Posts Tagged ‘Chinese financial institutions’

China boosts mainland-Hong Kong stock connect quotas — Part of promised “opening”

April 11, 2018

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Shanghai-London link to open by year-end as access continues to widen

By Emma Dunkley in Hong Kong
Financial Times (FT)

China is accelerating measures to increase foreign access to its financial markets in a clear sign the country is committed to liberalising its economy, just as trade tension with the US mounts.

The People’s Bank of China said on Wednesday that a Shanghai-London stock exchange trading link would open by the end of the year, in a landmark move that would allow investors to more freely trade shares in each other’s respective locations.

Philip Hammond, UK chancellor, said in response that the Shanghai-London connect will “provide UK businesses, savers and investors with unique access to exciting new investment opportunities in China”.

Separately on Wednesday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said it would increase the daily quota of mainland China-listed shares that can be bought in Hong Kong via the so-called stock connect channel to Rmb52bn ($8.3bn) from Rmb13bn.

The CSRC said it would also increase the amount of money that could flow the other way through stock connect, by quadrupling the daily amount of Hong Kong-listed shares that investors can buy through mainland Chinese stock exchanges.

The decision to speed up the Shanghai-London link and the move to expand trading through the Hong Kong-mainland stock connects are in part aimed at widening access to Chinese markets, which have traditionally been difficult for overseas investors to enter.

It comes as China’s central bank announced on the same day that foreign financial groups will be allowed to take majority stakes in fund management, securities and life insurance companies within a few months.

The initiatives also come months before stocks listed in mainland China, called A-shares, will for the first time be included in MSCI’s flagship emerging markets index.

Increasing the northbound quota is another sign of China’s intention to further open access to its stock market and prepare for an increase in investor appetite following MSCI’s index inclusion in June.

Paul Chan, Hong Kong’s financial secretary, said: “This will facilitate the healthy development of stock connect, and facilitate international investors’ access to the mainland’s stock markets and mainland investors’ access to Hong Kong’s stock market.”

MSCI’s index changes, which will see more than 200 A-shares included in the index, have ramifications for global investors ranging from pension funds to individuals. Investors who own exchange traded funds, which invest in indices, will become automatically invested in these A-shares once they are included.

“China’s capital market evolution continues at pace in 2018,” said Philippe Kerdoncuff, head of securities services for China at BNP Paribas. “Global investors are taking notice and readying themselves for the implications for investment flows.

“We’ll continue to wait for more detail but given the success to date of the previous, closer-to-home schemes, we believe this latest move means more good news for those wanting to gain a foothold within Chinese equities and with predictions that A-share inclusion will grow further.”



China vows wider access to financial markets amid trade row — When and how not yet determined…. Foreign ownership restrictions in Chinese banks and financial firms will be removed

April 11, 2018


© AFP | China has said it will allow greater foreign access to its stock markets

SHANGHAI (AFP) – China said on Wednesday it would allow foreign investors greater access to its stock markets and promised that other previously announced financial reforms would come into effect within months in its latest conciliatory signals amid US trade tensions.China’s securities regulator said foreign investors would be allowed to trade a greater volume of shares on Chinese stock markets through existing programmes linking Hong Kong’s bourse with mainland exchanges, and also will “strive” to establish a similar link between Shanghai and London this year.

Central Bank Governor Yi Gang also said China would move ahead with plans to remove limits on foreign shareholdings in Chinese financial institutions.

Foreign firms will be allowed to own as much as 51 percent of joint ventures in the securities, funds and futures industries, up from the current 49 percent, Yi told the Boao Forum for Asia in southern China.

All limits are to be removed in three years, the government had said previously.

Foreign ownership restrictions in Chinese banks and financial asset management firms also will be removed.

The foreign-ownership reforms were first announced in November during a state visit by US President Donald Trump, but the latest announcements appeared to set a firmer timetable for implementation, with Yi quoted saying they would commence “in the coming months”.

The latest promises came a day after President Xi Jinping pledged at the same forum that China would lower car tariffs this year and take other steps to open the world’s number two economy “wider and wider”.

His comments addressed major US complaints in a simmering trade row that has seen both sides threaten retaliatory measures.

Both Yi and the China Securities Regulatory Commission said the allowable daily two-way trading volume between Hong Kong and mainland China’s two exchanges would each be increased fourfold to 94 billion yuan ($15 billion), effective May 1.

A Hong Kong-Shanghai trading connection was established in 2014, and a similar one between Hong Kong and China’s second exchange in Shenzhen two years later, giving foreigners greater access to Chinese stocks via Hong Kong, and vice versa.

A proposed London-Shanghai link was first disclosed in 2015 but no firm timetable had been set.

The US and European Union have long complained about market access in a host of industries, with foreign firms unable to take controlling stakes in Chinese firms.

In the tightly controlled banking sector, for example, overseas companies currently cannot hold more than 25 percent of a lender’s capital, making it difficult for them to play a major role in the domestic market.

Analysts have previously downplayed such reform promises, saying they are being made now that Chinese enterprises have a firm hold on domestic markets.

Trump, however, on Tuesday praised Xi’s “kind words” on reform and pledged to cooperate with China toward “great progress” in resolving trade differences.

Yi also said China would not devalue its currency as a weapon in a trade war, state television said.


  (Contains links to several related articles)

Chinese official warns U.S. not to use North Korea as excuse for imposing sanctions — Talk of cutting off all U.S. companies from doing business with China due to North Korea mess

July 6, 2017


China’s vice-finance minister said Beijing would implement all sanctions imposed on North Korea as a result of its missile tests, but warned the U.S. not to use them as an excuse to impose sanctions against China’s financial institutions.

“As a Security Council permanent member, China will of course implement all relevant resolutions,” he said. “But the U.S. should not use their domestic laws as excuses to levy sanctions against Chinese financial institutions.”

Speaking ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Zhu Guangyao also called on leading economies to cooperate on global steel overproduction rather than engage in finger-pointing, since overcapacity could harm global growth.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Andrew Roche)


On Fox News Channel on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, Kirk Lippold, a news analyst on Neil Cavuto’s afternoon program, suggested that the White House needs to be discussing cutting off all U.S. companies from doing business with China due to North Korea missile test….

Image result for Scott Lippold,Fox news, photos

Kirk Lippold on the Fox News Channel


U.S. Prepared To Use Force On North Korea ‘If We Must’: U.N. Envoy

People watch a TV broadcast of a news report on North Korea's ballistic missile test, at a railway station in Seoul
People watch a TV broadcast of a news report on North Korea’s ballistic missile test, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, July 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

July 6, 2017

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States cautioned on Wednesday it was ready to use force if need be to stop North Korea’s nuclear missile program but said it preferred global diplomatic action against Pyongyang for defying world powers by test launching a ballistic missile that could hit Alaska.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council that North Korea’s actions were “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution” and the United States was prepared to defend itself and its allies.

“One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction,” Haley said. She urged China, North Korea’s only major ally, to do more to rein in Pyongyang.

Speaking with his Japanese counterpart on Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis underscored the “ironclad commitment” of the United States to defending Japan and providing “extended deterrence using the full range of U.S. capabilities,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.

Mattis’ assurances to Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada came during a phone call to discuss the North Korean test, the statement said.

Taking a major step in its missile program, North Korea on Tuesday test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts believe has the range to reach the U.S. states of Alaska and Hawaii and perhaps the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

North Korea says the missile could carry a large nuclear warhead.

The missile test is a direct challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump, who has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile.

He has frequently urged China to press the isolated country’s leadership to give up its nuclear program.

Haley said the United States would propose new U.N. sanctions on North Korea in coming days and warned that

if Russia and China did not support the move, then “we will go our own path.”

She did not give details on what sanctions would be proposed, but outlined possible options.

“The international community can cut off the major sources of hard currency to the North Korean regime. We can restrict the flow of oil to their military and their weapons programs. We can increase air and maritime restrictions. We can hold senior regime officials accountable,” Haley said.

Diplomats say Beijing has not been fully enforcing existing international sanctions on its neighbor and has resisted tougher measures, such as an oil embargo, bans on the North Korean airline and guest workers, and measures against Chinese banks and other firms doing business with the North.

“Much of the burden of enforcing U.N. sanctions rests with China,” Haley said.

The United States might seek to take unilateral action and sanction more Chinese companies that do business with North Korea, especially banks, U.S. officials have said.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, told the Security Council meeting that the missile launch was a “flagrant violation” of U.N. resolutions and “unacceptable.”

“We call on all the parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid provocative actions and belligerent rhetoric, demonstrate the will for unconditional dialogue and work actively together to defuse the tension,” Liu said.


The United States has remained technically at war with North Korea since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty and the past six decades have been punctuated by periodic rises in antagonism and rhetoric that have always stopped short of a resumption of active hostilities.

Tensions have risen sharply after North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests last year and carried out a steady stream of ballistic missile tests

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the ICBM test completed his country’s strategic weapons capability that includes atomic and hydrogen bombs, the state KCNA news agency said.

Pyongyang will not negotiate with the United States to give up those weapons until Washington abandons its hostile policy against the North, KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

“He, with a broad smile on his face, told officials, scientists and technicians that the U.S. would be displeased … as it was given a ‘package of gifts’ on its ‘Independence Day,’” KCNA said, referring to the missile launch on July 4.

Trump and other leaders from the Group of 20 nations meeting in Germany this week are due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea’s weapons program, which it has pursued in defiance of Security Council sanctions.

Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy said on Wednesday that military force should not be considered against North Korea and called for a halt to the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

He also said that attempts to strangle North Korea economically were “unacceptable” and that sanctions would not resolve the issue.

The U.S. military assured Americans that it was capable of defending the United States against a North Korean ICBM.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis noted a successful test last month in which a U.S.-based missile interceptor knocked down a simulated incoming North Korean ICBM.

“So we do have confidence in our ability to defend against the limited threat, the nascent threat that is there,” he told reporters. He acknowledged though that previous U.S. missile defense tests had shown “mixed results.”

The North Korean launch this week was both earlier and “far more successful than expected,” said U.S.-based missile expert John Schilling, a contributor to Washington-based North Korea monitoring project 38 North.

It would now probably only be a year or two before a North Korean ICBM achieved “minimal operational capability,” he added.

Schilling said the U.S. national missile defense system was “only minimally operational” and would take more than two years to upgrade to provide more reliable defense.

(Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)

What Should America’s China Policy Include?

August 28, 2014

Washington has pursued a policy toward China that some American scholars have dubbed “congagement”–a mixture of engagement and containment.

By , Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

The engagement component is primarily economic in nature. China is America’s third largest trading partner, and Chinese financial institutions now hold some $1.3 trillion in U.S. government debt.

The containment component is primarily strategic in nature, especially as the United States has moved to strengthen its military ties with such traditional allies as Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia, as well as develop such ties with new strategic partners (e.g., Vietnam and India). Those moves are motivated, at least in part, by a desire by the various parties to contain Beijing’s growing regional power and influence.

Beginning with the Nixon administration’s initial outreach to the Chinese government in the early 1970s, and continuing through successive administrations until the early years of the 21st century, the engagement aspect in U.S. policy was dominant. But during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the emphasis shifted.

Containment, albeit implicit rather than explicit, has now become the principal feature — and that trend is accelerating. Washington prods its East Asian allies to devote greater efforts to defense, and U.S. officials seek to transform the bilateral alliances with those nations to cover broader, regional security contingencies. Especially during the Obama years, U.S. policy has tilted in favor of countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines, which are embroiled in territorial disputes with China involving the South China Sea, and has backed Japan in its contentious confrontation with Beijing over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

Such informal manifestations of containment deceive no one — least of all, Chinese officials. Washington’s current strategy is fomenting growing tensions with China, and those could ultimately lead to a military collision in East Asia between the two powers. Perhaps most troubling, Washington has seemingly adopted a de facto containment policy almost by default, concluding that there are no feasible alternatives, despite rising Chinese anger. Before we continue down that path, we should at least assess more seriously whether other, less confrontational and more sustainable, options exist.


One admittedly controversial option would be to accept the likelihood that China, by virtue of its greater population and mounting economic and military capabilities, is destined to become the dominant power in East Asia. Even the hint of recognizing Chinese regional pre-eminence, though, always produces shrill allegations of “appeasement.” And that term has an especially odious connotation because of the disastrous appeasement policy that the Western powers pursued toward Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s.

But so-called appeasement has a much longer and more productive history than the calamitous 1930s model would suggest. Indeed, the United States was the principal beneficiary of a milder version that Britain adopted in the 1890s.

In response to a nasty boundary dispute between Venezuela and a neighboring British colony, London faced a stark choice. It could confront an increasingly powerful United States, which was mightily annoyed at what it perceived as a challenge to Washington’s cherished Monroe Doctrine barring European interference in the Western Hemisphere. The alternative was to concede that the United States was now the dominant power in that region and to accept Washington’s policy preferences. British officials chose the latter course, a move that ended decades of tensions between the two countries over various issues and created the foundation for what would ultimately become an extremely close alliance.

U.S. officials need to at least consider whether a similar concession might create the basis for a new, far less contentious, relationship with China while still protecting important American interests in the Western Pacific.

In other words, is it time to recognize a Chinese equivalent of the Monroe Doctrine in East Asia — accepting that China is now the pre-eminent regional power? There are essential caveats to such a dramatic policy shift. At a minimum, Beijing would need to embrace not only the original logic of the Monroe Doctrine, but also the so-called Roosevelt Corollary. The latter, adopted during Theodore Roosevelt’s administration, promised Britain and the other European powers that the United States would maintain order in the Western Hemisphere and discipline irresponsible governments in the region.


That requirement would have direct applicability to a preeminent role by Beijing in East Asia. Specifically, China would need to accept responsibility for preventing rogue powers like North Korea from disrupting regional peace and tranquility. Even if that meant direct Chinese action to remove an offending regime in Pyongyang, Beijing would need to be willing to undertake such action. Reducing the danger of North Korean aggression against its East Asian neighbors (and perhaps someday even against the United States) would provide a significant benefit to America.

Beijing’s willingness to undertake that responsibility would be a crucial prerequisite for any U.S. decision to accept China’s regional preeminence. Unwillingness on Beijing’s part to embrace the role of stabilizer would greatly reduce the appeal of a more accommodating U.S. policy.

Even with a responsible Chinese policy, there would be significant obstacles and objections to U.S. recognition of a Chinese equivalent of the Monroe Doctrine. Two problems especially stand out.

The United States was, by far, the leading power in the Western Hemisphere by the late 19th century, and it would become even more dominant in the subsequent decades. Countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina were no more than anemic competitors. Britain could proceed with confidence that, if it conceded hemispheric preeminence to the United States, Washington could maintain stability without serious challenge.


Today’s geostrategic environment in East Asia is much more complex. Although China is the leading regional power, it faces a credible competitor in Japan, which is also a U.S. treaty ally. Not only would Washington have to extricate itself from the alliance with Japan, there is no certainty that Tokyo would accept second place in the regional status hierarchy. The prospects for stability in East Asia, therefore, would be murkier.

An even more serious obstacle to applying the Monroe Doctrine model to East Asia is the great difference in political systems between the United States and China. It was reasonably easy for London to concede regional primacy to Washington, since both countries were liberal, capitalist democracies. Moreover, both of them shared major cultural features. Such unifying factors are absent in the Sino-American relationship. China is still a one-party, nominally communist, state, and it would not be easy for U.S. policymakers to place trust regarding geostrategic behavior in such a country.

Still, Washington should not summarily dismiss the Monroe Doctrine model as a basis for U.S. policy toward China in the coming decades. Given Beijing’s rapidly rising economic and military clout, it will become difficult, perhaps prohibitively so, for Washington to maintain U.S. hegemony in a region thousands of miles distant from the American homeland.

Officially or tacitly accepting Chinese primacy in East Asia may prove to be the least bad option available. And if China should gradually democratize, that option may become quite reasonable and attractive. In any case, U.S. policymakers need to consider alternatives to the fraying congagement model before a crisis erupts in relations with Beijing.

© ChinaFocus. This article also appears in ChinaFocus