All posts by anthony@greaterbayinsight.com

Shenzhen opens new ‘rent control’ housing

Shenzhen’s Housing and Construction Bureau opened applications online this week for 248 sets of renovated apartments in Tanglang City Plaza. These are not just any kind of apartments, however: their rents are set at a monthly baseline averaging RMB110 per sqm (slightly adjustable for bigger units and higher floors), which is significantly below the market average of RMB139.6 per sqm in the surrounding Nanshan district, home to many of the city’s tech companies.

Moreover, here’s the kicker: rents in these units will be controlled. Annual fluctuations will not exceed 5%, up or down. Successful applicants can take leases of 1-3 years, which can be renewed, but for a maximum total of five years.

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Brazil seeks Macau’s ‘advice’ on resorts

Is Brazil about to open up to casinos? The idea was raised in a more than casual way at a forum being held in Macau this week.

As reported by Macau Daily Times, Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, Brazil’s Minister of Tourism, asked for feedback at the Global Tourism Economy Forum on his country’s plans to invite investors to open resorts and theme parks. In response, MGM China’s chairperson, Pansy Ho, said that from a gaming operator’s perspective, Brazil has all the basic requirements to open an integrated resort industry.

Ho, who is one of the chief organizers of the conference, made the comments during a press conference on Tuesday. According to Ho, Brazil should be able to develop similar types of integrated resorts to those built in Macau.

“I’m quite sure there will be some of the existing gaming operators that would be clearly interested [in investing],” she said.

That is possibly the understatement of the year. Although a staunchly Catholic country like, er, the Philippines, Brazil would be lucrative for Macau’s casinos, who are currently having to wait around for what seems like forever while Japan figures out what it wants them to do.

Read more details on MDT.

Guangzhou commercial market stabilizes

Guangzhou’s commercial property market picked up in Q3 as supply eased and transactions rose, latest data quoted by local media show. Apartments and shops were strong, while offices were still hampered by oversupply.

Apartment transactions rose 40% YoY, while those for shops were up a whopping 70%. Office transactions, however, fell 20% YoY, although Q3 was a sequential improvement over Q2 (+20%).

Broken down by month, September showed an acceleration, especially in offices. Fewer office buildings have been coming onto the market in recent months, while apartments and shops continue to surge. In September, only 49,000 sqm of new office space was released.

Read more.

Macau, Zhuhai to set up GBA tourism institute

Macau and Zhuhai are to jointly establish a new Greater Bay Area tourism-focused institute, based in Zhuhai.

According to a report by Xinhua, the new institute will be jointly managed by Macau’s Institute of Tourism (known by its Portuguese acronym, IFT), the Zhuhai Cultural Broadcasting and Sports Bureau, and the Zhuguang Group, a major state-owned enterprise with a presence in both cities. The three parties signed a cooperative framework agreement yesterday.

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Yantian Port plans ‘Ice and Snow’ project

Shenzhen’s eastern port of Yantian is undergoing a major upgrade in the coming few years that will see a new industrial district spring up around it. It will include logistics and industrial parks showcasing innovative ideas, with some combining trade and tourism.

Much like the old shipping neighborhoods in western cities that turned themselves into food and tourism attractions, such as Chelsea Market in New York, the new development plan for Yantian envisages building facilities that can be both practical for industrial use and attract visitors who will splash out for an authentic experience.

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New railway connects Meizhou to GBA

The Greater Bay Area is not just a collection of nine cities and two Special Administrative Regions. It is also a springboard to a much larger hinterland in Guangdong province, and beyond.

This hinterland is shrinking – in distance – as new high-speed railways open. The latest example is the opening of the Meizhou-Shantou High-speed Railway, which is being described is the “wing insertion” necessary for the take-off of the eastern side of Guangdong.

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GBA Briefs: 14/10/2019

Baoan full-speed 5G: Shenzhen’s Baoan district, which includes the international airport and the new Shenzhen World expo center, will have its major facilities covered by 5G before the end of this year, with full coverage by August 2020, Shenzhen Daily reports. The district is currently at 41% coverage, and will build 3,684 5G base stations this year, covering the airport, expo center and Metro lines.

Guangfo Line 2020: The much-anticipated Guangzhou-Foshan Intercity Railway, known as the Guangfo Line, will open in March 2020. This will connect six stations in Foshan with the Guangzhou South hub, effectively bringing all of Foshan’s key towns within easy reach from Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Read more.

Dongguan ferries to Macau: Dongguan’s Humen district now runs ferries directly to the Taipa Ferry Terminal in Macau, which serves the major casinos in Cotai. The journey takes 100 minutes and there are four sailings daily. See

India flights: Guangzhou will soon begin a direct flight to the Indian city of Kolkata. Read more.

Macau pushes for Nasdaq-style offshore RMB market

The central government is giving serious consideration to a formal proposal submitted by Macau to establish a new kind of stock exchange in the Special Administrative Region. Traded in the offshore Renminbi, stocks listed on this exchange would be heavily weighted toward technology companies, much like the Nasdaq board in New York, and the recently established STAR Market in Shanghai.

It looks like this new market is part of a broader move within the region, if not the rest of country, to embrace diverse means of raising equity for Chinese companies. At the same time, Guangdong is looking into establishing a market like Shanghai’s STAR Market, in Guangzhou. And it has also applied formally to establish a Commodity Futures Exchange, like the Chicago equivalent, in Guangzhou’s Nansha district.

Could this be the start of a major push to get more Guangdong-based companies into the hands of equity investors? It certainly seems so, and there is huge upside room to move on this: just 1.8% of Guangdong’s 45,000 National-Level technology firms are publicly listed. Moreover, the person who revealed the details is just the kind of official to make this clear – and public.

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Shenzhen to build 1.7 million flats

Shenzhen’s government has released a formal notice of its intention to reform the city’s housing market, which will see 1.7 million new homes built over the remainder of the GBA masterplan ending in 2035.

According to local media, Shenzhen will bring this supply onto the market in a phased, manner, balancing the need for government guidance and market participation. At its core, it seems there is only one red line: the supply of land will ensure a strict 40:60 ratio is maintained between public and commercial housing. Public housing will include apartments set aside for “talent”, as well as subsidized ownership and rentals.

In short, Shenzhen is going to be more like Singapore and nothing like Hong Kong.

The “Interim Provisions”, which have been released for public comment – no, really, they have – clarify that the government will “comprehensively guide” the supply of various types of housing land, yet will mainly undertake the task of renting public housing land. In order to “mobilize the enthusiasm of market participants” and adhere to the basic principle of “benefit sharing,” market entities (developers) will be responsible for building public housing for sale, yet “adopting agreements and transfer in accordance with national policies”. This is to encourage market participants to “actively participate,” understand.

Watch this space.

CSRC to ‘fully support’ Shenzhen’s capital markets

The head of the country’s stock market regulatory agency says Shenzhen’s capital markets will continue to pursue reforms that aim to completely open it to the international investment community. Step by step. As soon as possible.

Observers who have been champing at the bit to see further opening of China’s capital market may be forgiven a yawn. At first glance, this sounds like the usual reassurances from a regulator that reforms are proceeding ASAP, when the reality is different. But Yi Huiman (above, left), head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, was speaking to local media during an inspection tour of Shenzhen earlier this week. It was his first visit following the city’s designation as a Pioneering Zone for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and he was in the company of Shenzhen’s leader, Party Secretary Wang Weizhong (above, right), who is also Deputy Party Secretary of Guangdong.

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