Financial Services Talking Points | 15/05/2018

In Today’s Talking Points: China Continues Opening Up of Financial Services Sector; China’s April Economic Data Shows a Mixed Bag as Industry Holds Up; Trump’s Reprieve for ZTE Opens the Next Round of US-China Trade Talks

China Continues Opening Up of Financial Services Sector

Following on from the announcement on April 11th of new measures to further open up China’s financial services sector to foreign investment, the People’s Bank of China has set a clear timetable for achieving the reform. The PBOC also published an announcement last month encouraging foreign-invested companies to apply for third-party payment services license.  It is expected that many foreign players will consider expanding their investment into China’s foreign services sector in the near future.

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China’s April Economic Data Shows a Mixed Bag as Industry Holds Up

China’s economic growth has held up to it’s strong previous growth numbers with industrial production exceeding forecasts through April, although slowing investment numbers signals a moderation in the upcoming months. The new figures are the first since the lunar new year, which effects comparison numbers in the first three months of the year due to widespread shutdowns. The released data confirms predictions that the economy is in a cyclical slowdown and facing risks stemming from tensions with the U.S and the governments ongoing pursuit to curb excessive debt. Investment in property developments expanded 10.3% from the same period a year ago, a key indicator of performance. Further to this, despite ongoing tensions over a trade war with the U.S, there are no concrete signs of an impact on exports or confidence yet. Instead, economists are pointing to domestic factors as the reason for the investment slowdown, including new regulations. All-in-all, China’s economy is still performing strongly.

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Trump’s Reprieve for ZTE Opens the Next Round of US-China Trade Talks

Donald Trump’s announcement of a reprieve on the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, who earlier this month were crippled by US sanctions after they were accused of violating US sanctions has paved the way for a new round of US-China trade talks which aim to quell the ongoing threat of a trade war between the two countries. Chinese vice-premier Liu He is in Washington this week for negotiations with US officials, his departure coinciding with Trump’s announcement of the removal of crippling sanctions on ZTE after a personal request from President Xi. The vice-premier will meet a delegation led by Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary aiming to hash out details and a potential trade agreement to stop the potential trade war.

Read more on Financial Times