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China’s Banking Regulatory Commission to pilot five private banks

March 12, 2014

BEIJING - The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) will approve five private banks on a trial basis, situated in Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Guangdong, all cities located on China’s eastern coastline and regarded as having mature financial markets and notable histories of opening up. If successful, the practice will be extended to more locations.

Bank of Thailand trims rates, maintains doveish bias

March 12, 2014

BANGKOK – The Bank of Thailand has trimmed its policy rate by 25 basis points, but ANZ Bank, which had expected the move, cautions that monetary policy might be a limited tool in mitigating a slowdown in domestic activity that is politically-induced.
“We maintain our sub-consensus 2014 growth forecast of 2.2%, given that political normalisation is still out of sight,” ANZ says.

China to hasten financial reforms during 2014

March 11, 2014

~~HONG KONG – HSBC says China's financial reforms are likely to advance faster than many had expected in 2014. People’s Bank of China Governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, today for the first time affirmed that he expects deposit rates to be liberalised within one-to-two years. “China will also accelerate capital account opening-up and allow private commercial banks to be set up,” HSBC says. “We expect this determined push for financial reform to mean a widening of the floating band for deposit rates within 2014, and the introduction of a deposit insurance scheme in the coming months as well.”

Xi stresses rural reform, wants softer approach from officials

March 10, 2014

BEIJING - President Xi Jinping has called for deepened rural reform in China and strictly regulated use of officials' power. “Rural reform should be deepened energetically with the right orientation, and farmers' wishes should be respected,” Xi told a panel discussion of deputies from Anuhi Province attending the National People's Congress from Anhui.

Government says strong second half will secure China’s 7.5% growth target

March 10, 2014

BEIJING – China’s National Development and Reform Commission has affirmed that China will meet its 7.5% growth target as set in the Government Work Report, saying that positive economic factors - including stronger external demand and the dividends of reform - are likely to emerge in the second half of this year.

‘TPP membership would reduce Taiwan’s economic dependence on China’

March 9, 2014

LOS ANGELES - Lin Wuu-long, a former Head of Enterprise Management Research at the United Nations, says Taiwan's move to treat joining the regional economic bloc, the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as a top priority makes sense because it will help Taiwan improve its international competitiveness - and reduce its economic dependence on China.

Exports plunge as China culls over-invoicing and round-tripping of goods

March 8, 2014

HONG KONG - China’s exports growth crashed in February, dropping by 18.1% on-year compared to a 10.6% gain in January, as China intensified efforts - especially by introducing two-way fluctuation in the RMB exchange rate - to curb suspicious capital inflows embedded into foreign trade via export over-invoicing and round-tripping.

China's first potential onshore bond default to increase funding costs: S&P

March 6, 2014

HONG KONG - The imminent default by Chinese solar-equipment maker Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science and Technology Co. (Chaori) is poised to be a transformative event for China's corporate bond market, says ratings agency Standard & Poor's. “We believe the Chinese Government is beginning to address the difficult moral hazard and implicit State guarantee of financially weak and commercially unviable borrowers,” S&P says.

China’s NPC meeting kicks off with 7.5% growth target, emphasizes market-oriented reforms

March 5, 2014

BEIJING - At the opening of the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang has presented a “Government Work Report” reviewing economic developments and policy priorities for the coming year. The Report contains China’s official 2014 macro targets, all of which were in line with expectations and essentially unchanged from last year: GDP growth of 7.5%, inflation at 3.5%, M2 growth of 13.0%, and a fiscal deficit of 2.1% of GDP .