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Posts Tagged ‘China’s’

China’s Hu heads to France for state visit

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 10:56 am

China’s inflation up after devastating floods

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2010 at 11:22 am

China’s consumer inflation accelerated in July, the government said Wednesday, as the nation’s worst floods in a decade wiped out crops and disrupted transport links, driving up food prices.

Other key indicators showed the world’s third-largest economy was slowing after Beijing moved to wind back massive stimulus spending, close inefficient factories, and curb soaring property prices and bank lending.

The closely watched consumer price index, a key measure of inflation, rose 3.3 percent in July, compared with 2.9 percent in June, due in large part to “dramatic weather and serious floods”, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

But spokesman Sheng Laiyun insisted China could keep prices “basically stable” for the year and meet the government’s three-percent inflation target.

A worker delivers bags of produce to a wholesale market in Beijing on August 10, 2010

“Generally speaking, there are more factors that will curb price rises than factors that will fuel price rises,” Sheng told reporters, pointing to slowing economic growth and the government’s efforts to curb lending.

But he warned that wage hikes and commodity price rises, as well as increases in international grain prices, could push consumer prices higher.

Russia, battling a record drought and massive wildfires, shocked commodity markets last week by suspending wheat exports, triggering warnings of across-the-board price rises in global staples such as meat, bread and beer.

Industrial output from China’s millions of factories and workshops slowed in July, rising 13.4 percent year-on-year compared with 13.7 percent in June.

Fixed asset investment in urban areas, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, rose 24.9 percent over the January-July period, compared with 25.5 percent a year ago as Beijing reined in spending.

Retail sales, a key measure of consumer spending, rose 17.9 percent on-year.

The data sent Chinese shares down 0.14 percent in afternoon trade, off the morning’s highs.

Analysts said the data adds to mounting evidence that the Chinese economy is losing steam as the government maintains tightening measures introduced this year to avert overheating in the red-hot economy.

New lending fell to 532.8 billion yuan (78.8 billion dollars) in July from 603.4 billion yuan issued in June, and was below expectations.

“I think the picture is pretty clear that the entire economy is slowing,” Ken Peng, a Beijing-based economist for Citigroup, told AFP.

“The government is probably not hitting the panic button yet because even though the direction is clear, growth is still at a relatively high level.”

Government data released earlier showed that imports slowed for the fourth straight month in July, while property prices rose at a steadier pace and manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in 16 months.

China slowed in the second quarter, growing by 10.3 percent compared with a sizzling 11.9 percent in the first three months, but the government has warned that it expects the economy to slow in the second half.

Sheng said the slowdown would help avert economic overheating and help the country move to a more sustainable development path.

The sharp rise in consumer prices, however, could continue in the months ahead, forcing policymakers to tighten interest rates, said Brian Jackson, a senior analyst at the Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong.

“We expect China will join the regional trend in favour of gradual policy normalisation sometime soon, forecasting an initial rate hike in the fourth quarter of this year,” he said.

Source: SGGP

China’s manufacturing contracts in July: HSBC survey

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

Manufacturing in China contracted for the first time in 16 months in July, an independent survey showed Monday, lifting Chinese shares on hopes that policymakers will refrain from any new tightening moves.

The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI, or purchasing managers index, fell to 49.4 last month from 50.4 in June — its first drop below the neutral 50 threshold since March 2009, the bank said.

A reading above 50 means the sector is expanding, while below 50 indicates an overall decline.

“This suggests that manufacturing production growth continued to decelerate last month, reflecting the combined effect of credit tightening, property cooling measures and Beijing’s measures to cut capacity in energy-intensive sectors,” said HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin.

 A Chinese worker looks on from her work station at a garment factory in Pinghu some 100 kms from Shanghai earlier this year

Qu however said the world’s third-largest economy was still expected to maintain growth of around nine percent despite the slowdown, thanks to huge infrastructure spending and resilient private consumption.

A separate survey published by a government agency on Sunday showed manufacturing activity slowed to 51.2 last month from 52.1 in June.

The heavy rains and massive floods that struck China in July contributed heavily to the weakening in manufacturing activity, economists with Nomura International said.

“Taking into account the downpours and floods plaguing many areas across the country, we believe the actual PMI reading should be better than what the figures indicated,” they said in a research note.

“We think the official PMI index is more likely to go up than fall in August if the torrential rains and floods do not continue into this month.”

HSBC’s results are based on interviews with purchasing managers at more than 400 companies, while the survey by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing covers more than 700 firms.

The HSBC survey showed the rate of decline in new work accelerated to the quickest pace seen since March last year, with many panellists citing lacklustre client demand as denting new orders.

Meanwhile, inflationary pressures eased substantially, with the measures for output charges and input prices falling almost 17 and 30 points respectively since the start of the year, the bank said.

The softening PMI data in July raised hopes that authorities will not launch new tightening measures to avoid a sharp economic slowdown, sending Chinese shares up 1.1 percent in afternoon trade Monday.

The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, was up 28.98 points at 2,666.48.

China’s economic growth slowed in the second quarter, as massive stimulus spending was scaled back and moves to rein in soaring property prices started to bite.

But gross domestic product nevertheless maintained its double-digit growth for the third quarter in a row, expanding 10.3 percent in the three months to June.

Source: SGGP

Floods kill 37 in China’s northeast: media

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2010 at 7:18 am

The death toll from floods sweeping through northeastern China has risen to 37, state media said Saturday, as the country continues to battle the worst floods in a decade.

Torrential rains in Jilin province have left a further 35 missing as more than 364,000 people were evacuated from waterlogged areas, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The weather bureau has predicted more heavy rain for the central and eastern parts of the hard-hit province, with experts warning of further flooding and landslides.

Water, electricity and telecommunications services were cut in parts of the province, while train services in the town of Kouqian were suspended after the railway station was surrounded by flood waters, previous reports said.

More than 95,500 buildings have been damaged in the floods, with 25,400 destroyed, Xinhua said.

A general view shows the town of Kouqian in China’s Jilin province, on July 28

Floods up to three metres (10 feet) deep in some places submerged factories and houses, reports said earlier this week, before the waters receded to about one metre.

Elsewhere in Jilin, hundreds of workers scrambled to recover 3,000 barrels full of explosive chemicals that were washed by flood waters into the Songhua River, a major waterway.

Water supplies to the nearby city of Jilin were temporarily cut after the incident on Wednesday, leaving 4.3 million people dependent on bottled water.

A total of 7,000 barrels were washed into the river, with 2,500 containing the chemical trimethyl chloro silicane — a highly explosive, colorless liquid — while 500 contained the compound hexamethyl disilazane, Xinhua said.

About 3,700 barrels had been recovered by Friday afternoon, the report said, but it was not clear how many of them contained the chemicals.

Jilin is the latest province to have been hit by recent deadly floods that have killed more than 300 people since July 14 and left another 300 missing, according to the latest official figures.

Until now, torrential rains have mostly hit China’s south, swelling the Yangtze River — the nation’s longest waterway — and some of its tributaries to dangerous levels.

In the far-western Xinjiang region, rescuers were trying to reach 700 residents, construction workers and tourists trapped by floods.

Floodwaters have damaged three bridges and a dozen buildings in Kuqa county in the central part of the region, with more than 13,000 people from the area preparing to reinforce dykes to contain floods.

The worst floods in a decade have left 991 dead and 558 missing since the beginning of the year and caused more than 28 billion dollars in damage, latest official figures show, and authorities have warned of more to come.

Source: SGGP

China’s economic growth slows in second quarter

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm

China said Thursday its economic growth slowed in the second quarter, as massive stimulus spending was scaled back and moves to rein in soaring property prices started to bite.

Gross domestic product in the world’s third-largest economy maintained double-digit growth for the third quarter in a row, expanding 10.3 percent in the three months to June, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The latest figures add to mounting evidence that the Chinese economy is losing steam, although Beijing has so far shown no intention of reversing tightening policies, and analysts downplayed the risk of a sharp slowdown.

“Generally speaking, the economy is running well,” NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun told reporters.

Sheng said the moderate slowdown in growth in the second quarter would “help prevent the economy… from overheating,” but added: “There are still a lot of difficulties and problems in the course of economic recovery.”

The second quarter figure marked a slowdown from the blistering 11.9 percent growth in January-March and the 10.7 percent in the last three months of 2009, after Beijing introduced a range of measures to cool the red-hot economy.

The economy grew 11.1 percent in the first half of 2010 compared with the same period a year earlier, the data showed.

Analysts said economic growth was expected to slip to single digits in the second half, but dismissed the idea of any serious troubles in the short term.

“Despite the slowing growth, we think the chance for double-dip in China is quite small as China?s pragmatic policymakers are quite flexible on policy stance,” said Lu Ting, an economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

“They still have a deep pocket to buffer any big slowdown.”

The closely watched consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, rose 2.9 percent on-year in June alone, compared with 3.1 percent in the previous month, the statistics bureau said.

The slowdown in inflation added to mounting evidence that the government’s measures to avert economic overheating were kicking in.

Inflation was up 2.6 percent in the first half of 2010 from a year earlier.

Morgan Stanley economist Wang Qing said there was a “high probability” the government would increase its 7.5 trillion yuan (1.1 trillion dollars) bank lending target for this year as inflation continues to ease.

“In light of receding inflationary pressures, the policy stance in the second half will likely demonstrate an easing bias,” said Wang.

China’s fixed asset investment in urban areas, a measure of government spending on infrastructure and a key driver of the economy, rose 25.5 percent in the first half from the same period last year, the government said.

Industrial output from the country’s millions of factories and workshops increased 17.6 percent on year in the six-month period.

Retail sales, a key measure of consumer spending, rose 18.2 percent in the first half of 2010 from a year ago.

Recent data also showed bank lending, real estate prices and imports all slowed in June from the previous month, while surveys of purchasing managers at factories across China showed manufacturing activity eased last month.

Beijing has shown no intention of altering its policy tightening stance despite signs the economy is running out of puff, and has begun to rein in the huge stimulus spending put in place in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Chinese workers perch on scaffolding at a construction site in Hefei, central China’s Anhui province.

In recent weeks, China also has loosened its grip on the yuan exchange rate by allowing the currency to trade more freely against the dollar, while export tax rebates on some products have been removed.

“It’s more of a wait-and-see attitude from Beijing’s leaders,” said Ken Peng, a Beijing-based economist for Citigroup.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said last month he believed the economy was moving in the “expected direction”, which was interpreted as a sign that the government planned to stick to current policies.

Wen’s comments came after President Hu Jintao, in a speech to the Group of 20 summit in Canada, called for caution in exit strategies from economic stimulus programmes to safeguard the global recovery.

Source: SGGP

Deputy PM Khiem visits China’s Tianxin City

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Deputy PM Khiem visits China’s Tianxin City

QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem hopes that Tianxin City in China will continue to enhance its ties with Hai Phong City and other Vietnamese localities in maritime operations, high technologies, clean energy, and education and training.

While meeting with the Mayor of Tianxin city, Huang Xingguo, Mr Khiem praised the remarkable achievements that the city has made, saying its rapid development has demonstrated China’s emergence as a leading economic power.

Mr Khiem attended an exhibition on Tianxin zoning plans and visited an Airbus aircraft assembly plant. Later, he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

Deputy PM Khiem has been in China to attend the fourth meeting of the steering committee for Vietnam-China bilateral cooperation.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

China’s AgBank starts world-record IPO

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

 Agricultural Bank of China on Wednesday kicked off a share offer worth a world-record 23.2 billion dollars as China strives to develop depressed regions in the rural lender’s heartland.

AgBank, the last of China’s “big four” state banks to list, plans to float its shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai next month with the monster IPO appearing set to overtake a previous record of 22 billion dollars set in 2006 by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Zhang Yun, Vice Chairman and President of the Agricultural Bank of China speaks at a press conference in Hong Kong on June 29, 2010

The initial public offering has already won bedrock support from heavyweight investors — including Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, British bank Standard Chartered and US food giant Archer Daniels Midland.

On Wednesday, small-time retail investors had their first chance to grab a piece of the action and orderly queues were building outside bank branches in Hong Kong where the AgBank prospectus was being handed out.

AgBank chairman Xiang Junbo said late Tuesday that his company had worked hard to cut its bad-debt load, a major concern for all of China’s big banks after a state-sanctioned lending binge during the global financial crunch.

And the rural lender says it is poised to capitalise on Chinese government efforts to boost economic growth in the country’s centre and west, which have missed out on the export-driven boom enjoyed by coastal regions.

“The county area business will be one of our key profit drivers,” Xiang told a news conference in Hong Kong. “(AgBank) is well positioned to capitalise on China’s next wave of growth.”

On Tuesday, AgBank said it planned to raise 13.1 billion US dollars from its Hong Kong IPO, with a price range of 2.88-3.48 Hong Kong dollars (37-44 US cents) a share.

The lender plans to raise 10.1 billion dollars from the Shanghai portion of the share sale, with a range of 2.52-2.68 yuan (37-39 US cents) a share.

The lower price in Shanghai has fostered doubts about mainland demand for the huge IPO after recent spasms of market volatility.

Some analysts consider AgBank to be the weakest of the country’s big banks, owing mainly to its burden of bad loans and the nature of its business lending to less affluent customers in rural China.

Analysts say the return on capital from rural loans is typically 20-30 percent less than that for loans in urban areas, as the size of the loans is generally smaller and monitoring costs higher.

Agbank’s prospectus said its bad debt ratio dropped from 4.32 percent in 2008 to 2.91 percent in 2009.

AgBank said it booked a profit of 65 billion yuan (9.56 billion US dollars) in 2009, up from 51.45 billion yuan in 2008. It forecasts a 2010 profit of 82.9 billion yuan.

Source: SGGP

China’s Hu, Russia to discuss Iran in Moscow

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 8:35 am

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (R) meets with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signs his guest book during the 2010 High-level Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons May 3, 2010 at the United Nations In New York. AFP PHOTO

BEIJING, May 5, 2010 (AFP) – Chinese President Hu Jintao will discuss the Iranian nuclear standoff with Russian leaders during a weekend visit to Moscow, a Chinese official said Wednesday, noting the two sides had “similar views”.

Hu will meet President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during the May 8-9 visit, during which he will attend ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, the official said.

“The leaders of the two countries will exchange views on international and regional issues of shared interest, which of course includes the Iranian nuclear issue,” Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told journalists.

“China and Russia have similar views on this issue.”

The United States, Europe and others fear Iran is using its civilian nuclear energy programme as a cover for a weapons drive — a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied — and are seeking tough new UN sanctions.

But Beijing — one of the five permanent veto-wielding members of the 15-member Security Council — has been reluctant to embrace more sanctions on Iran, which is a major energy provider to China.

Medvedev has repeatedly said Russia, also a veto-wielding council member, does not rule out further sanctions against the Islamic republic but that they should not hurt the wider population.

Source: SGGP

China’s manufacturing activity slows in April: HSBC

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 8:39 am

China’s manufacturing activity slowed in April, suggesting government measures aimed at reining in the world’s third-largest economy were bearing fruit, an independent survey showed Tuesday.

The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI, or purchasing managers index, fell to 55.4 in April from 57.0 in March.

The April figure marked the 13th straight month of expansion but was the lowest reading in six months, the bank said. A reading above 50 means the sector is expanding, while below 50 indicates an overall decline.

“April’s PMI points to a moderate slowdown in the expansion of manufacturing activity,” said HSBC chief economist Qu Hongbin.

“We see this as good news because it means that Beijing’s policy tightening is starting to cool the overheated economy, which will help to contain inflationary risk in the coming quarters.”

A separate survey released by a government agency on Saturday showed manufacturing activity had accelerated to 55.7 in April from 55.1 in March.

HSBC’s results are based on interviews with purchasing managers at more than 400 companies, while the survey by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing covers more than 700 firms.

Both surveys showed a sharp increase in input prices, reflecting higher costs for raw materials such as copper, cotton, oil and steel.

“Average input costs faced by Chinese manufacturing firms rose for the tenth successive month in April, increasing at a considerable rate that was the fastest in three months,” HSBC said.

The Chinese government agency warned that pressure on production costs was expected to “increase significantly” in the coming months and could fuel inflationary pressures.

“We need to pay close attention to the difficulties that companies are facing,” government analyst Zhang Liqun said in a commentary released with the data.

On Sunday, Beijing announced fresh measures to rein in bank lending to calm inflationary pressures and avoid a damaging bubble in the real estate market.

China’s economy grew by a blistering 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010, fuelling fears the booming economy was at risk of overheating.


Source: SGGP

China’s Hu reaches out to earthquake survivors

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 at 9:42 am

Chinese President Hu Jintao called on rescuers Sunday to keep searching for survivors as he visited victims of a powerful quake in the country’s northwest that left more than 1,700 dead.

The Chinese leader promised new homes and schools as he reached out to victims on a visit to the region hit four days ago by a 6.9-magnitude quake that killed 1,706 people and left 256 missing.

Just before his arrival, spirits were lifted by the rescue of a 68-year-old man trapped beneath rubble for more than 100 hours, the official Xinhua news agency reported, adding the man’s condition was stable.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (C) speaks to rescuers during his visit amid the earthquake devastation in Jiegu, Yushu country, in China’s northwestern province of Qinghai.

In a departure from his usually formal style, Hu stood amid the rubble in Jiegu, the largest city affected by the quake, and urged rescuers to keep going.

“We will do our best to rescue people still trapped. If there is even one chance (of finding someone), we will make an all-out effort,” he said in scenes broadcast on television.

At another stop, Hu told a crowd through a megaphone the government would provide essentials such as food, drinking water, shelter, quilts and warm clothing.

“The earthquake is merciless but human beings have compassion,” Hu told the crowd, adopting a warmth more usually associated with Premier Wen Jiabao.

In a makeshift hospital, Hu put an arm around a bed-ridden young woman wearing a sling. “Grandpa Hu will think of you,” he said, patting her shoulder as she wept.

“There will be new schools! There will be new homes!” he wrote in chalk on a blackboard while visiting orphans in a tent turned into a classroom, Xinhua reported.

“I assure you that the Party and the government will definitely help quake victims rebuild homes and resume classes for children as soon as possible,” he told a local Tibetan.

More than 100 students and 12 teachers died as schools and dormitories collapsed and dozens more people remain missing, state media reported.

The reports did not say whether Hu spoke about efforts to ensure schools can withstand earthquakes — a sensitive issue since thousands of children died in May 2008 in the huge Sichuan quake, in which many school buildings collapsed while neighbouring structures stood firm.

More than 6,000 people have been pulled alive from the rubble of collapsed buildings, officials said. The number of personnel aiding rescue and recovery operations on the Tibetan Plateau has risen to 15,000.

Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan also visited the quake zone on Sunday and donated three million yuan (440,000 US dollars) to victims, Xinhua reported.

On the streets of Jiegu, boxes of bottled water were dropped to help residents cope with water shortages as aid continued to pour in.

Infrastructure in Jiegu suffered major damage in the quake, with the water supply “basically paralysed”, Xia Xueping, spokesman for relief efforts, said.

Officials have warned of a growing threat of disease due to sanitation risks including damage to water supplies that could leave them polluted, although no such outbreaks had yet been reported.

The Dalai Lama, whom Beijing considers a separatist and was born in Qinghai province, has appealed to Chinese authorities to allow him to visit the quake zone, where more than 12,000 people were injured and 100,000 left homeless.

In Jiegu, residents were talking excitedly about the possibility of the Tibetan spiritual leader visiting for the first time since he fled after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

“Everyone would like to see the Dalai Lama come here. He should come here,” said 52-year-old Dorje, who like many Tibetans goes by one name, as he circled a local temple in a daily prayer ritual.

However, it appeared unlikely Beijing would allow the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to visit the crippled area.

Tibetan Buddhist monks wearing maroon-and-saffron robes have been a prominent part of the rescue effort, digging by hand in search of survivors.

Monks cremated hundreds of victims on Saturday as hopes dimmed of finding further survivors.

Health authorities are particularly concerned that marmots who emerged from their burrows after the quake could spread pneumonic plague, Xinhua cited Jie Xuehui, a provincial health official, as saying.

Relief efforts have been complicated by sub-zero temperatures at night and scant oxygen due to the altitude — around 4,000 metres (13,000 feet).

Source: SGGP