Home' A Plus Magazine : November 2013 Contents 12 November 2013
Putin hopes bilateral trade
can exceed US$100 billion
Russia hopes proposed large scale joint ven-
tures with China such as oil and gas, a devel-
opment bank and space exploration projects
will help boost bilateral trade by 15 percent
next year, President Vladimir Putin said last
month. The Russian leader, addressing the
APEC Summit in Bali, said trade is poised to
leap from the current US$87.5 billion to at
least US$100 billion.
Beijing agrees to shorten
list of trade exemptions
The Chinese government has agreed to negoti-
ate on trade tariffs affecting information tech-
nology products, it was reported last month.
Beijing had previously said that it wanted
more than 100 items exempted from a list of
260 products that the World Trade Organiza-
tion had said should be tariff-free.
Poverty alleviation funds
to be strengthened: report
The State Council, China’s cabinet, vowed
last month to strengthen management and
governance of poverty-relief funds. The funds
have existed as a safety net for the poor and
have helped poverty reduction in the country.
However, recent audits have found irregulari-
ties such as falsified eligibility information and
weak supervision, Xinhua reported, quoting
the minutes of a State Council meeting.
New loans extended by
four biggest banks rise
China’s four largest state-owned banks extend-
ed 276 billion yuan of new loans in September,
official media reported last month. The sum
marks the third-largest monthly amount issued
so far this year by the banks, Shanghai Securi-
ties News reported.
Casino mogul signs deal
to aim movies at Mainland
Australian casino owner James Packer has
signed a deal to invest more than A$475 mil-
lion to produce 75 films with Warner Brothers
designed for Chinese audiences, Sydney me-
dia reported last month.
A Chinese company has asked regulators in the United States to reinstate its
securities registration, which was revoked last year after an accounting fraud
In an appeal hearing before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a
lawyer for Shanghai-based China-Biotics, which manufactures probiotics, urged
the panel to reverse a February 2012 decision by an SEC administrative law
judge that upheld a 2011 enforcement action.
“China-Biotics has retained a new auditor, has filed all of its missing reports,
and is now fully up to date in its filings,” Jerome Fortinsky, a partner with the
Shearman & Sterling law firm in New York, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
However, Paul Gillis, professor of accounting practice at Peking Univer-
sity’s Guanghua School of Management, wrote on his accounting blog that the
company should not be allowed to relist and described the company as one of the
“poster children for accounting frauds in China” and its behaviour as “audacious.”
In 2011, BDO resigned as auditor of China-Biotics after allegations of ac-
counting fraud that included a complaint that the company had directed the
audit firm to a fake website in a bid to confirm fictitious bank balances.
Deregistered Chinese company
asks U.S. regulator to let it relist
Financial secretary backs
debate on listing changes
Alibaba prompts call for governance discussions
John Tsang, Hong Kong’s financial secretary, has backed calls for consultations
on changing the stock exchange’s listing rules after a Chinese electronic com-
merce company abandoned its proposed initial public offering.
Alibaba considered listing in New York rather than Hong Kong after the stock
exchange refused to allow an ownership structure that would have permitted
Jack Ma, the company ’s founder, and other top executives to nominate a majority
of board directors.
Tsang said the Securities and Futures Commission and the exchange should
canvass market participants about changing the rules. “It would be a good thing
to hear from everyone, what their views are, because this has been a subject of
discussion,” Tsang told the Financial Times.
Both the New York Stock Exchange and rival Nasdaq said they would approve
Alibaba’s proposed structure. However, Jonathan Lu, Alibaba’s chief executive,
told the South China Morning Post that the company had postponed its plans to list.
Charles Li, the chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, said he
wanted a debate over alternative governance structures such as those the Alibaba
executives sought, saying that technology companies constituted a special case.
“By the time they consider a public listing, the founders’ shareholding may
have been diluted from rounds and rounds of financing,” Li wrote on his blog on
24 October. “ Therefore, they have a legitimate fear of being removed from the
board at the whim of a short-term activist outside investor.”
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