Posted on

Florida’s senator Rubio engages in verbal duel with MSCI over the access by China’s A shares to American institutional funds

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio questions witnesses before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio questions witnesses before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about

Some stocks in the index, such as Hangzhou Hikvision, have recently been placed on a US blacklist preventing business with American companies.

“It is deeply troubling that a company like Hikvision, which is complicit in China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang and is on the Commerce Department’s banned Entity List, can get access to the US capital markets through an MSCI index,” Rubio said in a statement on Monday. “I will continue to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that US investors and pensioners are not at risk.”

MSCI didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Rubio’s pressure on MSCI is part of a larger campaign by US lawmakers to slow the spigot of money that has flowed from US investment funds into Chinese companies. The moves come during an ongoing trade war between the two countries that has prompted US officials to increase scrutiny to the money going into China.

American Securities Association CEO Chris Iacovella said MSCI’s response fails to address any of the concerns Rubio raised to protect American investors.

“MSCI continues to look the other way as it funnels billions of dollars of American money out of the US and into Chinese companies that are fraudulent, on the sanctions list, or do-not-do business list,” he said.

The White House has been in touch with Rubio to discuss its support for the matter, but the legislation’s prospects in Congress remain unclear.

The MSCI letter agreed with Rubio that investors should know where they are investing and said in some cases the company makes specific references to China’s different accounting standards, and identifies China as an authoritarian regime. A Rubio spokesman said the Senator’s office received the letter earlier this month.

The MSCI CEO drew the distinction between passive index funds that MSCI powers, which do not serve as investment recommendations, and active asset managers, who can pick and choose which stocks to direct funds. In addition to serving as a benchmark for investments, MSCI said its indexes are used by academic institutions and researchers, cautioning that requiring the index to exclude certain stocks would “severely limit the ability to understand and assess global markets.”

Rubio told Bloomberg earlier this year that he’s not advocating for an all-out ban on US investment in China, but for a regulatory body charged with examining investments, modelled on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, which was recently granted greater power to restrict Chinese acquisitions of US technology.

“Firms like MSCI have an obligation to make sure investors know whether their investment dollars are unwittingly aiding Chinese state-owned and state-directed companies linked to China’s efforts to steal American innovation, undermine fair competition, increase threats to US national security and economic security, and support China’s systemic and egregious human rights abuses,” Rubio said in an accompanying statement in June. “We can no longer allow China’s authoritarian government to reap the rewards of American and international capital markets.”

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading Florida’s senator Rubio engages in verbal duel with MSCI over the access by China’s A shares to American institutional funds

Posted on

China investigates fintech firm 51 Credit Card for harassing borrowers in latest crackdown on peer-to-peer lending market

Chinese fintech firm 51 Credit Card is being investigated by police for employing underhand tactics to chase delinquent borrowers, showing resolve by authorities to clean up the peer-to-peer lending industry.The Hong Kong-listed company, which operates a credit card management app that matches borrowers and lenders for small loans, hired external debt collectors who pretended as government officials to threaten borrowers, police said in a statement on its Weibo social media site late Monday.The…

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading China investigates fintech firm 51 Credit Card for harassing borrowers in latest crackdown on peer-to-peer lending market

Posted on

First-home borrowers must read the fine print as the devil is in the details of Hong Kong’s relaxed mortgage entitlements

The Hong Kong government announced last Wednesday to relax the cap on the property value eligible for a mortgage loan with a maximum cover of 80 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio from HK$6 million to HK$10 million (US$1.27 million). For mortgage loans up to 90 per cent LTV ratio applicable to first-time homebuyers, the maximum property value is fixed at HK$8 million, going up from the previous HK$4 million.

The new measure is considered to be a “godsend” for first-time homebuyers. Let’s take…

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading First-home borrowers must read the fine print as the devil is in the details of Hong Kong’s relaxed mortgage entitlements

Posted on

China developers cut prices by up to 10 per cent to spur sales amid slowdown as policymakers maintain market curbs

China’s property developers are pricing their new home projects at a discount to drum up sales amid market-cooling measures, seeking to boost cash as a sliding currency raises the cost on debt repayment.Some builders are cutting as much as 10 per cent off their selling prices to boost cash flows, after latest official data showed the economy grew last quarter at the slowest pace since records began in March 1992.The economic report was followed by data showing September new home prices …

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading China developers cut prices by up to 10 per cent to spur sales amid slowdown as policymakers maintain market curbs

Posted on

Hard Rock Cafe’s CEO ponders buying a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, as he opens a US$1.5 billion casino in Florida

With a US$1.5 billion casino expansion opening Thursday in Florida, Hard Rock International may soon be turning its attention to other markets.One option may be heading to the Las Vegas Strip with a new location – once an existing Hard Rock property in the city closes next year.“Certainly on the Strip is one of the possibilities,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Allen said in an interview Monday with Bloomberg Radio’s Carol Massar and Jason Kelly. While the company isn’t looking specifically at…

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading Hard Rock Cafe’s CEO ponders buying a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, as he opens a US$1.5 billion casino in Florida

Posted on

Desperate landlords offer some of the world’s costliest office towers for a token HK$1, as Hong Kong’s protests deter businesses

Some landlords are getting desperate in attracting tenants to their offices in Hong Kong, as more than four months of civic unrest have deterred many companies – especially mainland Chinese tenants more willing to pay top dollar for marquee addresses – from expanding their businesses in the world’s costliest commercial property market.Extra sweeteners are the order of the day, real estate agents said, especially for buildings that lack the cachet of famous anchor tenants, as landlords throw in…

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading Desperate landlords offer some of the world’s costliest office towers for a token HK$1, as Hong Kong’s protests deter businesses

Posted on

China has more ‘unicorn’ start-ups than the US

China has the world’s largest number of “unicorns,” privately-held start-up firms valued at more than $1bn ($771m), according to a new report.

The country has produced 206 unicorns while the US has 203, the Hurun Institute report showed.

Together the two countries are home to 83% of the world’s unicorns.

It comes as Washington and Beijing battle a trade war and compete to become the world’s technology leader.

Chinese financial payments company Ant Financial tops the list with a valuation of $150bn, followed by technology firm Bytedance at $75bn, and ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing.

“China and the US dominate with over 80% of the world’s known unicorns, despite representing only half of the world’s GDP and a quarter of the world’s population,” said Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf.

The report comes at a time of tense relations between the world’s two largest economies.

The US and China have been embroiled in a trade battle for the past year, creating uncertainty for businesses and consumers around the world.

Their power struggle has also played out in the technology sector, with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei becoming a central part of their dispute.

Source: BBC News – China
Continue reading China has more ‘unicorn’ start-ups than the US

Posted on

The US, Britain and China are leading the retreat away from austerity. It’s time other economies, especially in Europe, followed

The global policy axis is shifting towards more monetary stimulus and not a minute too soon, judging by the slowdown in economic activity indicators in recent months. Critics say this is creating asset bubbles in the bond and equity markets, claiming the world is now hopelessly addicted to low interest rates and easy credit.Proponents will admit moral hazard, irrational exuberance and animal spirits may pose threats to global financial stability under normal circumstances, but say they could be…

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading The US, Britain and China are leading the retreat away from austerity. It’s time other economies, especially in Europe, followed

Posted on

Stocks Blog: Trump says US-China trade deal ‘coming along very well’

Good day, traders —

Well, US President Donald Trump signalled confidence that an end to the trade war with China is coming. “The deal with China’s coming along very well. They want to make a deal,” Trump told reporters Monday.

That boosted US markets, but didn’t raise early morning trading sentiment here.

We’ve got you covered on today’s major moves and news in mainland China and Hong Kong markets. 

And if you’d like the Live Stocks Blog delivered to you each morning via email, shoot Deb a…

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading Stocks Blog: Trump says US-China trade deal ‘coming along very well’

Posted on

Asia-Pacific banks must make radical changes to survive the coming slump, as late-stage economic cycle looms

Banks, particularly those in the Asia-Pacific region, must think hard about “radical” moves to reshape their businesses as the global economic cycle reaches a late stage and central banks become more dovish, according to a new report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company.Globally, only about 40 per cent of lenders are generating returns below their cost of equity, while the remaining 60 per cent are destroying value, McKinsey said. A prolonged economic downturn, with banks navigating low to…

Source: South China Morning Post
Continue reading Asia-Pacific banks must make radical changes to survive the coming slump, as late-stage economic cycle looms