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  • Airbus launches newer version of A321neo jet

    Airbus launched a long-range version of its A321neo jet at the Paris Airshow yesterday, aiming to carve out new routes for airlines with smaller planes and steal a march on rival Boeing’s plans for a possible new mid-market jet.“We can fly from northeastern Asia into South Asia, from the Middle East to Bali or from Japan deep into Australia and so on,” said Airbus chief salesman Christian Scherer.“It is, therefore, the lowest-risk investment for airlines on these kinds of routes.”Leasing company Air Lease Corp became the first customer of the new aircraft, taking 27 as part of a deal for 100 Airbus planes. Sources familiar with the matter said JetBlue Airways Corp would also buy some of the new jets.The airspace sector’s biggest annual event, which alternates with Britain’s Farnborough Airshow, is traditionally a slugging match between Airbus and Boeing sales teams in the US$150 billion a year commercial aircraft market.But analysts expect this year’s show to be relatively subdued, with slowing economies, trade tensions and geopolitical uncertainties unsettling airlines — highlighted by a profit warning from Germany’s Lufthansa late on Sunday.Airbus and Boeing are also grappling with their own problems. The US planemaker is striving to bring its top-selling 737 MAX jet back into service after its grounding following two fatal crashes. Airbus, meanwhile, is occupied with a long-running graft scandal.Most trying of timesBoeing executives took turns to apologize for the loss of life in the crashes and pledged to apply the lessons learned to future planes following criticism of its response to the disasters in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people.“This is the most trying of times,” Boeing commercial airplanes boss Kevin McAllister said. “But without a doubt, this is a pivotal moment for all of us. It’s a time to capture learnings. It’s a time to be introspective. And it’s a time for us to make sure accidents like this never happen again,” he added.Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Sunday said he expected to announce orders for wide-body jets at the Paris show but his main focus at the event was safety.Analysts expect anything from 400 to 800 commercial aircraft orders and commitments at the gathering, compared with 959 at Farnborough last year, though it can be hard to identify truly new business against firm commitments.The Airbus A321XLR will be the longest-range narrow-body jetliner and arrives as airlines look to maximize the flexibility of more fuel-efficient, single-aisle aircraft. Its range of up to 4,700 nautical miles — about 15 percent more than the earlier A321LR — will leapfrog the out-of-production Boeing 757 and nudges it into the long-jump category occupied by more costly wide-body jets.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • China’s new home prices rise 0.71 per cent in May, accelerating at the fastest pace in six month

    China’s new home prices rose at an accelerated pace in May, bolstered by robust gains in lower-tier cities, while Shanghai and other top tier cities recorded modest to flat growth amid indicators that pointed to slowing investment and sales by volume on year.The average cost of a new home increased by 0.71 per cent in May from April, the fastest gain since November, and an acceleration from 0.62 per cent in April on month, according to Bloomberg calculations based on National Bureau of…

    Posted: by South China Morning Post

  • Hong Kong investors snap up affordable property in Malaysia with an eye on retirement

    Homebuyers in Hong Kong are looking at Malaysian property as second homes and for retirement, with Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru garnering a lot of interest because of affordable prices amid a supply glut.Terence Law, senior principle project director at Centaline Property Agency, said that more than half of the 21 units released on June 7at a condominium project in Johor Bahru were snapped up within the weekend by buyers from Hong Kong. The units were priced from HK$787,331 (US$100,000…

    Posted: by South China Morning Post

  • Hong Kong’s extradition turmoil won’t dampen the property market greatly – but China’s economy might

    As a keen observer of global markets, I have learned not to be dismissive of political risks, especially those that are downplayed by investors yet have the potential to affect sentiment significantly, and may even pose a systemic threat.In the past decade, the influence of politics on asset prices has not only increased dramatically – the rise of populism, which led to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as America’s president, is the best example –…

    Posted: by South China Morning Post

  • Huawei boss predicts drop in revenue but vows no cutbacks

    ATTACKS from the United States will not stop Huawei from moving forward, founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said yesterday.

    Ren estimated that the company’s revenues could drop to around US$100 billion this year and the next, but he expected a revival in 2021.

    Ren made the remarks during a dialogue with US futurist George Gilder and Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen.

    Huawei will invest US$100 billion in the next five years to make network infrastructure more efficient and reliable, Ren said. Despite the financial blows the company is bearing, Ren said there was no plan to reduce research spending and promised to make more contributions to theoretical science in the future.

    He said Huawei will neither split nor sell its mainstream businesses, and it has no plans for a mass layoff.

    In answering a question about Huawei’s plan to sell its submarine cable business unit, Ren said the company had long wanted to dispose of this business. This was not in response to external attacks, but because it had little relevance to the company’s mainstream businesses.

    Huawei will put more employees into the mainstream businesses, said Ren, stressing that it has no plan of a mass layoff in the future.

    He also said there are “absolutely no backdoors” in Huawei’s equipment and the company is willing to sign no-backdoor agreements with other countries.

    He said issues of network security and information security should be viewed separately.

    The network of human society must not be prone to problems as it connects 6.5 billion people and tens of millions of banks and countless enterprises.

    Thirty years of applications in 170 countries and regions have proven that Huawei’s network, which serves 3 billion people, is secure, Ren said.

    However, information security is another question, Ren said. He described Huawei as a provider of “pipelines” and “faucets,” saying operators and content providers must be responsible for contents “running in the pipelines.”

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • Landmark deal allows UK and China to sell shares

    BRITAIN and China began selling shares in each other’s companies yesterday under a groundbreaking agreement, the United Kingdom’s Treasury announced, as London looks to remain a leading financial center post-Brexit.

    The London-Shanghai Stock Connect marks the first time that any foreign company will be able to list in China’s mainland. The announcement was the centrepiece of the China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue, the Treasury said.

    Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond was hosting China’s Vice Premier Hu Chunhua and a delegation “to discuss multilateral and bilateral economic issues, financial services cooperation, and trade and investment.”

    “London is a global financial center like no other, and today’s launch is a strong vote of confidence in the UK market,” Hammond said.

    “Stock Connect is a groundbreaking initiative, which will deepen our global connectivity as we look outwards to new opportunities in Asia.”

    Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said at the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai last week that “the further development of the London-Shanghai Stock Connect scheme can allow foreign companies to raise funds on the Chinese market.”

    The link-up allows investors to trade across London and Chinese time zones and ultimately raise fresh capital, although unlike UK companies, not every Chinese-listed firm is eligible to take part.

    “The culmination of four years’ work, Stock Connect will mean, for the first time, that international investors will be able to access China A-shares from outside of China, through international trading and settlement practices,” the UK Treasury explained.

    “Stock Connect will not require any direct trading infrastructure links.”

    There are almost 1,500 companies listed in Shanghai, including more than 260 potentially eligible to take part in Stock Connect and list in London.

    Catherine McGuinness, policy chief for the City of London financial district, described the agreement as “good news for the UK, China and the wider global economy.”

    “Innovation is key to London maintaining its position as a leading international financial hub,” she said.

    Huatai Securities Co Ltd, one of the largest brokerages in China, efficiently launched on the London market on the same day, becoming the first company to trade via the London-Shanghai Stock Connect project.

    Huatai’s US$1.69-billion GDR listing on the Connect segment of the London Stock Exchange marked the largest UK listing since 2016 and the largest GDR offering in the UK since 2012, according to JP Morgan.

    A global depository receipt is a bank certificate issued in more than one country for shares that are in a foreign company.

    The GDR listing offers international investors access to the highly liquid domestic Chinese A-share market for the first time, with a fungible instrument traded on an international exchange.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • Stocks Blog: Will 'protest bounce' boost Hong Kong stocks a second day?

    Good day traders.

    So, Hong Kong stocks picked up Monday — ending a three-day losing streak — after the city’s leader indefinitely shelved the controversial extradition proposal that spurred huge protests. Can that carry over today, as traders await the Wednesday overnight meeting of the US Federal Reserve and lots of tough talk out of Beijing on trade and the US as a bully?

    We’ll be watching the Hong Kong and mainland markets closely. If you have questions, please send them to deb.price@scmp…

    Posted: by South China Morning Post

  • Stocks end mixed amid turnover fall

    China’s A-share markets posted mixed results yesterday, with most sectors suffering losses. The combined turnover of the two bourses fell.The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.20 percent, or 5.65 points, to finish at 2,887.62 points.The smaller Shenzhen Component Index fell by 0.33 percent to end at around 8,780.87 points, while the ChiNext Index was down by 0.80 percent to close at 1,442.35 points.The combined turnover of the two bourses came to 335.7 billion yuan (US$48.38 billion) on Monday, contracting sharply from the previous trading day’s 448.9 billion yuan.Losses were seen across the board, with farming, fishing and forestry equities among the leading losers. Shares of Gansu Dunhuang Seed Group Co Ltd slumped by 6.64 percent to stand at 7.31 yuan a share.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

  • Weekly home deals rebound on new supply

    Sentiment among home buyers rebounded in Shanghai last week amid improved new supply, pushing weekly transactions back to a six-digit level.The area of new residential properties, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, jumped 43 percent to around 131,000 square meters in the seven days to Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in its regular Monday report.Outlying districts of Fengxian and Qingpu registered more than 17,000 square meters of sales, outperforming their counterparts in the city. Jiading, Songjiang and the Pudong New Area also managed to stay above the 10,000-square-meter barrier due to recovering momentum.Citywide, the average cost of a new home edged up 0.3 percent from a week earlier to 51,514 yuan (US$7,424) per square meter, with medium to low-end projects being the most sought-after types, according to Centaline data.“Six of the 10 best-selling developments cost no more than 50,000 yuan per square meter while the most expensive one sold for around 88,000 yuan per square meter,” said Lu Wenxi, Centaline’s senior research manager. “Notably, one project managed to register weekly sales of more than 100 units, a quite positive sign for the market.”A residential project in Minhang District stayed top last week with 140 apartments, or 11,192 square meters, being unloaded for an average price of 63,447 yuan per square meter. It was followed by one development in Fengxian, where 50 units, or 6,106 square meters of new homes were sold at 44,636 yuan per square meter.

    Posted: by Shanghai Daily

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