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The Daily Brief for Monday, 3 July 2017

Taiwan’s TPP role: The US government’s approval of a US$1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan may have sent Beijing into a rage but it does not really change China’s military superiority, argues Emanuele Scimia. A more realistic threat to the cross-strait status quo, says Scimia, is Japan’s attempt to make Taipei a part of the reformed Trans-Pacific Partnership, something that would weaken Beijing’s strategy to diplomatically isolate Taiwan.

Koikenomics gains momentum: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s triumph in Sunday’s Tokyo Metropolitan assembly election will surely give Abe nightmares about Koike making a run for his job. William Pesek writes that Koike, who has been a consistent thorn in the prime minister’s side, possesses the policies and presence to propel her to national leadership.

HK in 2037? Hong Kong appears to have lost its unique position as a gateway to China, and its recent attempts to rebrand itself as a glitzy entertainment/shopping/tourism hub have fallen short, says Pepe Escobar. Despite the issues it faces, Beijing knows all too well how crucial an asset this city is for China and, with realignment and full involvement in the China’s new Silk Road initiative, Hong Kong can still play a key global role over the next 20 years.

Cambodia-Yuan vs Dollar: China remains Cambodia’s leading foreign donor and new Bank of China branches bank in the country will further strengthen Beijing’s financial support network for Chinese businesses and also help promote the yuan’s internationalization. Zi Yang writes that despite this growing Chinese economic presence, the dollar is still the favored currency in Cambodia and the yuan has a long way to go before it dislodges the dominance of the mighty greenback.

Silk Road North? Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila in Dalian in June during the annual World Economic Forum meeting known as the “Summer Davos”. Doug Tsuruoka reports that the talks saw China and Finland pledge more cooperation and included a potentially game-changing US$3.4 billion “Arctic Corridor” railway that, together with a “Northern Sea Route”, could transform trade transport between Europe and Asia.

Posted inBeijingChinaHong Kong

China Digest for Monday, 3 July 2017

‘Northbound’ trading starts in Hong Kong bond connect

The People’s Bank of China and Hong Kong Monetary Authority said on Sunday that non-mainland investors could start trading Chinese corporate bonds on Monday, the Economic Information Daily reported. However, mainland investors will be not able to trade Hong Kong-listed bonds yet.

No changes to individuals’ foreign exchange: SAFE

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange has implemented newly revised regulations on financing institutions’ block and suspicious trades, but no updates were made to the management of individuals’ foreign exchange, Xinhua reported. SAFE confirmed that rumours of restrictions on individuals’ foreign exchange limits on social media were untrue.

Home prices, sales volume slide in China’s first tier cities

First tier cities saw a drop in home prices as Shenzhen new home deals averaged 54,492 yuan per square meter, marking a continuous nine month decrease, the Economic Information Daily reported. Deals on new homes in Beijing fell to 20,000 units in the first six months this year, while second hand home sales decreased 30%.

​Beijing police arrest 32 people in Huaying Kailai

Beijing’s eastern district police announced on Sunday that 32 people connected to Huaying Kailai, the asset company linked to China’s straddling bus project, have been arrested. According to a report in the Paper, Bai Danqing, the company’s main shareholder and also the person behind the bus project, are alleged to be among those arrested.

PBOC cracks down on sales of mobile payment licences

The People’s Bank of China retracted the mobile payment licences of nine companies in a June 26 ruling, Caixin reported. The crackdown came as the PBOC issued a ‘guidance’ on 93 mobile payment companies. The companies have either sold their licences illegally or utilized shell companies to keep the lucrative licences, which can be worth hundreds of millions of yuan.

Real estate M&As to increase this year: experts

The real estate industry is set to respond to property market curbs by undergoing more mergers and acquisitions later this year, Caixin reported, citing industry experts. The M&As are likely to be in the form of housing projects and/or land acquisitions, other than the buying of companies’ shares, not limited to cash, the report said.

CSRC approval of public offerings slows

China’s Securities Regulatory Commission approved and issued 225 initial public offerings with financing of up to 113.3 billion yuan (US$16.7 billion) in the first six months of this year, Yicai reported. The CSRC’s rate of voting down IPOs increased to 13.45% in this period, while only 7% of proposals were voted down in 2016.

Yunnan Copper nets US$29.5 million share of Nonfemet

Yunnan Copper Company Limited has become the tenth largest shareholder of Shenzhen Zhongjin Lingnan Nonfemet through a non-public offering, the Securities Times reported. Yunnan Copper, China’s third biggest copper producer, is spending 200 million yuan (US$29.5 million) to acquire close to 21 million shares of Nonfemet.