Posted inBahrain, China, Egypt, Japan, Middle East, North Korea, Northeast Asia, South Korea, World

The Daily Brief for Wednesday, 12 July 2017

World watches Moon: The most intriguing personality at last week’s G-20 meeting was President Moon Jae-in of South Korea who sits directly at the nexus of the two biggest challenges facing the world’s 20 leading economies. William Pesek writes that the first problem is handling North Korea while the other, the deepening inequality that is delegitimizing democratic governments everywhere, is acutely felt in South Korea as President Moon deals with the monopolistic ways of his predecessor, the now jailed Park Geun-hye.

Understanding competitive advantage: The story of electronics shows that innovation, driven by corporations but supported by governments, is key to competitive longevity. Technologist and author Henry Kressel explains that industrial competitive advantage is reliant on business leaders smartly managing innovation, capital and human resources which means it is a fragile thing, as both Japan and the US now know.

Japan-Bloggers become regulators: Japan’s financial regulator is trying a new tack in its fight with asset managers by bringing in bloggers to shame an industry it says provides retail investors with poor service. Tomo Uetake reports that the Financial Services Agency has involved the bloggers to spread the issue further after accusing the nation’s “toshin” investment funds of charging high fees, delivering poor returns and pushing investors from one trendy product to the next to generate fees.

Silencing Al Jazeera? When Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt declared a soft war on Qatar, the long list of demands included a demand that TV network Al Jazeera be shut. Philip Seib writes that the free-wheeling, pan-Arab approach of this Qatari-funded media network has been a source of ire for Middle Eastern rulers who prefer to control the news that reaches their citizens.

China-Another rosewood boom? China’s new rich view used to view rosewood as a status symbol but the market crashed after Xi Jinping’s launched his anti-corruption in 2012. Zi Yang reports that prices are rising again but another huge boom is unlikely as the rare wood is strongly protected while the market is now well aware of the industry’s previously-used hording and manipulation tricks.

Posted inBeijing, China, Shanghai, Tianjin

China Digest for Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Central SOE profits hit record US$23.4 billion

Profits of centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in China hit a record high of 159.67 billion yuan (US$23.47 billion) in June, with 721.8 billion yuan in the first six months, a 15.8% year on year increase, the Economic Information Daily reported. Some 99 out of 102 such SOEs gained profits, while 48 and 29 SOEs increased in the first six months over 10% and 20% year on year respectively.

China to integrate manufacturing and internet in depth

Cloud computing services for the real economy was the highlight at the China Internet Conference as it opened on Tuesday, the Shanghai Securities Daily reported. Minister Miao Wei of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the authorities would promote the deep integration of manufacturing and the internet by leveraging innovation as the driving force and enhance information infrastructure integration.

New sewage discharging licences for iron and steel enterprises

The Ministry of Environmental Protection will issue new licences on sewage discharging to around 5,000 iron and steel enterprises by the end of 2018, Caixin reported. Enterprises located in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei districts will monitor multi-pollutants under the new system and provide operational data by the end of October, in accordance with the air pollution control plan released in February.

Wanda helps Sunac to finance theme park deal

Property and entertainment giant, Dalian Wanda Group, said it would take out a three-year bank loan of 29.6 billion yuan and lend the money to Tianjin-based Sunac China Holdings Ltd to pay for their 63.2 billion yuan theme park deal, Yicai reported. Wanda said Sunac would be responsible for all the loans, but the brand name and design would remain unchanged.

Majority of listed firms performed well in the first half of 2017

About 1,122 of the 1,455 listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen City stated positive returns in their semi-annual report, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing data released by WIND statistics. The performance is mainly pushed by a new momentum in electronics, the Internet and media fields, the report added.

Overseas investment performance highest in three years

As the China Investment Corp issued its annual report on Tuesday, statistics showed that the rate of return of foreign investments calculated in US dollars reached 6.22% in 2016, the highest in the past three years, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported.

Rental rates in 50 cities continue to drop

Average rental rates in 50 cities dropped 2.7% in the second quarter of this year, a 6% decrease compared to the first quarter, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing a research reported issued by the Shanghai Yiju Real Estate Research Institute. The decline is mainly due to rocketing home prices, it added.

Zhejiang bars 73 enterprises from electricity trading

The Zhejiang Development and Reform Commission cancelled the qualifications of 73 enterprises with poor environmental pollution records, preventing them from participating in electricity trading, Yicai reported.

More than 100 million express pieces shipped per day

Average daily express shipments in Q2 exceeded 100 million pieces in China, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing a report by the State Post Bureau. Total business volume reached 9.9 billion, a 31.3% increase compared to last year’s figures, the report said.