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News from China
HSBC plans to relocate jobs to Paris after Brexit
19th January 2017

 HSBC became the first major bank to detail plans to move jobs out of London after Brexit, saying it will relocate staff responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading revenue to Paris after Britain leaves the European Union.

Major financial firms warned for months before Britain’s referendum on European Union membership in June that they would move jobs out of the country if there was a vote to leave, but have set out few details since on how many will go or where to.
“We will move in about two years’ time when Brexit becomes effective,” Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said yesterday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, in a potentially damaging first blow to London’s status as Europe’s main financial center.
Other banks are expected to announce more concrete plans for how they will adapt to Brexit in the coming months after Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed in a speech on Tuesday that Britain would leave the European single market.
HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, is at an advantage to its major US rivals as it already has a large subsidiary in Paris that holds most of the licenses needed by an investment bank, meaning Gulliver has been able to set out more detailed plans.
It is expected to move around 1,000 staff who are involved in trading products such as European stocks that are regulated by the EU. HSBC’s global banking and markets division that houses those roles made profits of US$384 million in the UK in 2015, according to a company filing.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 19, 2017
Audi eyes increased Chinese e-car sales
18th January 2017

 AUDI will sell more electric car models in China and develop automated driving there, it said yesterday, deepening ties with local partner FAW Group to counter challengers Mercedes-Benz and BMW in its top market.

Volkswagen’s luxury division and other carmakers are under pressure to sell greener cars in China as the world’s biggest auto market tightens emissions rules and discourages the use of fossil-fueled cars in major cities to fight pollution.
Audi and FAW have agreed to produce five more electric car models in China over the next five years. Audi also plans to build the A6L e-tron plug-in hybrid in China this year and import the Q7 e-tron model to the country.
Future electric models will include purely battery-powered cars with a range of over 500 kilometers, Audi said. The brand now only imports the A3 e-tron to China, destination of almost a third of its record 1.87 million deliveries in 2016.
“We are starting the next phase of our joint growth path in China,” Audi sales chief Dietmar Voggenreiter said. “More than ever, our partnership is focusing on profitable, sustainable growth.”
An early entrant to China, Audi remains the best-selling premium car brand there, though it is losing ground to Mercedes-Benz.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 18, 2017
Shanghai online finance firms go inland
17th January 2017

 SHANGHAI-BASED online finance service providers are expanding into inner and western parts of China as their economic development boosts demand for Big Data, online payments and other cyber finance services.

Four provincial areas — Henan, Sichuan, Hubei and Guangxi — are among the top-10 regions by trade volume, a sector once dominated by coastal regions, said Shanghai-based online lender PPDai.
Populous Henan and Sichuan had rapid growth in both user base and trade volume, said Zhang Jun, chief executive of PPDai.
Meanwhile, Peking University said the gap between online finance and digital economy, and between coastal regions such as Shanghai and areas in west China such as Chengdu, Guiyang and Tibet will narrow this year.
Shanghai-based ChinaPnR has signed a partnership agreement with Guizhou Bank recently on digital payment and value-added finance services.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 17, 2017
Rare earth firm sees profit fall
16th January 2017

 CHINA Northern Rare Earth (Group) High-tech Co Ltd, the country’s largest rare earth miner and producer, expected its net profits to plunge in 2016 as demand sagged, prices faltered while production costs rose.

Net profits may plunge by up to 90 percent from a year earlier to 325.72 million yuan (US$47.21 million) in 2016, the company said on Saturday in a report filed to Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Earnings per share would be 0.09 yuan, flat with that in 2015.
The company attributed the profit decline to higher production costs and falling prices of rare earth products amid weak demand. Unfair competition exacerbated the situation, it said.
Share prices of the company fell 1.15 percent to 12.07 yuan on Friday.
As the world’s largest supplier of the minerals, China’s exports rose 34.2 percent year on year in 2016 in terms of volume, but export value declined 2.7 percent during the period, according to customs data.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 16, 2017

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