Posts tagged ‘Shanghai Stock Exchange’


Selective Equality? China Retirement Age Plan Sparks Backlash Among Women – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China’s policy makers have long accepted the need for workers to delay retirement to ease social and fiscal pressures from a rapidly aging population. Few, however, could agree on how to do it.

This week, state-backed researchers fueled fresh debate on the issue with a new proposal on how to coax more productive years out of China’s silver-haired generation. They called for gradually extending the country’s statutory retirement thresholds over the next three decades, culminating in a flat retirement age of 65 years. But their plan is proving unpopular. It is particularly striking a nerve among some women, who in China can retire between five and ten years earlier than men. The statutory retirement age for men is set at 60 years.

On social media, many female users mocked what they perceived as selective pursuit of gender equality. “In 2045, would there be equal pay between men and women? Would men be able to give birth?” a user, who identified as female, wrote on the popular Weibo microblogging service. “Chinese society, in reality, is rife with gender inequality; why bring about gender equality in retirement age?” another user wrote.

In an online survey, the state-run China National Radio found nearly 80% of respondents objected to setting a flat retirement age for men and women. “Delaying retirement is understandable, but setting the same retirement age for men and women isn’t compatible with our country’s conditions,” CNR quoted a Weibo user as saying. “Men would only have to work five more years, while women would have to work ten years longer. And women still have to face family pressures, so it’s clearly unsuitable.”

The proposal from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences comes amid a longstanding debate in government and academic circles on how to implement a much-needed but deeply unpopular policy. Beijing has said it will gradually raise retirement thresholds starting in 2022, though the policy would only be finalized in 2017. Under rules unchanged since the 1950s, China allows most female workers to retire when they turn 50, while women in public-sector jobs can do so at 55 years of age. To change this, the CASS researchers proposed that the government could in 2017 set a flat retirement age for women at 55 years, eliminating the distinction between private and public-sector workers. Authorities could begin extending retirement thresholds—for men and women—at a fixed pace, starting in 2018.

CASS researchers suggest adding a year to the female retirement age every three years, while doing so for men every six years. Beijing could also allow flexibility for workers to bring forward or delay their retirement by up to five years, on the condition that their pension payouts would be adjusted accordingly, CASS said.

Source: Selective Equality? China Retirement Age Plan Sparks Backlash Among Women – China Real Time Report – WSJ


China chocolate market seen growing to $4.3 billion by 2019: Hershey | Reuters

(Reuters) – Chocolate sales in China should grow to $4.3 billion by 2019, up nearly 60 percent from $2.7 billion in 2014 and driven by demand from the growing urban population, a senior Hershey officer forecast on Wednesday.

A Hershey's chocolate bar is shown in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The increase projected by Hershey International president Bert Alfonso reflects the chocolate industry‘s continued bet on growing emerging market consumption, despite recent indications of slowing demand in fast-growing Asian markets.

Hershey (HSY.N), which has been making chocolate for more than a century, expects to benefit from this demand boom, Alonso said in a webcast heard by Reuters of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference.

He projected the company’s China sales would grow by 35 percent to $450 million in 2015. Based on that figure, chocolate sales in China made up around 4.5 percent of Hershey’s $7.4 billion in total revenue in 2014.

The growth comes as Hershey integrates pro

via China chocolate market seen growing to $4.3 billion by 2019: Hershey | Reuters.


China trainmakers CSR, CNR in talks to merge – state media | Reuters

China’s top trainmakers, China CNR and CSR Corp, are in merger talks to create a giant able to compete globally with the likes of Siemens and Bombardier, state media reported on Tuesday.

A handrail hangs in one of the 45 new train wagons that were bought from China's CNR, in a Buenos Aires' subway station February 14, 2013. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian

China built the world’s longest high-speed train network in less than a decade and has expressed its desire to export its technology. The two state-owned firms however have fiercely competed against each other while trying to sell trains abroad.

The official China Securities Journal, citing unidentified sources, said the firms had set up working groups to discuss the integration, and that investment bank China International Capital Corp had been appointed to oversee the reorganisation.

“The heads of CNR and CSR are in agreement on the companies’ integration,” the newspaper quoted an industry source as saying.

“As the State Council is in charge of this, it can be done at great speed and at the moment the biggest concern is related to their projects and personnel changes.”

CNR and CSR halted trading on Monday and subsequently issued statements saying they would resolve “major issues” as soon as possible. Trading would resume within five working days, they added.

The companies did not respond to requests for comment on the Journal report.

Last month, CNR and CSR dismissed a report by financial news magazine Caixin that the government was looking to merge the firms to create a giant that can better compete with foreign rivals such as Germany’s Siemens and Canada’s Bombardier.

A merged CNR-CSR would have combined annual revenue of about 200 billion yuan (20.28 billion pounds) based on 2013 company data, compared with Siemens’ 75.9 billion euros ($96.5 billion) revenue last year and Bombadier’s $18.2 billion (11.28 billion pounds).

Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric, a CSR subsidiary, also suspended trading. CNR is due to report third-quarter results on Wednesday, while CSR is scheduled to report on Friday, according to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

via China trainmakers CSR, CNR in talks to merge – state media | Reuters.


China’s Gezhouba to build dams in Argentina worth $4.7 billion | Reuters

China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd (600068.SS), known for building the country\’s Three Gorges Dam, said it would build two hydroelectric dams in Argentina worth $4.7 billion.

The project, in which Gezhouba holds a 60 percent interest and Argentina\’s Electroingenieria SA the rest, will involve designing and building the dams in Patagonia and maintaining them for 15 years, Gezhouba said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Friday.

The dams – named after former President Nestor Kirchner and a former regional Governor, Jorge Cepernic – are located along the Santa Cruz River and will have a combined generating capacity of 1,740 megawatts.

They will take 66 months to complete, said Gezhouba, which has handled overseas projects in Africa, the Middle East and other parts of Asia.

The project is unlikely to have any impact on Gezhouba\’s results in 2013, it said.

Argentina\’s Economics Ministry will apply for financing and loans from Chinese banks.

via China’s Gezhouba to build dams in Argentina worth $4.7 billion | Reuters.


The Risky Business of Retirement in China

BusinessWeek: “It’s not surprising that China’s roller-coaster stock markets have earned scant investor confidence. On Tuesday, the respected Beijing financial magazine Caijing reported on a survey of 9,282 investors in Chinese stock markets. Over the lifetime of their investments, just 16 percent had seen net earnings of more than 10 percent; 70 percent had seen losses of more than 10 percent.

An investor watches the electronic board at a stock exchange hall on June 24, 2013 in Huaibei, China

The performance of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange often seems bizarrely detached from national economic performance. Since the beginning of the year, the Shanghai Shenzhen 300 Index—an index of leading stocks on the two exchanges—is down 11.3 percent. Even the famed British money manager Anthony Bolton lost money when he came to China. Bolton, who managed Fidelity International Special Situations Fund for nearly three decades with a stunning average annual return of 19.5 percent, launched the investment trust Fidelity China Special Situations in 2010. Three years later, that fund is down 15 percent, and Bolton plans to step down next year.

The volatile performance of China’s stock markets gives pause to investors of all stripes, but it also unfortunately intersects with another worrying trend in China: the graying of the population. China today is home to 180 million people over age 60. That figure is expected to double to 360 million by 2030. According to Wang Feng, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center in Beijing, by 2030, at least one in five people in China will be over age 65. How can they prudently invest for retirement?

The average life expectancy in China is now 73 for men and 79 for women, up more than 12 years since 1970, thanks to improved health care and nutrition. But the mandatory retirement age for most workers in China is fairly low: 50 for women and 60 for men. As a comprehensive report by the Prudential Foundation and the Center for Strategic & International Studies, China’s Long March to Retirement Reform, put it, “older workers seem to have little place in China’s new economic order.” The report also found that as of 2007, only 65 percent of the urban workforce, including both civil servants and private-sector employees, was contributing to even a basic state-mandated pension plan.

For the past half decade, real estate has been the preferred investment vehicle in China. Only two decades old, China’s private real estate market has never yet seen a downturn. Home prices in many leading cities, however, have risen so quickly that many nonwealthy Chinese are struggling today to enter the market and buy their first homes, even with the help of parents’ and extended family’s savings. (To be sure, many analysts and even Chinese megadeveloper Vanke’s chairman, Wang Shi, say the country’s heated real estate market risks becoming a bubble: “If the bubble lasted, it will be dangerous,” Wang told a recent conference in Shanghai.)”

via The Risky Business of Retirement in China – Businessweek.


* Chinese College Dropout Turns Market Blog Into Pundits’ Favorite

It’s not only US kids who can start successful on-line business from home! As some author commented: Chinese now dream what used to be the American dream – “We can do it”.

Bloomberg: “When Hu Bin started his blog in early 2008, he was a skinny 22-year-old college dropout with a perpetually skeptical look on his face and little doubt he’d soon be a household name.

Chinese College Dropout Turns Market Blog Into Pundits’ Favorite

The previous year, the Shanghai Stock Exchange had been flooded by speculators. For a brief period, it was the second- busiest exchange in the world. It was also beginning a dramatic fall ushered in by the global financial crisis. Hu says he considered the market, considered his audience, and sensed it was time to make his mark.

Enlarge image

Blogger Hu Bin spent his early days predicting the rise of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and now foresees its continuing decline. Photographer: Kevin Lee/Bloomberg

“It really started when Premier Wen Jiabao announced a 4 trillion renminbi rescue plan for the economy,” Hu says. “I knew I just needed to be clever and use this chance of high liquidity in the market to make myself famous.”

Now 26, Hu is China’s most popular online market commentator, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Dec. 24 edition. His blog has gotten more than 400 million visits. His posts are equal parts outlandish and thoughtful, and employ liberal use of bolded, multicolored text and exclamation points.

Hu writes under the name Yerongtian, a character from a real estate-themed Hong Kong soap opera, and has been known to pick fights with other commentators, whom he says suffer from a “lack of emotion.” He has posted at least one picture of cats, and multiple pictures of himself wearing sunglasses to help illustrate his opinions.

‘Eccentric Behavior’

In 2009, the state-run newspaper China Daily listed him, under his alias, among the 10 people in the nation with the most influence on China’s stock market.

“Back then,” Hu says of 2008, “any eccentric behavior would attract people’s attention. If you understood this vital point, you could control people’s minds.”

Hu grew up in Kunming, a southwestern city of 6.4 million that’s far from China’s centers of finance. He learned about the stock market by watching his mother invest in her spare time, he says. She put money into the market in the 1990s, early days for Chinese investment, and lost it all. “Now she invests her money in gold,” Hu says.

He started at Kunming University, intending to study philosophy and Marxism, however quit, thinking he would take up investing himself.

“I was interested in psychology,” he says. “I wanted to know why everyone wanted to bet their future on an uncontrollable thing.”

Commander in Chief

Hu says that in the early days of his blog, his knowledge of the market was thinner than it is now. He has always, however, understood his audience and how to keep it interested.

Hu’s approach to his blog is purposefully bombastic, earning him vocal critics along with followers. In 2009, he got into a spat with another stock commentator, Hou Ning. Hou, at least according to Chinese news reports from the time, holds the record for the longest nickname of any stock commentator in history: Commander in Chief of the Stock Market Army.

The two made a 1 million yuan ($160,500) bet on the future of the Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP), with Hu wagering it would reach 4,000 by the end of the year. It didn’t, and Hu didn’t pay, though he got what he wanted out of the rivalry.

“Who would have paid attention to me if I had said 3,000?” he asks. “Everyone already knew it would reach 3,000.” In 2010, he promised to throw himself off one of Shanghai’s tallest buildings if the benchmark Shanghai Composite didn’t reach 5,800 by the end of the year. It didn’t: Hu is still with us.

‘Weather Vane’

Stunts aside, Hu has spent the last four years working through his thinking on the ups and downs of China’s economy in public, slipping thoughtful essays in between bouts of hyperbole.

He spent his early days predicting the rise of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and now foresees its continuing decline. One recent headline: “Doomsday Runs Wild, the Stock Market will likely drop 200 points!!” In another post, he explains that a drop in the market may not be bad. It could give the authorities some space to make reforms without worrying about overheating, and help to attract more foreign investment.

“The stock market is not only an economic weather vane,” he writes. “It is a political weather vane.”

Hu says he is not a financial rabble-rouser. Most laypeople should stay away from investing in individual stocks, he says. The people who read his blog, however, are generally not professionals; retail investors make up the majority of the volume of trading in the Chinese market. There are about 72 million retail investors in China, accounting for three-quarters of the trading on domestic exchanges, according to the China Securities Regulatory Commission.”

via Chinese College Dropout Turns Market Blog Into Pundits’ Favorite – Bloomberg.

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