China Digest

Economics and policy from China’s newspapers

Friday May 5, 2017

Obor investment should be market-oriented: PBOC chief

Market forces could help supplement concessionary funding for investment projects under the Belt & Road, formerly known as One Belt, One Road (Obor), which were unsustainable given the limitations of a country’s financial resources and laws, said Zhou Xiaochuan, head of People’s Bank of China.

CSRC encourages insurance funds to invest in national projects

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission is encouraging firms to invest in major projects in line with national strategies such as construction of the Xiongan New Area and setting up debt-for-equity swaps, the Shanghai Securities Journal said on Friday.

China Eco Watch Table 0503

Ministry gets tough on debt-raising tactics in PPPs

The Ministry of Finance has clarified local government debt raising mechanisms, forbidding the illegal raising debt disguised in public-private-partnership projects. Local governments cannot inject public assets or reserve land in financing or lending platforms.

2017 trade outlook may fare better than 2015, 2016

Despite major pressure on growth from unstable external demand, fierce industrial competition and trade frictions, the Ministry of Commerce said in its report that the trade outlook for 2017 may improve from the previous two years.

Forex business will be managed under new framework: SAFE

A sensible management framework will be set up to regulate financial institutions’ foreign currency business in 2017, Caixin reported, citing the State Administration of Foreign Exchange annual report.

Shanghai Stock Exchange firms saw 2016 revenue, profit boost

Companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange saw a turnaround in both revenue – a record 24.26 trillion yuan (US$3.52 trillion) – and 2.18 trillion yuan in profit in 2016, People’s Daily reported on Friday. They were a 4.55% and 1.29% increase, respectively, from 2015.

2016 local government debt ratio stood at 80.5%

Total local government debt stood at 15.32 trillion yuan by the end of 2016, with a debt ratio of 80.5%, Sina Finance reported. But the Ministry of Finance on Thursday said combined with the 12.01 trillion yuan in central government debt, the total debt ratio stood at 36.7%, which was lower than major economies and other emerging markets.

Coal giant in Shanxi launches debt-for-equity swap

Jinneng Group, one of the seven state-owned coal giants in Shanxi province, signed a 20 billion yuan debt-for-equity swap contract with CITIC Bank on Thursday, the China News Service said.

More mid-west companies make it into Top 100 property developers

Some 11 midwest developers made the China Real Estate Investment Corp research center’s top 100 sales rankings for January to April this year. Only nine made it into the 2016 list and an expert says controls on sales in major cities has driven demand higher in the midwest region.

Rural e-commerce industry rapidly growing

Ministry of Commerce data show rural online retail sales reached 250.4 billion yuan in the first quarter of 2017, up 36.6% year on year. Online sales in services stood at 101.5 billion yuan, an almost 47.5% year-on-year increase.