Tuesday, April 9, 2013

China Stats

-  240 Million


China has pumped more than $44 billion into buying oil and gas resources, especially shale and oil sands assets, in the U.S. and Canada since 2008  >> MORE



Cheaper financing helping China's companies venture overseas
BT 20130409 ICBC9 495634
Leader of the pack: ICBC, the world's largest bank by assets, has ten times more cash than JPMorgan Chase. It was one of the 20 banks that CNOOC turned to for a US$6 billion loan to acquire Canadian energy producer Nexen. - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
[SINGAPORE] China's banks, led by Industrial & Commercial Bank of China with ten times more cash than JPMorgan Chase, are lifting lending in Asia as they undercut rivals to help the nation's companies expand overseas.
The country's lenders have participated in 12.8 per cent of syndicated loans in the Asia-Pacific region this year, up from 10.6 per cent in all of 2012 and 7 per cent in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Interest margins on US dollar-denominated loans signed in China since Dec 31 average 266 basis points compared with 291 basis points elsewhere in the region, the data show.
Cheaper financing is helping companies in the world's second-biggest economy venture overseas for access to natural resources and to expand export markets.  --  2013 April 9


Real Estate Fund Manager.com


In China’s tier one and two cities it seems that there is a luxury mall on every street. In Shanghai, for example, the growth and expansion seems endless; on the 20 minute drive from my home to the office I pass three new mall developments – each of them plastered with huge billboards advertising the new luxury stores that are soon to open.
Nevertheless, according to market reports, the growth in demand for luxury products is actually slowing. So is the market going to become the number one in the world, overtaking Japan as people expect, or are we about to see a bumpy landing?
According to the consulting company Bain, the market for luxury goods in China grew by 233 per cent between 2007 and last year. This astonishing rate of growth couldn’t last forever, but apart from this natural slowdown, let’s take a look at some of the other factors that may be at work.
Without a doubt the crackdown by the new leaders on gift-giving is playing a part. The ban on government agencies buying luxury goods came into effect in October of last year and resulted in luxury sales slowing in the December quarter.
Traditionally, officials often bought luxury goods, such as watches and bags, as ‘gifts’ for other officials or business contacts to help smooth deals and improve relationships. Of course the real effect of this is impossible to gauge, but one client confessed that the policy was having a big effect on sales in her boutiques across China.
However, it is estimated that less than 25 per cent of luxury spending last year was spent on ‘gifts’, so other factors must also be considered.
The average age of luxury consumers in China is much younger than that in Europe or America. While in London, the luxury consumer tends to be at least 40 years old and wealthy, in China consumers tend to be younger and willing to spend much more of their disposable income on luxury goods.
This does offer grounds to suggest that growth ought to be robust for many years (if a brand can catch someone young, they can keep them for life), but the youthful market in China also holds some potential problems.
First, the Chinese consumer is rapidly maturing – shoppers in Beijing and Shanghai are now truly global consumers and are therefore shifting away from ‘logo’ and high profile signs of luxury spending.
Instead, more and more, they are embracing uniqueness and understatement in luxury items.
Second, these young urban consumers are increasingly experienced in luxury shopping in other markets. Therefore brands are being forced to offer the same consumer experience to Chinese consumers as they do elsewhere.
Luxury brands need to embrace this new consumer or risk losing more and more sales to shopping tourism.
A final factor behind some Western brands reporting a growth slowdown is the increased competition in the Chinese market. As China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan is proving, there are some very hip local luxury brands, often more subtle and individual experiences than their Western rivals.
Additionally, bridge luxury brands -- brands that sit between ‘luxury’ and ‘the high street’ in China are expanding more quickly aided in part by an emerging middle class and a growing online fashion community.
So there are definitely growth opportunities, but brands are going to have to be a little savvier to find them.
For consumers in China though, the loosening of the luxury brand’s traditional grip on the market is exciting, with more choice than ever before.



How to Play Well With China


PRESIDENTS Obama and Xi Jinping will meet in California for two days starting this Friday.

It’s about time.

New sources of friction are constantly appearing in the relationship between the United States and China: trade disputes, tension over North Korea, debates over curbing carbon emissions, allegations of cyberattacks by China.

Having survived re-election, President Obama can shrug off charges of appeasement and treat a rising China with the care it deserves. China, with its leadership transition, has a fresh start, too.

The American and Chinese presidents must seize this opportunity to improve relations; if they don’t, there won’t be another chance for years.

Until now, Mr. Obama’s China policy has been mainly a hedge against China’s rise. The administration’s “pivot” to Asia — the shift of attention and resources from other regions — has convinced many in Beijing that Washington intends to try to stunt China’s growth and contain it the way that America sought to halt the spread of Soviet power during the cold war.

Hedging should be part of America’s strategy. But hedging without a sincere attempt to open up a dialogue risks feeding China’s resentment and transforming competition into conflict.

Cooperation between America and China is crucial for the future of both countries and the world, and the current policy of damage control isn’t enough.

America and China are the world’s two biggest economies, two largest trading nations and two worst polluters. America is the world’s largest debtor, China its biggest foreign creditor. There is no way to rebalance the global economy, slow climate change, manage the trouble kicked up by rogue states and keep the peace in Asia unless Washington and Beijing work together in as many areas as possible.

THE first step will be for Mr. Obama and his representatives to stop trying to negotiate with the China they want to see and engage China as it is.

The Chinese won’t accept another approach, and the United States doesn’t have the power to force them to. China is every bit as exceptionalist as America, and has been for centuries. It is a country prepared to make rather than accept new rules, and one that will compete with the United States for Asian and global hegemony.

Yet, for the moment at least, Mr. Obama can earn more of Mr. Xi’s trust by not asking him for things that Beijing can’t provide, like a global partnership to address financial crises, climate change, nuclear proliferation and a host of other issues. Creating a so-called Group of Two to tackle the world’s major problems includes risks that the Chinese leadership can’t afford to accept. China sees itself as a developing country and doesn’t believe it can take on huge new global responsibilities that would come with such a formal upgrading of its ties with the United States.

Mr. Xi, in turn, can earn more confidence in Washington by ensuring that China continues to open domestic markets to American companies, by enforcing intellectual property protections and by maintaining a level competitive playing field.

It is time for the two presidents to think big. Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi should begin work on a declaration of principles, a document that can elevate and focus their partnership.

In 1972, at the end of President Richard M. Nixon’s historic visit to China, the American and Chinese governments published a remarkable joint communiqué. It included references to their “different ideologies,” individual freedom, trade, Korean reunification, Japan, Taiwan and “progress toward the normalization of relations in the interests of all countries.” The document and the conversation it opened stand among the greatest diplomatic achievements of the 20th century.

Seven years later, a second communiqué established formal diplomatic relations. A third document, released in 1982, addressed the future of Taiwan.

In creating a new declaration of principles today, each side will have to give. There are some costs and risks that China won’t accept because they might endanger stability at home.

For instance, China won’t sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it fears that slower production could put millions of Chinese workers on the streets. And it won’t play a major role in propping up the teetering euro zone if doing so requires them to work with governments other than Germany, whose stability it trusts. And it won’t change its position on Taiwan, Tibet or Tiananmen Square.

But there are things China can and will do if the United States offers some incentives that China wants and needs.

China would happily produce a document that Mr. Xi could brag about at home, while accepting responsibility for only a carefully negotiated set of mutually profitable projects. A new communiqué should therefore include negotiated agreements on the joint development of clean energy technologies, cooperation in scientific research and coordinated strategies to mitigate conflict in the developing world.

It’s not a sign of weakness that Washington can’t force China’s leaders to change course on issues they consider central to their national security. Naming and shaming can be an important foreign policy tool. But China will never change its approach on these core issues because of America’s objections, and we can’t allow criticism to drown out calls for cooperation in other areas.

So Mr. Obama shouldn’t expect much movement on issues like Tibet, territorial disputes between China and its neighbors in the East and South China Seas, and a range of human rights issues. Mr. Obama can commit the United States to a frank approach, one that acknowledges China’s core interests, and where appropriate, allows Washington to act as an honest broker.

America and China already enjoy an enormously profitable trade and investment relationship. In 1985, trade between the countries amounted to just $7.7 billion. By 2000, the total reached $116 billion, and in 2012, it surged to $536 billion, putting America and China on track to build the largest trade relationship in history. But certain moves by both sides have eroded trust.

The Obama administration has worked to build momentum behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a colossal trade deal involving a host of Pacific Rim countries. China sees the partnership as a move to isolate it and won’t join because it would force Beijing to open areas of its economy that are not ready to withstand competitive pressures. But this does not mean that China must see it as a threat. Those who join should continue to build new commercial ties with China to help assuage the fear that the partnership is designed specifically to isolate China.

China, meanwhile, has been backsliding on market access for American companies, has failed to protect American intellectual property and has invested in a program of “indigenous innovation” that unfairly restricts foreign investment in China’s technology sector at a time when Chinese investment in the American economy is growing rapidly. Conflict in cyberspace is also intensifying, and there is evidence that Chinese hackers are seeking to spy, steal and sabotage — endangering American intellectual property. This is an area where Mr. Obama must continue to vigorously defend American interests.

THE United States should continue to exert as much pressure, both diplomatically and through the World Trade Organization, as necessary, to get Beijing to open up. For the moment, a free-trade agreement is not possible. But there is plenty that the United States and China could do to broaden and deepen their trade and investment relationship and avoid unnecessary clashes. With that in mind, American and Chinese negotiators should begin work to devise a “trade investment framework agreement,” the foundation for a more ambitious deal in years to come. To avoid a repeat of some of the bitter investment conflicts that have developed in recent years, Washington must also finally make clear for Beijing where Chinese direct investment in the United States and in American companies is welcome, and where it is not.
In addition, the two sides should form a working group that answers directly to Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi, and whose primary mandate is to draw each side’s red lines in a way that minimizes the risk of conflict, particularly on cyberissues. This would ensure that good ideas are not lost in exchanges between two governing bureaucracies that don’t always understand each other.America and China have much to offer each other. Both benefit from a more predictable international security environment. Both are major importers of foreign oil. China has huge reserves of shale gas and wants to exploit them, and the United States has the technology and the labor force know-how. A more energy-efficient China will lower energy prices in the United States and inflict less environmental damage.
Failure to make progress in one area should not slow work on another. There will be competition. Beijing will continue to invest in its state capitalist system and to manage its currency to suit its own needs. And lectures on political reform are unlikely to yield good results.
Like the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Xi Jinping and most of China’s leadership recognize the need for perestroika, a restructuring. Unlike Mr. Gorbachev, they don’t see glasnost, openness, as a means of achieving it — and no amount of sermonizing from America will change that.
In some ways, the stakes are higher for Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi than they were for Ronald Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev. There is no American-Chinese nuclear threat to focus minds on stronger ties, nor is there a Berlin Wall to separate the two countries’ fortunes. For better and for worse, America and China are bound together in a form of mutually assured economic destruction.
That’s as good a starting point as any for a partnership whose time has come.
Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, is the author, most recently, of “Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World.”Jon M. Huntsman Jr. was the governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009 and the United States ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011.

Real Estate Fund Manager.com

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