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     BEIJING (MNI) - The following are highlights from the China press for
Thursday, Nov. 23:
     A top official of the China Banking Regulatory Commission has highlighted
the risks posed by the accumulation of debt by local governments, the Financial
News, a newspaper of the People's Bank of China, reported Wednesday on its
website. The official, Yu Xuejun, who heads the commission's regulatory board
for key state-owned enterprises, told a forum in Beijing on Wednesday that the
continued swelling of the debt was a lingering problem that could frustrate
efforts to prevent financial risks. Increased local government debt also makes
it difficult for financial institutions to manage liquidity conditions, Yu said.
China's entire financial system needs to be more market-based and
internationalized to enhance efficiency, Yu argued, and regulators need to
clarify their supervision goals and actions so that coordination is better and
all the risks in the financial sector are addressed. (Financial News)
     A deputy governor of the People's Bank of China has said that China needs
to deepen reforms in the financial technology, or fintech, sector and further
integrate finance and technology, the Financial News reported Wednesday on its
website. The central banker, Fan Yifei, told a conference Wednesday in Wuhan
that the PBOC values the development of fintech and that it would continue to
facilitate innovation and reform in the sector. He noted that some problems
persist in the development of the sector, such as small tech companies'
difficulty in obtaining financing, the inability to address risks well and the
lack of improvement in infrastructure. To tackle the risks, the government needs
to guide, coordinate and support fintech companies, with an assessment program
to regulate companies' activities, Fan said. (Financial News)
     The government has prohibited the establishing of any new financial
technology company providing payday loans and prohibited payday loan services
across provinces, districts or cities, the Financial News reported Thursday,
confirming speculation that a document with the rules had been issued Tuesday.
The newspaper cited an unidentified official as saying that under the tighter
policies, increases in payday loans will drop significantly. Existing activity
in the sector is also being curtailed, the person said, as local governments
have started examining the risks of fintech companies involved in payday loans.
The People's Bank of China and the China Banking Regulatory Commission planned
to meet Thursday morning and ask local financial regulators to report on payday
loan businesses, the newspaper said. (Financial News)
     The Ministry of Finance has said it will issue CNY7 billion in
renminbi-denominated treasuries on Monday in Hong Kong, the Economic Information
Daily reported Thursday. After CNY7 billion in renminbi-denominated treasuries
were issued in the Hong Kong market on June 22, the total for the year will be
CNY14 billion. The treasuries are aimed at institutional investors, foreign
central banks and monetary management regulators, the newspaper said. (Economic
Information Daily)
     The land market is cooling down, though the scale of transactions is still
large, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Thursday. The slowing is
reflected in a reduced premium rate for land prices, fewer bids and less
frequent breaking of the maximum price set by the government. The cool-down is
mainly in high-tier cities: at auction Nov. 3, one patch of land in Beijing
failed to sell, the first failure in almost two years, and two parcels failed to
sell in Guangzhou. The premium rate is about 19% in Tier 1 cities this year, 48
percentage points lower than the rate of nearly 67% in 2016. Property developers
are increasingly acquiring land in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities because it is easier
for them to recoup their investment. Experts say land sales in those cities will
not slow down anytime soon, especially cities near larger hotspot cities, unless
strict regulation is put in place. (21st Century Business Herald)
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: iris.ouyang@marketnews.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: rich.dirks@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$A$$$,M$Q$$$,MBQ$$$]