Posts tagged ‘Hong Kong’

08/07/2015

China Stock Tumble Scarier Than Greek Debt Crisis – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China’s stock plunge is scarier than Greece, writes Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s Ruchir Sharma:

The continuing crisis is viewed, locally and globally, as a test of China’s control over the economy. The “Beijing put”—a perception that Chinese economy and markets are backstopped by the government—is under threat. That perception has underpinned the widespread belief that Chinese growth won’t fall much below 7%, because that is the government’s desired target and Beijing is omnipotent.

But if Beijing can’t stop the market’s tumble, there could be a sudden shift in the perception of exactly how far economic growth might fall under the weight of too much debt. If that floor crumbles and the Chinese economy spirals downward, it will make the drama surrounding Greece feel like a sideshow. China has been the largest contributor to global growth this decade; Greece’s economy is about the size as that of Bangladesh or Vietnam.

via China Stock Tumble Scarier Than Greek Debt Crisis – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

25/06/2015

Indians Buy Gold as Chinese Shift to Stocks – India Real Time – WSJ

The rapid run-up in Chinese shares this year is dimming the allure of another popular investment: gold. Luckily for fans of the metal, demand is looking healthy in India, the other big retail market in Asia.

The divergence between gold’s two biggest consumers is unusual. Normally, gold buyers in both countries snap up the metal when it is cheap, hoping prices will surge as they did in 2011, when gold nearly hit $2,000 an ounce. Individuals in both countries tend to sell when gold gets expensive.

This year, as gold prices have meandered around the $1,200 an ounce mark, shares have been more of a draw for Chinese investors. The Shanghai market is up 41%, while mainland Chinese investors have helped push Hong Kong shares up nearly 16%.

“Everybody wants to get on to the stock-market bandwagon,” said Victor Thianpiriya, a precious-metals analyst with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “It is having a big impact on jewelry demand.”

China’s gold imports may tumble by as much as 20% this year, Mr. Thianpiriya forecasts.

via Indians Buy Gold as Chinese Shift to Stocks – India Real Time – WSJ.

20/05/2015

China Unveils Blueprint to Upgrade Manufacturing Sector – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China unveiled an ambitious plan to enhance the competitiveness of its manufacturing sector by encouraging innovation and raising efficiency in an effort to boost economic growth. As the WSJ reports:

The blueprint, titled “Made in China 2025,” comes as China’s factories are struggling with sluggish demand, increasing competition from other developing economies and a slowing domestic economy.

The manufacturing sector is facing new challenges: bigger constraints from the environment and resources, rising labor costs and a notable slowdown in investment and exports, the State Council, or cabinet, said on the main government website Tuesday.

“The key to creating a new driver of economic growth…lies in the manufacturing sector,” it said.

The government vowed to boost 10 high-technology industrial sectors including robotics, aerospace, new-energy vehicles and advanced transport.

via China Unveils Blueprint to Upgrade Manufacturing Sector – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

14/05/2015

Chinese firms give thousands of employees free trips in Thailand, France[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn

Two Chinese direct-sales companies made global headlines recently for taking thousands of employees on all-paid tour to separate foreign destinations – Thailand and France.

Chinese firms give thousands of employees free trips in Thailand, France

Both firms, Infinitus and Tiens, are among the top direct-sellers in terms of sales on the Chinese mainland, following international giants like Amway of the United States and Perfect China of Malaysia.

Infinitus (China) Ltd, a Hong Kong-based company that specializes in health care, skin care and household products, recently took its 12,700 employees on a six-night package to Bangkok and Pattaya in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday.

They are set to travel in groups of 2,000-3,000 each from May 10-26, spending three nights in Bangkok and another three in Pattaya – at four- to five-star hotels. The first group arrived there on Sunday, said the newspaper citing the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

TAT acting governor Juthaporn Rerngronasa said the company’s incentive tour, a boost to the country’s low-season market, is expected to generate around 600 million baht ($17.9 million) in Thailand’s tourism revenue this year.

China has been Thailand’s biggest source of tourists over the past few years, with expectations of six million arrivals from the country this year, according to media reports citing Kasian Watanachaopisut, president of the Thai-Chinese Tourism Alliance Association.

via Chinese firms give thousands of employees free trips in Thailand, France[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn.

11/05/2015

U.S. Congressman says engagement with China has diminished under Xi | Reuters

A United States Congressman told reporters that China’s engagement with U.S. lawmakers has diminished under President Xi Jinping in a marked change from the policy of his predecessors.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks with U.S. State Secretary John Kerry (R) during a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 12, 2014.     REUTERS/Greg Baker/Pool

He also said that Chinese and Hong Kong officials were looking for a scapegoat when they blamed last years’ pro-democracy protests on “foreign forces”.

“I think it has diminished,” Congressman Matt Salmon said of China’s engagement with U.S. lawmakers under President Xi. “This president has a whole different philosophy. In fact I think if anything, this president is moving in the other direction, (away) from constructive engagement from the past two presidents.”

Salmon is chairman of the subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific under the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Republican representative from Arizona is in the middle of his fifth term in Congress.

Salmon was in Hong Kong as the head of a U.S. Congressional delegation, which also visited Vietnam and discussed political, trade and economic issues.

Salmon said he had not been contacted by anyone from the Chinese Embassy since he became chairman of the Asia Pacific subcommittee.

“It’s kind of strange because every other embassy in the region has reached out to me, and their ambassadors have asked for an audience with me, every one of them except for China,” he said.

The United States and China are the world’s two biggest economies. Chinese President Xi is scheduled to make his first state visit to the United States in September as the countries seek to ease tensions over issues ranging from trade and human rights to Internet hacking and theft.

Salmon said he and his delegation had met Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and told him the United States had not played any role in last year’s pro-democracy protests, in which tens of thousands of people occupied major highways for two and a half months to demand open nominations in the city’s next chief executive election.

Chinese and Hong Kong officials have blamed “foreign forces” for instigating the unrest, which Salmon said was “a convenient way to scapegoat someone else”.

via U.S. Congressman says engagement with China has diminished under Xi | Reuters.

29/04/2015

Where’s the Cheapest Place to Buy…? Probably India – India Real Time – WSJ

If cities were stores, to find the best deal you’d be advised to shop in Mumbai for Levis and Coca Cola KO -0.15%, go to Rio for a pack of Marlboro cigarettes and stop off in San Francisco to buy an iPhone 6.

5.21
1.89
Mumbai
1.89
2.22
Johannesburg
2.43
2.77
Beijing
3.14
3.53
Singapore
4.25
Berlin
4.79
San Francisco
4.79
New York
5.21
Rio

Deutsche Bank research published last week compares prices for everyday items in cities around the world. Overall, across a range of products, India is “the cheapest major economy.”

Looking for a cheap date? A Big Mac, movie, cab, soft drink and couple of beers costs $24.70 in Mumbai – making India’s financial capital the least-expensive place in the world to show someone a good time.

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Try to do the same in San Francisco or Tokyo and you won’t get change from $100 – in fact, you’ll need to scrape a few more dollars together to cover the bill.

Need a man’s haircut? A short-back-and-sides in New Delhi on average goes for $2.40, a snip of the price elsewhere in the world. A trim in Tokyo costs 15 times more.

The study compiles prices posted on the Internet and from secondary sources, though it doesn’t say what they are.

“We have tried our best to use goods and services that are standard across countries or are close substitutes,” the authors of “The Random Walk Mapping the World’s Prices 2015,” wrote.

Such studies, including this one, do not reflect the true cost of living though because they ignore housing rents – often a person’s biggest monthly outlay.

Add on the price of accommodation in Mumbai, which can have rents as high as those charged in New York, and the city would suddenly look a lot less easy on the wallet.

*The price in each country.  **A Big Mac, movie, cab, soft drink and couple of beers. ***Two nights in a standard 5 star hotel room, four meals, two snacks, car rentals for two days, two pints of beer, four liters of soft drinks/water, and a bit of shopping (a pair of jeans and sports shoes.)

via Where’s the Cheapest Place to Buy…? Probably India – India Real Time – WSJ.

04/04/2015

Stolen artefacts: Relics of plunder | The Economist

BEFORE it was removed from display earlier this month, a Buddha statue formed the centrepiece of an exhibition at Budapest’s Natural History Museum. Encased in layers of clay, enamel and gold paint was a monk, mummified 1,000 years ago. The origins of this Chinese relic, just one of millions scattered across the globe, many of them plundered, were misty until a village in south-east China claimed it—and demanded it back.

On March 6th Lin Yongtuan of Yangchun chanced on a photo of the statue while browsing online. He thought it looked like the statue of Zhanggong Zushi, a revered monk, stolen from the village temple in 1995. After reviewing the archives and faded photographs, the authorities agreed. They have pledged to secure its return. This will not be simple. It belongs to a private collector who acquired it in 1995 from another who bought it from a “sincere Chinese Hong Kong art friend”. But where there is a will, there may be a way.

In 2009 Christie’s, an auction house, sold two bronze heads despite Beijing’s open disapproval. The winning $38m bid came from an adviser to China’s national treasures fund—who refused to pay. Eventually the chairman of Kering, which owns Christie’s, bought the heads and gave them to the National Museum of China. They were repatriated in 2013—the very year Christie’s became the first Western auction house licensed to operate by itself in China.

via Stolen artefacts: Relics of plunder | The Economist.

11/03/2015

India’s Millionaires Have Been Leaving the Country in Droves – India Real Time – WSJ

India may have been minting millionaires at an unprecedented rate over the past decade, but it has also seen many of its seven-figured-citizens escape to other countries.

The latest Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report–which looks at the spending habits of the rich, the superrich and the “I have my own Boeing but forgot where I parked it,” rich—estimates that more than 43,000 Indian millionaires left the country to settle elsewhere in the past 10 years. That is second only to China, which saw a private-plane drain of more than 76,000 people, according to estimates from property company Knight Frank and immigration consultancy Fragomen.

While Indians tended to take their railway cars full of rupees to other English-speaking countries, government restrictions have slowed the flow of Indian millionaire money in recent years, said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank

“High net-worth Indians are a big part of the prime market in places like London and that has been slightly undermined in the last two years by the tightening of capital controls (in India) making it much more difficult to export capital,” he said.

China lost the most rich migrants as 76,200 of its millionaires left to settle in places like Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.S. and Australia. After the two billion-person emerging markets, the biggest losers in terms of millionaire migrants were France, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Indonesia. You wouldn’t think the rich and famous would be so anxious to leave Europe but apparently high taxes on the high earners encouraged many to leave.

In terms of the countries that attracted the most millionaire migrants, the United Kingdom was the leader by a huge margin. Around 114,000 rich folks from elsewhere settled in the quaint island nation during the 10 years through 2014. It was followed by Singapore, which attracted more than 45,000 new, rich citizens, the U.S., which welcomed 42,000 elite expats and Australia, which became home to 22,000 rich newcomers. Finishing up the list of the seven most-popular countries for millionaires to escape to, were Hong Kong, Canada and United Arab Emirates.

Despite the exodus, many of the people Knight Frank has dubbed “ultra-high-net-worth individuals” remained in India.

Last year, Mumbai was home to the most, with 619 UHNWIs, who Knight Frank describes as people worth at least $30 million. Delhi was a distant second with only 157 as wealthy, followed by Bangalore with 75, Chennai with 49, Hyderabad with 39 and Ahmedabad with 20. Kolkata was not mentioned in the report.

via India’s Millionaires Have Been Leaving the Country in Droves – India Real Time – WSJ.

11/03/2015

Chinese shoe factory workers strike over benefits | Reuters

About 5,000 workers have gone on strike at a shoe manufacturer in southern China over benefits, two activists and a worker said, marking one of the biggest work-stoppages in the country in months.

The company that owns the factory, Stella International Holdings Ltd, lists Guess? Inc, Michael Kors Holding Ltd, Prada SpA and Burberry Group PLC among its customers.

China’s slowing economy, rising costs and the spread of social media have driven an increase in strikes. Last year, the number of strikes more than doubled to 1,378 from 656 the year before, according to China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based advocacy group.

The strike at Stella’s Xing Ang factory in the city of Dongguan started on Sunday with workers unhappy about not receiving housing assistance, said Liu Zai, who added she had not received the funds in eight years at the factory.

“We want an explanation. Why haven’t they paid this for so many years?” she said by telephone.

Liu and two activists said all of the factory’s workers, about 5,000 people, were on strike. On Wednesday, most were forced to return to their workplace but were still refusing to work, Liu said.

via Chinese shoe factory workers strike over benefits | Reuters.

06/03/2015

China’s Fosun buys 5 percent stake in British travel group Thomas Cook | Reuters

China’s Fosun International (0656.HK) has bought a 5 percent stake in Thomas Cook Group (TCG.L), deepening its foray into Europe’s tourism sector and potentially helping the British company to compete with travel leviathan TUI Group (TUIT.L)

Fosun paid 92 million pounds ($140 million) for the Thomas Cook stake and will seek to double its holding in the world’s oldest travel group to 10 percent, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.

News of the investment, which the companies said came after two years of talks, sent Thomas Cook shares soaring by as much as 22 percent in morning trade. At 6.20 a.m. ET the shares were up 18.8 percent at 143 pence.

Thomas Cook said that it expects the tie-up to enhance earnings in the financial year to Sept. 30, 2016, assuming plans under the partnership are implemented in 2015.

One of the plans is to explore collaboration opportunities with Club Mediterranee (CMIP.PA), the French holiday company Fosun bought last month, where it is seeking to turn around a business that is struggling in Europe and move more aggressively into fast-growing markets such as China.

via China’s Fosun buys 5 percent stake in British travel group Thomas Cook | Reuters.

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