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China Press Digest: Friday, August 25

     BEIJING (MNI) - The following are highlights from the China press for
Friday, August 25:
     China and Saudi Arabia will create a joint US$20 billion fund to invest in
infrastructure, energy, mining and materials, the South China Morning Post
reported Friday, citing Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. Al-Falih said the
two countries plan to sign 11 deals worth about US$20 billion this week. Saudi
Arabia is considering contributing some parts of the fund in yuan, Mohammed
Al-Tuwaijri, the country's vice-minister of economy and planning said. The fund
would come as Saudi is trying to regain its spot as the biggest oil supplier to
China, its biggest trading partner, after Russia took over the top spot last
year. Analysts said Saudi is eager to cooperate with China due to China's
surging economic influence and the U.S. soft power failure in some countries.
Both China and Saudi are also hoping to get more economic influence in the
world, according to the newspaper. (South China Morning Post)
     Most of the 59 property developers listed as A shares which have already
released their first half-year results stressed they would invest in expanding
China's rental housing market followed government prompting to expand rental
housing supply, the Shanghai Securities Journal said in a front-page report
Friday. The development of the rental housing market and active participation of
listed property companies will further curtail the rise of housing prices and
help the property market to reach a balanced and healthy development status, the
newspaper quoted experts as saying. Currently, larger property companies tend to
have higher profit growth due to stronger sales, the newspaper noted. "Larger
sales scale means lower financing costs and higher efficiency in land
acquisition," the newspaper said. (Shanghai Securities Journal)
     Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday one of the ministry's
next most important tasks will be improving checks of the authenticity of
outbound investments, according to China Securities Journal Friday. The ministry
will create a "negative list" of prohibited investment sectors to guide Chinese
companies' outbound investment and will conduct random inspections of their
overseas investments. (China Securities Journal)
     China's financial risks are more complicated than ever, Yu Xuejun, chairman
of the supervisory board for key state-owned financial institutions under the
China Banking Regulatory Commission, said Thursday at the 2017 China Banking
Development Forum, the China Securities Journal reported Friday. Yu said China's
credit continues to surge, financial institution's balance sheets are expanding
rapidly and their business structures are undergoing major changes. He also
noted financial regulators are lagging behind financial innovation and rapid
changes in financial institutions, adding it's becoming more difficult to manage
and regulate China's macro-economy. (China Securities Journal)
     A report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on the Chinese
government's balance sheet shows China's total assets can fully cover its total
liabilities and still have room for flexibility, the Economic Information Daily,
a newspaper under the Xinhua News Agency, said in a front-page report Friday.
From 2010 to 2015, the ratio of Chinese government's net asset to GDP was above
80% on average, with a fluctuation range of CNY40 trillion to CNY60 trillion,
the newspaper said, citing the CASS report which was released on Thursday. Chen
Hanwen, an accounting professor at the University of International Business and
Economics, said the data show China has the capability to manage financial risks
and refute speculation that China's economy is at risk of collapse. The CASS
report, however, cautions about the risk of accumulated debt. (Economic
Information Daily)
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: iris.ouyang@marketnews.com
--MNI BEIJING Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: john.carter@mni-news.com
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