China

The absence of Chinese visitors devastated Thailand, where officials say tourism accounted for a fifth of gross domestic product in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported. About a quarter of arrivals that year came from China, bringing in 40% of international tourism revenue. By the time Thailand reopened its borders in October 2021, many businesses that relied wholly on the Chinese market had collapsed. China’s strict zero-Covid policy kept its citizens from traveling abroad until rules were eased in January, raising hopes for a surge of pent-up demand.
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China's central bank said on Sunday it will roll over three lending tools to increase support for targeted sectors of the economy, Reuters reported. The People's Bank of China will roll over a lending tool for supporting carbon emission reduction to the end of 2024, and extend a relending tool for promoting the clean use of coal to the end of 2023, the bank said in a statement on its website. The central bank will also extend a relending tool for the transport and logistics sector to June 2023, it said.
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The Export-Import Bank of China has offered Sri Lanka a two-year moratorium on its debt and said it will support the country's efforts to secure a $2.9 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, according to a letter reviewed by Reuters. Regional rivals China and India are the biggest bilateral lenders to Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people that is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades.
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Built near a spewing volcano, it was the biggest infrastructure project ever in Ecuador, a concrete colossus bankrolled by Chinese cash and so important to Beijing that China’s leader, Xi Jinping, spoke at the 2016 inauguration. Today, thousands of cracks have emerged in the $2.7 billion Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant, government engineers said, raising concerns that Ecuador’s biggest source of power could break down, the Wall Street Journal reported. At the same time, the Coca River’s mountainous slopes are eroding, threatening to damage the dam.
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China’s housing market flipped from being a growth driver to an economic drag in 2022, with sales slumping, prices falling and widespread job losses. The prognosis for this year isn’t much better, compounding Beijing’s efforts to get its economy back on firmer footing, the Wall Street Journal reported. Sales of new residential properties in the country tumbled 28% last year to the equivalent of $1.7 trillion in value terms, a five-year low.
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Economists said China’s shrinking population poses a major future challenge for the world’s second-largest economy, while President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser sought Tuesday to restore investor confidence after one of the most disappointing growth rates in decades, the Wall Street Journal reported. China has already rolled back the zero-Covid policies that restrained growth for much of 2022, setting the stage for a recovery this year.
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China's Country Garden had some rare good news for the cash-squeezed property sector with an offshore debt repayment on Tuesday, but a closer look reveals just how much developers may still struggle to access capital, developers and analysts said, Reuters reported. China's largest developer by sales said it repaid its 4.75% dollar bonds with outstanding principal totalling $625 million. The payment was due on Tuesday.
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China's economy slowed sharply in the fourth quarter due to stringent COVID curbs, dragging down 2022 growth to one of its worst in nearly half a century and raising pressure on policymakers to unveil more stimulus this year, Reuters reported. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.9% in October-December from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday, slower than the third-quarter's 3.9% pace. The rate still exceeded the second quarter's 0.4% expansion and market expectations of a 1.8% gain.
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Chinese financial regulators and the nation’s biggest bad-debt management companies plan to offer as much as 160 billion yuan ($24 billion) of refinancing support to high-quality developers in the first quarter, Bloomberg News reported. Under the plan first announced on Friday with little details, the People’s Bank of China will channel 80 billion yuan of loans through China Huarong Asset Management Co. and its peers to selected developers at an annual rate of 1.75%, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
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China Evergrande Group said PwC resigned as its auditor on Monday, adding to the pressure on the developer at the epicenter of China’s property crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Evergrande’s board recommended the resignation of PwC after the two firms couldn’t “agree on the timetable and the scope of work in respect of the assessment on the group’s going concern basis,” as well as the “procedures required for the assets impairment assessment,” according to a regulatory filing. In its Jan.
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