Rabu, 25 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Business

China cabinet report sees 2013 growth at 7.6%

Posted: 25 Dec 2013 06:15 PM PST

SHANGHAI: China's economic growth is likely to come in at 7.6% this year, according to a cabinet report cited by the official Xinhua news agency, just above the government's target of 7.5% and slightly below last year's 7.7%.

Xu Shaoshi, head of China's top economic planning body, told lawmakers in a briefing on the report uncertainties remain in the global economic recovery, and the international market has failed to produce strong demand, Xinhua said late on Wednesday.

Domestically, higher labour and environmental costs for enterprises pose challenges, he added.

"We cannot deny a downward pressure on economic growth," Xinhua quoted Xu as saying. Xu is head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The forecast is in line with analysts' predictions of around 7.6-7.7% in 2013, but still puts China's growth near the weakest pace since the Asian 1997-98 financial crisis.

Stability rather than fast growth remains the watchword as President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang seek to push through sweeping plans to restructure China's economy so it is driven by consumption and services rather than exports and investment.

Economic data for November showed sustained momentum from a mid-year pick-up into the final quarter, indicating the economy was on track to reach this year's official growth target.

Sources at top government think tanks told Reuters this week that for 2014, China will likely use the same 7.5% growth target it set for this year.

The cabinet report also said that China will further enhance interest-rate flexibility and coordination on using various policies, including for fiscal, monetary, industrial, land use and environmental ones, Xinhua said.

The government will carefully deal with the issue of local government debt while ensuring reasonable needs for liquidity, the report said.

Official figures for fourth-quarter and 2013 gross domestic product will be announced next month – Reuters. 

KLCI reverses losses, select blue chips lift

Posted: 25 Dec 2013 06:56 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI picked up its pace and inched up at midmorning on Thursday backed by gains in select blue chips, mirroring the firmer Asian markets.

At 10.45am, the KLCI was up 1.39 points to 1,836.88. Turnover was 275.53 million valued at RM178.16mil. There were 244 gainers, 206 decliners and 250 counters unchanged.

HwangDBS Vickers Research said only Thailand, Japan and Taiwan were opened for business on Dec 25.

"And all three posted gains of 0.4%, 0.8% and 0.2% respectively on Christmas Day.

"Meanwhile, key US bellwethers on Wall Street extended their record highs (up by between 0.2% and 0.4%) on Christmas Eve," it said.

The research house said the buoyant external backdrop could lift sentiment on the Malaysian bourse when trading resumes. 

"On the chart, its benchmark FBM KLCI may climb towards the immediate resistance level of 1,840 ahead. Sharing our optimism is the futures market, with the FBM KLCI spot month contract having reversed from a slight 0.9-point discount on Monday to a 4.0-point premium currently," it said.

Against a quiet market backdrop, HwangDBS said the following stocks will likely come under focus today: (a) Hibiscus, whose shares will be re-quoted after announcing that it would be identifying new drilling locations to explore for oil wells in Oman; and (b) TA Enterprise, as its major shareholder Tiah Thee Kian bought more shares in the company in Dec (totaling 1m shares so far at an average cost of RM0.766 per share).

At Bursa Malaysia, PetDag rose 20 sen to RM30.60 and Public Bank eight sen to RM18.90.

BLD Plantations rose nine sen to RM8.99.

Consumer stocks were mixed with Nestle up 36 sen to RM68.70 but BAT fell 80 sen to RM63.20.

PetGas fell 24 sen to RM23.56 and HLBank 12 sen to RM14.28.

China seven-day repo opens lower at 5.32% as liquidity improves

Posted: 25 Dec 2013 06:45 PM PST

SHANGHAI: China's benchmark money market rate, the seven-day bond repurchase rate, opened at 5.32% on Thursday, down from Wednesday's close of 5.5%.

Interest rates in China's interbank market spiked to their highest level since June on Friday, due in part to seasonal factors that increase banks' demand for cash near the end of each quarter.

But money market rates began falling from those peaks partly because corporate tax refunds deposited to commercial banks helped ease liquidity conditions, traders said.

The Ministry of Finance typically hands back large portions of tax refunds to companies around the end of the year. Those payments are transferred to commercial banks in the name of fiscal deposits – Reuters.

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