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  • China’s shopping malls are becoming polarised as customers seek out quality, says JLL

    China’s retail market is one of the biggest investment opportunities of this century, but nobody said it would be plain sailing. In 2019, as growth shifts down a gear it is crucial for investors to focus on what the market needs.

    With retail sales in China hitting 38 trillion yuan (US$5.66 trillion) last year, in 2019 it is forecast to become the world’s largest retail market. China’s annual retail sales growth of 9 per cent looks incredibly strong.

    However, after accounting for inflation and…

    Posted: by South China Morning Post

  • 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…

    Posted: by South China Morning Post

  • Jet boss quits as airline seeks rescue

    India’s troubled Jet Airways said yesterday that founder Naresh Goyal has stepped down as chairman and left the company board as part of a rescue plan.Jet, which has debts of more than US$1 billion, said in a statement that its creditors would inject up to US$218 million of “immediate funding support” into the airline.Its shares soared 13 percent in Mumbai.Indian media reports said that Goyal’s stake in Jet will fall to half the current 51 percent. The statement said it would also issue 11.4 million new shares.The Mumbai-based carrier, which until turbulence recently was India’s second-biggest airline, has been forced to ground three-quarters of its 119-aircraft fleet.This is because it was unable to pay aircraft lessors. Its pilots have also complained of delays in receiving their salaries, while the firm also defaulted on loan payments.Thousands of customers have been stranded in recent weeks after hundreds of flights were canceled, in some cases with little or no notice.Jet, founded by Goyal in 1993, employs more than 20,000 people.A collapse would deal a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pragmatic pro-business reputation ahead of elections starting on April 11.India’s air passenger numbers have jumped six-fold in a decade as its middle class took advantage of better connectivity and cheaper flights. Its aviation sector is projected to be the world’s third-largest by 2025.But like other carriers Jet has been hit by fluctuating global crude prices, a weak rupee and fierce competition from budget rivals.Alarm bells first rang in August when it failed to report its quarterly earnings or pay staff on time, later reporting a US$85 million loss.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • Local stocks hit by fears of global downturn

    China’s A-share markets closed lower yesterday, with the three major indexes all retreating, as fears of a worldwide economic recession weigh on investors.The two bourses opened lower, triggered by plunges on major global markets, with the Shanghai Composite Index falling 1.97 percent, or 61.12 points, to finish at 3,043.03.The smaller Shenzhen Component Index slumped 1.80 percent to 9,701.70 points.The ChiNext Index, China’s Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, was down 1.48 percent to finish at 1,668.84 points.The combined turnover of the two bourses came to 819.3 billion yuan (US$121.9 billion), up from 801.9 billion yuan the previous trading day.The non-banking financial sector led the losses.Lucion, the first domestically-listed venture capital company, slipped by 9.64 percent to close at 25.95 yuan.Communications and building material companies were also among the big losers.Zhu Bin, a senior analyst at Southwest Securities, was quoted by Caixin.com as saying that as the European and American economies are gradually showing signs of recession, that will exert a significant impact on the local A-share market.In March, factory production in Europe contracted at the fastest pace in nearly six years, according to media reports. The United States and Japan also saw a fall in manufacturing output.Another major concern for investors is the outlook for the world’s largest economy. Last Friday, the spread between the three-month US Treasury bills and the 10-year note went negative for the first time in more than a decade — widely seen as a sign of a looming slowdown.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • Shanghai weekly new home sales triple

    New home sales nearly tripled in Shanghai last week amid strong supply, the latest market data released yesterday showed.The area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, soared 186 percent to around 170,000 square meters during the seven days to Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said their latest weekly report.“Last week’s major rebound, boosted by robust sales in outer areas, was not unexpected after the market lost its strength for two straight weeks,” Lu Wenxi, Centaline’s senior research manager said. “As new supply remained abundant, it was likely that seven-day sales would improve.”The Nanhui area in Pudong, Qingpu and Songjiang districts registered extraordinary performances, unloading 37,000 square meters, 20,000 square meters and 18,000 square meters, respectively.Outer districts such as Fengxian and Jiading also recorded sales of more than 10,000 square meters.Citywide, new homes sold for an average 50,961 yuan (US$7,583) per square meter, down 4.7 percent week on week.In the top 10 list, eight projects cost no more than 60,000 yuan per square meter.One, on Chongming Island, sold for less than 28,000 yuan per square meter.A total of 229,000 square meters of new homes in six projects went on the market last week, a weekly fall of 10.5 percent.“As we are approaching the end of March — which usually sees a rise in transaction volume as developers gear up to boost their first-quarter performance — new home sales might even push 200,000 square meters this week,” Lu said.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • Sinopec sees profit jump on gas demand

    Chinese energy giant Sinopec, the world’s largest oil refiner, said yesterday its annual profit for 2018 soared by almost a quarter thanks to growing domestic demand for natural gas.Sinopec’s profit grew 23.4 percent to 63.1 billion yuan (US$9.4 billion), the company said in its annual report to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.Sinopec, whose official name is the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, said domestic consumption of natural gas rose 18.1 percent to 280.3 billion cubic meters as the country’s environmental regulations became “more stringent.”“We will make vigorous efforts in pollution prevention and environmental protection to raise the level of our green development,” Sinopec Chairman Dai Houliang said in the annual report.Demand for chemicals “kept up strong momentum” while refined oil products such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene consumption gained 6.0 percent. China surpassed Japan in 2018 to become the largest natural gas importer in the world.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • Stocks blog: Can China, Hong Kong markets get back their mojo?

    Yikes! 

    The bear claws were out swinging on Monday. Hong Kong and mainland markets lost 2 per cent chunks of their meaty run-ups this year. These were their worst daily losses of 2019.

    Reported earnings in Hong Kong have not perked up traders’ spirits. Watch China Vanke (2202 HK) today, which overnight reported full year net income 1.3 per cent below estimates. We’ll have more earnings today, including from Citic Bank (998 HK) and Evergrande (3333 HK).  

    So, it should be an exciting day in…

    Posted: by South China Morning Post

  • VW aims to be world leader in NEV sector

    Volkswagen aims to be the No. 1 brand in the booming new energy vehicle market, planning five new electric models and localized production in China by 2020, the company said yesterday.China is the world’s largest NEV market, with around 1.26 million cars sold in 2018, compared with just over 360,000 in the United States. The sector shows vigorous growth and huge potential, analysts say, as China leads the global NEV push.Volkswagen’s new fully-electric offerings will include versions of its popular models such as the Lavida, Golf and Bora, as well as a racing car. “Our vision is clear … that we want to be the No. 1 brand in NEVs,” Stephan Wollenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars China, said at a conference in Zhuhai city in Guangdong Province.The new models represent “a new phase” of Volkswagen’s NEV strategy in China, meeting consumers’ diversified demands covering SUVs, sedans and NEVs, said Volkswagen.US$2.5b Shanghai plantBy 2020, Volkswagen will have about 10 NEV models in China, with a planned production of 300,000 and an investment of 17 billion yuan (US$2.54 billion) in a new plant in Shanghai.China has intensified efforts to promote NEVs to ease pressure on the environment, offering tax exemptions and discounts on car purchases.The government has also encouraged carmakers to build more NEV factories and improve technology.But Volkswagen has to face strong rivals like Tesla and BMW, which have invested heavily in China.Tesla, the California-based electric vehicle maker, has announced a new plant in Shanghai, with an investment of over 50 billion yuan.It’s the largest foreign-funded manufacturing project in Shanghai’s history, and Tesla’s first plant outside the United States. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also said recently that the new Model Y SUV will be produced in the new Shanghai plant.BMW has invested heavily on charging facilities nationwide in China, a key step to boost NEV sales.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • Yen boost an unwelcome gift from the Fed’s dovish turn

    Last week’s indisputably dovish turn by the Federal Reserve prompted a sell-off in the value of the US dollar, including against the Japanese yen. Yet the outlook for the Japanese economy doesn’t look that rosy. Indeed, such are the economic clouds hanging over the Land of the Rising Sun, it is not that easy to make much of a case for the yen. In Japan, the Heisei era will give way to a new imperial age at the end of next month, when Crown Prince Naruhito accedes to the Chrysanthemum Throne on…

    Posted: by South China Morning Post

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