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News from China
China consumer prices up 1.3 pct in August
9th September 2016

China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 1.3 percent year on year in August, down from July's 1.8 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Friday.

 
The August data dropped for the fourth-consecutive month from 2.3 percent in April, when the CPI reached its highest level since July 2014.
 
On a month-on-month basis, the CPI rose 0.1 percent in August.
 
NBS statistician Yu Qiumei attributed the moderated inflation largely to eased food prices.
 
The price of pork rose 6.4 percent year on year in August, slowing from 16.1-percent rise registered in July.
 
Since January 2016, CPI has been calculated using a new comparison base and included more products and services, while slightly reducing the weighting of food.
Source: Xinhua
First cargo train from China arrives in N. Afghan port
8th September 2016
The first-ever cargo train from China, after some two weeks of journey, has arrived in Hairatan port, some 300 km north of Kabul, in the northern Balkh province. "The inauguration of cargo service train linking China to Afghanistan marks the revival of ancient Silk Road," Azarakhsh Hafizi, chairman of international relations of Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said at a ceremony on Wednesday to welcome the first Sino-Afghan freight train which had arrived a day earlier. Bearing a banner reading "Nantong - Afghan Hairatan" in the driver's wagon as the sign of China's commitment to help revive economy of the militancy- plagued nation, the cargo train was warmly welcomed by emotional Afghans. The railway route connecting China to Afghanistan will help traders to transport their goods in 15 days, while in the past it took two or three months for Afghan traders to ship their goods via sea transportation, Hafizi said, adding "It opens up new opportunities for Afghanistan's commerce and economic activities." At present, goods such as mechanical equipment, information technology products and clothes are transported by China-Afghanistan freight trains to the land-locked country, while returning to China with Afghan products such as marble stone, saffron, dry fruits and carpets. After the opening of the route, two trains are scheduled to run each month, as part of China's Belt and Road initiative to improve Asian connectivity. The cargo train service is expected to run weekly by the end of this year, according to officials. Hairatan port, a small but peaceful township bordering Uzbekistan and located in northern Balkh province, is a key commercial center connecting the national capital Kabul with nine northern provinces.
Source: Xinhua
China's green finance presents massive chances for global investors
7th September 2016

For three decades, China's growth was fueled by government investment and exports of manufactured goods, but rapid growth and urbanization created serious environmental problems.

 
China's green finance now presents a massive opportunity for international investors.
 
The Chinese leadership is committed to environmental protection and sustainable growth, Yi Gang, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), told a forum on Tuesday.
 
Deborah Lehr of the Paulson Institute, said that China is a bellwether in green finance and believes that more international investors will be involved in green finance.
 
Last week, the PBOC and several ministries released plans for a complete green finance mechanism to make China the first country with such a set up.
 
The plan encourages private capital into green sectors and attempts to prevent investment that leads to pollution.
 
Ma Jun, chief research economist at the PBOC, estimates that the costs of cleaning up China's environment will amount to at least 3 trillion yuan (around 450 billion U.S. dollars) annually. Current fiscal resources can cover no more than 15 percent of that amount. A green market could bring significant private sector investment to meet this shortfall, which means opportunities for global investors, Ma said.
 
Helen Wong, general manager of HSBC Group, said that the group plans to invest 8 billion U.S. dollars in green industries, including 1 billion U.S. dollars in green bonds.
 
In the first seven months of 2016, China's green bond issues hit about 18 billion U.S. dollars, about 40 percent of the world total during the period.
Source: Xinhua
Mainland Chinese flock to Hong Kong for insurance deals
6th September 2016

 A fresh shopping craze of people from the Chinese mainland is unfolding in Hong Kong, but this time the seasoned shoppers are not after luxuries, but insurance, reports the Securities Times.

 
According to the statistics of the insurance authority of Hong Kong, premiums of mainland customers' insurance orders in the first half of 2016 hit a record high of 30.1 billion Hong Kong dollars (around US$3.88 billion), an increase of 116 percent year-on-year.
 
Instead of the luxury stores, counters of the insurance companies are now thronged with mainland clients scrambling to buy insurance.
 
The most popular are critical illness insurance, investment-oriented insurance or establishing family trusts, with lower premiums, higher dividends and wider coverage proving the main draw cards for mainland clients.
 
Insurance in Hong Kong on average costs 10-30 percent less than on the mainland, and on the mainland insurance only covers up to 40 types of critical illnesses, while those in Hong Kong cover 50 to 120 types.
 
Buying large sum insurance in Hong Kong is also a way to avoid potential inheritance tax by transferring assets abroad.
 
Thanks to the booming demand, the business has also attracted a flock of those from the mainland who are working in Hong Kong and selling insurance.
 
The Securities Times also says that more and more mainland securities companies are also eyeing the insurance market in Hong Kong, considering it an important part of their overseas wealth management business.
 
Many insurance companies in Hong Kong have been offering various training courses for insurance agents, including private banking, trust management, analysis on the laws of the mainland and Hong Kong, and dollar bonds and investment for family asset inheritance, which are in great demand by mainland clients.
 
Despite the frenzy, experts in insurance are warning that buying insurance is not suitable for everyone, according to the reports of southcn.com.
 
Since the insurance bought in Hong Kong is not bound by mainland laws, legal disputes will be troublesome for mainland clients.
 
Such insurance, purchased and settled in US dollars, is also exposed to exchange rate risks.
 
The price advantage may also be offset by the cost of the procedures for exchanging currencies and the cost of trips to Hong Kong for submitting fees, if the annual premium is within 50,000 yuan (around US$7,488).
 
Senior insurance agents from Hong Kong also warn that clients from the mainland buying insurance in Hong Kong should be wary of illegal agents, reports southcn.com.
 
The Securities Times reports that Hong Kong insurance authority has ordered that mainland clients buying insurances in Hong Kong should fill a statement, clarifying the purchase process, dividend, and exchange rate of the insurance as of September 1, 2016. It has also ordered the agents to clearly explain these to the clients one by one
 
 
Source: China Radio International

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