Hi everyone. I’m Stephanie LI.
Coming up on today’s program.
China’s property sector contracted in third quarter as tougher regulation hit home;
Premier Li Keqiang urged more support for SMEs to lighten their cost-induced pressure.
Here’s what you need to know about China in the past 24 hours
China's property market continued to ease in September amid strict government regulations to curb housing speculation, official data showed Wednesday.
Both new and pre-owned home prices in China's 70 big and medium-sized cities increased at a slower pace in September from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
New home prices in four first-tier cities stood unchanged while prices of second-hand homes edged down 0.4 percent last month from that in August.
Since the beginning of this year, China has implemented mechanisms to curb housing speculations while supporting purchases by families with pressing needs. For example, Xiamen in Fujian Province has prohibited first-time homebuyers from reselling their properties until the sixth year.
Meanwhile, regulators closely monitored loans to homebuyers and real estate companies. The latest NBS data showed that output in the real estate and construction industries shrank 1.6 percent and 1.8 percent respectively in the third quarter, first contraction since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
More Chinese officials sought to reassure investors and homeowners on Wednesday over a debt crisis afflicting the country's property sector. Vice Premier Liu He told the Financial Street Forum yesterday that overall risks in the property market are controllable, and the property market is on track for healthy development.
China introduced the development of the first batch of national parks on a press conference this morning. The five new parks unveiled earlier this month that spread across 230,000 square kilometres and covers nearly 30 percent of the key terrestrial wildlife species found in China, include Sanjiangyuan National Park, Wuyi Mountain National Park, Giant Panda National Park, Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, and Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park.
Update on COVID-19
The Chinese mainland reported 13 new local cases yesterday, with most from the northern provinces of Gansu, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia.
Next on industry and company news
Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that China will take a more “multipronged, inclusive and targeted” approach to step up relief for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), urging local governments to cut taxes, rents and utility bills in order to help MSMEs to tide over this difficult time.
The National Development and Reform Commission said it is reviewing measures to intervene in prices and has “zero tolerance” for those spreading false information or engaging in market collusion. China’s thermal coal futures then fell by the limit in overnight trading, ending a surge in which the fuel more than doubled since the beginning of September amid power restrictions.
In a Wednesday filing, Evergrande said talks to sell 50.1 percent of its shares in Evergrande Property Services Group for about HK$20 billion were terminated last week, citing that purchaser was believed to have not met the prerequisite.
Cash-strapped Baoneng Investment Group slapped “for sale” signs on a bag of assets including an office building, a logistics park, plots of land and equity in financial companies in hopes of scraping up funds to shrink its $31 billion debt mountain.
Zhang Yiming, co-founder of the company behind short-video sensation TikTok, has become the richest person in China’s internet industry for the first time, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaire ranking.
Switching gears to the financial sector
China’s internet platforms need to do more to comply with regulators’ demands for changes ordered amid a wide-ranging campaign that started last year to tighten oversight of their financial businesses, Chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Guo Shuqing said on Tuesday, indicating that internet companies will announce more measures to restructure their financial services to address concerns that their activities could pose risks to the financial system and have also led to unfair competition.
Wrapping up with a quick look at the stock market
Chinese stocks closed mixed on Thursday with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 0.22 percent at 3594 points. The Shenzhen Component Index closed flat at 14444 points. The Hang Seng Index lost 0.45 percent to close at 26017 points.
Biz Word of the Day
A Selective Default rating is assigned when S&P Global Ratings believes that the obligor has selectively defaulted on a specific issue or class of obligations but it will continue to meet its payment obligations on other issues or classes of obligations.
Executive Editor: Sonia YU
Editor: LI Yanxia
Host: Stephanie LI
Writer: Stephanie LI, ZHANG Ran, TIAN Chang
Producer: XIANG Xiufang
Sound Editor: ZHANG Ran, Andy YUAN
Graphic Designer: ZHENG Wenjing, LIAO Wanni
Co-produced by 21st Century Business Herald Dept. of Overseas News & SFC Audio/Video Dept.
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