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News from China
EU stops measures on China’s PET products
9th February 2017

 THE European Union has brought an end to 13-year-long trade remedy measures on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) originating in China after terminating an expiry review.

 
“The European Commission concludes that the expiry review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of PET originating in China should be terminated,” said a statement in the official journal of the EU.
 
The measures in force are a definitive anti-dumping duty imposed in November 2010 and supposed to expire in November 2015.
 
However, some PET manufacturers asked for an expiry review in June 2015 to see whether the expiry of these measures result in recurrence of dumping and recurrence of injury to the bloc’s industry.
 
According to the official document, the applicant, the Committee of Polyethylene Terephthalate Manufacturers in Europe, formally withdrew its request for the expiry review earlier. The EU supervisors found no signs showing such a termination would be against the bloc’s interest in their investigation
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 9, 2017
Chinese insurers invest in 651 projects
8th February 2017

 CHINESE insurers had initiated 651 investment projects with registered capital of 1.65 trillion yuan (US$240 billion) in infrastructure and livelihood improvement by the end of 2016, official data showed.

 
The investment was made through equity and bond purchases, as well as asset support plans, which mostly went into transport, energy, real estate, health care and elderly care, according to the Insurance Asset Management Association of China.
 
Chinese insurance capital has also provided funds to national development strategies such as the Belt and Road initiative, the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.
 
Insurers had invested 592.3 billion yuan in the Belt and Road initiative and 135.9 billion yuan in the Yangtze River Economic Belt by the end of 2016, said the IAMAC.
 
The association encourages insurance companies to provide funding to develop the country’s real economy, as insurance capital is considered as large and stable long-term funds.
 
Speaking of stock investment, the IAMAC called for Chinese insurance companies to be friendly investors to listed companies and cornerstones of the capital market, instead of making aggressive stake buyouts and bringing excessive intervention to the operation of listed companies.
 
The “barbaric” behavior of some Chinese insurers using leveraged money to buy shares of listed firms raised regulatory concerns late last year. Triggering sharp volatility in the market, such moves annoyed corporate executives and caused individual investors to suffer.
 
Some 1.88 trillion yuan of China’s investment capital was put into stocks at the end of November, accounting for 14.37 percent of the total, according to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.
 
The IAMAC said insurers should avoid speculative investment, safeguard the stability of the capital market and keep good communications with stake holders and management of listed firms.
 
The IAMAC expects insurance companies to raise the holding of blue-chip stocks to rejig their investment portfolio.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 8, 2017
Services expand slower in January
7th February 2017

 CHINA’S services sector expanded at a slower pace in January, raising concerns that economic growth may slow from the fourth quarter of last year, a private survey showed yesterday.

 
The Caixin China General Services PMI, a gauge of operating conditions in mostly private service companies, dipped to 53.1 points in January from a 17-month high of 53.4 in December, according to the survey conducted by financial information service provider Markit and sponsored by Caixin Media.
 
A sub-index showed growth in new work at services companies rose more slowly but remained the second-fastest since June 2014, according to the survey.
 
Meanwhile, services companies were quick to raise their prices.
 
“New business continued to grow rapidly, though at a marginally slower rate than in the previous month, while input prices and output charges increased at faster rates,” said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macro-economic analysis at CEBM Group. “The economy continued to recover, but the expansion rate has slowed.”
 
The slower service expansion echoed with cooler manufacturing growth as the Caixin General Manufacturing PMI, released last Friday, dipped by 0.9 points month on month to 51 in January.
 
China’s official manufacturing PMI, released by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, dipped 0.1 points from December to 51.3 points last month.
 
The official non-manufacturing PMI, however, added 0.1 points to 54.6.
 
Zhong said manufacturing and services continued to expand in January, but China’s economy is unlikely to keep the pace of expansion seen in the fourth quarter of last year.
 
He also warned inflationary pressure would continue to rise as charges across services providers and goods producers increase further.
 
China’s GDP grew 6.7 percent last year, with the fourth quarter expanding 6.8 percent and exceeding market expectations.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 7, 2017
Mainland’s trade with Taiwan drops
6th February 2017

 TRADE volume between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan totaled US$179.6 billion in 2016, down 4.5 percent from 2015, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

 
Mainland exports to Taiwan were US$40.4 billion last year, a 10.1 percent year-on-year drop, and imports from Taiwan stood at US$139.2 billion, down 2.8 percent.
 
Taiwan is the mainland’s seventh largest trade partner and sixth biggest source of imports.
 
In 2016, the mainland approved 3,517 Taiwan-invested projects, with the actual use of Taiwan capital worth US$1.96 billion, up 27.7 percent from the previous year.
 
By the end of December, the mainland had approved 98,815 Taiwan-invested projects, with the actual use of Taiwan capital at US$64.7 billion.
 
Last year, the mainland’s trade with Hong Kong fell 11.1 percent year on year to US$305.3 billion.
 
Mainland exports to Hong Kong stood at US$288.4 billion in 2016, down 12.7 percent from the previous year, while the mainland’s imports from the city rose 32.4 percent to US$16.9 billion.
 
Hong Kong is the mainland’s fourth-largest trading partner and third-largest export market, according to the ministry.
 
The mainland approved 12,753 Hong Kong-invested projects in 2016, with the actual use of Hong Kong capital at US$81.5 billion, down 5.7 percent from 2015.
 
By the end of December, the mainland had approved 398,966 Hong Kong-invested projects, with the actual use of Hong Kong capital totalling US$914.8 billion.
Source: Shanghai Daily, February 6, 2017

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