Saturday, May 28, 2005

Currency_FOREX's strategy, buy more and sell less

Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
There is always a successful business tricky in the rice sale in the old China: Before the rice price is about to go up, the rice salesmen will sell less, or even none, to its customers. The shop will make money of course, and also avoid the certain tricky customers to make a quick money.

The same thing happens to China's currency at this time. Many customers has tried to buy more RMB, or yuan, assuming that the price, or the value of the "rice", will go up quickly. So the regulator, one who decides yuan's value, tries to limit the selling amount of the "rice".

The State Administration for Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has tighted rules governing certain types of trade-related foreign currencies inflows to the nation yesterday(in Chinese). From June 1st, or next Wednesday, four categories of overseas remittances exceeding US$200,000 must present further proof that they are trade-related, before they are exchanged to yuan. The types include export advance payments, entrepot forex earnings, or other categories where the bank cannot verify the trade background.

The action is explained as a way for the government to balance the enlarged gap in the exchange of local currency and foreign ones, reported China Daily.

Five days before the annoucement of the regulation, the SAFE loosened the regulation on the amount of buying foreign currencies for Chinese companies. Individual provinces are allowed to invest overseas 5 billion US dollars from 3 billion, while the actual amount exceeded the 5 billion could be allowed through permission.

The report also said Chinese companies have already invested about 5.1 billion US dollars in more than 1000 overseas project till 2004.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Media_New York Time to cut jobs

NYtimes will cut 190 jobs from its flagship newspaper and publishing companies, reported Could I say that newspaper are now falling into the hard times?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Opinion_Google visits Xinhua

The largest search engine in the world visited the largest propoganda news agency in China, what will happen? Google will advertise its service, or Xinhua will advertise its content?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

US will be naked after cutting off garment supplies from China??

Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
One hundred years ago, when China was still governed by Tsing emporors, a story on the newspaper has already talked about the future of the textile production.

"The variety of the exporting places will decide the success of the textiles in China". said the story, written on the editorial column named "attachment". The "exporting" they referred to is not between the countries, but between the cities and provinces among China at that time, because the word "globalization" hasn't been that popular then.

After one hundred years, the national has already made the textile flow freely in the border. Then the overseas exporting has replaced as the factor to boost the industry. But Chinese government couldn't decide it solely as the other countries such as EU and U.S. are resisting the cheap and high-quality textile product to disrupt their nation's market.

The thing is if the trend for Chinese textile, or garments, to supply western consumers will be stopped by tariff and political disputes. In yesterday's unlinkable South China Morning Post, Jake Van der Kamp, a well-known columnist gave the statistics that China garments exports in 2004 reached the amount of US$68 billion, while all the other manufactures, including Malaysia and Thailand, are under US$6.8 billion, 10 percent of China's amounts. (The two southeastern nations are referred as the countries replacing China as the textiles providers if China revaluate the yuan, said Alan T. Greenspan, the Chairman of United States Federal Reserve. ) Mr Jake van der Kamp argued that US will be naked if it cut China off as a garment supplier.

I sent a letter to him to show my respectation of his wisdom and his understanding to what is really happening.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

IFC shift its fashion investing from banking

Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
International Finance Corporation, the investing unit of the world bank, will shift its investment focus to insurers, securities firm and rural finance companies from the commercial lenders, reported Bloomberg.

The reported said IFC is trying to replicate the experience in the banks to other segments in the financial sectors, quoted Karin Finkelston, International Finance's associate director for East Asia and the Pacific.

The action could be explained as a way for the World bank unit to shift to other financial segments before foreign banks are allowed to open local-currency business in China at the end of 2006. It has already spent $150 million buying stakes in five domestic Chinese commercial banks in the past four years, including Bank of Beijing, Bank of Shanghai, Nanjing Commercial Bank, Xian Commercial Bank and Fujian Industrial Bank. Four of the total are based on the eastern China, the most prosperous places in the country. The stakes IFC hold in the banks range from 5 percent to 15 percent.

IFC's enthusiasm in the local lenders in the past years have provided comforts to the other foreign investors. Common wealth Bank of Australia, the largest home lender in China, has bought stakes in Shandong-based Jinan City Commercial Bank and Zhejiang-Based Hangzhou Bank in last september and this April. ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial services company, also bought a 19.9 percent of Bank of Beijing for $215 million.

Most banks invested by IFC and other banks are equipped with less bad loan and better management system. IFC may hard to find any other good ones to invest before the shifting decision.

At the end of April, IFC planned to buy 5 percent of Changjing BNP Paribas Peregrine Securities Co., a Chinese investment bank one-third owned by France's second-biggest bank, which partly showed its interest in investing the potential investment banking industry in China.

Bank_Another high-level manager left Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley lost another high-level official yesterday, worsing the struggle for the company to retain the talents.

Mr McGuire, who had been co-head of global mergers and acquisitions since the autumn of 2003, announced his intention to resign internally yesterday, reported U.K,-based Financial Times.

Mr McGuire will move to Citigroup to head the unit of investment banking, after working on an $800m deal - Unilever's disposal of its fragrance unit to Coty in Morgan Stanley.

It is usual for the investment bankers to move around in this season, but now it seems a bit sensitive for Morgan Stanley to suffer from this.

Opinion_Amy, back from a short holiday

Amy went crossborder last weekend to enjoy a short holiday. It is the first time in almost one year to go back to China, sensing everything not changed that much. But so much has changed in Amy's experience. What Amy wonder now is the place I should go in the future.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Bank_Morgan Stanley began to limit bad stories

Morgan Stanley, the struggling investment bank suffering from dissidents and law suit, has told newspapers that its advertising decision could be affected by overly negative coverage on their pages, reported UK-based Independent.

If that's the case, not sure if big media such as Wall Street Journal and New York Times could handle that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bank_Morgan Stanley suffered from Perelman's suit

Morgan Stanley was hit with a daunting legal blow yesterday as Florida jury awarded $604 million in damages to the financier Ronald O. Perelman, who contended the investement bank defrauded him in a 1998 deal, reported New York Times.

The verdict gave a blog to the bank who are still struggling to overcome a punishing campaign to unseat its President, Philip J. Purcell.

Purcell, who is now attending the 2005 Forbes Forum in Beijing, will be bothered by the failure of the suit, especially the damages of more than 600 million, which far exceeded what the company prepared for the suit.

Will Vice Premier Huang ju, who met Mr. Purcell yesterday, comfort him on that?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Media_blog of Far Eastern Economic Review

Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
In case you are still fond of FEER, you may have a look at its blog. Updated from Danwei, Amy is pretty amazing to see FEER's development on new media. Set up in April 7th, the blog is not that interesting to read. To tell the truth, it is too short to provide the in-depth writing style as the old Review did before. Amy's blog could do the same job as it did, but come on, Amy should be less competent than the whole FEER's editorial.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Opinion_is China too generous?

Taiwan students studying in the mainland colleges will enjoy the same tuition as the mainland students as soon as possible, and central government will subsidize them on the tuition and scholarship, said the official in the CCP central government office for Taiwan affairs, reported

Personally I envy those TW students. As a mainland student in Hong Kong, I couldn't never enjoy a cent from Hong Kong government. Also, I have to pay the tuition 30 per cent more than my local classmates do. Hong Kong government will always subsidize the local students to study in the city and other nations, too. Then I wonder why mainland and Hong Kong economic closer partnership agreement, or in short CEPA, didn't mention any words about the reduce of mainland students' tuition. I once joked with my professors that I am almost like a foreigner studying in Hong Kong.

I don't blame Hong Kong government, but only wonder if someone is too generous.

Media_what reporters should be responsible for?

fell down in the rain
Originally uploaded by bigkoala.
This photo, shooting when people are falling down to a big water buddle in the rain, has ignited hot discussions on the Internet in China. The core is if the photographing reporter should shoot the photo, instead of warning people to avoid the buddle.

Taken by a newspaper in Fujian Province, the photo was forwarded by the official Xinhua news agency and big online media such as Sina specially made a column today on whether that photographer should take that photo, based on the point that reporters should put job requirement or social responsibility at the first place.

It is a debate not only on the reporter's role, but also on the journalism's role in China. With the economic reform, people pay more and more attention to each individual in the society. They consider everyone's safety should be cared in the media, the reason why people pitied the guy who fell down in the picture.

From the theory of western journalism, it is right for reporters to take the photo to fulfill their responsibilities to tell the world what happened. They should be the audience who honestly record everything. But in China, I would like to say, reporters are also the group to speak for the people who couldn't speak and to help them. So the question here is: should the reporter try to help one people or many people? Unfortunately, that one people will have to suffer first if reporters want to help more people by telling the story to the public.

There is no right or wrong, just a conflict of different opinion towards the development of journalism in China.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Telecom_how to report rumor

My business journalism professor told me that the rule in the stockmarket is "buy the rumor, sell the truth". So rumors are always an interesting area for reporters to cover, while it requires high skills to avoid libel.

I found a rumor on yesterday's unlinkable South China Morning Post. The story said Huawei and ZTE, both of which high-tech companies with big profit in selling telecom equipments, would be the potential buyer of Marconi Corp, a UK-based company serving equipments to giant telecom carriers.

The story is safe in saying they are potential buyers, because it is always safe to say one company is another company's potential buyers instead of just buyers. Not only Huawei and ZTE, but also other companies in the world such as Cisco, Nortel and Mortorola could also have the potential to buy Marconi. Come on, it is news and we deserve to know something new, not the unchangable theory. Unfortunately, I couldn't see any evidence to prove it is news except for a guy from Access Asia saying there is chance. BTW, I don't even know from the story what's the company Access Asia meaning or doing. Months ago, when Huawei signed a contract with Marconi to be the strategic partners, the rumor already existed because Marconi are already in a loss at that time.

All the new stuffs in the story is China. It is another Chinese-buying story that may get people's attention like Lenovo buying IBM's personal computer division. But China couldn't be reported without evidence.

BTW, the story is written by a veteran foreign reporter of SCMP and I really appreciate many story he wrote before. I have already sent a letter to him to show my enquiry. Will update his response soon.

It is a pity to see the translated story has been published as one of the top stories on today, with the headline saying "according to foreign media". Come on, Chinese colleagues, foreign media is not always right, and you have the eyes and pens to investigate yourselves.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Media_Could CEO involve in the blogs?

USA today gave an interesting perspective on why CEO refuse to get tangled up in blogs.

--"Some large companies, including Boeing, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems, are letting senior executives blog, but not a single blogger is known to be a Fortune 1000 chairman and/or CEO."

--"But despite all of the power and sway that awaits an early adopter, it's going to take a brave CEO with thick skin to enter the blogosphere."

I think the reasons are rather simple: First, CEOs are too busy; Second, they are not allowed to speak due to the rules regulating the voice of management of listed companies.

But how about if they could make good use of blogs to do a good PR job?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Google's new patent on news ranking

Google Inc. has applied for U.S. and international patents on technology to rank stories on its news site based on the quality of the news source, reported Reuters.

But sorry, Google, I personally suspect the quality of Google News, though it is based on the 4,500 news sources. I think it is too crowed sometimes without any focus. Also, it is not in a uniform style, which would add burden on my reading habit. As a journalism student, I may be a little academic. But I don't think the success of searching could be equal with the success of providing news to readers.

If I want to search something, I am doing my job. But if I read news, I want to comfortably read something, without a lot of burden. In a word, I want to pay for someone who could serve me with the most essential news in the world, without finding myself.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Banking_How much money HSBC prepare to buy Chinese companies?

HSBC said today that it will pay US$1.1 billion to double its stake in Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. the second-largest insurer in the nation. Its share will reach 19.9 percent, the maximum permitted under Chinese law, reported Bloomberg.

The bank also had plans to buy another 4 percent stake in the near-future IPO of Bank of Communications, the fifth-largest bank in China. The stake will cost almost US$400 million, making HSBC's shares reach 24%.

Amy is confused that how HSBC have so much money in buying shares. Isn't that suggesting the bank's dividends to the shareholders will be less in the near future, because most of th money are spent to buy stakes?

Media_Blog to reform themselves?

Big media not only reports blog as something must-reported new, but also asks blog to reform. Here is Adam Cohen wrote in the editorial observer of NYtimes:

"As blogs grow in readers and influence, bloggers should realize that if they want to reform the American media, that is going to have to include reforming themselves."

Sorry, Mr Cohen, I would like to say that blog is still a start-up that may not need to reform at this time. It attracts people just because it fills a gap left by traditional media, or so-called MSM(mainstream media). If one day people don't like it, then it is the right time to reform.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Opinion_Do people remember the same day in the history?

May 4th, is a day for Chinese youths to remember, just as May 1st was to the labors.

In the same day of 1919, over 3000 students of Peking University and other schools gathered together in front of Tiananmen Square asked for the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution. The demonstrations then expanded to more than 20 provinces and over 100 cities in the nationa, reported Wikipedia. It is called "May Fourth Movement".

In the movement, students asked for the study of two Mr.s, one is Mr De( meaning Democracy) and the other is Mr Sai(meaning Science) to help China developing into a stronger country. After that, Peking University then was famous as the leader in this new cultural movement.

I am still young, in some extent, but I am so ashameful that I almost forgot this important day in China's history. Part of the reason is the day is now included in the long 7-day labor holiday in China. And part of the reason is I may miss two Mr.s.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Politics_why China's first lady didn't appear to meet Lien?

Liu Yongqing, the wife of President Hu, didn't appear official during Lien Chan and his wife's visit to Beijing, though she just came back together with Hu in the visit to Southeastern Asia the last day. As "the first lady" in China, she is supposed to meet the high officials such as presidents in other countries in case the visitor's wife comes togother with his husband. But not this time. Instead, Wu Yi, the only woman vice premier in mainland China, greeted Lien's wife and the other women visitors from Taiwan. To say is precisely, it is my speculation that Liu's disapperance shows Hu's caution in dealing with Lien's visit, though the official media highly praised the visit as a historial incidence.

I talked with a mainland friend who visited Hong Kong these says about KMT's Lien's visit to mainland China.

-"Why President Hu treated Lien at a level as high as the one other presidents enjoyed in other countries, though Lien'a party didn't have real power now?" Friend asked

Amy didn't have a precise answer. It might because CCP has to respect KMT's once domination in China. But if one day, Chen Shui-bian came to visit mainland, how CCP deal with him? higher level than Lien Chan or lower, or even equal?

But I strongly believe first lady liu will appear at that time to greet President Chen's wife.