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The Daily Brief for Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Abenomics needs victories: With Prime Minister Abe’s approval ratings low, Japan’s leader is looking for easy public-pleasing targets and a very obvious one is Bank of Japan Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda. William Pesek writes that Kuroda has so far avoided quantitative-easing but examples of loosening labor markets, encouraging entrepreneurship, empowering women and boosting productivity are scant, which means the most famous economist in Tokyo might soon be out of a job.

Duterte leans East: Philippine President Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address was full of his characteristic fire but also contained an unexpected tirade against the United Nations, the European Union and the United States. Richard Javad Heydarian writes that it was revealing how the Filipino leader did not mention the country’s South China Sea disputes but did manage to praise China as a generous international partner.

Washington’s China fear: A senior CIA analyst says the recent public angst about Russia is distracting America from the threat posed by China, writes Bill Gertz. In an unusually candid speech, Michael Collins, the CIA’s deputy assistant director and head of the agency’s East Asia mission center, said China’s growing confidence and resolve – fueled by inaction against Chinese hegemony over the past several years – should be the real international concerns for Washington.

Tamils not remembered: Sri Lankan security forces have erected numerous monuments celebrating their 2009 victory over Tamil Tiger rebels but no such privilege has been accorded to the Tamil insurgents or civilians who died in the fight. Duncan McCargo reports that the authorities claim they are responding to pressure from hardline Buddhist groups who insist that brutal terrorists are not entitled to such decencies but local Tamil people remain skeptical.

Asia Times app: The Asia Times has launched an app for both iOS- and Android-based devices that will deliver the publication’s regular daily news, commentary, blogs and live coverage while also bringing readers added functionality. Asia Times Staff report that the app, launched on July 25, includes content notification, share and save functions and is free to download from both the Apple Store and Google Play.

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. 

Posted inBeijingChinaChongqingShanghai

China Digest for Wednesday, 26 July 2017

PBOC to strengthen financial supervision

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it will strictly regulate transactions in financial markets and strengthen internet finance supervision, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported, citing a statement released after a meeting attended by heads of PBOC branches. The central bank said it will improve integrated supervision of important financial institutions, push forward supply-side structural reform and help maintain stable and healthy economic development.

Sichuan plans US$4.4 billion bond issue

Southwest Sichuan Province will issue 30 billion yuan (US$4.44 billion) in local government bonds via open bidding on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on August 1, the Paper reported. Individual investors can offer to buy the bonds together with institutional investors. Zhejiang Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region first issued government bonds for individual investors on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on July 7, worth 29.9 billion and 35.94 billion yuan respectively.

Xinhua backs moves to rein in property market prices

The state-owned newspaper published an editorial on Tuesday, advocating for the government to make “fine and substantial” adjustments in the property market in order to rein in prices, following the party’s top leadership meeting on the economy on Monday. Xinhua urged better use of city migration data to adjust land and housing supply and also advocated for more transparency in the housing market to assist consumers. The country’s first set of housing rental and transaction regulations is also underway, the report added.

US$4.98 trillion funnelled into ‘real economy’

New research by the National Institute for Finance and Development under Tsinghua University and Zheshang Bank has found more than 70% of the 33.64 trillion yuan (US$4.98 trillion) wealth management industry is being funnelled into the “real economy,” Yicai reported. The remaining 20% is held within the financial system and is mostly used for speculative purposes on arbitrary trades, taking huge risks within the financial system, the report added.

Chongqing tops provincial GDP performance

China’s statistics bureau released its provincial GDP report recently, with Chongqing rising 10.5% for the first six months this year, Sina Finance reported. Guizhou is second at 10.4% while Liaoning, Gansu and Beijing completing the bottom three, rising 2.1%, 5% and 6.8% respectively, the report said.

Wanda Group pulls back US$5.94 billion from 84 malls

Wanda Group, a conglomerate that is also one of China’s leading real estate developers, has pulled 40.1 billion yuan (US$5.94 billion) in registered capital from 84 malls, with the majority of the pull-back in the last two months, Caixin reported. The shares of at least eight malls have been transferred to financial institutions, the report added. The news casts doubt on chairman Wang Jianlin’s claims that the company is focusing on investment opportunities within China, amid news reports that Chinese banks were told to stop funding Wanda’s overseas acquisitions.

JPMF Guangdong buys Triumph Lead Group for US$3.07 billion

One of China’s largest ferrite magnet manufacturers, JPMF Guangdong, has bought Triumph Lead Group, a precision parts manufacturer, for 20.73 billion yuan (US$3.07 billion), the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. The purchase will allow JPMF Guangdong to do a backdoor listing via Triump Lead, the report added.

Cost index indicates needs of the elderly

The Insurance Asset Management Association of China (IAMAC) issued the Sino Life China Senior Living Cost Index (ISLCI) on Tuesday, the first index that details the comprehensive living expenses of the elderly, the Economic Information Daily reported. Cao Deyun, executive vice chairman of the IAMAC, said the index shows changes in the needs of China’s elderly, and it may also help provide future references for pension investment.

ICO projects raise US$388 million in 2017

In the first half of 2017, 65 Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects raised 2.62 billion yuan, involving over one hundred thousand participants, Caixin reported. ICO works like an initial public offering (IPO) for digital currency, which is often used by startups to bypass the regulated capital raising process required by venture capitalists or banks.

Registration-based IPO system sees progress: CSRC

Information on 80 committee candidates for the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was provided for public review, Caixin reported. At least 14 candidates will be rejected from the designated 66 positions, as the securities regulator aims to speed up reforms in the registration-based IPO system, combining a main board and second board issuing committee.

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.