Posted inAfghanistan, AT Finance, Beijing, China, India, Iran, Middle East, Myanmar, South Asia, Syria

The Daily Brief for Wednesday, 21 June 2017

China reconnecting Afghanistan? Anyone attempting to “rebuild” Afghanistan will have their work cut out but the success of China’s Silk Road initiative needs progress here, writes Pepe Escobar. Since 2002, Washington has spent a mind-boggling US$780 billion on its still incomplete Operation Enduring Freedom but Chinese government researchers have now quietly started a discussion in Kabul billed as “Afghanistan Reconnected”.

Suu Kyi’s challenge: During Myanmar’s political upheavals in the late 1980s, then pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi famously said any future government she led would not have an “easy time” after decades of military misrule. Bertil Lintner writes that nearly three decades later, and after a year in office where the list of national woes grows, the question remains: How much power does Suu Kyi have to counter the military and impose a more democratic order?

China’s submarine buildup: The increasing size of the People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet of surface vessels captures most international attention, based on the sheer numbers and advanced weapons on an array of new warships. But, writes Bill Gertz, Chinese development of modern and increasingly quiet submarines poses one of the more serious strategic challenges for the United States and, indeed, any other nation concerned about Beijing’s growing hegemony in Asia.

Dalit for president? After India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s named lower-caste Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential nominee, expectations are that Congress will follow by fielding Meira Kumar, the daughter of Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram. E Jaya Kumar asks if these two – that represent India’s underprivileged Dalit community – do fight for the presidential election on July 17, is it a political sea-change or a public relations exercise?

Biggest financial database? The People’s Bank of China has a financial and credit database on 926 million people and 23.71 million enterprises, reports Asia Times. The database was set up to prevent cross-market credit risks and promote financial integrity.

Posted inChina, Shanghai

China Digest for Wednesday, 21 June 2017

MSCI gives A-share nod to China

The country’s A shares have been added to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, Yicai reported early on Wednesday. This is China’s fourth attempt at inclusion in the MSCI.

Deleveraging among keys to stable finance industry: PBOC boss

People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said deleveraging, openness to competition and speeding up internationalization of the yuan were key to stabilizing a prosperous Chinese finance industry, Yicai reported. In the Lujiazui Forum, Zhou also said not to show tolerance towards high leverage, low capital and bad loans, Sina Finance said.

High-end investors favor insurance products

Around 15% of high-end customers are willing to allocate assets into insurance products, ranking it as the first choice, Caixin reported, citing the 2017 China Private Wealth Report. Insurance products are also the first choice of a 12% of people willing to in invest overseas, while desire for property has fallen, insiders said.

US beef imports resume after 14-year ban

The country started importing beef from the US on June 20 following a 14-year ban and was the result of deals struck in the Sino-US 100-Day economic cooperation plan, the Paper reported.

Eastern Airlines sells 45% of cargo subsidiary

Under mixed ownership reform, China Eastern Airlines Group Logistics Co Ltd has four new non-state shareholders, the Economic Information Daily reported. Parent company China Eastern Air Holding sold 45% of its cargo unit for 2.2 billion yuan (US$330 million) to Legend Holdings, ProLogis, Deppon Logistics and Greenland.

926 million people, 23 million firms in PBOC database

The People’s Bank of China has a financial and credit database on 926 million people and 23.71 million enterprises, the Economic Information Daily reported. The database was set up to prevent cross-market credit risks and promote financial integrity, it said.

30% of households expects property prices to rise

A People’s Bank of China survey in the second quarter of 2017 shows 30% of 20,000 urban households polled in 50 cities expect home prices to rise, Sina Finance reported.

OCT to invest US$34.87 billion in Xi’an tourism

Overseas Chinese Town Group (OCT) signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement with the Xi’an municipal government to invest 238 billion yuan into the city’s cultural tourism, the Securities Daily reported. The deal comes on the heels of OCT’s investments in Sichuan, Hainan, Yunnan and other places, it added.

US$220.22 million to support strategic emerging industries

China Development Bank is ready to arrange at least 1.5 trillion yuan in financing for strategic emerging industries, the Economic Information Daily reported. National Development and Reform Commission Chairman He Lifeng said the value of strategic emerging industries was expected to be 10% of GDP by the end of 2017.

Yuan cross-border payment system finalized soon in Shanghai

People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said a yuan cross-border payment system would be finalized soon in Shanghai, Sina Finance reported. The move aims to meet emerging demand from financial openness and international cooperation from the Belt and Road initiative, Zhou said.

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