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News from China
Digital: new model for film profits
19th June 2017

 NALYSTS and major players are generally optimistic about the impact digital platforms and technologies can bring to the film industry, with more efficient marketing and an easier reach for potential audience, the Chinese Film Industry Summit Forum heard yesterday.

 
Yu Yongfu, chairman of Alibaba Pictures, said his company hoped to provide digital infrastructure services for film distribution, marketing and development of film or TV series derivatives.
 
Michael Shamberg, American TV and film producer whose credits include “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained,” said: “China is way ahead of the US in terms of audience reach (through digital channels) and online streaming to audience.”
 
Some US production houses and Internet companies are also applying tech mentality to the film business and have in some ways helped reduce the cost of production and marketing.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 19,2017
A-shares stand higher chance of MSCI inclusion
16th June 2017

 THE possibility of including China’s domestic A-shares in the global benchmark of index provider MSCI Inc this year has risen, Standard Chartered Bank said yesterday.

 
Alexis Calla, global head of investment and advisory of Standard Chartered’s group wealth management unit, said A shares have a 60 percent chance of being included in the MSCI World index this year, up from last year’s 50-percent chance.
 
The MSCI World index covers equities in 23 major markets globally and has US$2.7 trillion in assets benchmarked to the index.
 
“China is the second largest equity market in the world, which is a strong reason why it should be represented in the MSCI,” said Calla. “A lot of things have been done by the authorities to facilitate that.”
 
He referred to efforts to add a Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock connect late last year after the existing Shanghai-Hong Kong stock link.
 
A Shanghai-London stock connect is also in discussion by authorities in China and the UK.
 
Calla said it is likely for MSCI to first include shares under the stock connect programs to bypass some of China’s capital market restrictions.
 
MSIC in March renewed its plan of including Chinese A shares into its global benchmark by cutting the number of component companies from 448 to 169, mainly large-cap firms.
 
If approved, the weightage of A-shares in the global index would be 0.5 percent.
 
Observers have said the inclusion would not impact the market immediately due to the small weightage of the A-shares.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 16, 2017
IMF raises China’s GDP growth outlook to 6.7%
15th June 2017

 THE International Monetary Fund yesterday raised its forecast for China’s 2017 economic growth to 6.7 percent, its third increase this year, citing “policy support, especially expansionary credit and public investment”.

 
In April, the IMF hiked its forecast for this year to 6.6 percent from January’s 6.5 percent, which was 0.3 percentage points above the previous projection.
 
China’s economy grew a faster-than-expected 6.9 percent in the first quarter of this year, well above the government’s target of around 6.5 percent for the full year.
 
The IMF said it now expects China’s growth to average 6.4 percent annually during 2018-2020. In April, the IMF said it expected 2018 growth to be 6.2 percent.
 
Along with a higher growth forecast, the IMF yesterday recommended China speed up reforms to transition its economy to more sustainable growth and adopt less accommodative monetary policy.
 
“The critically important recent focus on tackling financial sector risks should continue, even if it entails some financial tensions and slower growth,” IMF deputy managing director David Lipton said in Beijing.
 
China needs to ensure that “where credit is granted, it is backing economic activity that will be useful, that will be supportive of growth and will permit debts to be serviced without difficultly,” he said.
 
China should also resume progress toward a flexible exchange rate, Lipton said, while adding that the IMF assesses the yuan to be “broadly in line with fundamentals”.
 
The strengthening US economy, albeit with normalizing interest rates, is likely to be useful for the rest of the world, Lipton said.
 
The IMF official said President Xi Jinping’s speech at Davos in January was the start of China playing “a kind of leadership role at a time when there is a dialog going on around the world about the path of globalization.”
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 15, 2017
US to resume beef export to China after trade rules finalized
14th June 2017

 THE United States moved one step closer toward resuming its beef export to China after the US agricultural department said trade rules have been finalized.

 
The US Department of Agriculture said on Monday that the country has reached agreements with China on final details of a protocol to allow it to export beef to China.
 
As part of the US-China 100-day action plan to boost bilateral economic cooperation, the administration of President Donald Trump “has taken important steps toward commercial shipment of US beef and beef products to China for the first time since 2003,” the department said.
 
“Today is a great day for the United States and in particular for our cattle producers, who will be regaining access to an enormous market with an ever-expanding middle class,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement.
 
“As we clear away long-standing issues like this one, focusing on near-term, verifiable deliverables, we are building a sound foundation for further discussions,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a separate statement.
 
China imposed a ban on US beef in December 2003 after mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, was found in US cattle. Before the ban, the United States was China’s largest supplier of imported beef.
 
Beef destined for China must be sourced from cattle that were born, raised and slaughtered in the United States, or animals that were imported from Canada and Mexico before being slaughtered domestically, according to the agricultural department.
 
Cattle must be traceable either to their birth farm or, if initially imported into the US, to the first place of residence or port of entry, the department said on its website.
 
The US National Cattlemen’s Beef Association also hailed the agreement on beef exports, a top priority for the association over the past decade.
 
“This would give us the opportunity to grow. All trade is important, but working with China will be a huge benefit to the US beef industry,” said Craig Uden, president of NCBA.
 
In recent years, China has become one of the largest import markets for beef, and these terms are a reflection of China’s trust in the safety and quality of US beef, Uden said.
 
“We hope that by getting our foot in the door we can develop a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with China,” he added.
 
During a meeting at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in April, President Xi Jinping and Trump agreed to establish a comprehensive economic dialog and initiate a 100-day plan to boost bilateral economic cooperation.
 
Also in April, during a telephone talk with Trump, Xi stressed that both sides should advance the implementation of the plan on economic cooperation through high-level dialog mechanisms.

Source: Shanghai Daily, June 14, 2017

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