Sep 19, 2019 08:40 AM

CX Daily: China’s Fiscal Spending Fell for the First Time This Year

Shoppers at a supermarket in Guangzhou, Sept. 17. Photo: IC Photo
Shoppers at a supermarket in Guangzhou, Sept. 17. Photo: IC Photo

Economy /

China’s fiscal spending declines as tax cuts bite

China’s fiscal spending fell in August for the first time this year, underscoring the difficulty central and local governments face in bolstering economic growth despite pledges from policymakers to pursue a proactive fiscal policy.

Expenditures totaled 1.511 trillion yuan ($210 billion) in August, a 0.2% decline from the same period last year, according to our calculations based on data released Tuesday by the Ministry of Finance. That’s down from a 3.4% increase in July and the first drop since November 2018. Cumulatively for the first eight months of the year, fiscal spending increased by 8.8%, the ministry said.

Fiscal income increased by just 3.3% YOY in August, although that was the strongest growth since March. Tax revenue, which makes up more than 80% of the total, fell 4.4% YOY in August, the fourth consecutive monthly decline.



Sun Deshun at a press conference in 2014. Photo:

Misconduct /

Exclusive: Former head of Citic Bank is under investigation

The former head of a banking arm of one of China’s largest financial services groups, Sun Deshun, is under official investigation, sources familiar with the matter told us.

It remains unclear why Sun, the former president of China Citic Bank Corp. Ltd., is under investigation or which official body is investigating him. No official statement about the probe has been released, though Sun’s case might be linked to a criminal case involving one of Citic Group’s asset management subsidiaries, the sources said.

Treasurys /

Japan widens lead over China as top foreign holder of U.S. debt

Japan remained the biggest foreign owner of U.S. Treasurys in July with its holdings rising to a more than two-year high, while China’s stake fell slightly.

Japan’s holdings of U.S. notes, bills and bonds increased by about $7.9 billion to $1.13 trillion, the Treasury Department said in a monthly data release Tuesday. That’s the largest amount held by Japan since October 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The country overtook China as the largest non-U.S. holder of Treasurys in June.

Swine /

China to release 10,000 tons of pork from reserves amid short supply

China will release 10,000 metric tons of pork from state reserves this week to cope with a supply shortfall of the staple food ahead of the week-long National Day holiday.

The frozen pork will be auctioned online Thursday afternoon, according to a statement published Tuesday by China Merchandise Reserve Management Center, which manages the state pork reserves. Each company whose business record qualifies it to participate in the bidding is restricted to buying as much as 300 tons of pork, according to the statement.

Misconduct /

High-flying stock market investor receives five-year jail term

A Shanghai court Tuesday imposed a five-year jail term and an 11.8 million yuan ($1.66 million) fine on Xian Yan, once a star stock market investor, for criminal charges, closing the curtain on one of China’s most notorious financial market violation cases.

Xian, a lawyer-turned-investor, was convicted of crimes including stock market manipulation and breach of trust to damage listed companies’ interests, according to a verdict released by the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court Tuesday.

Quick hits /

Zhou Xiaochuan: Let finance play its role in carbon market development



A tanker with imported crude oil prepares to unload at a port in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, May 14. Photo: VCG

Oil /

Chinese refiners shaken by Saudi Arabian oilfield attacks

China’s large refiners are facing uncertainties after a drone attack on an oilfield in Saudi Arabia halved supplies of crude, refiners and analysts said.

Saudi Arabia is the largest source of China’s crude oil imports, with state-owned giants China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and China National Petroleum Corp. the dominant buyers. The weekend attack that damaged most light crude oil facilities in the desert kingdom has prompted the two Chinese firms to swap some of their crude to heavier grades, which yield less gasoline and other fuels, company insiders told us.

Beverages /

AB InBev to seek up to $4.85 billion in Asian unit IPO

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is set to raise as much as $4.8 billion, roughly half its earlier target, with a revived IPO of its Asian unit.

About 1.26 billion shares of Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC Ltd. will be marketed in Hong Kong at HK$27 to HK$30 each, the company said Tuesday. In July, the brewer shelved a share sale that sought to raise as much as $9.8 billion, and it agreed to sell its Australian business to Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. for $11.3 billion a week later.

Biotech /

Exclusive: Embattled Chinese vaccine maker one step away from delisting

The troubled drugmaker embroiled in China’s worst vaccine scandal last summer is one step away from delisting and may not be able pay a 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) regulatory fine.

Trading in the Shenzhen-listed stock of Changsheng Bio-technology Co. Ltd., which was found to have fabricated data for its vaccines for infants, has been suspended for six months since March 15. Although the final listing decision is up to the Shenzhen exchange, a forced delisting is “almost surely” coming, several financial industry participants told us.

Aviation /

China spending on planes and services to total $2.9 trillion by 2038, Boeing says

China will spend more than $2.9 trillion on new aircraft and ground services over the next 20 years as its civil aviation market continues expanding to become the world’s largest, according to Boeing Co.

China will need 8,090 new planes worth nearly $1.3 trillion by 2038 to meet the demands of its rapidly growing air traffic, Boeing said in its annual outlook on the commercial aviation market released Tuesday. Chinese airlines will also need to spend additional $1.6 trillion on ground services such as cargo operations and maintenance over the next 20 years, Boeing said. The total estimate is 7% higher than Boing’s forecast last year.

Quick hits /

Buybacks don’t guarantee stock price boost

Airbus to launch on-demand helicopter services in China’s Greater Bay Area

Huawei launches ‘world’s fastest AI training cluster’

Chinese autonomous truck startup raises $120 million from UPS, others

Juul’s e-cigarettes vanish from Chinese e-commerce sites

Chinese coffee lovers can now order Starbucks through Alibaba’s smart speaker

Inspection of apps finds hundreds of privacy violations

Q&A: China’s advance in basic scientific research

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