News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times. Comment / Analysis - China: A sharper focus. Five Stripes: Rise and Fall of China’s Youngest Political Star - China Real Time Report. China Declares Victory Over Population Growth, Focuses on Aging. China declared victory over rapid population growth as the release of its decennial census signaled the focus will turn to managing the impact of a faster- than-expected rise in the number of older people.
China had 1.34 billion people as of Nov. 1, the Beijing- based National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. While still the most populous country, the higher birth rate of India’s 1.2 billion people puts it on course to take the title when the South Asian nation holds its next census in 2021. Success in capping the population growth through the three- decade-old one-child policy presents China’s leaders with another problem as the swelling ranks of retirees create pressure to boost social welfare programs and pose a risk to the economic growth needed to fund them. The over-60s make up 13.3 percent of the population, 1 percentage point more than forecast and half as much again as in India, United Nations data show.
Trends Continue Fiscal Pressure UBS, Blackrock Contradictions, Challenges. Security Solution for China’s Rich: Emigrate - China Real Time Report. Inflation, What Inflation? China's Cheap Vegetables Problem - China Real Time Report. China - CIC set for up to $200bn in fresh funds. Special Reports - On good terms: Chinese banks fuel ‘going global’ drive. These days, when the governor of China Development Bank travels abroad, he is treated almost like a head of state.
Chen Yuan is not only the most senior official at China’s biggest “policy” lender, but also a “princeling”, the son of a founding leader of the Chinese Communist party, which means he wields enormous political clout in Beijing. His bank’s role as a substantial source of cheap financing for domestic companies looking to invest overseas makes him a very important man outside the country as well as at home. In recent years, China’s government has rapidly ramped up its decade-old policy of encouraging domestic companies to “go global”, especially through international mergers and acquisitions.
The country’s outbound foreign direct investment reached a total of $220bn in 2006-10, according to government figures. That is close to 10 times the total cumulative $26bn that Chinese companies had invested in 150 countries at any time up to the end of 2005. Special Reports - Scraps from the feast: competing in the China fees pool. Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, began courting the Agricultural Bank of China five years ago in the hope of winning the mandate to help the large state bank go public last July, bringing over senior executives from New York and Hong Kong to woo AgBank officials.
“How much does it cost to bring [Goldman Sachs chief executive] Lloyd Blankfein to Beijing?” Asks the head of one of the bank’s competitors rhetorically. “That is why you can never quantify the fees versus the costs of doing business in China. China / Economy & Trade - China reveals surge in exports. Comment / Analysis - China and the US: Access denied. Wen Beating Inflation Makes China Stocks a Buy at Banks. China’s fourth interest-rate increase in less than six months is spurring investment strategists at four of the world’s biggest banks to say it’s time to buy stocks in the fastest-growing major economy.
Credit Suisse Group AG boosted its 12-month forecast for the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-share index, predicting a 28 percent gain after the central bank raised its one-year lending rate by a quarter point to 6.31 percent on April 5. HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) increased its rating on China to “overweight,” while Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) said investors should lift holdings. Citigroup Inc.
(C) advised buying options to bet on gains. The recommendations, which follow bullish forecasts last month from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. China Underperforms The measure is valued at 13 times earnings, a 4 percent discount to the MSCI emerging-markets index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Beating Estimates Inflation Manufacturing Gains Fuel Prices. Retail & Consumer - Street smarts needed to thrive in China. Comment & analysis / FT Columnists - How China should rule the world. World - Corruption hits China’s high-speed railway. Columnists / Lucy Kellaway - China rekindles fondness for western ways.
PetroChina Plans to Add Gas Assets as Japan Quake Boosts Demand. PetroChina Co. pledged to accelerate acquisitions of energy assets and develop the country’s domestic natural gas resources as demand for the fuel rises following Japan’s nuclear reactor crisis.
“We will accelerate our global expansion,” PetroChina President Zhou Jiping said at a media briefing in Hong Kong yesterday, after the company posted a record quarterly profit. “The nuclear plant closure in Japan will boost its demand for oil and gas. That will have a pretty big impact as Japan is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas importer.” Gas prices rose to a two-year high in Europe after the March 11 temblor crippled Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, triggering the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. PetroChina bought a $5.4 billion stake in Encana Corp.’s Cutbank Ridge shale-gas assets last month and is intensifying exploration to supply the world’s fastest-growing major economy. PetroChina Co. vice chairman and president Zhou Jiping. Close Open Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg. Sinopec to Invest in Saudi Refinery. Lex - Youku: China’s leading online video site. Lex - China’s slowdown: what slowdown?
Comment / Opinion - China must bridge the growth gap. Companies news – Industrial Goods – FT.com. Columnists / Andrew Hill - Why do so many get it so wrong in China? Guest post: Why China’s rebalancing will be bad news for profits. China's Leaders Vow to Lift Livelihoods. FT Magazine - Who will be China’s next leaders? The streets at the centre of Beijing are eerily quiet over the week-long Chinese New Year holiday, which fell in early February this year, but outside one old house a few blocks from the Forbidden City, a steady stream of cars pulled up.
The holiday is a time to pay respects to family elders and mentors. I know people in their forties and fifties who still visit their -favourite school teacher over the break and among the upper -echelons of the Chinese Communist party, respected older comrades are given their due. The flurry of activity was outside the family home of Hu Yaobang, the former leader of the Chinese -Communist party who died in 1989. Among the dutiful visitors were Xi Jinping, the man slated to be the next president of China, and Li Keqiang, the likely next premier. Comment / Analysis - The China Syndrome.
Comment & analysis / FT Columnists - Lying low no longer an option for Beijing. China - JPMorgan and Fidelity eye China licences. China - China plans airport building spree. Global insight - Nervous China puts security apparatus into overdrive. Columnists / David Pilling - What could bring down China’s rulers? China - China cracks down on lawyers and activists. Asia-Pacific - China in fresh interest rate rise. Chinese Bank Takes Aim at Germany. The View From Hong Kong: Behind the Yuan Borrowings are Dollars. China / Business - China’s banks face overseas pitfalls. Chinese Firm to Invest in North Korea.
Emerging Markets - The west needs to stand up to Beijing. China - An embarrassment of riches, albeit ‘unreal’ China - Hong Kong used as lab in currency experiment. China - China’s lending hits new heights. UBS CEO: China Should Push Reform. ICBC to Double its European Presence. Worthless Stocks from China. China / Economy & Trade - China steps up fight against inflation. Lex - Loans in China. Asia-Pacific - China’s forex reserves show record leap. Comment / Opinion - Rising wages will burst China’s bubble.