Hi everyone. I’m Stephanie LI.
Coming up on today’s program.
State Council urges to allocate the remaining local government debt quota to expand effective investment;
China’s official PMI slips in contraction in March.
Here’s what you need to know about China in the past 24 hours
China will make the most of government bonds to expand effective investment, enhance development momentum and promote steady economic growth, according to a decision made at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday.
Under the principle of keeping the macro leverage ratio generally stable, 3.65 trillion yuan of special-purpose bonds for local governments will be newly allocated for this year. In a bid to strengthen cross-cyclical adjustment, an advance quota worth 1.46 trillion yuan had been disbursed at the end of last year.
Efforts will be made to deliver the remaining local government debt quota at a faster pace, prioritising regions with a strong position for debt service and sufficient candidate projects.
The advance quota allocated last year will be issued by the end of May, and the quota set for this year will be issued by the end of September, Premier Li said.
Keeping the economy stable in the first quarter and first half of the year is crucial to achieving the annual target. Given the growing complexities in the international landscape, new challenges facing domestic development and increasing downward pressure on the economy, various changes both in and outside of China have already been taken into account in a forward-looking way when formulating this year's macro policies, the meeting added.
China's manufacturing activity contracted in March amid pressures from domestic COVID-19 cases and uncertainties from geopolitical tensions, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.
The official purchasing managers index for China's manufacturing sector was at 49.5, compared with 50.2 in February, slipping into contraction after expanding for four consecutive months.
On the other hand, the official non-manufacturing PMI, which measures activities in the construction and services sectors, also slid into contraction at 48.4, decreasing by 3.2 percentage points from February.
Greater Bay Area, Greater Future
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (HKEX) is planning to establish a digital-asset trading platform, a pilot version of which is set to be launched this year, the bourse announced Tuesday. The platform, called Diamond, will be a one-stop shop for data trading and custody with instant settlements.
Next on industry and company news
State oil giant China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Ltd.) won approval from China’s top securities regulator for an IPO as the company also reported a record profit amid the global oil price surge. Hong Kong-traded CNOOC plans to sell as many as 299 million new shares in Shanghai to raise about 35 billion yuan, the company said Wednesday at its earnings briefing.
Chinese property developer Country Garden earned 23.5 percent less to 26.8 billion yuan last year, and a 13 percent increase in total revenue of about 523 billion yuan for 2021, according to its latest earnings report on Wednesday. Country Garden also said its contracted sales grew 13 percent to 558 billion yuan last year with the sales gross floor area reaching 66.4 million square meters.
Chinese tea chain Nayuki reported an adjusted net loss of 145.3 million yuan in 2021, compared with an adjusted net profit of 16.6 million yuan in 2020, according to its financial report released on Tuesday. The company returned to a loss as it embarked on a rapid store expansion and spent more on raw materials and staff.
Switching gears to the financial sector
China's central bank on Wednesday urged banks and other financial institutions to ensure reliable financial services for grain production, with focus on nurturing industry chain firms specialising in cultivating high-standard farmland, spring farming, or warehousing and processing.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest-listed lender by assets, posted 10.3 percent growth in net profit to 348.3 billion yuan last year, the fastest since 2012. Its operating revenue jumped 7.6 percent to over 860 billion yuan and the non-performing loan ratio dropped 16 basis points to 1.42 percent.
Agricultural Bank of China reported a growth in its annual net profit last year by 11.7 percent to 241.2 billion yuan from a year ago. The bank's net interest income rose 6 percent to 5.78 billion yuan over the same period, with the non-performing loan ratio seeing a drop of 14 basis points to 1.43 percent.
Sunac China, the third largest Chinese developer by sales, offered to shorten the payment extension to one and a half years in a new extension plan published Wednesday. It also proposed paying the bond’s annual interest due April 1 as scheduled, as opposed to the 20-day delay of the interest payment outlined in its previous plan.
Eleven insurers have paid out 14.85 million yuan to families of the victims of the China Eastern Airlines plane crash last week. Separately, four insurers have also prepaid 116 million yuan to Eastern Airlines for the loss of the aircraft, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said Wednesday.
Wrapping up with a quick look at the stock market
Chinese stocks closed down on Thursday after data showing activity in the country’s factory and services sectors swung into the negative territory in March. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite lost 0.44 percent and the Shenzhen Component fell 1.19 percent. The Hang Seng Index also dropped 1.2 percent, dragged by the pharmaceutical sector.
Biz Word of the Day
A digital asset trading platform is an outlet where cryptocurrency exchanges are directly connected all over the world. It is a platform that permits its users to buy or sell digital assets through a single account/platform.
Executive Editor: Sonia YU
Editor: LI Yanxia
Host: Stephanie LI
Writer: Stephanie LI, ZHANG Ran, CHEN Zihui
Sound Editor: ZHANG Ran, CHEN Zihui
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