China Digest

Economics and policy from China’s newspapers

Friday August 25, 2017

ICBC head says ‘super balance sheet’ needed

The chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Yi Huiman, said on Thursday that a “super balance sheet” is required in order to tackle the current issues in China’s financial sector, Caixin reported. The balance sheet would include assets and liabilities on and off-balance sheet, overseas and domestic, deposits and money supply and short-term and long-term capital flow, the report said. Yi said that current oversights of M2 money supply, deposits and loans are insufficient for the health of the financial system.

China to boost online information consumption

China said it will boost online information consumption in the next few years to help promote innovation, drive domestic demand and stimulate economic growth, the Securities Times reported. The consumption of online information products and services is expected to increase 11% annually to reach 6 trillion yuan (US$900 billion) by 2020. China will foster online progress by encouraging intelligent electronics, education and medical treatment, e-commerce, 5G mobile networks, and telecom services in rural areas.

China Life’s profits rise as crackdown continues

China Life, the country’s largest life insurer, posted an interim profit of 12.24 billion yuan in the first half of 2017, a 17.8% year-on-year increase, as regulatory officials cracked down on its smaller rivals, Caixin reported. The total revenue amounted to 345.97 billion yuan, increasing 18.3% yearly in this period. The company’s service structure also changed, as the bond and fixed-term deposit sector decreased and stock and fund services increased.

Baosteel Group reports US$930.86 million profit

Baosteel Group, one of China’s largest steelmakers, reported a 64.91% jump in net profit year on year for the first half of 2017, clocking in at 6.17 billion yuan (US$930.86 million), the Paper reported. The report is the first financial statement following the acquisition of another state-owned enterprise steelmaker, Wuhan Iron and Steel, earlier this year. Baosteel says that “supply side reforms” and a change in operating environment have contributed to the good performance.

China Vanke reports first-half surge

China Vanke, the country’s second largest property developer by sales, posted a 41.7% year-on-year rise to reach 10.05 billion yuan in first-half net profit, the Paper reported. The company reported an 37.93% year-on-year increase of overall profit to 13.6 billion yuan while revenue dropped 6.66% to 69.8 billion yuan, due to fewer completed projects. Total sales amounted to 277.18 billion yuan, a 45.8% annual increase.

Citi Bank sees shrunken mid-year balance sheet

Total assets of China Citi Bank Corp Ltd stood at 5.65 trillion yuan by the end of June, a 4.72% decrease compared to the end of last year, while its liabilities were 5.26 trillion yuan, a 5.19% slid, the Paper reported. Its net profit amounted to 24.01 billion yuan, a 1.74% year-on-year increase. The value of non-performing loans increased 5.23% compared to last year’s figure to 51.12 billion yuan, while its ratio decreased 0.04 percentage points to 1.65%.

Shanghai Futures Exchange acts to control speculators

The Shanghai Futures Exchange said on Thursday that transaction fees for the futures of two hot-rolled steel coiled products, HC1710 and HC1801, will be tweaked upwards of five times in order to curb speculation, the Paper reported. The exchange had earlier imposed limits on other ferrous metals futures, such as coking coal, more than three times this month, the report added, all in a bid to curb speculation.

PetroChina says no change of strategy in North America

The vice-chairman of the nation’s biggest oil producer, Wang Dong, said on Thursday that PetroChina has made no changes in strategy regarding the North American market, amid rumors of a staff exodus at its North American offices, Caixin reported. Wang also said that the company did not see any “abnormal change” in staff turnover at its North American offices and said its overall strategy in the area remains unchanged, the report added.

Huawei leads top 500 private enterprises

Huawei Investment & Holding leads the top 500 private enterprise list with revenue of 521.57 billion yuan in 2016, Sina Finance reported. The Shenzhen-based Huawei was followed by Suning Holdings Group Co, a Nanjing-based home appliance retailer, with annual earnings of 412.95 billion yuan. Six private companies achieved revenue of more than 300 billion yuan each and only 20 private enterprises were on the 2017 Fortune Global 500 list out of a total of 115 Chinese companies.