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Eurasian Business Briefing China

Australia rebuffs China over Silk Road

Li Keqiang and Turnbull Australia 230317China is expected to suffer a rare setback in its drive to develop its $4trn One Belt One Road global trading, transport and logistics network this week during Premier Li Keqian’s visit to Canberra, with an unnamed Australian officials predicting that Australia will rejected Beijing’s request for its $3.8bn Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility infrastructure fund to be formally aligned with the New Silk Road strategy . The rebuff comes amid concerns that such a move could damage relations with the US at a time when Australia is pressing Washington to bolster its presence in the region and taking a tougher line on inward investment from China.
S Kidman & Co cattle farmLast year, the Canberra government blocked two potential Chinese acquisitions – bids in excess of $7.6bn for the Ausgrid electricity company due to be submitted by the State Grid Corporation and the Hong-Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure company; and attempts by a Chinese consortium to purchase the S Kidman & Co cattle farm that stretches across more than 1% of Australia’s land mass.
The debate over whether Australia should align its state infrastructure fund with One Belt One Road follows on from Canberra’s hesitation over joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). In 2014, Australia initially decided not to join following lobbying by the US and Japan, but eventually relented after the UK and several other western nations broke ranks and signed up.

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Alibaba to open ‘e-hub’ in Malaysia

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group CEO is on track to open an ‘e-hub’ close to Kuala Lumpur International Airport as part of the company’s plan to establish an electronic world trade platform, its CEO Daniel Zhang said today. The facility in the KLIA Aeropolis zone would (more…)

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China set to leap up wine buying table

Chinese wine tasterChina is set to become the world’s second biggest wine market by 2020 when sales of still and sparkling wine are expected to reach $21bn, with the value of retail sales growing by 39.8% over the next three years, according to the CEO of the VINEXPO wine and spirit exhibition Guillaume Deglise. 
China is already (more…)

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Saudi Aramco to woo Chinese with IPO

Saudi Aramco compound DahranSaudi Aramco has asked JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley to help with what, at $100bn, is expected to be the world’s biggest IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal, while HSBC has emerged as the leading contender for a role among a list of five banks that could provide a pipeline to Chinese investors. (more…)
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EU investigates Chinese plans for Belgrade to Budapest rail link

Belgrade to Piraeus rail linkChina’s plans to build a 350km, $2.89m high-speed railway between Belgrade and Budapest are under investigation by the authorities in Brussels on the grounds that they may fall foul of EU laws which stipulate that transport projects of this magnitude should be put out to public tender.
An MoU (more…)

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China puts faith in development zones to attract investors

Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA)China is to carry on promoting its development zones as a means of attracting foreign investment and promoting international cooperation, the State Council announced yesterday, as it seeks to counter the effects of President Donald Trump’s attempts to boost domestic production and employment by discouraging US companies from locating their plants and factories abroad.
International companies running their operations within the zones will be allowed (more…)

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Chinese real estate investment hits record high – with more to come

Strategic Hotels ChicagoChinese investment in overseas commercial and residential property investment hit a record high of US $33bn in 2016, a year-on-year increase of nearly 53% percent year-on-year, according to the latest data compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), with the highlights of last year’s activity being (more…)

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Swelling AIIB membership set to add to Beijing’s international influence

About 25 African, European and South American countries are set to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) its President Jin Liqun said on Monday, in another indication that President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could help reinforce China’s dominance in the field of international trade and development. Ireland, Canada, Ethiopia and (more…)

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Russia overtakes KSA as No. 1 Chinese oil supplier and tops investment charts

Transneft oil containersHaving overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier over the course of 2016, Russia has got off to a cracking start to 2017and has more inflows of foreign portfolio money than any other global emerging market fund so far this year.
According to data released yesterday (more…)

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China corners fintech investment as Beijing ups funding towards $200bn

Eric Jing CEO Ant Financial Services Group (Alibaba)Fintech investment: As much as half of all today’s investment in financial technology ends up in China, a senior Alibaba executive told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, days before the Chinese government announced that it was to pump a further $14.6bn into an investment fund designed to provide financial assistance to technology companies as it seeks to create a digital economy. This latest intervention (more…)

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Barking welcomes first direct Silk Road freight train from China to London

Chinese dragon greets china-london freight train 180117A crowd of politicians, journalists and local residents – some dressed up as Chinese dragons – turned up at the Barking Intermodal Terminal in east London yesterday to welcome and watch as the the first ever freight train to come direct from China to the UK arrived, carrying approximately £4m worth of socks, cloth, bags, and household goods.
Yiwu Factory making SantasPulled (more…)

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IMF upgrades China forecast – but downgrades India for demonitisation

Chinese metal workersChina’s economy will grow by 6.5% over the course of 2017, the IMF predicted yesterday, 0.3% more than previously forecast, on the expectation that the authorities in Beijing will continue to implement measures aimed at stimulating growth; but it nevertheless warned (more…)

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Malaysia looks to Strait of Malacca for slice of Maritime Silk Route action

Ships in Strait of MalaccaThe Malaysian government is looking for investors to back its plans to develop a giant new deep-sea port and industrial city at Carey Island, some 70km south west of Kuala Lumpur on the Strait of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest shipping channel – and one which is central to China’s ambitions to develop the Maritime Silk Route Economic Belt.
The port itself (more…)

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China blows competition away with $360bn plan for renewable energy

Wind farms ChinaChina is planning to plough nearly $360bn into renewable energy generation by the end of the decade and expects 25% of its electricity needs to be met from wind power by 2030 – and is also investing heavily overseas in an attempt to position itself as the leading force in the global renewables market. 
Over the past week, (more…)

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London joins New Silk Road

Silk Road TrainNew Silk Road: London is set to become the latest and 15th European city to feel the impact of Chinese plans to create a 21st-century equivalent of the ancient Silk Road trade route later this month after the China Railway Corporation announced that it had launched the first direct rail freight service to the UK’s capital from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province. Carrying (more…)

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Beijing looks to stem Chinese capital flight and encourage FDI

Chinese Commerce Minister Gao HuchengChinese capital flight: The Chinese government is getting ready to curb its private sector’s appetite for overseas mergers and acquisitions and to encourage inward investment by sharply reducing restrictions on foreign investment access in 2017 to make it easier for overseas firms to spend their cash in the People’s Republic, according to a blog posted on the Ministry of Commerce’s website earlier this month. The government would “promote the healthy and orderly development of outbound investment and cooperation in 2017, ” Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng is quoted as saying. (more…)

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Sinopec considers IPO for retail arm

Sinopec petrol stationThe state-run China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), was this week reported to have dusted off plans for an IPO of its gas-station and convenience-store retail business. According to unnamed sources, Sinopec, which is itself listed in Hong Kong and also trades on the Shanghai and New York stock exchanges, has asked banks to submit proposals by this month for roles to manage a potential Hong Kong listing of Sinopec Marketing Coin in 2017. (more…)

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Alibaba to open data centres in Dubai and Germany in battle for Cloud

Alibaba CloudChinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has chosen Vodafone Germany as the first European partner for its Cloud operations and is to open its first data centre at the telecoms company’s premises in Frankfurt, it announced yesterday, as it gears up (more…)

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Wang unveils plans for another Wanda City as battle with Disney heats up

Wanda CityWanda City: Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group yesterday unveiled plans for its second multi-billion-dollar development project in a week, underlining its ambitions to topple the Walt Disney Company as the world’s largest tourism company by the end of the decade. The Beijing-based conglomerate (more…)

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First convoy arrives in Gwadar down China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif at CPEC inauguration Gwadar 13-11-16China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Pakistani’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weeding joined other senior officials from both countries this week at the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar to watch as the first containers full of Chinese goods arrived for loading onto two ships – also Chinese – for export by way of the nascent China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The trade convoy (more…)

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