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MNI China Press Digest Dec 5: Covid, Infrastructure, Mortgages

MNI (Singapore)
MNI (Beijing)

MNI summarises the key stories from the Chinese press.

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The following lists highlights from Chinese press reports on Monday:

  • Major cities including Shanghai and Hangzhou have relaxed travel restrictions by removing the requirement for a negative Covid test result to take public transportation, Yicai.com reported. Shandong province also removed the testing requirement to enter outdoor public places such as parks and scenic spots. Some cities have allowed residents to purchase Covid related medicines without a test result and personal information registration, Yicai reported. More than ten major cities have loosened controls to varying extents.
  • Infrastructure spending will be a key driver in stabilising GDP growth in 2023, with special purpose bonds remaining an important financing facility to support an “active fiscal policy”, according to the Shanghai Securities News. The newspaper estimates special bond issuance for 2023 will be between 3-4 trillion yuan, similar to this year's amount, based on the advanced approval quota for new special bonds released recently by the authorities. Citing experts, 2022 will see a 12% y/y increase in infrastructure spending, which will add 1.2 percentage points to GDP growth this year. The bonds have typically been used to fund industrial park infrastructure, affordable housing projects, and to develop local banks. Local governments are currently reviewing applications for next year's projects.
  • Major commercial banks in Guangzhou city, including China Construction Bank and Bank of China, are offering a grace period on repayments on house mortgages up to six months to homeowners affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, National Business Daily reported. Homeowners should provide an unemployment certificate or a proof that income has been reduced due to the Covid lockdown. After the grace period expires, the delayed payment needs to be repaid at one time or apportioned to future monthly payments, so not to affect a borrower's personal credit record, the newspaper said.
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The following lists highlights from Chinese press reports on Monday:

  • Major cities including Shanghai and Hangzhou have relaxed travel restrictions by removing the requirement for a negative Covid test result to take public transportation, Yicai.com reported. Shandong province also removed the testing requirement to enter outdoor public places such as parks and scenic spots. Some cities have allowed residents to purchase Covid related medicines without a test result and personal information registration, Yicai reported. More than ten major cities have loosened controls to varying extents.
  • Infrastructure spending will be a key driver in stabilising GDP growth in 2023, with special purpose bonds remaining an important financing facility to support an “active fiscal policy”, according to the Shanghai Securities News. The newspaper estimates special bond issuance for 2023 will be between 3-4 trillion yuan, similar to this year's amount, based on the advanced approval quota for new special bonds released recently by the authorities. Citing experts, 2022 will see a 12% y/y increase in infrastructure spending, which will add 1.2 percentage points to GDP growth this year. The bonds have typically been used to fund industrial park infrastructure, affordable housing projects, and to develop local banks. Local governments are currently reviewing applications for next year's projects.
  • Major commercial banks in Guangzhou city, including China Construction Bank and Bank of China, are offering a grace period on repayments on house mortgages up to six months to homeowners affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, National Business Daily reported. Homeowners should provide an unemployment certificate or a proof that income has been reduced due to the Covid lockdown. After the grace period expires, the delayed payment needs to be repaid at one time or apportioned to future monthly payments, so not to affect a borrower's personal credit record, the newspaper said.