Hi everyone. I’m Stephanie LI.
Coming up on today’s program.
Central bank governor vows to stabilise economy in 2022 and reassures China’s financial risks are “convergent and controllable.”
Xiang Hu Bao, the country's largest health-care mutual aid platform shuts down.
Here’s what you need to know about China in the past 24 hours
China's financial system is running stable, financial risks under control, and expectations for the property market have improved with structural adjustment, Yi Gang, chief of China's central bank, said, while reassuring investors and refuting foreign media's exaggeration over Evergrande in the recent days.
During an interview with state media on Tuesday, Yi said the PBOC will promote steady growth in loans and money supply and will ramp up targeted financial support for small and micro enterprises, technological innovation and green development next year.
According to Yi, the average interest rate of corporate loans has dropped to a record low of below 5 percent this year, and the PBOC will promote further declines in comprehensive corporate financing costs in 2022 while keeping them at an overall stable level.
In terms of the property sector, Yi mentioned that some individual real-estate companies were exposed to risks due to their own mismanagement. Authorities have actively taken measures to resolve risks in a stable and orderly manner, while fulfilling financing needs of residents and real estate companies.
During the Central Economic Work Conference held in mid-December, Chinese policymakers called for efforts to explore new development models for the industry, including the development of a long-term rental housing market and promoting the construction of affordable housing.
While pledging more support to the real economy to stabilise the country's economy, Yi also stressed the importance of stability in China's financial system for the next year, calling for a stable and proactive fiscal policy to keep its monetary policy flexible and appropriate and liquidity ample.
Moreover, the central bank will issue the first batch of low-cost loans to financing institutions by the end of this year to enable carbon emissions cuts, as a part of PBOC's task to support carbon neutrality. The move comes after the central bank announced new green tools in November, and is in line with China's “30-60” emission goals.
Update on COVID-19
Mainland China reported 152 domestic cases on Tuesday, with 151 in Xi’an. The tally of the city’s latest outbreak has reached 962 as of the early hours of Wednesday. Starting yesterday, authorities ordered the three most hard-hit areas in Xi'an to carry out district-wide nucleic acid testings on a daily basis.
Next on industry and company news
Ant Group said it will shutter its “mutual aid” health-care platform Xiang Hu Bao following the closure of rival platforms run by other internet giants including Meituan and Waterdrop amid China’s tightened regulations for online insurance. Xiang Hu Bao, a dominant player in the emerging sector, ceased operations as of midnight Tuesday, and existing members will no longer bear claim settlement costs, the company said late Tuesday.
SenseTime Group's IPO in Hong Kong was oversubscribed five times, as global investors shrugged aside US sanctions to bid for shares in one of the world's biggest artificial intelligence companies. Shares of the company will trade for the first time on Thursday at the price of HK$3.85, raising HK$5.55 billion and marking Hong Kong’s biggest IPO since September.
Chinese educational giant New Oriental launched a live commerce platform as a part of the company’s plan to undergo a transformation under the “double reduction policy”. The firm’s founder Yu Minhong joined its first live-streaming on Tuesday night to sell agricultural products, attracting more than 150 thousand views and raking in nearly 600 thousand yuan.
China Huarong Asset Management agreed to sell a 70 percent stake in its consumer finance unit to Bank of Ningbo for 1.09 billion yuan, the state-owned bad asset manager said late Monday. The deal is part of Huarong’s efforts to divest assets and focus on its core business as the conglomerate revamps its sprawling businesses after reaching the verge of collapse.
China will scrap its ownership cap on joint ventures (JV) producing passenger vehicles from Jan.1, clearing the last major obstacle for global carmakers who want to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in the world’s largest auto market, according to the 2021 version of a negative list issued on Monday.
Wrapping up with a quick look at the stock market
Chinese stocks fell on Wednesday as consumer staples including baijiu and beverages slumped. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.9 percent, and the Shenzhen Component shed 1.24 percent. The Hang Seng Index finished 0.83 percent lower, dragged by a 1.75-percent loss in TECH Index.
Biz Word of the Day
A joint venture (JV) is a business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity.
Executive Editor: Sonia YU
Editor: LI Yanxia
Host: Stephanie LI
Writer: Stephanie LI, ZHANG Ran
Producer: XIANG Xiufang
Sound Editor: ZHANG Ran, Andy YUAN
Graphic Designer: ZHENG Wenjing, LIAO Wanni
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