China Business Digest: Xi Urges ‘Greater Political Courage, Wisdom’ to Advance Reform Agenda; China’s Credit Continues to Grow Robustly in September
China’s credit continued to grow robustly in September. President Xi Jinping urged Shenzhen to take the lead in advancing the country's reform agenda with “greater political courage and wisdom." China’s central bank is about to set up a fund to insure payment companies, including Alipay and the WeChat Pay operator.
— By Tang Ziyi (email@example.com)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
September credit growth signals stronger 3rd quarter GDP, central banker says
China’s credit continued to grow robustly in September, a sign that the government efforts to lend funds to businesses could lead to a further recovery of the economy from a coronavirus-induced slump. China’s newly added social financing came in at 3.48 trillion yuan ($520 billion) in September, up by 963 billion yuan year-on-year, central bank data showed Wednesday.
Xi urges ‘greater political courage, wisdom’ to press ahead reform agenda
President Xi Jinping urged the city of Shenzhen, China's pioneer of reform and opening-up in the southern Guangdong province, to take the lead in advancing the country's reform agenda with “greater political courage and wisdom” amid “unprecedented challenges” including pressures of global competition for technology and talent.
China is buying up record chunks of Japan’s debt mountain
China went on a record buying spree of Japanese bonds over the summer months, snapping up $20.9 billion of the low-yielding debt to spur talk that it’s diversifying reserves. The 2.2 trillion yen of purchases, made from June to August, set a record in local currency terms for a three-month period based on data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance going back to 2005.
Singapore to resume visa application for Chinese mainland citizens
Singapore will resume processing travel visa application for Chinese mainland citizens starting Monday. Those who already had a valid visa don’t need reapply, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said. Singapore suspended the issuance of all forms of new visas to those with Chinese mainland passports February 1 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Travelers from China must take a Covid-19 swab test 72 hours before entering and another swab test when they land at Singapore.
China’s central bank plans fund to insure payment companies
The People’s Bank of China on Tuesday issued draft rules (link in Chinese) for setting up a fund of up to 1 billion yuan ($148 million) to insure nonbank payment companies. The central bank will use interest on customer funds that companies deposit at the bank to capitalize the fund.
China considers new law on personal information protection
China’s most senior lawmakers are deliberating over a draft data protection law that would slap a maximum fine of 50 million yuan on people who illegally handle personal information. They will consider the proposed new Personal Information Protection Law during a legislative meeting running from Tuesday to Saturday in Beijing.
Four things to know about state’s role in China’s private investment market
The share of state money in China’s 10 trillion yuan private investment market is expanding, even as many venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) firms face shrinking business. State capital has become the most important funding source for VC and PE funds, experts said. (Read the in-depth story here.)
China’s auto sales expected to drop less than 10% this year
Auto sales in China are expected to drop less than 10% (link in Chinese), as the world’s largest auto market recovers from the coronavirus pandemic more quickly than expected, said Xu Haidong, a vice chief engineer at the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Evergrande tumbles after share placement misses target
Shares of China Evergrande Group slumped in Hong Kong trading after the company raised far less than anticipated from a share placement, a sign of persistent investor skepticism toward the embattled developer as it hunts for cash to repay a wall of maturing debt. (Bloomberg)
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
• Banks in China may have issued 1.74 trillion yuan (link in Chinese) in new yuan loans in September, up from the actual figure of 1.28 trillion yuan the previous month, according to the median estimate in a Caixin survey of economists at 19 financial institutions.
• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected China’s GDP to expand 1.9% year-on-year this year, up from 1% growth in its estimate in June. China would be the only major economy to grow this year, the IMF projected.
• HSBC Holdings PLC was left off the list of banks arranging China’s sovereign dollar debt sale for the first time since the nation returned with big annual deals in 2017. (Bloomberg)
• Australian lender Westpac Banking Corp. will exit its operations in China’s mainland and Hong Kong as part of a wider consolidation of its international business to cut costs and improve capital efficiency in a move that will reduce staff numbers in Asia by up to 200. (Australian Financial Review)
• China is pressing ahead with a dollar bond sale amid growing uncertainties over U.S. elections and tensions with Washington. For a fourth straight autumn, China is looking to sell dollar notes with three-year, five-year, 10-year and 30-year maturities Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)
• Tesla Inc. cut the price of its Model S “Long Range” sedan in the U.S. and China, days after the electric-car maker reported record quarterly deliveries. (Reuters)
• As of June, China had 818 million short-video users, and they watched an average of nearly two hours every day on apps including ByteDance Ltd.-owned Douyin and Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed Kuaishou, a report by the China Netcasting Services Association showed.
• China gained 36 new billionaires (link in Chinese) this year even as the coronavirus pandemic lashed the nation’s economy, according to a report jointly released by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and UBS AG.
• Meituan Dianping on Tuesday launched its first portable shop run by artificial intelligence in Beijing.
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• On Tuesday, the Chinese mainland reported 20 new Covid-19 cases with symptoms (link in Chinese), of which 14 were imported and six were locally transmitted, according to China’s top health body. The six locally transmitted cases were all in East China’s Shandong province, where a cluster of new infections tied to a hospital in the coastal city of Qingdao emerged.
• The source of the recent Covid-19 outbreak in China’s major northeastern port city of Qingdao may trace to two dock workers who tested positive and were treated in the hospital where the cluster of infections happened, according to people close to the matter.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
• As of Wednesday afternoon Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally exceeded 38.1 million, with the death toll surpassing 1.08 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
** AND FINALLY
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 1 million people globally, has caused many major sporting events to be postponed or cancelled, including the Tokyo Olympics. Many players have tested positive since the pandemic began, including Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and China’s top striker Wu Lei.
Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo gives a thumbs up Tuesday from a balcony in Lisbon after testing positive for Covid-19. Earlier that day, the Portuguese Football Federation confirmed Ronaldo’s condition and said “he is in self-isolation.”
** LOOKING AHEAD
Oct. 15: Release of China’s September CPI
Oct. 19: Release of China’s third-quarter GDP
Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editor Yang Ge (email@example.com)
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