Updated: 2011-02-25 13:20
(China Daily European Weekly)
Bank reserve requirements hiked
China raised the reserve requirement for banks by 50 basis points on Feb 18 and will consider more interest rate hikes to curb inflation, said Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China.
By insisting that lenders hold more funds, the central bank hopes to restrict lending, thereby reducing spending
The rate hike is the eighth since the beginning of 2010 and is part of the various tools used by policymakers to check inflation in the world's second-largest economy.
The new regulations came into effect on Thursday with the reserve requirement ratio for big commercial banks pegged at 19.5 percent. The move is likely to mop up about 350 billion yuan (38.8 billion euros) from the market.
CBRC to draft new rules for banking sector
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said on Feb 21 that it is drafting a slew of new rules to set tougher criteria for capital adequacy, provisions, leverage and liquidity conditions for lenders.
The banking regulator said the new regulations would be published soon to better contain financial risks.
The CBRC will add leverage and liquidity ratios into the regulatory parameters, while setting the provision ratio on outstanding loans to 2.5 percent, with a grace period of two years for large banks and five years for small- and medium-sized lenders.
Moves to stop realty prices heading north
The National Bureau of Statistics said 68 out of the 70 tracked cities reported higher prices for new homes in January from a year earlier. But the market is likely to slow down, analysts said.
Ten out of the 70 surveyed cities saw price hikes of more than 10 percent, the statistics bureau said.
However, with the government introducing measures to rein in the property market and tightening credit for developers, the momentum driving price increases will slow, analysts said.
The January statistics were the first after the statistics bureau adopted different methods to track the property market to more accurately reflect price gains.
The bureau used online registration data for property transactions for 35 of the tracked cities. For cities that don't have online registration system, the NBS continues to use figures from local authorities.
Savills set to double business volume
The nation's increasing spending power and its unprecedented urbanization campaign are providing great opportunities for property services companies at home and abroad.
UK-based Savills is shifting its focus in China by offering more professional property services to its clients to participate in the housing boom.
"The attraction for Savills is that the opportunities here are great. We have a very strong team in China and there is room to grow. This is a less mature market than London," said Jeremy Helsby, group chief executive of Savills plc.
Savills expects to double its business in China in the next five to 10 years organically.
Natural gas stockpiles may help ease shortage
China must devise an emergency natural-gas storage plan during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) to prepare for the possibility of an abrupt shortage caused by natural disasters and unrest overseas, said a senior researcher at the country's energy think tank.
"A plan for emergency gas-stockpiling must be a top priority in the next five years. It is necessary for safeguarding national energy security," said Li Junfeng, deputy director of the Energy Research Institute, affiliated with the National Development and Reform Commission.
CNPC to extend pipeline network
Oil and gas producer China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) is planning to double the length of laid pipelines during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) compared with the amount constructed during the last five years, in a bid to improve its energy access.
The company constructed 270,000 kilometers of pipelines during the previous five years, exceeding the total laid in the previous 42 years, the company said. The overall length will reach 540,000 km by the end of 2015.
The predicted length indicates that CNPC has accelerated the pace of pipeline construction on the back of the country's surging demand for natural resources.
Infrastructure spending gets a boost
The nation will spend at least 948 billion euros over the next five years to ease transport and freight bottlenecks, creating a windfall for companies such as Daqin Railway Co and Anhui Expressway Co.
Over the next five years China will spend as much as 3.5 trillion yuan (389 billion euros) on railway construction, 750 billion yuan on rail rolling stock, 3.5 trillion yuan to 4 trillion yuan on highways, 300 billion yuan to 350 billion yuan on airports and 900 billion yuan on ports, according to Macquarie.
The nation's 2 trillion yuan in spending on a high-speed rail network will give it almost as much total track length by next year as the entire rest of the world, even before the 16,000-kilometer network is completed in 2020.
Qingdao Port aims to be regional hub
Qingdao Port is seeking a more ambitious position among major Northeast Asian ports as it tries to transform itself into a regional shipping center offering premium services in cargo handling, logistics and related industries.
"In the next five years Qingdao Port will add 300 million tons of capacity to augment the throughput to 600 million tons and 20 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers by the end of 2015," Chang Dechuan, chairman and chief executive officer of the Qingdao Port Group, said.
Located at the Jiaozhou Bay on the southern tip of Shandong Peninsula, the port is the world's seventh-largest by throughput and the eighth-largest container port. In 2010, it handled a total throughput of 350 million tons and container throughput of 12 million TEUs.
Import taxes on some products to be lowered
China will be cutting import taxes on some products, including formula milk and cosmetics, as part of a series of reductions aimed at balancing international trade, the Nanfang Daily said on Feb 21.
The newspaper quoted an unidentified official with the State Administration of Taxation who said the tax bureau is planning the cuts because of concerns over possible tax evasion there.
In January, the ministry announced that it would cut import duties for computers, digital video recorders and cameras by between 10 and 20 percent.
"The tax reduction is designed to encourage imports and increase the domestic supply of related goods," said Fan Yong, director at the department of tax collection and administration at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.
BSH to build new factory in Anhui
Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group (BSH) said on Feb 23 that it plans to build a new refrigerator production base in China.
The announcement underlines the Germany-based companies' ambition to further expand in the country's growing high-end refrigerator market.
The company said it will invest about 900 million yuan (99 million euros) to build its second Chinese production facility in Chuzhou, Anhui province. The factory will have a production capacity of more than 5 million refrigerators annually. Construction will start on March 1 and the factory is scheduled to become operational in 2013.
Nike unveils mega distribution center
Nike Inc unveiled its biggest logistics center in Asia in Jiangsu province on Feb 22, as the US sportswear and equipment maker envisions rapid growth in its second-biggest market worldwide.
The 200,000 square meter logistics center in Taicang, Jiangsu province, is the company's first such facility in China and the sixth worldwide, after centers in Belgium, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the United States. It will handle all inbound and outbound products, including clothing, shoes and sports equipment, for China.
Since last summer, Chinese tourists emerged as the top tax-free shoppers in Europe.
Environmental concerns are shedding new light on a colorful tradition
Chongqing bets on its position as a hub for China's west.
Helicopter companies ride on country's growing interest in luxury aviation.