China’s Dalian Wanda buys Australian cinema chain Hoyts

Wanda Cinema Line Corp, a unit of China’s leading property developer Dalian Wanda Group, said it would buy Australian cinema chain Hoyts Group, a purchase that underscores its parent’s ambitions to become a global entertainment company.

Wanda Cinema, in a regulatory filing on Tuesday, did not disclose how much it would pay for Hoyts.

In December, Chinese businessman Sun Xishuang, a major shareholder in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co and a friend of Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin, bought Hoyts from private equity fund Pacific Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Hoyts operates some 450 cinema screens in Australia. Wanda Cinema currently operates China’s biggest theatre chain, with over 150 motion-picture houses in more than 80 cities.

China Daily

China to dominate Asia’s growth in wine imports

Asia, particularly China, is set to dominate global wine consumption and import growth this decade, according to a new study.

Research from the University of Adelaide’s Wine Economics Research Centre shows that China’s wine consumption could grow could grow by 60 per cent over the next few years, with demand set to outstrip supply by 2018

The Australian Business Review

China stimulus buoys Australian dollar

The People’s Bank of China’s decision to help stimulate the world’s second largest economy by cutting the amount of cash the country’s banks need to hold has helped the Australian dollar briefly match a one-month high.

“This clearly signals that China has entered into an aggressive monetary easing cycle, to counter the economic slowdown and the rising deflation risk. This surprising move suggests the authorities are frustrated by the stubbornly high real interest rates facing the Chinese enterprises, especially those SMEs,” ANZ Greater China chief economist, Mr Liu said.

The Sydney Morning Herald Business Day

Plan launched to test compulsory school system

A plan that will enable the country to evaluate the compulsory education system for the first time was launched on Wednesday, with experts saying it will assist in policymaking and promote quality education across the country. The plan, drawn up by the State Council’s Education Supervision and Guidance Committee, is designed to test the academic performance and physical and mental health of junior middle school and primary school students. It will also examine factors that affect their performance and health.

“It will only be used to help make better education policy and help schools improve the quality of the education they provide, so it will not add to the workload of students or the pressure on the schools,” said He Xiuchao, director of the Ministry of Education’s Supervision and Guidance Office.

By Zhao Xinying (China Daily)

Chinese brands given new overseas safeguards

New measures were unveiled on Thursday aimed at ensuring the quality of Chinese products sold overseas. The document calls for efforts to further help Chinese companies to invest and operate overseas and to expand product marketing. It also seeks strengthened negotiations and communications on IPR protection, a key issue for Western countries concerned about counterfeit goods.

Li backs firms’ global vision

China is to pilot the removal of preconditioned government approval for offshore corporate bonds, part of a national arrangement to lower the financing cost of enterprises expanding overseas.The move, along with the government’s efforts to speed up the growth of China-funded financial institutions and introduce more long-term export credit insurance, will make it easier for Chinese companies to get credit by mortgaging overseas assets, help them manage risks and hence facilitate the export of excess but advanced industrial capacity to countries in need of upgrading.

Zhao Zhenhua, an economist at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said the initiative to expand overseas is in line with the Belt and Road Initiative, and it can stabilize growth as the country further opens up.Zhao said he expects a detailed plan to help mitigate the excess capacity and boost overseas investment.

China daily

Chinese ‘golden ticket’ millions eye Australian mining assets

Chinese “golden ticket” visa money is looking for a home in Australian mining assets, with local private firms sounding out advisers on copper and gold assets to on-sell to visa hopefuls, often at a hefty premium.

Sell side advisers told Fairfax Media that they have been fielding approaches from private domestic companies on West Australian assets priced around $2 million, and the firms are initially opaque on funding details.

After some probing by advisers, it has come out that the firms’ plan to immediately on-sell the assets to Chinese millionaires, usually at a nice mark-up to satisfy Australia’s $5 million significant investment visa threshold.

The significant investor visa program – introduced in 2012 – provides residency visas to Chinese and other millionaires if they invest $5 million in one of three classes of approved assets in Australia.

The Australian Financial Review

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Australian dollar still too high, but getting closer to RBA’s target

The Australian dollar got a small boost after Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Phillip Lowe said the currency is getting low enough to help support economic growth, giving an indication of the levels the central bank wants the Aussie to trade at.

Asked for his target for the Australian dollar, Mr Lowe at a conference on Thursday said he suspected the currency – which has slid 16 per cent against the US dollar in the past six months – was still too high but that it was also “much, much closer” to where it needed to be to support growth.

“Global developments have left us with a higher exchange rate and lower interest rates than would otherwise have been the case,” Mr Lowe said. “We may not like this configuration, but developments abroad give us little choice.”

The Australian Financial Review