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News from China
Chinese yuan advances on upbeat economic data
19th January 2018
 
The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, advanced to 25-month high on Friday after China released expectation-beating economic figures for 2017.
 
The yuan strengthened 232 basis points to 6.4169 against the US dollar Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
 
The strong reading came after China released a string of impressive economic data for 2017, including a 6.9-percent GDP growth, which picked up pace for the first time in seven years.
 
Two-way movement will be normal for the exchange rate of the Chinese yuan in the future given uncertainties in the global economic recovery and the monetary policies of major economies, Wang Chunying, spokesperson with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said Thursday.
 
China will continue to improve the formation mechanism of the renminbi exchange rate to enhance its flexibility and keep it generally stable within a reasonable range, Wang added.
 
In China's spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day.
 
The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 19, 2018
China sees more balanced cross-border capital flow in 2017
18th January 2018

 China saw more balanced cross-border capital flow in 2017 as willingness to purchase the greenback waned thanks to rising confidence in the Chinese yuan and the domestic economy.

 
Chinese banks' net forex settlement deficit fell significantly last year, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).
 
Commercial banks bought 1.6441 trillion US dollars' worth of foreign currency, up 14 percent year on year, while selling US$1.7557 trillion, down 1 percent compared with 2016. This resulted in a net forex settlement deficit of US$111.6 billion, down by a whopping 67 percent year on year.
 
The top forex regulator pointed out that the forex market has seen more balanced demand and supply, with the fourth quarter of last year reporting a settlement surplus of US$1.2 billion.
 
An index weighing bank clients' willingness to purchase forex fell 9 percent year on year, while individual cross-border remittances and deposits also shrank significantly compared with 2016.
 
"The year 2017 marked the threshold when China's cross-border capital flow transited from net outflow to general balance," said SAFE spokesperson Wang Chunying.
 
China's forex reserves ended the downward trajectory of the previous two years to gain US$129.4 billion in 2017, while its current account surplus remained in a reasonable range and the financial account saw net capital inflow in the first three quarters of last year.
 
Wang attributed the more balanced forex supply and demand to steady domestic economic expansion, acceleration of the financial sector's opening as well as a recovering global economy.
 
Cross-border capital flow will continue to remain generally stable as China's emphasis on high-quality growth will boost market confidence and more opening-up efforts will attract more capital inflow, according to Wang.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 18, 2018
What's in a name? Chinese automaker nixes 'Trumpchi
17th January 2018

 Chinese automaker GAC is changing the name of models it plans to introduce in the US market next year, because "Trumpchi" sounds too much like its linked to President Donald Trump.

 
"The name will change for the US market to avoid the wrong connotation or misunderstanding," a GAC spokesman told AFP on Tuesday at the Detroit auto show.
 
The Trumpchi models have been available in China for years, and the word actually means "legend" in Chinese, the spokesman said.
 
US media has previously reported that company executives had been deliberating over a name change.
 
GAC, or Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which sells 500,000 cars in its native country and 13 others in Asia and the Middle East, has long announced plans to be the first Chinese auto maker to enter the US market by the end of 2019.
 
The company also plans to expand into Europe after trying to woo American consumers.
 
The cultural dissonance with its chosen brand name is something with which another auto maker can relate.
 
Tata Motors' "zippy car" abbreviation Zica was an unfortunate choice in 2016 for its new hatchback sedan, considering it debuted as the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a global health emergency.
 
The Indian company renamed it Tiago after making marketing lemonade out of a public relations lemon by holding an online renaming contest. 
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 17, 2018
China to allow non-property enterprises, villages to build houses
16th January 2018

 China will allow non-real-estate enterprises and villages to build houses on the land they own to boost housing supply.

 
A total of 13 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Xiamen are pilot regions where villages can build rental houses on land under collective ownership, either by themselves or by partnering with others, according to the national land and resources work conference held Monday.
 
Rural housing land still belongs to the collective village entity and farmers will be allowed to use it for housing and other purposes, said land and resources minister Jiang Daming.
 
The decision is considered a major step in nurturing a sustainable property market as the government used to be the only legitimate supplier of land for housing purposes.
 
The houses should be used for living rather than investment, and urban residents will not be allowed to buy rural housing land, which is banned for extravagant apartments such as villas, Jiang said.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 16, 2018

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