-ups and enterprises that fail to meet standards to list on either the main board or growth enterprise market, Yicai reported.

Government bond market warming up

Although the yield on the country’s government bonds has dipped, with 10-year bonds slipping to 4.16% from a 4.2% benchmark, analysts believe in the long-term the market is warming up due to improved liquidity, Caixin reported.

US$293.4 billion injection for Tencent livestreaming

Tencent will invest 2 billion yuan (US$293.4 billion) in its live streaming platform Tencent NOW to stimulate growth, Caixin reported. Tencent Vice President Yin Yu believes livestreaming is the fourth largest content revenue source following advertisements, games and eSports.

SAIC, CATL to build battery plant

Auto giant SAIC Group and the world’s third largest battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Limited (CATL) will build a production base for electric vehicle batteries, the Paper reported. The plant aims to achieve 36 billion watts of power capacity output before 2020, challenging Tesla’s 35 billion watts, it added.

US$16.2 billion for on June 18 festival saw 110 billion yuan in orders at the end of the June 18 Shopping Festival at midnight on Monday, the Securities Daily reported. Tmall, and other e-commerce platforms also saw a high level of orders, it said.

Online retail sales exceed US$443 billion for first time

Online retail sales exceeded a record 3 trillion yuan (US$443 billion) in the six months from December 2016, a 35.3% increase year on year, the National Academy of Economic Strategy said in a research report. E-commerce represented 13.35% of total retail business in the same period, a three percentage point year-on-year increase.

Firms allowed to revamp old factory buildings

Companies can apply to redevelop old factory buildings on state-owned property in Guangzhou under new land use rules, Caixin reported. Firms can build industrial plants, including hi-tech business incubators to increase the plot ratio.

Digital currency not issued yet: PBoC

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is warning the public that it has not yet issued any digital currency after some firms stated they had been “authorized by the PBoC,” to offer bitcoin, the Securities Times reported.

National statistics law takes effect on August 1

The State Council has published rules on implementing the Statistics Law of China, which will take effect on August 1, the Economic Information Daily reported.

Regulations to protect assets in PPP projects

Rules on protecting the assets of public–private partnership (PPP) projects were issued in a joint statement, the Economic Information Daily reported. The Ministry of Finance, People’s Bank of China and China Securities Regulatory Commission want to ensure that PPP project partners comply with standards on financing, risks and transparency.