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News from China
China’s big 4 state banks post profit growth in Q3
31st October 2017

 CHINA’S big four state-owned banks yesterday reported profit growth across the board in the third quarter.

 
Net income at the four lenders — the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Agricultural Bank of China — all grew in the low single digits for July-September year on year, according to filings with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
 
ICBC, the world’s largest bank by assets, reported a net profit of 75 billion yuan (US$11.3 billion) for the third quarter, up 3.35 percent anually.
 
Quarterly results for BOC were hurt by impairment charges and it reported the lowest net profit growth of the four, up just 0.10 percent year on year to 41.82 billion yuan
 
Net earnings for CCB climbed to 62.9 billion yuan for the quarter, up 4.1 percent annually.
 
AgBank’s net profit rose 4.89 percent year on year to 51.42 billion yuan.
 
Lending income at CCB, BOC and ICBC all grew more than 10 percent for July-September compared to the same period last year. BOC led the pack, with growth in lending income for the three months up 15 percent.
 
“This quarter represents the banks’ efforts to boost results to complete full-year targets,” Hao Hong, chief strategist and head of research at Bocom International Holdings Co in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News. “Banks are loosening credit despite all the talk about deleveraging.”
 
BOC was the only one of the big four banks to see its non-performing loan ratio tick upwards for the quarter, rising to 1.41 percent at the end of September, from 1.38 percent at the end of June.
 
The ratio is a focus for analysts worried about the rapid rise of debt in the Chinese economy.
 
AgBank has the highest non-performing loan ratio of the four banks, standing at 1.97 percent at the end of the third quarter, down 0.4 percentage points compared to the end of 2016.
 
AgBank, ICBC and BOC published their earning reports yesterday, while CCB released its results last week.
Source: Shanghai Daily, October 31, 2017
Chinese luxury market seen to rise 15% annually
30th October 2017

 CHINA’S luxury market is the fastest growing in the world, set to rise an astounding 15 percent annually thanks to renewed confidence, middle class acceleration, and consumer sophistication.

 
This comes amidst accelerating growth in the global luxury market, which is expected to add 5 percent to an estimated 1.2 trillion euros (US$1.4 trillion) in 2017, a recent study shows.
 
Chinese consumers, who are increasingly fashion-savvy, are boosting sales in local markets, which are expected to reach 20 billion euros this year, with contribution to global luxury buying by them estimated to represent 32 percent of the overall market in 2017.
 
The core market for personal luxury goods reached a new record high of 262 billion euros, boosted by a return of Chinese buying both at home and abroad as well as stronger purchasing trends in other regions, according to the “Bain & Company Luxury Study” released in collaboration with Fondazione Altagamma, the Italian luxury goods manufacturers’ industry foundation.
 
“We started to see stronger momentum in the first half of the year, and this has continued in recent months, allowing the market for personal luxury goods to really regain its luster,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain partner and lead author of the study.
 
“The growth in this market is more robust, driven by increases in volumes rather than prices and a rediscovered balance between tourist purchases and re-ignited local consumption,” she added.
 
The positive growth in the global market is set to continue at around 4 to 5 percent annually in the next three years, with the personal luxury goods market seen to reach 295 to 305 billion euros by 2020.
 
Bain estimates online sales for personal luxury goods to take 25 percent of the market by 2025, with stores still accounting for 75 percent of purchases.
Source: Shanghai Daily, October 30, 2017
18,000 firms file with customs in FTZ
26th October 2017

 NEARLY 18,000 firms have registered with the customs authorities in the Shanghai free trade zone since it was launched four years ago, Shanghai Customs said yesterday.

 
The figure doubled the number of companies that were already operating in the four bonded zones that merged to become the Shanghai FTZ in September 2013, bringing the total now operating within the zone to over 27,000, customs said.
 
Of the newly-registered companies, 13,600 are privately owned, more than 3,200 are wholly foreign-funded businesses, and 940 are Chinese-foreign joint ventures.
 
The companies cover 54 industries. Wholesale or retail firms make up 94 percent, while 5 percent are financial enterprises. The rest are mainly transport, storage and postal firms.
 
The surge in company registrations has helped boost trade in Shanghai despite a trade gloom nationwide.
 
In the first three quarters, foreign trade in the Shanghai FTZ rose 16.2 percent year on year to 997.6 billion yuan (US$150.2 billion).
 
When the Shanghai FTZ was launched it streamlined procedures for business registration. Companies can get licenses to operate in the zone in three working days, down from 40 working days previously.
Source: Shanghai Daily, October 26, 2017
Global wine output to fall to lowest level since 1961
25th October 2017

 GLOBAL wine production this year is set to fall to its lowest level since 1961 after harsh weather in western Europe damaged vineyards in the world’s largest production area, international wine body OIV said yesterday.

 
Global output is expected to fall to 246.7 million hectoliters in 2017, down 8 percent from last year, the Paris-based International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said in its first estimates for the year.
 
A hectoliter represents 100 liters, or the equivalent of just over 133 standard 75 cl wine bottles.
 
The global decline reflects a plunge in output in the European Union, where the world’s top three producers — Italy, France and Spain — are each projected to see a sharp drop.
 
The European Commission, the EU’s executive, sees the bloc’s wine grape harvest will shrink to a 36-year low in 2017 as adverse weather from spring frosts and summer heatwaves takes its toll.
 
In France, the weather has affected most of the main growing regions including Bordeaux and Champagne, and the government has projected production will sink to its lowest in decades.
 
The OIV’s projections, which exclude juice and must (new wine), put Italian wine production down 23 percent at 39.3 million hectoliters, French output down 19 percent at 36.7 million and Spanish production down 15 percent at 33.5 million.
 
Reduced global production may erode a surplus over demand seen in recent years, when consumption was curbed by the effects of a world financial crisis in 2008.
 
The OIV said it was initially assuming a consumption range of 240.5 to 245.8 million hectoliters based on medium and longer-term trends, but did not yet have firm demand data for 2017.
 
However, the impact of reduced production on actual market supply and prices depends on levels of stocks from previous years and the quality of wine in landmark regions.
 
In France, the world’s leading exporter by value, producers have pointed to the prospect of good quality wine.
 
Outside Europe, the United States, the world’s fourth-largest producer and the biggest consumer, was expected to see output remain little changed at 23.3 million hectolitres, down 1 percent, the OIV said.
 
Production in Australia was set to rise 6 percent to 13.9 million hectoliters while Argentina was seen to post a 25 percent jump to 11.8 million after a weather-hit 2016, the OIV said.
Source: Shanghai Daily, October 25, 2017

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