NEWS

March 26, 2019

Chinese banks to post slow profit growth for fifth straight year

Chinese banks, habitual profit stars on the mainland stock markets, are poised to report single-digit profit growth for the fifth consecutive year in 2018 as the world’s second-largest economy expanded at its slowest pace since 1990.The lenders traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses are likely to post a 6.7 per cent profit rise year on year, according to a forecast by Ping An Securities.Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Construction Bank (CCB) will report earnings on…
March 26, 2019

China played the long game to see who ‘blinks first’ when 2018 US trade war spiralled out of control, central bank’s ex-adviser says

China’s government, locked in disputes with the nation’s biggest export market, was playing the long game and waiting to see who “blinks first” when a trade war between the world’s two largest economies spiralled out of control last year, a former adviser to the Chinese central bank said.Negotiations to resolve the disputes went into a six-month hiatus due to several false starts caused by lack of understanding, said Tsinghua University’s economics professor David Li Daokui, a former member of…
March 26, 2019

China played the long game to see who ‘blinks first’ when US trade war spiralled out of control in 2018, central bank’s ex-adviser says

China’s government, locked in disputes with the nation’s biggest export market, was playing the long game and waiting to see who “blinks first” when a trade war between the world’s two largest economies spiralled out of control last year, a former adviser to the Chinese central bank said.Negotiations to resolve the disputes went into a six-month hiatus due to several false starts caused by lack of understanding, said Tsinghua University’s economics professor David Li Daokui, a former member of…
March 25, 2019

Former US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen says US recession unlikely

Economic growth in the US is slowing but it is unlikely to drop to a level that will cause a recession, former US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said in Hong Kong on Monday.“I don’t see a recession in the US as particularly likely. The US is certainly experiencing a slowing of growth and that is something that was long expected,” Yellen said at a Credit Suisse forum on Asian investment.The US economy grew by more than 3 per cent last year due to a huge US fiscal stimulus, synchronised…
March 25, 2019

US recession unlikely, says former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen says

Economic growth in the United States is slowing but it is unlikely to drop to a level that will cause a recession, former US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen said in Hong Kong on Monday.“I don’t see a recession in the US as particularly likely. The US is certainly experiencing a slowing of growth and that is something that was long expected,” Yellen said at a Credit Suisse forum on Asian investment.The US economy grew by more than 3 per cent last year due to a huge US fiscal stimulus,…
March 25, 2019

US recession unlikely, says former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen says

Economic growth in the United States is slowing but it is unlikely to drop to a level that will cause a recession, former US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said in Hong Kong on Monday.“I don’t see a recession in the US as particularly likely. The US is certainly experiencing a slowing of growth and that is something that was long expected,” Yellen said at a Credit Suisse forum on Asian investment.The US economy grew by more than 3 per cent last year due to a huge US fiscal stimulus,…
March 25, 2019

US-China trade war reflection of shifting centre for global trade, author says

The rising trade tensions between the United States and China should not be defined simply as a new cold war between the world’s two largest economies, according to international relations expert Dr Parag Khanna.It is a much broader dynamic that reflects the changing centre of gravity for trade from one focused on the transatlantic movement of goods to Eurasia, said Khanna, the founder of Singapore-based strategic advisory firm FutureMap and the author of six books.“When it comes to the trade…
March 25, 2019

Beijing promises wider financial access for foreign investors as US-China trade war talks enter crucial stage

China continued its charm offensive for foreign investors, renewing promises to open its state-controlled financial services sector further and ensure equal treatment.The latest move came as the talks between China and the United States have entered a crucial stage, with the remaining sticking points in the text of a trade agreement expected to be discussed when US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin visit Beijing on Thursday.Chinese Vice-Premier Liu…
March 25, 2019

US recession chance ‘no more than 25 per cent’ says Chicago Federal Reserve chief as fear grips markets

The chance of a recession in the United States is “not extraordinary”, according to the president of the Chicago Federal Reserve, conveying a more benign outlook for the world’s largest economy than the fear that has roiled stock markets from New York to Sydney.Growth in “the US economy has slowed but is still robust”, said Charles Evans, with the United States’ US$21 trillion economy expected to grow by about 2 per cent this year, which is “pretty good”, putting the probability of a recession…
March 25, 2019

China’s private tutoring industry is booming despite economic slowdown

Amid China’s economic downturn, its booming education industry has become a bright spark in the gloom thanks to surging demand for after-school learning, resulting in an influx of investment capital.Within the rapidly expanding private education sector, the fastest growth comes from after-school tutoring, such as private tutoring and English instruction classes as Chinese parents have no qualms about spending on such programmes to help their children.“Parents can cut [other] discretionary…
March 25, 2019

Can China count on its SOEs to boost ailing employment amid US-China trade war?

As China’s economy continues to face pressures from a trade war with the United States, salary cuts and lay-offs in the manufacturing and technology-related industries are on the rise. But a low-ranking civil servant is finding job security working in a district office on the South China Sea coast in Guangdong province.The 42-year-old, surnamed Xing, chose to take China’s tough civil servant exam to join the government ranks in the 1990s when many of his friends and classmates opted to work for…
March 25, 2019

China’s big spenders are reining in on buying cars, jewellery and watches as confidence in personal finance cools, Credit Suisse says

Chinese consumers are less confident about their personal finances, income growth and are cautious of making big purchases than they were a year ago as the country’s economic slowdown is beginning to weigh on sentiment, a Credit Suisse study has found.The number of respondents expecting an improvement in the state of their personal finances in the next six months has “decreased significantly by 5 percentage points to 30 per cent in 2018, after a strong recovery in 2017,” according to the Credit…
March 24, 2019

China’s migrant worker exodus has created demand for drone pilots to help ageing left-behind farmers

Zhu Beibei still remembers the acrid stench of rubber tyres even though it has been 10 years since he worked at a small car manufacturer in Wuhan in central China. Then 19, it was his first job out of technical school. He was paid 900 yuan (US$134) a month and there was a lot of overtime. He quit after six months.“I had to wake up at 2pm and work until at least 10am,” Zhu, now 29, said in an interview. “Every day I worked like a robot and did not have much time to talk with each other. I did…
March 24, 2019

Pollution containment stepped up at site of Yancheng chemical factory blast in China

Pollution containment has been stepped up and rescue operations expanded in response to Thursday’s deadly pesticide plant explosion in the city of Yancheng, Jiangsu province, with officials reporting leakage from chemical storage tanks on site.The blast killed at least 64 people and injured 604 others, according to the latest official figures, while another 28 people were still reported missing.Yancheng mayor Cao Lubao on Sunday said the scope of the rescue efforts after the blast at the…
March 24, 2019

Former Chinese, US officials joust over China’s role on the world stage

Former officials from China and the United States jousted on Sunday over China’s role on the world stage and how it should get there.Veteran Chinese diplomat Fu Ying said Washington should not dictate what part China played and that the US should accept Beijing taking a more prominent role.But Fu, a former deputy foreign minister and ambassador to Britain, also said at a gathering of foreign business representatives and former government officials in Beijing that China had no intention of…
March 24, 2019

Italy’s move to join New Silk Road may see European Union tighten coordination on China

Italy’s decision to join Beijing’s multibillion-dollar “Belt and Road Initiative” may prompt the European Union to tighten its coordination on China amid growing scrutiny of its efforts to expand its global clout, analysts say.Italy’s populist administration – resisting pressure from Brussels and Washington – on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding with China agreeing to take part in Beijing’s trade and infrastructure scheme, the first G7 nation to do so.Among the 29 other agreements…
March 24, 2019

China will buy more US goods, top official says ahead of latest trade talks

China will work to boost imports and achieve a more even balance of trade with the United States, a top Chinese official said on Sunday, just days ahead of the latest round of talks aimed at bringing an end to the two countries’ punishing tariff war.Speaking at the China Development Forum in Beijing, Vice-Premier and Politburo Standing Committee member Han Zheng told a gathering of foreign business representatives and former government officials from the US and other countries that his…
March 24, 2019

China will buy more US goods, top official says ahead of latest trade war talks

China will work to boost imports and achieve a more even balance of trade with the United States, a top Chinese official said on Sunday, just days ahead of the latest round of talks aimed at bringing an end to the two countries’ punishing tariff war.Speaking at the China Development Forum in Beijing, Vice-Premier and Politburo Standing Committee member Han Zheng told a gathering of foreign business representatives and former government officials from the US and other countries that his…
March 23, 2019

Apple boss Tim Cook urges China to keep opening up its economy

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has encouraged China to keep opening up its economy, as his company grapples with weaker demand from the nation and uncertainty over its trade war with the United States.“We urge China to continue to open up,” he said during a speech at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday. “We see that as essential. Not only for China to reach its full potential, but for the global economy to thrive.”Apple is desperately trying to revive sales in China, which…
March 22, 2019

Chinese plastics makers are switching to biodegradable materials as Beijing stresses on pollution-free economic progress

Lou Zhongping, dubbed the “king of plastic straws”, is changing his strategy.The founder and chairman of Saton Daily Necessities is spending US$15 million to double the size of his factory in Yiwu, Zhejiang province to produce biodegradable straws, Plastic News reported earlier this month.Lou has good reason for the switch. Orders for biodegradable straws made from polylactide acid (PLA) – a type of biodegradable plastic raw material – have exploded in the past few months from 4 per cent of…