UBS | Improved EM asset performance this year has been driven by a) the tremendous credit stimulus from China, b) a change in the reaction function of the Fed, which helped EM currencies rally against the USD, and, c) the rebalancing in the oil market. Investors are already questioning the first two, but oil has continued to trade very well.
Caixin | Financial markets have been jolted by a number of defaults on corporate debt in recent weeks, with state-owned Dongbei Special Steel Group Co. missing a 700 million yuan repayment on May 5.
Chinese corporate debt has not stopped growing since 2007 (it is around 160% of GDP). But given the level of reserves, Beijing does not yet understand the alarmism unleashed by international agencies.
UBS | We hosted three meetings in HK this week for Chinese construction companies, which included China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), China Railway Group (CRG) and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).
Caixin | Until recently, Chinese officials could rest assured that their path on the bureaucratic ladder went only upward, unless they were punished for some reason, usually corruption. No more. A policy passed in June 2015 by the Communist Party’s second-highest decision-making body, the 25-member Politburo, stipulated that officials should be demoted for failing to meet the requirements of their post.
In the Asia Times there is an article about the tricks China has begun to use to conceal the truth about its foreign currency position. Up until December, China released the two figures corresponding to foreign currency reserves, that of the Central Bank and that of the banking sector (which let’s not forget is state-owned).
Guntram B. Wolff via Caixin | G-20 ministers in Shanghai appeared to be aware of the importance of structural work. In particular, there was agreement in our panel discussions that the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project of the OECD was an essential element to deal with tax avoidance and ensure that profits are taxed where economic activity generating it takes place.
UBS | Following our recent launch report on European luxury we have undertaken an analysis of US and Chinese millennial (18-34 years) spending together with UBS Evidence Lab based on our survey of 2,109 consumers. We conclude that millennials will not mark the end to luxury consumption that some fear.
Caixin | Lijia Zhang burst onto the international literary scene in 2008 with a memoir about her rebellious journey from disillusioned factory worker who spearheaded a walkout in support of the Tiananmen Square demonstrators in 1989 to becoming a writer and journalist. Her first book, Socialism is Great! A Worker’s Memoir of the New China, published by Atlas & Co., describes how she dreamed of escaping the stultifying routine of factory life, while reading Jane Eyre hidden within the folds of The People’s Daily. The book has since been translated into seven languages.
Iris Mir | China aims to recover the ancient Silk Road to create an unprecedented trade link between Asia and Europe. Least developed Chinese provinces would also benefit largely from the ‘one belt, one road’ project as Beijing will need to invest greatly in infrastructure and high-speed railways. Local governments see the project as a golden opportunity to revive stagnating growth.