Flavored juice drinks sit on a shelf in a grocery store in Manila. (Bloomberg)
According to The Wall Street Journal, MANILA — Economies in Southeast Asia are not the only things growing in the region. Waistlines are too – and that has doctors and health experts worried about the strains a clutch of new health problems could put on many countries still in the process of developing.
Rapid economic growth has created new and expanding middles classes in places like Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. But new affluence is also driving up the rate of “life-style” diseases, including hypertension, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory illness, say doctors.
Together, those diseases account for 80% of the deaths in Asia, but health experts say it need not be that way – most could be addressed by people simply changing the way they eat and live.
“We must have behavior change,” Shin Young-soo, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a recent health summit in Manila.
As regional incomes improve, people have more money to spend on fast food and processed snacks. In recent years, demand for meat and dairy has also risen dramatically in many of Southeast Asia’s emerging economies.
But changes in diets combined with lack of exercise has made Asians more prone to diabetes than their counterparts in the West, said Dr. Shin, one of nearly 200 health and development experts attending a week-long gathering here aimed at discussing non-communicable diseases and finding way to combat them.
Posted by camelliacamellia on October 29, 2013
Fast-fashion Brand ZARA in China (Bloomberg)
According to The Wall Street Journal, a growing number of Western brands in China are creating online stores to reach more consumers, adopting a formula that Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has exploited with much success.
The promise of e-commerce in China has attracted foreign companies for years. Yet Western companies, such as eBay Inc., EBAY +0.22% Google Inc. GOOG +0.20% andGroupon Inc., GRPN -4.49% have struggled in China, partly because of competition from domestic giants. Western retailers also have had concerns about the difficulties of distribution in the country and its Web shoppers’ insistence on low prices.
But China’s e-commerce—which, by some measures, overtook the U.S. this year as the world’s largest online retail marketplace—has become too big to ignore. Online retail sales in China are expected to reach about $540 billion by 2015, compared with roughly $345 billion in the U.S., according to consulting firm Bain & Co. China’s online retail sales have increased more than 70% annually since 2009, compared with 13% in the U.S.
“If you’re going to be in China, e-commerce is going to be the first thing you consider, and if you’re already there, you’re scrambling to adapt,” says Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China, an investment advisory firm in Beijing.
Inditex SA ITX.MC +0.51% ’s Zara fast-fashion brand, high-end handbag makerCoach Inc. COH -0.27% and luxury-department-store chain Neiman Marcus Group Inc. began selling online in China late last year.
Posted by camelliacamellia on October 28, 2013
China PBOC (China Image)
According to The Wall Street Journal, BEIJING–China’s central bank Friday said it has introduced a new prime lending rate, which it said would help push forward interest rate liberalization.
The new bank lending rate, officially known as the “loan prime rate,” would be the rate on loans extended to the best customers of Chinese commercial banks.
The rate is based on a weighted average of lending rates from nine commercial banks, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement on its website.
It said the rate would be calculated each working day and would be announced on the website of the key barometer of interbank lending, the Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate, or Shibor.
The central bank said that initially, it would calculate only a one-year rate. It gave Friday’s level as 5.71%.
In the past, the central bank has set guidelines for domestic interest rates, but it has been trying to give a greater role to the market. The PBOC’s existing benchmark interest rate for one-year loans is 6%.
Posted by camelliacamellia on October 25, 2013
According to Bloomberg, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) has agreed to sell 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, the tower built byDavid Rockefeller, to Fosun International Ltd., the investment arm of China’s biggest closely held industrial group, for $725 million.
Fosun, which invests in properties, pharmaceuticals and steel, is buying the 60-story, 2.2 million square-foot, lower Manhattan tower, according to a statement it filed to Hong Kong’s stock exchange.
China’s developers and companies are expanding in overseas property markets as the government maintains curbs on housing at home to cool prices. Greenland Holding Group Co., a Shanghai-based, state-owned developer, this month agreed to buy a 70 percent stake in a residential and commercial real estate project in Brooklyn.
“There’s a lot of excess capital in China that needs a way out at the moment,” Simon Lo, Hong Kong-based executive director for Asia research and advisory at property broker Colliers International, said in a phone interview today. “Also, by investing in markets like New York, they believe they can gain from the recovery of the U.S. economy and real estate market.”
Fosun (656), owned by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang, fell 0.3 percent to HK$6.79 at the midday trading break in Hong Kong. Shares in the Shanghai-based company have gained 37 percent this year, compared with the 2.6 percent increase in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
Posted by camelliacamellia on October 22, 2013
Everbright Securities Co. branch in Beijing. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg
Bloomberg reports that Everbright Securities plunged to the lowest since its shares started trading in 2009 after China’s securities regulator imposed a record penalty on the broker for insider trading and two more executives resigned.
The country’s seventh-largest brokerage by market value declined by the 10 percent daily limit to 9.06 yuan at today’s opening in Shanghai, after trade was suspended on August 30, and stayed at that level through the 11:30 a.m. break. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) fell 0.1 percent. The stock has slid 36 percent this year.
Posted by Innovator on September 2, 2013
Tang Shuangning of the China Everbright Group. An Tu/European Pressphoto Agency
The New York Times reports that existence of a program originally called “Sons and Daughters.” And although it was supposed to protect JPMorgan Chase’s business dealings in China, the program went so off track that it is now the focus of a federal bribery investigation in the United States, interviews and a confidential government document show.
JPMorgan started the program in 2006 as the friends and family of China’s ruling elite were clamoring for jobs at the bank, according to the interviews with former bank employees and financial executives in China and the United States. The program’s existence, which has not been previously reported, suggests that the bank’s hiring of such employees was widespread.
Children with elite pedigrees faced lower standards. In one instance, according to the interviews, the bank continued to employ the son of Tang Shuangning, the chairman of China Everbright Group, a state-controlled financial conglomerate, even though some JPMorgan officials questioned the younger Mr. Tang’s financial expertise.
Posted by Innovator on August 30, 2013
Everbright Securities Co. [CFP]
Major brokerage Everbright Securities Co Ltd said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange that its trading system encountered problems Friday morning, following a dramatic 5 percent spike in domestic stock indexes that many suspected was the byproduct of a trading error.
Trading in the Chinese company’s shares was suspended in the afternoon, according to a statement on the website of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
“This morning, Everbright Securities strategic investment department’s proprietary trading bureau had a problem when using its own arbitrage system,” the statement said, adding that the company is investigating the issue.
Posted by Innovator on August 16, 2013
Cons of deregulating finance
It is speculated that China is set to accelerate the deregulation of its financial system. For years, China has restricted the ability of its residents and foreign investors to pull and push their money in and out of the country.
While that may be illiberal, there was a sound reason for this restriction: Every emerging market that has scrapped these regulations has had a major financial crisis and subsequent trouble with growth.
The world can’t afford that to happen in China. China is too big to fail.
This issue came to the fore last year when the People’s Bank of China announced that it might “liberalize” its financial system in five to 10 years. The move was in stark contrast to a National Development and Reform Commission-World Bank report that put such a plan much further into the future.
That study cited the overwhelming evidence that shows, first, that dismantling cross-border financial regulations is not associated with growth and, second, that it tends to cause banking crises in economies with fledgling financial systems.
Posted by admin on August 7, 2013
China Developers’ Financing Hopes Revive on Share Sale Plans
Chinese developers may resume share sales on the country’s mainland exchanges as announcements of such plans by property companies in the past week add to signs that the government may allow new equity financing to proceed.
Sundy Land Investment Co. (600077), a Shenyang-based developer, plans to raise as much as 1.5 billion yuan ($245 million) in a private placement to finance two housing projects, the company said in a statement to Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday. China Merchants Property Development Co. (000024), the country’s third-biggest developer by market value, plans to sell shares to buy assets, according to a statement posted to Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
The planned share sales reinforce expectations that regulators will ease limits on fundraising by developers, according toHaitong International Securities Group Ltd. (665) China will seek “stable and healthy” development of the property market, the Communist Party’s Politburo said July 30, the first time this year that authorities didn’t mention further tightening of restrictions, according to Credit Suisse Group AG and Orient Finance Holdings (H.K.) Ltd.
Posted by admin on August 7, 2013