Category archive: China

Australia Blocks $13B Bid by Hong Kong Company for Pipeline Operator

The Australian government has rejected a $13 billion bid by Hong Kong-based CK Group for the country’s largest natural gas pipeline operator.

In June, CK Group launched a bid for APA Group, the owner of 15,000 km of gas pipelines across New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he blocked the deal because “it would result in a single foreign company group having sole ownership and control over Australia’s most significant gas-transmission business.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, CK Group confirmed that the acquisition will not proceed.

Frydenberg said the government will continue to welcome foreign investment into the country that is not “contrary to our national interest”.

Two years ago, the Coalition government also blocked CK Group’s bid to take over NSW electricity distributor Ausgrid. However, the group’s $7.4 billion acquisition of power company DUET Group was approved last year.

Luis Villa del Campo Nasdaq

US-China Trade War Sinks AUD, Global Stocks

The rising tension between US and China in trades has sent almost every major asset sinking, including oil, global stocks and Australian dollar.

The Trump administration announced that it will impose a 10 per cent tariff on $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consumer items such as clothing and refrigerators. This decision followed China’s implementation of reciprocal tariffs on $US34 billion in US import goods.

The Dow Jones was down 0.9 per cent to 24,700, while the S&P and Nasdaq closed 0.7 per cent and 0.6 per cent lower respectively.

Chinese stocks declined by 1.6 per cent, while European markets such as Paris, London and Frankfurt lost between 1.3 and 1.5 per cent each. Japan’s Nikkei also dropped by 1.2 per cent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.3 per cent.

Gold fell 0.9 per cent to $US1,244.4 per ounce, while brent crude oil was down 6 per cent to $US74.17 per barrel.

Australian dollar plunged 1.2 per cent to 73.65 US cents, and is expected to continue declining. “We remain of the view that trade tensions are likely to get worse before they get better and as such we still see more downside risk for the Australian dollar,” NAB’s senior foreign exchange strategist Rodrigo Catril told the ABC.

China’s Economic Growth Beats Expectations

China’s economy has grown faster than expected in the second quarter, thanks to robust exports and strong domestic consumption.

The country’s gross domestic product maintained its 6.9 per cent annual growth rate from the first quarter, according to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics released Monday. It outpaced analysts’ forecast of 6.8 per cent, and helped the country on its track to 6.5 per cent growth target in 2017.

Solid production output and exports along with increasing retail sales helped drive the growth, according to a Reuters calculation.

“Overall, the economy continued to show steady progress in the first half … but international instability and uncertainties are still relatively large, and the domestic long-term buildup of structural imbalances remain,” the Bureau said in a statement.

News: Chinese Investment in Australia Reaches $15.4b, Highest Since GFC

Chinese investment in Australia has reached a record high since the Global Financial Crisis to $15.4 billion, a report found.

A record 103 deals were signed with Chinese companies in 2016, according to the report “Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australia” from the University of Sydney and KPMG.

Commercial real estate accounted for 36 per cent of Chinese direct investment, followed by infrastructure with 28 per cent and a record amount of $4.34 billion thanks to the purchase of stakes in Asciano and the Port of Melbourne. In agribusiness, there were 12 deals with a record of $1.2 billion invested, threefold of the 2015 amount.

Despite the high record, report co-author Professor Hans Hendrischke from the University of Sydney Business School said investment from China is slowing down.

“Australia has proven itself to be a preferred destination for Chinese capital, but we must be cognisant that the growth in investment is slowing compared to other parts of the world such as the United States and the EU,” Hendrischke told ABC.

The report found that Australia is the second biggest destination of new Chinese investment with a total of $US90 billion ($120 billion) since 2007, losing only to the US with over $US100 billion.

Alipay CBA

News: Alipay Enters Australian Market With Commonwealth Bank Partnership

Commonwealth Bank of Australia have signed an agreement with third-party payment platform Alipay to allow Chinese tourists and students to use Alipay in Australia.

The deal will also enable Australians to use Alipay for purchases over AliExpress, a platform for Chinese merchants to reach global consumers.

“We are constantly working on payment solutions that offer flexibility and choice for our customers so the prospect of bringing them closer to a globally leading mobile payments provider, and its 450 million active users, is truly exciting,” said Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, group executive of institutional banking and markets at CBA.

Alipay said the deal is targeted at the 19,000 Chinese tourists who visit Australia every week.

“Australia is a popular destination for Chinese travellers and Chinese students studying overseas,” said Douglas Feagin, senior vice-president at Ant Financial Services and head at Alipay International. “We want Alipay users to enjoy the kind of convenience they are used to at home.”

Alipay’s parent company, Ant Financial was valued at $US75 billion in September.

China is the world’s largest market for mobile payment, with a transaction volume of $US235 billion in 2015.

coins finance

Global Economics/News: China’s Slowdown Is Biggest Economic Threat

China’s slowdown is the biggest threat facing global economy, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told BBC.

Current Professor of Economics at Harvard University and former IMF economist Ken Rogoff said the economy could be “slowing down much more than the official figures show.”

“Everyone says China’s different, the state owns everything they can control it,” Rogoff said. “Only to a point. It’s definitely a worry, a hard landing in China.

“If you want to look at a part of the world that has a debt problem, look at China. They’ve seen credit fuelled growth and these things don’t go on forever.”

A Reuters poll shows that China’s economic growth next year is expected to slow down to 6.5 per cent, compared to this year’s 6.6 per cent.

The decline in global demand has resulted in the country’s exports falling 10 per cent year-on-year in September. Analysts also expect the increasing national debt levels to trigger a new financial crisis.

Furthermore, private investment has continued to drop. “The slowdown in private sector investment over the past years means that the organic growth momentum of the economy may have declined, requiring policymakers to be more vigilant in terms of keeping policies as supportive as possible,” said economists at HSBC in a statement.

The Chinese government has allocated more spending to provide fiscal stimulus, cutting lending rates six times since November 2014 and lowering banks’ cash reserve requirements to 17 per cent. However, analysts believe the government’s effort to increase liquidity in the market will not help much, as investors are more likely to save than make new investments.