Shanghai Bureau Chief
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Jan 11, 2012

Analysis: China must reform to beat shadow lending, loan sharks

BEIJING (Reuters) – China must bring to heel an estimated $1.6 trillion (1.03 trillion pounds) shadow banking system if it is to deflate enormous asset bubbles fuelled by unregulated lending and stop small firms from getting forced to look to loan sharks for working capital.

Real estate prices that stay stunningly high despite ghost towns of empty apartment buildings and entrepreneurs fleeing gangland creditors are symptoms of China’s narrowly-based financial system.

Dec 30, 2011

Yuan hits record, heads for 4.5 percent 2011 gain

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s yuan headed for a strong close to 2011 on Friday, touching a record high in early trade after the central bank set the mid-point at a fresh high, putting it on course to gain 4.5 percent for the year.

The yuan’s gains for the year are in line with the 4 to 5 percent traders in the onshore market had expected at the start of the year.

Dec 29, 2011

China speeds up QFII approvals amid signs of capital outflow

SHANGHAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) – China has since October
granted nearly $1 billion in quotas for foreign institutions to
invest in the country’s capital markets following a five-month
hiatus, reflecting Beijing’s desire to encourage inbound
investment amid signs of a capital outflow.

Combined quotas granted under the Qualified Foreign
Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme in 2011 totalled $1.92
billion, the lowest since 2007, partly due to an approval freeze
between May and October, according to official data released on

Dec 26, 2011

China’s Mengniu says destroys tainted milk

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, the nation’s biggest dairy firm, said it had destroyed milk found to be contaminated with a cancer-causing substance, the latest food safety problem to hit the country’s dairy industry.

Mengniu said in a statement posted on its website over the weekend that it had destroyed a batch of products at a plant in the southwestern province of Sichuan found by the government quality watchdog to contain aflatoxin, a substance produced by food fungus that can cause severe liver damage, including liver cancer.

Dec 23, 2011

EDP deal highlights China’s desire for physical assets

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China Three Gorges Corp’s $3.5 billion acquisition of the Portuguese government’s stake in utility EDP (EDP.LS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) highlights China’s appetite for physical assets in troubled economies and its ability to make its bids attractive with the promise of financial support.

China is looking to pick up assets such as infrastructure and utilities in places like Europe at a bargain, rather than only buying the bonds of countries facing economic difficulties.

Dec 21, 2011

China warns on risks of buying Iranian iron ore

SHANGHAI, Dec 21 (Reuters) – China on Wednesday warned
about the risks of importing Iranian iron ore, the second major
commodity from the sanctions-hit Islamic Republic under scrutiny
as the two also tussle over oil payment terms.

The warning from the Commerce Ministry to domestic
companies, which focused on substandard quality and on delivery
problems, follows a crude imports spat that has seen China halve
its Iranian oil shipments for January.

Dec 20, 2011

Ping An taps market again, eyes $4 bln

SHANGHAI, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Ping An Insurance (Group)
Co of China , the world’s second-biggest
life insurer by market value, said on Tuesday it plans to raise
up to 26 billion yuan ($4.1 billion) by selling convertible
bonds to replenish capital amid economic uncertainty.

The move, which surprised many analysts, came just nine
months after the fast-expanding insurer raised $2.5 billion
through a private placement in Hong Kong, underlining the
urgency of capital-raising.

Nov 28, 2011

China kicks off yuan trading vs Aussie, Canadian dollar

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s yuan started trading against the Australian dollar and Canadian dollar in the country’s onshore foreign exchange market on Monday, the latest currency pairs to be introduced as part of Beijing’s efforts to promote the use of its currency.

Beijing’s wants to expand the use of the yuan for trade and investment, as a way of reducing reliance on the dollar and thereby simplifying the settlement of trade in everything from energy to manufactured goods.

Nov 15, 2011

Shanghai issues China’s first local bonds

SHANGHAI, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Shanghai became the first
local government in China to sell bonds directly to investors on
Tuesday, in a step aimed at preventing a repeat of the $1.5
trillion in municipal debt that now poses a threat to the

The city issued 7.1 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in bonds
under a pilot programme Beijing hopes will lead to a municipal
government debt market and prevent the frenzied borrowing in
recent years that set off alarm bells at ratings agencies.

Nov 15, 2011

Shanghai kicks off China local bond sales to strong demand

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The city of Shanghai became China’s first local government to sell debt directly into the market on Tuesday, attracting very strong demand, in a hopeful sign for the budding municipal bond market.

City and provincial governments have been barred under China’s budget law from borrowing directly, leading them to set up so-called local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) to take out loans or sell bonds on their behalf, contributing to the chaotic accumulation of over $1.5 trillion in debt.

    • About Jason

      "Jason leads Reuters' coverage of China's financial markets from Shanghai. Prior to moving there at the start of 2010, he reported on the Chinese economy and policy from Beijing, where he lived for a decade."
      Joined Reuters:
      Mandarin, German
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