China's third plenum

Lack of one-child-policy reform detail in plenum communiqué disappoints

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 November, 2013, 4:33am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 November, 2015, 4:11pm

A relaxation of the one-child policy. Reform of the hukou household registration system. Curbs on soaring property prices. All were widely expected to get a mention in the communiqué issued after the Communist Party plenum ended, but it mentioned none of them.

Some analysts say such expectations may have been misplaced to begin with.

The property market is watched by investors as fast-rising prices have triggered social discontent. There was speculation before the plenum that policies including a property tax would be introduced to cool the sector.

However, the property market was barely mentioned in the communiqué.

"The communiqué stressed the decisive role of the market in the economy. Thus, I believe this indirectly explains that new property policies will follow - namely, market-based regulations. The administrative measures adopted previously to cool the market will be phased out gradually," said Fan Wei, fixed-income analyst at Hongyuan Securities.

Zuo Xiaolei, adviser to the president of Galaxy Securities, said the mention of property reforms in the communiqué was the wishful thinking of certain vested interests. "There was no need to mention this specifically in the communiqué," she said.

The monopolies enjoyed by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have long been a source of public discontent. There have been calls for the reform of the sector. Despite that, the communiqué made no mention of breaking up SOE monopolies. Instead, it reiterated that the state-owned sector would continue to dominate the economy and "improve and perfect the modern enterprise system".

Also expected were reforms of the hukou, or household registration system, and the one-child policy.

"Any concrete statements on these two sectors would help trigger a surge on China's stock markets," said Hu Xingdou , an economics professor at Beijing Institute of Technology, adding that investors needed to wait a few more days for more detailed documents.

"It will be much clearer when the authority releases the full document on reform measures."