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Global corporate issuers face US$8.9 trillion in rated debt maturities through 2018 – S&P

March 17, 2014

HONG KONG - About US$8.9 trillion in corporate rated debt is scheduled to mature between 2014 and 2018, saccording to a new report published by Standard & Poor's Global Fixed Income Research. "We believe portion of the 2014 maturities have already been refinanced, given robust new issuance activity in recent quarters," said Diane Vazza, Head of S&P's Global Fixed Income Research.

China’s government debt risk (at RMB20.7 trillion) within control, says Premier

March 15, 2014

BEIJING - Premier Li Keqiang has reaffirmed that Government debt is still controllable and that China’s debt-to-GDP ratio is still below the internationally-recognised warning line. After two months of nationwide audits, the National Audit Office has disclosed that governments at various levels were liable for a total direct debt of RMB 20.7 trillion at the end of June 2013 - up 8.6%, or RMB 1.63 trillion since the end of 2012.

RMB band widening – a step to regain effective monetary policy?

March 16, 2014

BEIJING - The People's Bank of China announced yestoday (Saturday) that it will widen the USD/CNY trading band to 2% from 1%, effective Monday 17, following a move almost two years ago that enlarged the USD/CNY trading band from 0.5% to 1%. PBoC also announce that the spread between the USD/CNY selling and buying prices offered by foreign exchange-designated banks to their customers is not to exceed 3% of central parity (till now 2%), giving further flexibility to the markets.

Weakening activity indicators may prompt policy support measures in China

March 13, 2014

HONG KONG - Monthly activity indicators released by China  today (for January/February combined) disappointed to the downside. Growth of industrial production slowed to 8.6% y/y (consensus: 9.5%);  urban fixed asset investment (year-to-date) came in at 17.9% y/y (consensus: 19.4%), and retail sales fell to 11.8% y/y (consensus: 13.5%).

China’s hunt at home and abroad for ‘naked officials’ to intensify

March 12, 2014

BEIJING – China’s Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) says prosecutors nationwide will clamp down on corrupt officials this year - and step up the hunt for those who have fled abroad. Preventing suspects from fleeing the country, and tracing those who have escaped, are important measures for prosecutors in fighting graft, said Cao Jianming, procurator-general of the SPP.

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.