Tue, Jul 10, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUSTRALIA

Chinese investment dives

Chinese investment in the country’s commercial property has plummeted to the lowest level in six years as Chinese capital controls bite. Direct investment fell 81 percent to A$250 million (US$187 million) in the first half of the year from a year earlier, property brokerage CBRE Group Inc said in a report yesterday. “If these restrictions continue, we expect Chinese investment into Australia to record its lowest year since 2012,” CBRE associate director of capital markets and forecasting Ben Martin-Henry said. The capital controls are having a “meaningful impact” globally, he said. Chinese spending on commercial property in the country is down from a A$2 billion high in 2015, when capital from Asia’s biggest economy accounted for 43 percent of all foreign investments, CBRE said.

CHINA

FX holdings remain steady

The country’s foreign-currency (FX) holdings held steady last month, with a slight month-on-month increase, as the yuan slumped and the nation came closer to the trade war that has now begun with the US. Reserves last month rose US$1.51 billion to US$3.112 trillion, the People’s Bank of China said yesterday. That was more than the US$3.102 trillion estimate in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. The increase came as the yuan suffered its worst quarter since 1994, as China and the US neared the imposition of tariffs on at least US$34 billion of each other’s goods. Further declines in the yuan might stoke concern over capital flight, prompting the central bank to use reserves to defend the currency.

UNITED KINGDOM

E-car infrastructure boosted

The country is to boost investment in electric-car infrastructure, including a £400 million (US$531 million) fund for companies that produce and install charging points. New street lighting also would be required to have charging points in areas with on-street parking and a £40 million program would be introduced to test low-cost wireless charging technology, among other measures unveiled yesterday by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. The proposals are part of the government’s push to end the sale of new cars and vans fueled by gasoline and diesel by 2040. “The prize is not just a cleaner and healthier environment, but a UK economy fit for the future and the chance to win a substantial slice of a market estimated to be worth up to £7.6 trillion by 2050,” Grayling is to say in a speech to mark the government’s “Road to Zero” strategy.

UNITED KINGDOM

Brexit hits financial services

The country’s financial services industry is battling a drop in foreign investment, while some of its EU counterparts enjoy big gains, according to a new study that displays the starkest indication yet of Brexit’s impact on the sector. Investment in the country’s financial services firms from abroad last year fell 26 percent, EY Financial Services said in a report yesterday. During the same period, Germany experienced a 64 percent increase, while the figure for France more than doubled. London remains the most attractive EU city for investment in financial services, but the gap with Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin is narrowing, EY said. With talks between the UK and EU stalled since March, banks are rushing to establish new trading hubs elsewhere in the region. EU regulators have made it clear that they expect banks to establish full-scale, standalone operations inside the union staffed by significant numbers of front and back-office staff, as well as senior employees, as soon as possible.

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