No 422, June 8

By English Edition Staff
Published: 2009-06-09
Highlights from the EO print edition, issue no. 422, June 8, 2009

China Raises Rate of Export Tax Rebate
Cover, Lead
>> In an effort to retain China's export trade volume in the midst of falling demand, the Ministry of Commerce will once again raise the rate of the export tax rebate this week.
>>The composite rate will increase from 12.4 to 13.5%, with a maximum rate of 17% on some export items.
>> This is the 7th rate increase of the rebate in the past 10 months.
>> According to sources in the Ministry of Finance, the central government has budgeted 670 billion yuan to cover the cost of the export tax rebate.
>> Calls to further raise the rate or to introduce a quota scheme have been met with resistance from a central government that is rapidly heading towards a fiscal deficit
Original Article: [Chinese]

China's Crude Oil Futures Market on Way
News, Page 2
>> Shang Fulin, chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and Tu Guangshao, deputy mayor of Shanghai and ex-chairman of CSRC, both pushed for a speed up of the introduction of a domestic oil futures market at a recent event in Shanghai
>> The article argues that Shanghai's proposed oil futures market be set up as soon as possible in order to help Chinese companies, especially those downstream enterprises like aviation, deal with large fluctuations in the price of crude oil on the world market.
>> An oil futures market was established in Shanghai in 1993 but was dissolved in 1996.
Original Article: [Chinese]

New Oil Pricing Mechanism Susceptible to Speculation
News, Page 3
>> EO has learned that National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is already considering revising the pricing mechanism for refined oil that it released last month.
>> The new mechanism came into effect on May 7 and was used as the basis of NDRC's decision to raise the price of refined oil on June 1.
>> According to the publicly announced pricing mechanism, the government will consider adjusting refined oil products prices if, over a 22 day period, the global crude price rises or falls by 4 percent or above.
>> The new mechanism is prone to exploitation from speculators as they are able to predict whether the government intends to alter prices and at roughly what time changes in the price are likely to occur.
Original Article: [Chinese]

Government Departments to Shed Publishing Houses in Shake Up
News, page 4
>> According to General Administration of Press and Publication, 148 publishing houses affiliated to various ministries and commissions will undergo corporatization over the next two years.
>> The EO learned that the assets of these 148 publishing houses amounted to 100 billion yuan.
>> It's expected that 80 publishing houses will complete market-oriented reform by the end of 2009.
>> During the reform, six or seven giant publishing groups devoted to education, science and technology, economics and health care will be established.
Original Article: [Chinese]

CIC Returns to Investing in Financial Products
News, page 6
>> On June 2, China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country's sovereign wealth fund, purchased 1.2 billion US dollars worth of common stocks in Morgan Stanley's 2.2-billion-US-dollar common stock offering.
>> This marks CIC's return to investing in the financial product sector after nearly one year of inactivity.
>> On June 2, Morgan Stanley announced the issue of 2.2 billion US dollars of common stocks to fully redeem the preferred capital of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) before the end of June.
Original article: [Chinese]

Jilin Wine Maker in Loan Fraud Scandal
Nation, page 9
>> Jiufeng Jiuye Company, a well-known wine maker in Jilin province, has had its assets seized in an investigation related to loan fraud.
>> Li Shujun, the company's boss was arrested on suspicion of swindling loans from a branch of Agricultural Development Bank of China in Jilin province's Lishu county.
>> An anonymous policy officer told EO that the amount of fake loans exceeded 260 million yuan, and Fei Jingdong, the branch manager was arrested for investigation.
>> A source told the EO that, in recent years, Li Shujun had often visited various casinos, especially in Macao, and he had lost up to 90 million yuan gambling there.
Original article: [Chinese]

Skipping the College Entrance Examination
Nation, page 10
>> According to Ministry of Education, of the 8.34 million senior high school students graduating this year, only 7.5 million enrolled themselves in the college entrance examination. In other words, some 840 thousand students choose not to participate in this week's examination.
>> Taking Chongqing as an example, the article goes on to identify two main reasons why some students do not sit the exam.
>> Some students choose to go abroad for study and thus take part in exams for the global assessment certificate or American College Test; others can't afford college tuition fees and concentrate on finding work instead.
Original article: [Chinese]

ICBC Funds to Buy BEA's Canadian Arm

Market, page 20
>> On June 4, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) announced that it will spend some 73 million US dollars to purchase a 70% stake in the Bank of East Asia (Canada) from the latter's parent firm - The Bank of East Asia (BEA).
>> In turn, BEA will buy ICBC's 75% stake in their joint venture - ICBC-BEA Finance Shareholding Company for 48 million US dollars, making it a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hong Kong lender.
>> ICBC's purchase will help it to further expand its business in the North American market.
Original article: [Chinese]

China Minsheng Bank Plans to Issue H-share Stocks
Market, page 20
>> At a June 5 board meeting, China Minsheng Banking Corporation announced support for the bank's plan to sell shares on the Hong Kong stock market.
>> The board gave the bank permission to issue as many as 3.818 billion stocks in its initial public offering in Hong Kong.
Original article: [Chinese]