Friday, December 31, 2010

More Interest Rate Hikes against Inflation in 2011

What a Christmas gift!

On 25 December 2010, the Chinese central bank, People's Bank of China (PBoC), decided to raise domestic interest rates by 0.25% against inflation. It perfectly matches with our expectation stated in our article No More loose Monetary Policy.
Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry X'mas and Happy New Year

We, Mr China, wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Although this greeting
Friday, December 17, 2010

Real Deposit Rate Exceeded -2%

On 11 December 2010, China reported that CPI in November continued to climb up rapidly to +5.1% YoY.

As expected, this time inflation was not only driven by soaring food prices and has spread over much broader categories like residence, household facilities, healthcare etc.

It might be something that Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, is happen to see as China has started to export inflation to the world. He might also want the Chinese central bank to raise interest rates immediately, so as to extend difference in interest rates between RMB and USD, attract additional hot money inflows to China, and therefore achieve a more rapid renminbi (RMB) appreciation.

However, quite unexpected to the market, the Chinese central bank did not raise interest rates but only increased again the reserve ratio on bank deposits by 0.5% to 18.5% just one day prior to this latest CPI announcement. It is already the 6th increase this year in reserve requirement ratio to mop up excess liquidity in the monetary system but, it still leaves the problem of negative real deposit rate unresolved.

Actually the China real benchmark 1-year deposit rate has exceeded our warning level of -2% (now it is 2.5% - 5.1% = -2.6%).

The question is: why the Chinese central bank still not to raise interest rates?

The official answer is the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) predicts that CPI had peaked in November and will fall to less than +5% YoY in December because of the recent government administrative measures.

This lowers our original expectation that the Chinese central bank will raise interest rates in the short term.

While the market is still hot in debating on the next inflation trend, we choose to stay calm and think about the prediction of NDRC this time.

Remember Chinese officials also predicted in October that CPI might had already peaked at +3.6% YoY in September, price pressures will ease later this year and so their annual CPI target of +3% might still meet. It is obviously not true.

Nevertheless, we cannot assume Chinese officials are making wrong predictions all the time.

In fact, quite a number of new administrative tightening measures to prevent price hikes, such as cracking down on hoarding and speculation, have just started in late November. For this reason, CPI in November definitely cannot tell the degree of effectiveness of the latest government measures.

Due to this technical problem, we may at least have to wait until December CPI to see any representable data, no matter NDRC is correct or not.

In order to protect the interest of all our readers, even we will have to adjust our 2011 CPI target, we cannot do it purely by guess and without knowing the data representing the impact of the government administrative measures.

We hope you can understand, as a responsible site, we can never set our target in this way and we believe this data insufficiency is also a reason why the Chinese central bank did not raise interest rates immediately. Avoid additional hot money inflows to China is apparently another reason.

In any case, it appears that poor people in China will need to stand a bit longer time for the excessive negative real deposit rate.
Friday, December 10, 2010

No More loose Monetary Policy

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, chaired by President Hu Jintao on 3 December 2010, decided that it will switch its monetary policy stance from moderately loose to become prudent next year to curb the rising inflation and also to maintain economic growth at sustainable pace.

However, China will still continue its proactive fiscal policy in the year 2011.

In order to increase the focus, flexibility and effectiveness of macroeconomic regulating policy in 2011, China has to set two goals: keeping economic growth and also curbing the drastic increase in inflationary pressure.

Keeping economic growth needs a policy of fiscal expansion while fighting inflation needs a tighter monetary policy. The existing economic situation in China requires a combination of the two.

The Chinese Political Bureau also stated that more measures will be in place to ensure sufficient market supplies, to stabilize prices level and to regulate market order in next year.

The Chinese central bank, which is under high political pressure due to recent criticisms for the delayed action on raising interest rates until 19 October 2010, fear that the so-called QE2 (Quantitative Easing) will really become "kill me too".

In fact, the Chinese central bank already raised the reserve requirement ratio for banks twice to 18% later in November, indicating its concern about rising inflation expectation as liquidity from abroad grows.

On 17 November 2010, the China premier Wen Jiabao also further confirmed the direction of harsh administrative tightening measures, including temporary price controls when necessary, and has cracked down on hoarding and speculation to prevent price hikes.

Although these actions mostly addressed worries stated earlier in our inflation warning, China inflation remains a risk as the real benchmark 1-year deposit rate is approaching our warning level of -2% (now it is 2.5% - 4.4% = -1.9%).

Deposit level has started to fall because Chinese savers see the value of their holdings eroded. This encourages them to look for better places to put their money and, as long as the trend of negative real deposit rate continues to extend, it will eventually fuel asset-price bubbles forming.

As the chance of real deposit rate to exceed -2% remains high in the near future, we therefore still expect Chinese Central Bank to raise interest rates soon, hopefully before the end of 2010.

Last but not least, we also decide that stocks of utilities, electricity and coals will not be our picks in 2011 owing to the risk in government price controls.
Saturday, December 4, 2010

Special Stamp Duty signals the End of High-land-price Policy in HK

Starting from 20 November 2010, the Hong Kong Government has started charging an extra Special Stamp Duty (SSD) up to 15% for individual who resales any local property flat within a 2-year period.

This extraordinary measure is cooling down the Hong Kong property market as the short-team investment demands are now greatly reduced. The Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang, in his remarks, said that the SSD is to reduce the risk of asset bubbles forming and to fight against the hot money impact of the US quantitative easing monetary policy.

The question is: why it happened, and why so suddenly?

The official answer is the Hong Kong Government has data showed that more and more speculators extended their target in recent months from luxury flats to cheaper flats, including starter flats for first-time buyers.

That was true but, we believe there had another important factor that initiated this policy change announced on 19 November 2010. Just 5 days prior to the announcement, China premier Wen Jiabao told Macau officials that high housing price is a major concern that affecting the livelihood of the population.

There is no reason that the same concern is not applicable to the neighborhood of Macau: Hong Kong, where its high-land-price policy obviously violated what the premier had said on 14 November 2010.

This explained why the Hong Kong property policy was changed so suddenly. Before that, the Hong Kong Government even criticized any extra stamp duty would be unfair to those who have genuine needs to sell their properties within the specified period of time, would cause additional hardship to those in financial difficulties, and would also amount to double taxation for those already subject to profits tax.

This latest policy did have a real and immediate impact on the market. The number of transactions in the secondary property market dropped 80% the first weekend after the SSD announcement.

We, Mr China, therefore decide that Hong Kong property-related stocks will not be our pick, at least in the year 2011. Quantitatively, we expect an average of -5% stock price correction for the property sector in 2011.

To ensure the healthy and sustainable development of the Hong Kong property market, however, Mr China is a supporter of this latest policy which can help reducing the risk of asset bubbles, protecting the Hong Kong banking system and thus reducing the possible risk of it ever needing a taxpayer-funded bailout.

We expect the latest policy will continue to reduce liquidity in the property market and will probably slow the surge in property prices, but should not cause a sharp correction (not likely more than 15% of course), as we see limited impact on the fundamental supply/demand conditions (actually both the supply and demand will decrease).

In reality, we do expect there will be an increased supply in rental market because the SSD encourages speculators to hold properties for over a 2-year period.

In the long term, the Hong Kong Government will have to guarantee an adequate supply of land and also to provide sufficient non-luxury starter flats for first-time buyers since the private market has only concentrated on supplying luxury flats in recent years.


In case you want to know more about the latest policy, here are the details (Source: Hong Kong Government):

An extra Special Stamp Duty (SSD) has been introduced, on top of the current property transaction stamp duty, for properties acquired on or after 20 November 2010 and resold within 2 years, as follows:

  • 15% if the property is resold within 6 months;
  • 10% if the property is resold after 6 months but within 1 year;
  • 5% if the property is resold after 1 year but within 2 years.

  • The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) also issued on the same day a set of new guidelines to banks requiring them to further strengthen their risk management standards for mortgage lending business by adopting the following measures:

    (i) for residential properties valued at HKD$12 million or above, the maximum Loan to Value Ratio (LTV) for mortgage loans should be lowered from 60% to 50%;

    (ii) for residential properties valued at or above HKD$8 million and below HKD$12 million, the maximum LTV ratio should be lowered from 70% to 60%, but the maximum loan amount should be capped at HKD$6 million;

    (iii) for residential properties valued below HKD$8 million, the maximum LTV ratio should be maintained at 70%, but the maximum loan amount should be capped at HKD$4.8 million; and

    (iv) for all non-owner-occupied residential properties, all properties held by companies and all industrial/commercial properties, the maximum LTV ratio should be lowered to 50%, regardless of property values.
    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Advertise with Mr China

    This article introduces how we can advertise with you through our website. It also contains a FREE download section for advertising with our E-Book(s) and Toolbar Software.

    If you have any investment/financial related
    Thursday, November 25, 2010


    At this moment our site contents are free to read but if you do want to thank, sponsor or show support to us at this stage, please kindly take a moment to make a secure donation today.

    We do accept
    Friday, November 19, 2010

    2011 Trade Balance Target

    We, Mr China, release our own China global trade balance target as USD$192.1 billion in the year
    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Inflation Warning

    We, Mr China, issue our first inflation warning for China in this site.

    On 3 Nov 2010, the US Federal Reserve decided to print an additional USD$600 billion dollars by mid 2011 against the possible risks of slow economic recovery, continued unemployment, and also domestic deflation.

    Together with the US Federal Reserve's previous decision to re-invest principal from current holdings of agency debt as well as agency Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) since 10 August 2010 by restarting purchase of the longer-term government bonds that originally intended to avoid the upward pressure on longer-term interest rates which might result if those holdings were allowed to decline, this so-called QE2 (Second Round of Quantitative Easing) package will print up to a total amount of USD$900 billion dollars and will eventually increase the inflation pressure to a warning level here in China.

    According to the US Federal Reserve, since the decision on 10 August 2010 to begin re-investing principal from such current holdings, asset purchases were concentrated on US government bonds with maturities of 2 to 10 years, though some shorter-term or longer-term securities were also purchased along with some Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS).

    While asset purchases would continue to be concentrated on US government bonds with remaining maturities between 2 and 10 years, newly purchased government bonds would be expected to have a duration of 5 to 6 years on average. The additional USD$600 billion asset purchase of longer-term government bonds by the end of the second quarter of 2011 would be processed at a pace of around USD$75 billion per month in order to avoid disruptions in normal market functioning.

    In fact, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, already gave hopes for additional rescue to the market earlier on 21 July 2010 by starting to describe US economic outlook as "unusually uncertain".

    Since then, the market already expected that there would be some kinds of easing policy to be released by the Fed, and just not sure about the amount of money it would involve. Now the QE2 policy has come out, and it seems there are even more questions remain unanswered.

    The main uncertainties are, of course, that whether the QE2 can really boost the US economic recovery, improve the employment market situation and also get rid of the possible deflation. In a broader view outside the US, people are also wondering how serious the QE2 will impact the rest of the world, especially for the emerging markets that have inflationary pressure already reached or going to reach their warning levels.

    We believe, however, the key of success for QE2 is whether US can find ways to effectively keep hot money inside its own country.

    Japan is a good real example - money kept flowing out through carry trade and therefore failed to create domestic inflation expectation.

    We trust that, unavoidably, hot money will continue to flow into emerging markets including China.

    Our existing China CPI target of +3.5% in 2011 basically assumed that the Chinese Central Bank would quickly react to the impact of this QE2. If the action of the Chinese Central Bank is not quick enough, certainly we will have to lift up our 2011 CPI target.

    That is why we have to issue this urgent inflation warning.

    Related article(s):
    2011 CPI target
    2011 GDP target
    Setting our own targets
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    About us

    Who is Mr China?

    We are a Chinese economy expert team formed by a group of volunteers.

    We provide, in particular, an independent commentary on China financial markets in both Shanghai and Hong Kong.
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    2011 CPI Target

    We, Mr China, release our own China CPI (Consumer Price Index) target as +3.5% in the year 2011.

    Our independent
    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    2011 GDP Target

    We, Mr China, release our own China GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate target as +8% in the year 2011. This is our first

    Setting our Own targets

    We, Mr China, determine to set targets of various major China market indicators on our own.

    The reason behind that is
    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Our Goals

    Our site is written to help people around the world to primarily understand more about the real Chinese economy.

    We also intend to implement a FREE Content
    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Privacy Policy

    Mr China formally releases its privacy policy today. This Privacy Policy shall apply to all websites,
    Thursday, October 7, 2010


    Mr China formally releases its disclaimer statement today.

    We, as a responsible site owner, understand that we have to do so before starting to provide any investment related information or opinions in our site.

    Here are the details of our disclaimer statement (with risk disclosure):

    Any information, projections, commentaries or opinions provided by Mr China are not guaranteed, are for reference only, are subject to change without notice, and are not to be construed as investment advice or any offer to invest. At no time Mr China makes specific recommendations or solicitations for any specific person or company, and at no time may a reader, caller or viewer be justified in inferring that any such advice is intended. No responsibility (including legal responsibility) or liability is accepted for any direct, special, indirect, consequential, incidental damage or any loss of any kind arising from any use of or reliance on any information, projections, commentaries or opinions provided by Mr China.

    Investors must make their own assessment of the relevance, accuracy, reliability, suitability, availability and adequacy of such information, projections, commentaries or opinions purely at their own risks. Investment involves risk. Investors should note that the value of investments can go down as well as up or even become valueless, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance, and future accuracy and profit can never be guaranteed.

    In particular, the risk of loss in any leveraged margin trading can be substantially high. You may suffer losses in far excess of your initial margin deposit. Placing any contingent orders, just like stop-loss or stop-limit orders, may not necessarily limit losses to your intended accounts because market conditions may make it impossible to execute any such orders. You may then be called upon at a very short notice to deposit additional cash margin or interest payments in order to cover losses in your account. If the necessary cash margin or interest payments are not provided quick enough within the prescribed time, your position may be automatically liquidated and you will be fully liable for any resulting deficit as well as interest charged on your account.

    Investors should also consider their own investment objectives, financial position and overall affordability, as well as avoid excessive investment (in terms of its proportion in the overall investment portfolio) in any single or similar type of investment, in order to prevent the investment portfolio from being over-exposed to any particular investment risk.

    Mr China does not purport to identify all the risks that may be involved in the securities or investments referred to, and makes no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness, fairness, reliability or sufficiency of information provided, or offer any endorsement for it. Please ask your broker or your own investment advisor to explain all risks to you before making any trading and investing decisions.

    From time to time we may, however, own short or long positions in securities, futures, bonds or any other assets relating to companies or governments on which we comment or indirectly mention. This is something unavoidable, somehow we have to put our money somewhere.

    We may also earn revenue based upon your visit to our website or your visit to other website(s) from ours, just as a magazine or newspaper which may also earn from advertising, compensation or many other methods.

    Though we only focus on showing you with advertisements for quality products or services, owing to the nature of the automated advertising and all other possible reasons, Mr China cannot always guarantee that only reliable products or services are advertised with us. Therefore Mr China basically cannot endorse or represent the accuracy or reliability of any advertisement in our website. We also cannot represent or endorse the quality of any products, any services, any information, or all other materials purchased, obtained, subscribed or downloaded by you as connected with any such advertisement. As Mr China is an entity independent from those product or service providers, please always be reminded to do your own due diligence and use your own judgment to check these products or services carefully before purchasing or using.

    While we assure to make every effort to keep our website running smoothly but since it is hosted by Google Blogger and not directly by us, we take no responsibility for the website services being temporarily or completely unavailable due to sudden or prolonged technical issues.

    Please note that this disclaimer statement (with risk disclosure) is applicable to any information, projections, commentaries or opinions provided by Mr China.

    The disclaimer statement will be updated whenever necessary and please always be reminded to visit this page to see the latest update version.

    We hope the above risk disclosure and disclaimer statement is helpful for all of you, as you may also realize that successful investment or wealth management requires a life-long learning process and is never an easy task, especially for a place like China which you may not be familiar with. In any case, your own due diligence, common sense and critical thinking should always be the most critical elements for your own financial success.

    Go back to Mr China's home page to read more recent articles about Chinese economy.
    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Big Day

    Today is a Big day for Mr China.

    We announce that our website, Mr China blog (in Chinese:

    Popular Articles in this Week (Top 10)

    Not What You Want?

    Try More Search in Our Website Here...