Issue Wrap No. 516, Apr 25, 2011

By English Edition Staff
Published: 2011-04-28

Highlights from the EO print edition, Issue Wrap No. 516, Apr 25, 2011

The Next Investment Craze: Money Lending
News, cover
~ Despite ample liquidity in the market, funds have been retreating from some of the areas where money had previously flowed, stocks are not pushing new highs, property is being hit by government policy to rein in soaring prices, recent falls in the price of vegetables have led to speculation in agricultural products to drop off and the outlook for the art market is no longer clear, in the face of all this, where is all that money going?
~ It seems that many companies are turning to the business of "making money out of money," by entering into the field of lending money traditionally controlled by banks and other financial institutions.
~ A non-ferrous metal company from Suzhou offers an example, the company has set up a small loan company that is able to earn annual returns of between 15 to 17% on average.
~ Our newspaper has learned that real estate companies are now sourcing over 20 percent of their funding needs from trust companies.
~ An official engaged in currency policy at China's central bank said he was confused about the phenomenon, "Which industries and companies are making such large profits of providing credit? If everyone is lending money, then what final use is the money actually being put to?"
Original article: [Chinese]

Crackdown on Employment Agencies Coming in June
News, page 2
~ The EO has learned that from June, led by Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce will launch a comprehensive investigation into the activities of domestic employment agencies.
~ Employment agencies found to be violated existing regulations, will be punished according to the law. Those that have engaged in more serious violations of the law will be expelled from the industry.
~ Meanwhile, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will also draw up and amend relevant labor contract policies and regulations. Among them, rules covering the administration of intermediary employment agencies will be launched some time over the coming year.
~ Currently, state-owned enterprises, social institutions and government-related bodies are the major customer of these intermediary employment agencies, passing through them to avoid signing contracts directly with "employees." Many companies in the oil, chemicals, telecommunications, finance, banking, aviation and railway sector are using this method of hiring, it's also said that up to 2/3 of the workforce of some centrally-owned enterprises (COE) are employed through intermediary agencies.
~ Vice minister of Human Resources and Social Security Yang Zhiming said the investigation will focus on solving the problems of labor outsourcing among small and medium-sized enterprises and COE.
Original article: [Chinese]

Special Feature: The Future of Xi'an
Nation, page 9
~ This week's Nation section contains a special feature on Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province.
~ The city is in the process of implementing a new revival plan and has high hopes of establishing itself as an international city to rival Beijing and Shanghai.
Original article: [Chinese]