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          CBN丨China's factory activity stuns with fastest growth in a decade

          2023年03月01日 20:46   21世紀經濟報道 21財經APP   李瑩亮

          Hi everyone. I’m Stephanie LI.


          Coming up on today’s program.


          • China's manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than a decade in February;

          • Finance Minister stressed that China’s local finances are mostly “stable.” 

          Here’s what you need to know about China in the past 24 hours 


          The official gauges of China’s factory, services and construction activities rebounded strongly in February, shaking off the impact of Covid after Beijing reopened the economy late last year.

          China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 52.6 in February from January’s 50.1, said the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. The result marks the highest reading since April 2012, when it hit 53.5, and well exceeds the 50.5 expected by economists.

          China's non-manufacturing PMI, which tracks activity in the services and construction sectors, continued to expand to 56.3 in February after 54.4 in January, indicating the fastest pace of growth since March 2021.

          Zhao Qinghe, a senior statistician with the NBS, attributed the improvement in economic activity to the accelerated resumption of work and production as well as the reopening of the business, as stimulus policy measures further take effect and the country gradually shakes off the COVID-19 impact.

          Global markets cheered the big surprise in the PMI with Asian stocks reversing earlier losses, the offshore yuan perking up and oil rallying, as investors took a more optimistic view on China's economic prospects. The Chinese onshore yuan stood at 6.9325 against the U.S. dollar today while the offshore yuan strengthened 0.15 percent to 6.9480 against the greenback.

          Markets also expect the annual two sessions, which kick off this weekend, will set economic targets and elect new top economic officials.










          • China’s local governments were mostly financially stable last year, Finance Minister Liu Kun said in a briefing on Wednesday, adding that fiscal conditions will likely improve in 2023. He vowed that Beijing would allow them to sell a “reasonable” amount of special bonds to support investment. Liu said that the decline in land sale income had only a limited impact on finances, given that a small portion of that income was set aside for use in their general budget expenditures. The amount of funds that the central government has transferred to local regions in recent years has also grown quickly, Liu added, effectively making up for any shortfall. Liu added the overall level of government investment wouldn’t decline. Meanwhile, the ministry will fully expand domestic demand by boosting consumption, with measures including supporting trade-in of home appliances and continuing tax exemption for NEVs purchases this year.


          • China’s urban employment fell for the first time in six decades last year and per capita spending also marked a rare decline, the new data from the NBS showed yesterday. The number of China's urban jobs dropped by 8.4 million to 459.31 million, the first drop since 1962. Per capita spending fell 0.2 percent in real terms, with spending made by urban residents down 1.7 percent, while retail sales also declined by 0.2 percent. 


          Moving on to regional highlights


          • Chinese provinces and regions have accelerated the construction of major projects ahead of this year's two sessions, with the total amount of investment that has been made public by 18 provinces and regions reaching nearly 10 trillion yuan, media reported on Monday, with some regions yet to disclose these figures. 


          • The metro line connecting Suzhou in Jiangsu province with neighboring Shanghai has started trial operation with no passengers on board. The Suzhou Metro Line 11, connected to the Shanghai Metro Line 11, began its first tests today and will start trial operation with passengers in the first half of the year, according to the government of Kunshan in Jiangsu.


          Greater Bay Area, Greater future


          • Shenzhen has further eased rules for property purchases and lowered the age threshold for skilled workers seeking cheap public homes in the city. The city's housing and construction bureau said it will provide 2,279 homes in the first batch of social security housing for talents this year. The homes are usually priced at 60 percent of the current market rate and for the new batch, the age limit for single applicants has been lowered to 30 from 35 years. Also, spouses and minor children without a hukou or household registration in the city can be "joint applicants" under certain conditions.


          • The 133rd session of the China Import and Export Fair, known as Canton fair, is scheduled to fully resume its offline activities on April 15 after three years. The fair will include a venue expansion for the first time, with the accumulated exhibition area increased from 1.18 million square meters to 1.5 million square meters, with over 30,000 enterprises participating, according to the organizer yesterday.


          • A petrochemical project of PetroChina, the country's leading oil and gas producer, has become fully operational in southern province of Guangdong this week. The project, with a total investment of 65.4 billion yuan, processes 20 million tons of crude oil per year, while producing 1.2 million tons of ethylene products and 2.6 million tons of paraxylene. As a key project to support the Greater Bay Area strategy, the project is capable of producing a full range of petrochemical products, including more than 20 kinds of oil products and 200 kinds of chemical products.


          Next on industry and company news


          • Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd said its chairman Yeung Kwok Keung, 68, had tendered his resignation because of his age and handed over China's largest developer by sales to his daughter Yang Huiyan, who has been co-chairman since 2018. The developer's Hong Kong-listed shares jumped over 7 percent in morning trading. Yeung also resigned as executive director, with both changes effective today.


          • Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies said the 5.5-generation technology standard for broadband mobile networks will bring a 10-fold increase in network performance over 5G in the recent 2023 World Mobile Communication Conference held in Barcelona, Spain, when Huawei showcased industry progress in the 5.5G era. The company said services with both immersive and interactive experiences will become commonplace, and it expects that the number of online users of such services will exceed 1 billion, a 100-fold increase.


          • Guangzhou Shipyard International Co Ltd, a unit of State-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp, said on Tuesday that it has completed building work of the world’s first double-ended roll-on roll-off hybrid passenger ship. The deluxe cruise ship built for UK’s P&O Ferries will leave Guangzhou for Europe within the week, the shipbuilder said. The hybrid ship will be powered by large-capacity batteries, and mainly sail between the Port of Dover in the UK and the Port of Calais in France.

            全球首艘油電混動雙頭豪華客滾船啟航:2月28日,由中國船舶集團旗下廣船國際為英國P&O Ferries公司打造的全球首艘大容量電池混動雙頭豪華客滾船——1500客/3658米車道豪華客滾船首制船舉行啟航儀式暨媒體開放日活動。之后這艘船將投入到英吉利海峽運營,主要往返于英國多佛港和法國加萊港。

          • Chinese NEV giant BYD will launch a new electric car brand this year. According to sources, the marque’s first model aims to compete with Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class SUV. The new brand, internally dubbed “F,” will take on overseas luxury brands BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, media reported yesterday. The F brand will develop different types of auto products with their own characteristics to meet diversified needs based on BYD’s technological accumulation, BYD said earlier.


          Earnings reports express


          • CanSino Biologics and BGI Genomics, two Chinese firms that went from strength to strength during the height of the pandemic, have posted disappointing results for last year as demand for Covid-19 vaccines and test kits plunge amid the lifting of the country's Zero-Covid policy. CanSino logged a net loss of 902 million yuan in 2022, a big turnaround from the net profit of 1.9 billion yuan a year earlier. Revenue sank 75.9 percent to 1 billion yuan, as sales of its jabs tumbled. BGI expects net profit to plummet 44.4 percent to 812 million yuan as the price of testing reagents keeps falling. Revenue is likely to climb 5.3 percent to 7.1 billion yuan, around half of which is from its PCR tests.


          • China’s rising NEV producer Nio reported its fourth quarter deliveries to over 40,000, capping the full year at 122,486, an increase of 34 percent from 2021, the carmaker said in its financial results late Wednesday. Car sales in 2022 stood at some 45.5 billion yuan, up 37 percent year on year, and drove total revenue to 49.3 billion yuan, while it net loss attributable to shareholders expanded by 38 percent yearly to 14.6 billion yuan. Nio also predicted deliveries for the first quarter of 2023 to be between 31,000 and 33,000 vehicles, with revenues standing at 10.6 billion to 11.5 billion yuan.


          Switching gears to financial news


          • The Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) online on Tuesday, saying they will explore and promote multi-level cooperation in the areas of depositary receipt connectivity business, index product development, cross-border investment and financing services and market cultivation and promotion.


          • China Aoyuan Group, a Chinese real estate developer that is restructuring its debt, said that some of its creditors have agreed to delay bond repayments. A provisional group of creditors holding about 20 percent of Aoyuan’s outstanding bond principal agreed to the company’s debt repayment proposal, the firm said in a statement late yesterday. Aoyuan has 12 outstanding US dollar bonds worth about USD3.5 billion, five of which were due last year.


          Wrapping up with a quick look at the stock market


          • Chinese mainland and Hong Kong stocks rallied on Wednesday as China’s factory activity surged to a decade high last month. The benchmark Shanghai Composite gained 1 percent to top 3300 points, and the Shenzhen Component rose 1.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 4.2 percent to above 20,000 points, while the TECH index soared 6.6 percent.


          Biz Word of the Day


          • Debt restructuring is a process used by companies, individuals, and even countries to avoid the risk of defaulting on their existing debts, such as by negotiating lower interest rates. Debt restructuring provides a less expensive alternative to bankruptcy when a debtor is in financial turmoil, and it can work to the benefit of both borrower and lender.


          Executive Editor: Sonia YU

          Editor: LI Yanxia

          Host: Stephanie LI

          Writer: Stephanie LI 

          Sound Editor: Stephanie LI

          Graphic Designer: ZHENG Wenjing, LIAO Yuanni

          Produced by 21st Century Business Herald Dept. of Overseas News.

          Presented by SFC

          編委:  于曉娜






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