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News from China
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
G20 Hangzhou summit opens, starting new journey for world's future growth
5th September 2016
The Group of 20 summit opened Sunday in China's eastern city of Hangzhou amid multiple risks and challenges, aiming to find a therapy that can bring the world economy back to a healthy growth trajectory. The therapy will be an integrative approach to address both the symptoms and root causes, and propel the world economy onto a path of robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, said Chinese President Xi Jinping when addressing the opening ceremony of the summit. Xi said the summit would focus on topics essential to the world economy, including macro-economic policy coordination, innovation-driven growth, more efficient world governance, robust trade and investment, and inclusive and interconnected development. There are high hopes for this year's summit, as it seeks a transformation from crisis response, which focused on short-term policies, to one of long-term governance, which shapes medium- to long-term policies. With the theme of "Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy," the summit has put the issue of development front and center of the global macro policy framework for the first time. It is also the first time that the G20 has an action plan for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and carries out cooperation to support the industrialization of African countries and least developed countries. With two-thirds of the world's population, G20 contributes about 90 percent of the world's total gross domestic product and 80 percent of the world's trade volume. Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies with the Renmin University of China, took the summit as "a landmark event in the history of China's diplomacy that reveals the growing influence and soft power of the country." The event also brought the world a chance to understand China's practices and innovations in pursuing sustainable development, said researcher Jia Jinjing, Wang's colleague.
Source: Xinhua
'China's Schindler' honored in Shanghai Jewish museum
2nd September 2016

 A sculpture of a Chinese diplomat who saved the lives of many Jews during World War II was unveiled at Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum on Thursday.

Ho Feng-Shan, then Chinese Consul-General in Vienna, issued "hundreds, perhaps even thousands" of Chinese visas to Jews, against the instructions of his superior, according to the Yad Vashem, the Israeli center for the Holocaust, which posthumously awarded him the title "Righteous Among the Nations."

Although a visa was not required for entrance to Shanghai at the time, the document was a prerequisite for Jews wishing to leave Nazi Germany. Though many countries refused Jews, Shanghai accepted tens of thousands that were fleeing the Holocaust.

A sculpture of Jakob Rosenfeld, a Jew who served in the army of the Communist Party of China in the 1940s, was also unveiled.

The sculptures were part of a series of activities to mark September 3, the day China designates as Victory Day in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

Source: Shanghai Daily, September 2, 2016
Weak inflation may see further stimulus from ECB
1st September 2016

 CONSUMER price inflation in the eurozone was stuck at 0.2 percent in August, a low rate that could encourage the European Central Bank to offer more stimulus sooner rather than later.

The figure reported yesterday by statistics agency Eurostat was the same as in July and below economists’ expectations for an uptick to 0.3 percent. It also remains far short of the European Central Bank’s target of 2 percent.

The main culprit was a 5.7 percent annual drop in energy prices. But inflation for other goods and services was also relatively weak. Not including energy and other volatile items like food, alcohol and tobacco, overall consumer price inflation was 0.8 percent, a rate the ECB see too low for a healthy economy.

The central bank has launched a series of stimulus measures to help the economy of the 19-nation eurozone and bring inflation to a healthier level. It has cut its key rate to zero and is pumping 80 billion euros (US$90 billion) of new money into the economy every month by buying bonds from banks and companies. That aims to lower borrowing rates and encourage business activity.

Analysts are divided over whether the ECB will launch more stimulus at its next policy meeting September 8. Some say it’s only a matter of time, particularly if inflation doesn’t pick up this year.

In such an event, the central bank could extend the duration of its bond-buying program, which is currently set to end in March 2017.

Economists note that the drop in oil prices should get phased out of the inflation data in coming months.

Source: Shanghai Daily, September 1, 2016

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