|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
China’s run of solid economic indicators proved little consolation for its shaky financial markets in April. The dichotomy stems from a shift in the leadership’s focus toward reducing leverage -- one that’s set to determine whether growth joins asset prices in heading down.
Economists are practically unanimous in saying that reduced debt loads would be good for China’s longer-term health. The big unknown is whether officials can manage that without a dose of short-term pain. As UBS Group AG analysts put it in a note last week: if authorities’ initiatives are "not managed well, it could lead to a rise in credit events, excessive liquidity tightening, faster-than-intended slowdown of credit growth, and greater market volatility."
What started in the fall of 2016 as a tightening in money-market liquidity has intensified to a broader attack by policy makers on the shadow-banking system, where patchy regulation has allowed investors to make leveraged bets. When President Xi Jinping last week warned top officials to crack down on financial risks, the benchmark equities index at one point gave up gains for the year, while bonds suffered their biggest tumble of 2017.
While past regulatory shifts -- especially pricking a stock bubble and letting the yuan depreciate in 2015 -- have sometimes spooked international investors, this time around the reaction has been muted. The positive economic backdrop has helped, along with the conviction that Xi and his lieutenants won’t allow turmoil to disrupt a key, once-in-five-years Communist Party leadership gathering this autumn.
The imperative of heading off disorderly moves in financial markets is a backdrop to the slew of regulatory initiatives over the past two months. Besides broad increases in money-market rates, the list includes:
The People’s Bank of China incorporated off-balance-sheet wealth-management products in its macroprudential assessment of banks’ risks, putting lenders on notice that shadow banking is facing deeper scrutiny
The China Banking Regulatory Commission, under new leadership since February, stepped up scrutiny of entrusted investments -- funds that banks farm out to external managers
The CBRC issued guidelines to enhance liquidity risks at banks, including all of lenders’ interbank and WMP business in their monitoring
Authorities stepped up inquiries about wholesale funding after smaller banks sold a record amount of negotiable certificates of deposit
For now at least, the economy isn’t expected to take a major hit. For one thing, growth accelerated last quarter to 6.9 percent according to official figures, and the debt hangover is getting easier to service as factory prices snap years of deflation.
Some indicators suggest the expansion may be coming off the boil. Caixin Media and Markit Economics’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index slipped to 50.3 in April -- the lowest since September. But while trends in the property market signal a slowdown ahead, China has plenty of infrastructure needs in central and western parts of the nation, and urbanization remains a long-term engine.
In the most recent tussle between market sentiment and economic fundamentals, it was the latter that won out. The economy weathered the 2015 market turmoil, first stabilizing and then perking up as the housing market took off again and the government stepped in with massive doses of infrastructure investment.
The latest push to contain financial risks is focused more on speculative bets than on curtailing credit to the "real" economy. The PBOC has kept benchmark lending rates at a record low and the government continues to spend on pipes, rail and bridges.
"China’s current economic recovery is likely to be in its early days, and has more legs to run," said China International Capital Corp. economist Liang Hong. Better policy coordination and ongoing liquidity injections by the PBOC make a credit crunch seem unlikely, she said.
Crucially, the increase in yields on Chinese government bonds (CGBs) has coincided with the emergence of inflation that’s reflected the economy’s quicker growth. Nominal GDP rose 11.8 percent in the first quarter from a year before, according to Bloomberg Intelligence economist Tom Orlik. That helps fuel corporate profits, government revenue and household income, along with making debt easier to service.
Wringing out leverage may make economic sense, but it may not be pretty for equities and higher-yield bonds.
"We could see more forced redemptions from high-yield bonds and a flight to quality back to high-grade bonds like CGBs," Nomura Holdings Inc. analysts including Hong Kong-based Albert Leung wrote in an April 26 note. Any further sell-off in central government bonds offers "an opportunity for long-term investors," they wrote.
But overshadowing all: the 19th Communist party Congress slated for later this year, when Xi will preside over a reshuffle of leadership positions below him. It’s unlikely that the government will allow the economy to veer off script, said Minyuan Zhao, an associate professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
"This is not unlike injecting strong medicine into a patient -- make sure you kill the disease before killing the body," she said of the deleveraging push....
Mongolia will work to get its bailout approved soon, according to a senior finance ministry official, after the International Monetary Fund postponed a vote on it over concerns about a new law that affected foreign exchange and investment.
"We are working towards resolving this issue as soon as possible and we hope that once it’s resolved the IMF board meeting will take place," Manduul Nyamdeleg, head of the financial markets and insurance division, said by phone in Ulaanbaatar.
The fund delayed its decision on the bailout in order to seek clarity on the new measure, according to Neil Saker, the IMF’s representative. The fund had been expected to finalize the bailout on Friday at a board meeting in Washington.
The measure was included in a package of laws passed last month that was seen as a prerequisite of the bailout. It stated that revenues from large-scale projects had to pass through a Mongolian bank account.
“We need a bit more time to understand the nature of the specifics of the measure and whether the macroeconomic framework of the program remains valid," Saker said on Saturday by e-mail. He added that there was no fixed date for the fund to consider the issue.
Manduul declined to comment on how long Mongolia’s government could effectively function without the assistance. That money would have been part of a larger package aimed at supporting the balance of payments and the budget deficit, which last year reached 17 percent of gross domestic product.
An early version of the measure explicitly referred to the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, which is controlled by London-based Rio Tinto Group, according to a note issued Friday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia. In the final document the language was changed to remove any reference to specific projects.
Rio Tinto spokesman Ben Mitchell declined to comment on any implications for funding on Oyu Tolgoi’s expansion.
“A number of MPs see this as enhancing visibility or transparency of foreign investment and particularly of OT," Canada’s ambassador to Mongolia Ed Jager said by phone, referring to the Oyu Tolgoi mine. “From our perspective it’s not just about OT, its about any sizable foreign investment and it creates a distressingly difficult situation for companies to be required to funnel funds through Mongolian banks."
Last week Mongolian authorities “expressed some willingness’’ to resolve the matter, Jager said. “What their form of resolution will look like and how they see this moving forward this week, I don’t know."
“Since the U.S., Canada and Australia governments are all investors in Oyu Tolgoi’s project finance, we would expect this issue be resolved fairly quickly,’’ Nick Cousyn, Chief Operating Officer of BDSec, said in an email.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Nomination of candidates for the upcoming Presidential Election of June 26 begins today, May 2 to continue until May 6, in compliance with the Law of Mongolia on Election.
The law states that the nomination of presidential candidates must begin 55 days prior to election day and end 5 days prior to the election day. Parties and coalitions eligible to nominate a candidate for the Presidential Election must submit the necessary documents and files of their candidate to General Election Commission in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.
As of present, Chairman of Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, former President N.Enkhbayar announced his intention to nominate himself through a daily newspaper whereas about 6-7 politicians from Democratic Party are reportedly planning to run for the party’s candidacy. Although there are speculations about the ruling Mongolian People’s Party’s potential candidate for the election, no official statements have been made.
In connection with the Presidential Election, internal migration has been halted starting from April 27 to June 27, as the law states that migration must be suspended 60 days prior to the election day.
North Korea has lost one of its biggest trading partners after India banned most dealings with the country.
The Indian government announced last week it is halting all trade, except for food and medicine, as tension mounts on the Korean peninsula and the U.S. administration urges more global action to isolate Pyongyang.
The ban came into force in April. It brings India into line with United Nations sanctions on North Korea.
The U.N. Security Council has been trying for more than a decade to stifle North Korea's nuclear weapons program by imposing harsh economic sanctions.
Most Western countries had ceased to trade with North Korea. India was, until recently, its third biggest trading partner after China and Saudi Arabia -- according to data from the International Monetary Fund.
India exported $111 million worth of goods in 2015-2016 to North Korea, and imported about $88 million, according to Indian government data.
India has maintained diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, and the decree banning trade is the first time India has officially published an order saying it will comply fully with U.N. sanctions resolutions.
In 2015, India abstained from a vote on a U.N. resolution condemning human rights abuses committed by the North Korean regime. That same year, the government hosted the North Korean foreign minister for a rare official visit.
India has also in the past allowed North Korean nationals to visit India for training. As part of the new ban, all military, police, scientific and technical is barred.
India said it will also freeze all funds and financial assets held on its territory by the North Korean government.
North Korea's biggest source of foreign currency is believed to come from the millions of tons of coal it sells to China every year. They accounted for about a third of official exports in 2015.
Japan's chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks says he wants to lead working-level discussions toward the deal's implementation without the United States.
Keiichi Katakami told this to reporters on Monday before leaving for a meeting aimed at laying the groundwork for TPP ministerial talks in Vietnam late this month.
The 2-day preparatory meeting will open on Tuesday in Toronto, Canada. The meeting will comprise representatives from 11 parties to the TPP, since the United States had decided to withdraw from the deal.
Katakami said Japan wants to lead the meeting in Vietnam so the 11 nations can together determine the future direction of the TPP.
He said he anticipates hearing a variety of opinions, as each nation has its own interests and domestic circumstances to take into consideration.
The Japanese government is set to pursue the possibility of implementing the TPP without the US. But Washington is eager to enter into bilateral free trade agreement negotiations with Japan.
Reaching a consensus at the upcoming talks may be difficult, as some nations are cautious about pursuing the TPP deal.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Ts.Munkh-Orgil is to pay an official visit to the European Union on May 2 and 3. He will be paying a courtesy call on Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and hold official talks with Ms Federica Mogerini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission.
On the sidelines, FM Ts.Munkh-Orgill will hold meetings with Ms Iveta Grigule, member of the European Parliament and head of the EP group in connection with Central Asia and Mongolia, other EP members, Mr Didier Reynders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, and Ms Maria Asenius, deputy trade commissioner of the European Union, as well as with Mongolian nationals living in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The visit is of great significance in deepening the long-time friendly relations and cooperation of Mongolia and the European Union, maintaining the healthy frequency of high-level interactions and political dialogues and expanding commercial and economic ties with the third largest trade partner of Mongolia the European Union.
The latest official visit by the Mongolian Foreign Minister to the European Union took place in 2000.
Mongolia and the European Union established diplomatic ties in 1989. Since then, the ties have been developing in all sectors. Bilateral trade turnover reached about USD 1.0 billion, USD 646.3 million constituted by exports and 373.3 million - by imports, in 2016.
The 17th meeting of the Joint Committee on Mongolia-EU Cooperation, the main mechanism of bilateral relations, was held on March 30 and 31 in Ulaanbaatar.
A US regulator will launch an investigation into electric motors used in automobiles for possible infringement of a US company's intellectual property.
The International Trade Commission said on Friday that it will probe Japanese companies including car makers Toyota and Honda, and parts manufacturers, Aisin Seiki and Denso.
The probe is based on a complaint filed by a US firm and also covers German car maker BMW.
The commission aims to set a target date within 45 days to complete the investigation.
If it proves there has been infringement, sales of vehicles using the parts would be affected.
In the past the commission has found steel products made by Japanese and Chinese companies were hurting US companies as they were exported to the US at unfair, low prices.
It is currently investigating flash memory devices made by Japanese electronics firm Toshiba for possible infringement of a Taiwanese company's patents.
The front-runner in the French presidential election has told the BBC that the EU must reform or face the prospect of "Frexit".
Pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron made the comments as he and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen entered the last week of campaigning.
French voters go to the polls on Sunday to decide between the pair.
Ms Le Pen has capitalised on anti-EU feeling, and has promised a referendum on France's membership.
She won support in rural and former industrial areas by promising to retake control of France's borders from the EU and slash immigration.
*Polling results up to this date show how people said they would vote on 7 May, if Macron and Le Pen reached the second round
The polling average line looks at the five most recent national polls and takes the median value, ie, the value between the two figures that are higher and two figures that are lower.
"I'm a pro-European, I defended constantly during this election the European idea and European policies because I believe it's extremely important for French people and for the place of our country in globalisation," Mr Macron, leader of the recently created En Marche! movement, told the BBC.
"But at the same time we have to face the situation, to listen to our people, and to listen to the fact that they are extremely angry today, impatient and the dysfunction of the EU is no more sustainable.
"So I do consider that my mandate, the day after, will be at the same time to reform in depth the European Union and our European project."
Mr Macron added that if he were to allow the EU to continue to function as it was would be a "betrayal".
"And I don't want to do so," he said. "Because the day after, we will have a Frexit or we will have [Ms Le Pen's] National Front (FN) again."
Both Mr Macron - who is leading in the polls by 20 percentage points - and Ms Le Pen spent Sunday campaigning around France.
Mr Macron visited Paris's Holocaust memorial, where he paid his respects. Sunday was France's national day of remembrance for the French Jews who were deported to Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
The war has proved a difficult area for Ms Le Pen. She suggested earlier this month France was not responsible for a 1942 wartime round-up of 13,000 Jews, who were sent from France to Nazi death camps.
Meanwhile, Jean-François Jalkh - the man she named as interim president of the FN while she campaigned - was forced to step down on Tuesday amid claims he had questioned the reality of Nazi gas chambers, which is a crime under French law. He denies wrongdoing.
It was an unwelcome development for Ms Le Pen, who has worked hard to distance her party from past links with anti-Semitism.
She laid a wreath at the World War II monument in Marseille, after visiting an aluminium plant in the nearby town of Gardanne.
The plant is known for dumping toxic waste into the Mediterranean. It was given six years to reach compliance with EU norms last year, after improving its filtering process.
While there, Ms Le Pen said she would pursue a vision of "true ecology", saying she wanted to "make the link between the choice of economic model and environmental and health problems".
Fiscal framework statement bill was developed following to preliminary performance report of 2016 budget, midterm budget indicators, which agreed within the framework of the Extended Fund Facility program to be implemented with the International Monetary Fund and special fiscal requirements, which is defined in the Fiscal Stability law.
As a result of the Extended Fund Facility program, it is expected that basic conditions would be created to increase investment through reviving their trust and to raise credit rate, lowering loan interest. Moreover minerals’ price increase tendency in the world market is expected to give stimulus to start big projects, supporting economic growth and lowering payment balance deficit.
Editor's note: The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held May 14 to 15 in Beijing. To give readers better knowledge of this international meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative, Xinhua will release a series of reports.
BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for mid-May is a high-profile international meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative, a China-proposed trade and infrastructure plan connecting Asia with Europe and Africa.
China will use the forum to build a more open and efficient international cooperation platform and a closer, stronger partnership network as well as to push for a more just, reasonable and balanced international governance system.
Here is what you need to know about the initiative and the upcoming forum.
-- NEW VISION
The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which takes the theme "strengthening international cooperation and co-building the 'Belt and Road' for win-win development," will be held from May 14 to 15 in Beijing. President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony and host a round-table leaders' summit.
The forum has been designed to pool more consensus, identify cooperation directions, push forward the implementation of projects, and improve supporting systems.
-- HISTORIC LEGACY
The Belt and Road comprises the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which were put forward for the first time by President Xi in September and October 2013 in his subsequent state visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia.
Building upon the spirit of the ancient Silk Road -- "peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefits" -- which continues to this day, the initiative targets a modern transnational network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, with the aim of promoting common development among all parties involved.
-- INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION
More than 100 countries and international organizations have already joined the initiative, of which more than 40 have signed cooperation agreements with China.
The United Nations General Assembly, the UN Security Council and APEC have all incorporated or reflected Belt and Road cooperation in their resolutions and documents.
-- FACILITIES CONNECTIVITY
A series of major transport, energy and communication projects, including the multi-purpose road-rail Padma Bridge in Bangladesh, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and China Railway Express trains to Europe - have witnessed breakthroughs over the past three years and more.
-- UNIMPEDED TRADE
Trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road totaled 6.3 trillion yuan (about 913 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, more than a quarter of China's total trade value.
Chinese businesses have invested more than 50 billion U.S. dollars in countries along the Belt and Road, and helped build 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in 20 of those countries, generating nearly 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in tax revenue and 180,000 local jobs.
-- FINANCIAL INTEGRATION
China has dedicated 40 billion U.S. dollars to a Silk Road Fund and set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2015 to provide financing for infrastructure improvement in Asia.
So far, the AIIB has seen its membership increase to 70, with the multilateral development bank's total lending amounting to over 2 billion dollars.
-- ECONOMIC CORRIDORS
China is also pushing forward six economic corridors in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, namely, the New Eurasian Continental Bridge, the China-Mongolia-Russia corridor, the China-Central Asia-West Asia corridor, the China-Indochina Peninsula corridor, the China-Pakistan corridor, and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar corridor.
Together, the six corridors form a trade and transport network across Eurasia, laying a solid foundation for regional and transregional development plans.
-- PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE BOND
While the "hard connection" of rail lines and ports brings countries closer through ease of travel and logistics, "soft connections" will bring their people together.
On June 22, 2016, during a speech at the Legislative Chamber of the Uzbek Supreme Assembly in Tashkent, Xi called for building a green, healthy, intelligent and peaceful Silk Road, laying out the future of the initiative.
The significance of the forum is especially timely given the rise of anti-globalization.
At a time when certain Western powers are retreating into protectionism and isolation, China has been promoting the globalization of the economy in a spirit of openness and inclusiveness. China will unswervingly continue to open up and push globalization with Chinese wisdom.
-- WIDE PARTICIPATION
More than 1,200 people will attend the forum scheduled for mid-May, including officials, scholars, entrepreneurs, representatives of financial institutions and media organizations from 110 nations, as well as representatives from more than 60 international organizations.
They include heads of state and government from at least 28 countries, as well as UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, and managing director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.
-- CONCRETE OUTCOMES
Results of the forum are expected to range from consensus building to specific measures on implementation. China expects to sign cooperative documents with nearly 20 countries and more than 20 international organizations at the event.
China will also work with countries along the routes on nearly 20 action plans concerning infrastructure, energy and resources, production capacity, trade and investment.
The round-table leaders' summit, to be held on May 15, will issue a document defining goals and principles and refining cooperative measures.
During the forum, all parties will identify major cooperative projects, set up working groups and establish an investment cooperation center. They will sign financing agreements to support their cooperative projects.
China will work with all parties on a set of measures, including an improved financial cooperation mechanism, a cooperation platform for science, technology and environmental protection, and enhanced exchanges and training of talent.