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  • September 19, 2014
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  1. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    New 'two-child' rules won't trigger China baby boom

    Posted Dec 11th 2013, 04:55am by Tom Holland

    ... cent. Meanwhile, baby food company Biostime has shot up 78 per cent, putting the stock at an eye-popping valuation of 40 times last year's earnings (see the first chart). Despite all ... Tom Holland With disposable incomes just above the running costs of a middle-class urban infant, eligible couples will be deterred from enlarging families New 'two-child' rules ...

  2. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Beijing can't afford to rein in the shadow financing system

    Posted Jan 24th 2013, 12:00am by Tom Holland

    ... in the shadow financing system According to mainland media reports, Beijing has set this year's quota for new bank loans at nine trillion yuan (HK$11.11 trillion). Now, nine trillion yuan sounds ... year's new loan total of 8.2 trillion yuan was 15.8 per cent of the mainland's gross domestic product. Assuming real economic growth this year of 8 per cent and economy-wide inflation ...

  3. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    It's not heresy to expect grand projects to pay for themselves

    Posted Feb 28th 2014, 01:01am by Tom Holland

    ... that on our current trajectory, rising health and welfare spending as the population ages will plunge the city into "a structural deficit" in seven to 15 years'; time. The answer, Tsang ... of the government's stubborn insistence on segregating the 20 per cent of its total revenues derived from land premium payments and spending them only on new infrastructure projects, which Hong Kong will need ...

  4. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    To boost business, WTO must ditch 'all or nothing' approach

    Posted Dec 12th 2013, 03:12am by Tom Holland

    ... of them in East Asia, and to add US$960 billion to the world's economic output. That equals 1.3 per cent of last year's global gross domestic product; a gain that is certainly ... 19-year history its members, all 159 of them, managed to reach an agreement. After five days, and several nights, of extended negotiations in the Balinese resort of Nusa Dua, the assembled trade ...

  5. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Little evidence of reform so far from China's reformist leaders

    Posted Oct 21st 2013, 03:56am by Tom Holland

    ... a severe debt crisis in a couple of years'; time. A vigorous programme of economic reforms, including interest rate liberalisation, the deregulation of state-dominated sectors, plus land ... Tom Holland Despite weakening activity in key sectors, the new leadership team shows little desire to implement sweeping economic liberalisation Little evidence of reform so far from ...

  6. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Asia can relax; there is small chance of a US debt default

    Posted Oct 09th 2013, 12:00am by Tom Holland

    ... year's budget is relatively unimportant. It is the 15th such shutdown of recent decades. None has had a lasting effect. The prospect that Congress will fail to raise the US government's debt ... of a US debt default In these divided days, it might seem that nothing can bring the leaders of China and Japan together. But American politicians have achieved the near-impossible. ...

  7. Business - Economy - MONITOR

    Why 4 per cent annual growth will be great news for China

    Posted Oct 07th 2013, 12:00am by Tom Holland

    ... got it wrong shrug off their failure and sharpen their pencils for the next round of the game. Of course, with only one quarter of 2013 to go, predicting this year's growth rate is relatively easy. With few pointers to go on, guessing next year's is far trickier. Beyond 2014, few analysts are brave enough even to try, except by getting a ruler and extrapolating recent ...

  8. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Forecast of 30 per cent slump in home prices is about right

    Posted Oct 29th 2013, 02:31am by Tom Holland

    ... in two years'; time, Hong Kong home prices will have fallen by … 30 per cent (see the first chart). Once prices weaken, owners of investment properties will rush to take profits To be fair, ... putting further downward pressure on the market. At the same time, developers, who Louie and Qin say are now encumbered with 12 years'; worth of inventory, would have no choice but to cut ...

  9. Business - China Business - MONITOR

    Mining on the moon? That's sheer lunacy

    Posted Dec 03rd 2013, 05:45am by Tom Holland

    ... Rabbit. If the landing and the rover's deployment go as planned, the technological achievement will be considerable. Following last year's successful docking of a crewed vessel ... in the dollars of the day. In today's money that equates to around US$120 billion, or around US$20 billion for each manned landing. In total, the Apollo missions returned just under 382 kilograms ...

  10. Business - Economy - MONITOR

    What Shanghai's brand new free-trade zone won't offer

    Posted Sep 30th 2013, 12:00am by Tom Holland

    ... Shanghai's brand new free-trade zone won't offer A day after the official launch of Shanghai's new free-trade zone we know little more about the project than we did a week before. Despite the State Council's publication last week of a list of 18 business sectors that will enjoy regulatory dispensations in the new zone, the official statements released so far remain remarkably ...




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