Posts tagged ‘Hong Kong’

21/12/2015

Successor to Saab announces $12 billion China electric car deal | Reuters

If this initiative gathers momentum, China will do more for electric cars (and for climate change) than the rest of the world put together!

“The China-focussed consortium that bought bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab – and bet on going all electric – unveiled its first major deal on Thursday, a mammoth $12 billion (8 billion pounds) order for electric cars for a Chinese leasing company.

NEVS electric car

The single order for 250,000 electric vehicles, including 150,000 cars based on the Saab 9-3 sedan, appeared to be all but unprecedented. There were just 665,000 electric cars in the world and 83,000 in China as of the end of 2014, according to the International Energy Agency.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs) said it would swiftly hire hundreds of workers in Sweden to start building cars for Panda New Energy, a Chinese firm it said leases zero-emission vehicles to chauffeur-driven fleets.

Those based on the Saab 9-3 compact sedan will have a new chassis for electric drive, with bodies built and painted in Sweden and sent to China for final assembly. No details were given about the other 100,000 but a company spokesman said they would primarily be built in China.

Nevs bought the assets of the bankrupt 70-year-old Swedish automaker in 2012 with the aim of transforming it into a leading global producer of electric cars. It exited corporate reorganisation procedures in April.

“This is a strategic collaboration for Nevs not only in terms of the numbers of vehicles, but it is also an important step to implement our vision and new business plan,” Nevs Vice Chairman Stefan Tilk said in a statement.

“Cooperating with many chauffeured car service platforms in China, Panda aims to become one of the biggest electric vehicle leasing companies in the world,” Nevs said of its customer.

Nevs, which was created in 2012, has so far sold only a limited number of gasoline-powered cars based on Saab’s latest model. The deal is the first it has signed in line with its plans to go electric.

“It will be a huge challenge to produce that many cars. Their around 800 suppliers will make up a substantial part of that challenge,” said Skovde University business administration professor Mikael Wickelgren.

Nevs is co-owned by a holding company called National Modern Energy Holdings, as well as the Beijing State Research Information Technology Co. (SRIT) and Chinese industrial park Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech industrial Development Area (THT).

Nevs said at the time of the purchase of Saab’s assets that it would convert the Saab 9-3 to electric power, while simultaneously developing an all-new model to produce in Sweden for the European market and in China for the Chinese market.

($1 = 6.4822 Chinese yuan renminbi)”

Source: Successor to Saab announces $12 billion China electric car deal | Reuters

10/12/2015

China to introduce tough emissions controls for ships | Reuters

China will introduce tough controls on ship emissions at three key port areas from January to reduce sulfur dioxide which results in acid rain, causing respiratory difficulties and sometimes premature death, said the Ministry of Transport.

Shipping containers are seen on a ship docked at a port in Rizhao, Shandong province, China, December 6, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

If strictly implemented the move would force oil suppliers to increase the supply of cleaner marine fuel, industry experts said. The ministry gave no details on how the new emissions rules would be enforced or penalties for non-compliance.

The new rules will apply to merchant ships navigating or anchoring in the waters of Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Bay rim, with a goal to cut sulfur dioxide by 65 percent by 2020 from the 2015 level, according to a document issued by the Ministry of Transport.

Similar emissions control areas exist in the North Sea and the north American coast.

Ships berthed at ports within the three Chinese emissions control zones will start using bunker fuel with a maximum sulfur dioxide (SO2) content of 0.5 percent from January 2016, the ministry said.

Hong Kong made it mandatory in July for merchant ships to switch to fuel with a SO2 content of 0.5 percent from high sulfur fuel. Neighboring Shenzhen port launched a voluntary fuel switching scheme in July this year that is expected to cost 200 million yuan ($31.07 million) in subsidies over three years.

Enforcement of the new emission measures will initially be up to individual ports, but the controls will be toughened in 2017 to cover all key ports in the three control areas.

They will be tightened further from the start of 2019, when ships entering control zones, not just berthed or anchored, will have to use 0.5 percent SO2 bunker fuel or below. Fishing, sports and military vessels will be exempt, said the ministry.

Oil consultancy ICIS estimated that majority of fuel use in China’s shipping sector is currently using fuel with 1-2 percent SO2 content.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a U.N. body which regulates merchant shipping, plans to introduce a global cap on ship emissions in either 2020 or 2025.

The IMO will carry out a review in 2018 that will include an assessment of the availability of low-sulfur fuel that will be used to decide the actual implementation date.

Source: China to introduce tough emissions controls for ships | Reuters

01/12/2015

Boost for China as it joins IMF elite – FT.com

The IMF on Monday gave a major vote of confidence to China and its reform efforts, giving the renminbi greater weighting than the yen or pound as it included the currency in its elite basket of reserve currencies.

Chinese one-hundred yuan banknotes are stacked for a photograph at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

The vote by the board to make the renminbi the fifth currency in the basket used to value the IMF’s own de facto currency followed months of deliberation at the fund and years of lobbying by a Beijing eager for the recognition.

“The Rmb’s elevation to the club of elite global reserve currencies is a big step for China and a significant one for the international monetary system,” said Eswar Prasad, professor of economics at Cornell University and a former IMF China mission chief.

The renminbi will become the third biggest currency in the “special drawing rights” basket when it takes effect on October 1. The move is largely symbolic but Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, called it a “milestone” in China’s economic reform “journey” and its integration into the global financial system.

Following the move the currency slipped 0.19 per cent to Rmb6.4374 against the dollar in offshore trading in Hong Kong.

The People’s Bank of China set its daily “fix” — the onshore rate around which the currency can trade 2 per cent either side — at Rmb6.3973 per dollar, its fourth consecutive slightly weaker rate.

Investors generally expect China to allow its currency to weaken gradually but few see much likelihood of a repeat of its 3 per cent August devaluation, which sent shockwaves through global markets.

Source: Boost for China as it joins IMF elite – FT.com

21/10/2015

Powering Down: Chinese Electricity Demand Stalls Amid Slowing Growth – China Real Time Report – WSJ

A slowing economy means keeping the lights on in China is getting a whole lot easier.

The China Electricity Council, a state-backed industry group, is trimming its estimate of just how much power the country needs, after weak third-quarter economic data on Monday reinforced fears about a slowdown of China’s economy. The official Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday quoted Ouyang Changyu, deputy secretary general of the China Electricity Council, as saying the group had revised down its full-year electricity-demand estimate to 1% growth this year, from 2% previously. As recently as 2011, electricity demand had grown by 12% annually.

The revised estimate reflects both a slowdown in China’s overall growth rate—which is struggling to hit the government’s target of about 7% this year—as well as important changes in the type of growth China is experiencing. The government wants to make the country less reliant on the energy-intensive sectors that propelled growth for four decades and instead shift toward cleaner and higher-paying industries and companies, ranging from financial services to web-based startups. In the first nine months of 2015, electricity demand has grown by .8%, down from 3.9% growth in the same period last year.

Electricity demand that is falling far faster than the government’s GDP data is among the reasons economists and investors are skeptical over the accuracy of official growth figures. The government said Monday GDP rose 6.9% in the first quarter. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in 2007 – back when he was a more junior official — that he relied on electricity data among other hard figures to get a truer picture of the country’s economic health.

Beyond electricity, other reasons for skepticism over the data include the decline of both imports and exports during the third quarter, weaker-than-expected industrial production and decelerating fixed-asset investment.

The ramifications of China’s slowing demand for electricity are global, and could contribute to weaker bottom lines at big companies such as coal and natural gas producers. Hong Kong-listed coal giant China Shenhua Energy Co. said its coal sales had plummeted by nearly one-fifth this year. The company is exporting far more coal this year than it’s importing — a sharp turnabout from 2014, when it imported four times as much coal as it exported.

The decline in electricity demand growth could also further weigh on natural gas—a cleaner alternative to coal in electricity production—which has suffered from stagnant demand this year.

Source: Powering Down: Chinese Electricity Demand Stalls Amid Slowing Growth – China Real Time Report – WSJ

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.

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