China Digest

Economics and policy from China’s newspapers

Tuesday August 8, 2017

‘Zombie companies’ banned from debt-to-equity swaps

The China Banking Regulatory Commission issued temporary management methods on debt-to-equity swaps for public review on Monday, the Economic Information Daily reported. Domestic banks must be the main investors in such swaps, holding more than 50% of the registered capital, while the overall capital need is estimated to be at least 10 billion yuan (US$1.49 billion). So-called “zombie companies,” which are ventures struggling financially, will be rejected from the swap.

Stellar six months for China’s foreign reserves

Foreign exchange reserves keep rising and are expected to remain stable following a six-month consecutive increase as of July, as pressure from capital outflows eased and the value of the yuan increased, the Paper reported. According to data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, 25 violations of foreign exchange regulations have recently been prosecuted, totaling fines of 33.86 million yuan, the Economic Information Daily added.

Shenzhen aims to be a sustainable, innovative city

Shenzhen has released a Sustainable Development Plan (2017 to 2030) for public review, the China News Service reported. The broad plan emphasizes a critical focus on nurturing emerging industries driven by the development of Internet and communication technologies. It also set a target to become a sustainable and innovative city by 2030.

US$1.49 billion enterprise launched in Xiongan

China Xiongan Construction and Investment Group Co was established on July 18, with 10 billion yuan registered capital, the Paper reported. The Hebei provincial government is the only stakeholder of the solely state-owned enterprise, Caijing added. Zhang Weiliang, deputy secretary of the Xiongan New Area party committee, was named as the corporate representative.

Home transactions limited in 40 cities

Around 40 cities have prohibited people from home transactions for two to ten years after they obtain property certificates, the Paper reported. Baoding, the city near the Xiongan New Area, banned resales of homes for a decade. Guangzhou said deals for real estate projects which violate government price instructions cannot be permitted.

Eight provinces targeted for environmental inspection

The fourth batch of environmental protection inspectors commissioned by the central government will be stationed in eight provinces for one month starting in early August, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. Industrial provinces such as Shandong, Sichuan and Jilin are included and will act beforehand to close down illegal capacities in the industry of steel, petrochemicals and coal coking. Previously, 23 provinces were inspected and a total number of 60,105 cases of environmental pollution were filed.

Wolf Warriors II battles to box-office record

Wolf Warriors II, a patriotic action sequel, has earned more than a 3-billion-yuan box office in just two weeks on screen, Caijng reported. It broke the record set by The Mermaid of hitting one-billion-yuan box office in 92 hours, by matching that in 85 hours. The market value of its main investor, Beijing Culture, an A-share listed company, soared 5 billion yuan in this period, as it closed at 21.14 yuan per share on Monday.

Legal wrangles amid growing ‘cashless society’

Some vendors are now refusing to take cash due to the increasing ease and popularity of mobile digital payment, while the staff of the People’s Bank of China said the act of barring customers from paying by cash is a violation of the law, the Economic Information Daily reported. In 2016, a total number of 25.71 billion mobile transactions were recorded, amounting to 157.55 trillion yuan (US$23.45 trillion).

Luxury goods in China cost more

The prices of luxury goods in China are more than 50% higher than similar products in Italy and France, Caixin reported, citing a report published by Deloitte. The premiums for watches and jewellery showed the largest price gap, while prices for handbags in different markets were similar.