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Economy/Resources - 216. page

China Launched Manned Spacecraft Shenzhou 7

The launch of Shenzhou 7 spacecraft serves as a milestone in the increase of China’s national power, said an editorial in the People’s Daily. China launched its third manned spacecraft on September 25, 2008 with three astronauts on board to attempt its first space walk. The People’s Daily editorial continuned that 30 years of reform have provided the guarantee for such a technologally advanced move. Shenzhou-7 blasted off on a Long March II-F carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province.

Source; Xinhua, September 26, 2008

Residential Home Purchases in Big Cities Will Hit New Low

The survey taken by the Bank of China suggested that only 13.3 percent of the residents living in the big cities intend to purchase residential homes in the next three months, the lowest since 1999.  The number is down 1.8 points from last quarter and 2.8 points from the year before. The survey also showed that deposit in a bank savings account has become the top selection for surveyed residents in terms of the financial investment in light of the recent stock market crash. The survey indicates 42.8 percent predict that the consumer price will continue to increase.

Source: Xinhua, September 23

Beijing Real Estate Market Remains Slow

Beijing’s real estate sales have significantly dropped as housing price continues to soar. Statistics show that sales were down 54 percent in August despite various promotional plans introduced by developers. Buyers are holding off the buying decision hoping prices will drop. Some experts predict that October will bring the volume of sales back up if there is a lucrative discount offered.

Source: China News, September 18, 2008

Experts Warn Foreign Investments Pulling out of China

As the financial giants Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley have started to sell out their business and real estate investments in China, experts are concerned about its impact on China’s financial order. The latest statistics released by China Bank suggest that China’s funds outstanding for foreign exchange were down 50 percent in August compared with the first seven months of 2008, which is an obvious indication that foreign investments have started to back out of China. The experts warned that the real estate downturn and the large swing on the stock market have pushed the yuan to go up. If foreign investors and companies started to cash out their investments, it will have immeasurable impact on China’s financial order.

Source: Wenweipo, September 21,2008

Infant Formula in U.S. in High Demand to be Mailed to Mainland China

Following the tainted formula scandal in China, stores in New York’s Chinatown area saw a sharp increase in formula sales. Some of the stores were completely sold out. Most of the customers are immigrants who have sent it to babies back in their hometown in China. Those parents rushed to the stores right away and bought one to two years worth of supplies to be mailed back to China. Some customers were asked by friends and families from mainland China to buy formula for them.

Online formula sales also jumped. Chinese websites in New York City area received a number of postings from the parents in China who were seeking channels to buy infant formula from the US.

Source: Ming Pao, September 18, 2008

Exposure to Lehman Brothers of Chinese Banks Reaching $331 Million

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Bank of China have total exposure to failed U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers of $151.8 million and $75.62 million respectively, the official Xinhua news agency said on September 17, 2008.  Exposure of both banks accounts for 0.01 percent of their respective total assets.  The exposure consists of Lehman-related bonds and loans, said Xinhua.

Sources in Shanghai indicate the exposure of other major banks.  Industrial Bank has exposure of $33.60 million and China Merchant Bank has exposure of $70 million. Construction Bank is still in the process of assessing possible losses and no figures have been released.  Communications Bank has limited exposure, according to sources from the bank.

Source: Xinhua, September 17 and 18, 2008