Shayne Heffernan Still Bullish on Asia

Shayne Heffernan Still Bullish on Asia

Shayne Heffernan remains bullish on the outlook for China and Chinese Companies “Asia is going to be the centre of the Financial World for the next 100 years”

China’s real estate investment increased 11.6 percent year on year in the first two months of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

The growth was faster than the 9.5-percent expansion recorded in 2018.

China’s fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew 6.1 percent year on year in the first two months of 2019, 0.2 percentage points higher than that recorded in 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.

NBS spokesperson Mao Shengyong said domestic demand maintained steady growth in the first two months of this year, given stable FAI and consumption expansion.

The FAI growth continued the upward trend since last September, the NBS data showed.

The 6.1-percent growth was also in line with market expectations, Japanese securities brokerage Nomura said in a report.

China’s retail sales of consumer goods rose 8.2 percent year on year in the first two months, flat with that in December, data from the NBS showed.

Mao also said China saw improving economic structure during the period.

Private investment posted fast growth, rising 7.5 percent year on year to about 2.7 trillion yuan (about 402.3 billion U.S. dollars), the NBS data showed.

The growth of investment in the tertiary industry and industrial technology improvement sped up or maintained a fast increase, said the spokesperson.

The investment in the tertiary industry expanded 6.5 percent in the past two months, picking up the pace from the 5.5-percent increase in 2018.

Meanwhile, the investment in high-tech industries and industrial technology improvement jumped 8.6 percent and 19.5 percent year on year, both faster than the overall FAI growth.

Thursday’s data also showed that investment in infrastructure went up 4.3 percent year on year, quickening from the 3.8-percent growth in 2018.

The investment in the primary industry and secondary industry grew 3.7 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.

The expected inclusion of Chinese bonds in the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index next month is an “important milestone” in China’s financial integration into the world economy, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) official said Wednesday.

“That step both reflects the importance of those bonds in foreign portfolios and likely will encourage more purchases of those securities going forward,” said Changyong Rhee, IMF’s director of the Asia and Pacific department, at a book forum held in Washington D.C.

In January, Bloomberg confirmed its decision to include renminbi (RMB) government bonds and policy bank bonds in the index beginning in April 2019.

“This development follows the establishment in 2017 of the so-called Bond Connect, which allows foreigners to enter the Chinese bond market, as well as the authorities’ recent commitments to further develop and open the market,” Rhee said in his opening remarks of the event.

According to the government work report delivered last week, China will further open up its financial sectors and improve policies to open the bond market.

“Bond market development and global integration will be beneficial for the allocation of resources within the Chinese economy — and will spur greater asset diversification in China and globally,” he said, adding that it could boost China’s economic growth and strengthen financial stability.

At the event held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, the IMF senior official highlighted the significance of financial sector reform, calling it “an important element of China’s current transition from four decades of high-speed growth toward what is intended to be high-quality growth.”

Noting that the “reforms remain a work in progress,” he said the process of developing and opening the bond market needs to be managed carefully in order to ensure financial stability.

Rhee suggested China, among other things, improve corporate governance, which means providing timely and reliable information for the capital markets, especially on corporate performance and outlook.

Clear lines of communications about the direction of policy also would be greatly beneficial, especially in terms of reducing market volatility, he said.

The IMF senior official lauded the efforts by the People’s Bank of China, which has been “holding more frequent press conferences and providing more real-time information in English.”

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Issaree covers major events around the world, keen racegoer and racehorse breeder she is the owners of Knightsbridge Bloodstock, she has served as CEO at listed companies and worked as a consultant to major corporations and governments.

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