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China Banking Regulator Warns of Rising Risks

September 2, 2013, 4:24 PM

China Banking Regulator Warns of Rising Risks

China’s banks don’t properly serve the country’s real economy, and the financial system has become so complex that risks are falling through the gaps in the regulatory system. That is now a familiar message from the cohort of bearish analysts and hedge-fund managers counting the cracks in China’s economic model. It is less familiar coming from China’s banking regulator. In a question-and-answer interview in this week’s Seeking Truth magazine, the Communist Party’s theoretical journal, China Banking Regulatory Commission Chairman Shang Fulin says the financial system’s support of the real economy “needs to be vastly improved,” and he warns of the need to “prevent regulatory arbitrage” and “reduce the risks of financial contagion.” Read more of this post

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Malone as ‘Happy’ Owner of Liberty Says He’d Look at M&A Offers

Malone as ‘Happy’ Owner of Liberty Says He’d Look at M&A Offers

John Malone, the U.S. cable magnate who built Europe’s largest cable-television operator through acquisitions, said while he would consider offers for Liberty Global Plc, he’s “happy” with the company as is. As Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) nears closing a $130 billion sale of its stake in U.S. venture Verizon Wireless, the question of how the second-biggest mobile phone company could spend the windfall has focused on its recent efforts to expand in cable. Since Vodafone agreed to buy Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (KD8) in June, speculation has shifted to whether Liberty Global will be among its next targets. Read more of this post

Indofood sank 7.7 percent after it offered to buy the remaining Minzhong stock it doesn’t already own for S$1.12 a share as compared to its last traded price of S$0.53 in an attempt to preserve value of its investments

Indonesia Stocks Drop Most in Asia After Trade Gap; Rupiah Falls

Indonesian stocks declined most in Asia and the rupiah weakened after the government unexpectedly reported the biggest trade deficit since at least 2007.

The Jakarta Composite Index fell 2.1 percent to 4,106.08 at 2:15 p.m. local time, after climbing 0.3 percent earlier. PT Indofood Sukses Makmur (INDF), the nation’s biggest instant-noodle maker, sank 7.7 percent after it offered to buy China Minzhong Food Corp. The rupiah depreciated 0.2 percent to 10,940 per dollar and one-month non-deliverable forwards on the currency declined 0.3 percent to 11,473, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Read more of this post

In an era when digital effects have made the use of small models and suited actors look quaint, tokusatsu, or “special filming,” is on the way out

September 1, 2013

Rubber-Suit Monsters Fade. Tiny Tokyos Relax.

By MARTIN FACKLER

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“Ultraman Ginga” is a rarity, made without digital graphics.

CHOFU, Japan — Daisuke Terai plays one of the best-known characters in the history of science fiction, but few fans have ever seen the actor’s face. That is because Mr. Terai puts on a bright silver and red rubber suit before stepping onto a set made of miniature trees and buildings to do battle as the cosmic superhero Ultraman. On a recent afternoon, Mr. Terai’s character was locked in mortal combat to defend the Earth from a giant extraterrestrial dinosaur with glowing eyes and forked spikes called Grand King. When the cameras paused, a sweating Mr. Terai, 36, peeled off the top of his Ultraman suit, while stagehands removed Grand King’s foam spikes to reveal a zipper down the back of the 65-pound costume. Read more of this post

Fallen SASAC chief Jiang Jiemin; Xi’s anti-graft sweep to turn focus to PLA

Fallen SASAC chief Jiang Jiemin

Staff Reporter

2013-09-02

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Jiang Jiemin. (Photo/CFP)

China’s disciplinary authorities have announced a corruption probe into Jiang Jiemin, head of the commission overseeing the country’s biggest state-owned enterprises. Until March this year, the 57-year-old Jiang was the chief of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s largest integrated energy company. Born in eastern China’s Shandong province in 1955, Jiang graduated from the University of Shandong and also underwent an in-service postgraduate course for ministerial officials and provincial heads at the CPC Central Committee party school. Read more of this post

Why the Chinese government spent $33 billion on cotton that nobody wants

Why the Chinese government spent $33 billion on cotton that nobody wants

By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros August 30, 2013

Texhong Textile Group, one of China’s biggest textile makers, has been shifting production to Vietnam, and the market loves it, reports Bloomberg—the stock is up 445% from a year ago. And that’s not because of the much-bemoaned rise of Chinese labor costs. It’s because the Chinese government is making cotton way more expensive than it should be.

Cotton stockpiling: a terrible idea

The Chinese government buys and stockpiles domestic cotton when prices fall below a set level, a policy designed to support the textile industry after the 2008 financial crisis swallowed export demand. The problem? Excess supply has made foreign cotton much cheaper than Chinese cotton. Ever conscious of dwindling profits, companies like Texhong have turned to cotton imports, which has forced the government to shell out $33 billion in the last two years to soak up the excess in domestic cotton, as Reuters reports. In 2012 alone, it stockpiled 89% of China-produced cotton (link in Chinese). The government’s price in blue, international cotton indices in red and green.Cottonchina.org

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Opinion monitoring services doing brisk business in China as online media reduced the time it takes to form public opinion from 24 hours to just one to four hours

Opinion monitoring services doing brisk business in China

Staff Reporter

2013-09-02

With online media having reduced the time it takes to form public opinion from 24 hours to just one to four hours, the business of public opinion monitoring is booming in China, the Guangzhou-based Southern Weekly newspaper reports. The monitoring of online opinions caught attention in 2007, owing to the rise of social media, which has allowed people to actively express their thoughts on political and social issues, said Shan Xuegang, deputy head of the Public Opinion Monitoring Office at the People’s Daily. Former Chinese president Hu Jintao’s taking part in an online discussion in June 2008, the first time a Chinese leader had done so with internet users, led to the Chinese media marking that year as the beginning of online political participation in the country. Read more of this post

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