GBA Briefs: 6/10/2020

Guangdong credit surges: Guangdong companies have been on a borrowing binge in the wake of the epidemic: according to official data, loans outstanding at the end of April were up by 1.3 trillion yuan, which represents a 43% YoY jump in new lending. Moreover, corporate insurance policies are booming, too: in April alone, 8.6 trillion yuan of risk-protection policies were written for corporates in the province, up 19.8% YoY. SCN.

New order: The GBA must accelerate its integration plans as the changing world order will make it more necessary for the region to open up, in order to attract capital and talent. This is the view of Zheng Yongnian, a professor at the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore. SCN.  

Carrie Lam wants integration: Hong Kong’s CE, Carrie Lam, says she wants to speed up integration with the mainland’s economy, building on Hong Kong’s position as a wealth-management and offshore-Renminbi center. Bloomberg. 

Asset-protection jitters: China’s decision to move ahead with a national security law for Hong Kong, which has raised the threat of US sanctions, has some mainland investors unsure about the city’s fate as a commercial hub – and how this may affect their assets. SCMP. But AXA International, one of the world’s biggest asset managers, says it sees no threat to Hong Kong’s status, and it is looking to expand. SCMP.

Hedge funds fleeing? “Hong Kong as we know it is dead,” said an adviser who works with hedge funds in the city and elsewhere in the region. “It will become just another city in China. The hedge fund community will move on to Singapore and elsewhere,” added the adviser, who like many in the industry requested anonymity in order to speak freely. FT

Guangzhou IP center: Guangzhou is building an Intellectual Property Protection Center, which will focus on fostering the development of two key industries: high-end equipment manufacturing industry and new materials. Official statistics show that Guangzhou granted 105,000 patents last year, up 16.7% YoY, of which 12,000 were invention patents, up 13% YoY. SCN.

Jiangmen goes first: Jiangmen has become the first prefecture-level city in Guangdong to scrap all restrictions on household registration. Anyone who moves to the city may apply for a hukou there: all they need is to prove that they either have a residential address in the city, or are employed by a company based there. The city of nearly 5 million people on the western side of the GBA has a registered population of only 3.8 million, so it is expected to instantly add more than 1 million residents to its services if they all take up the opportunity. The policy change follows an announcement by the central government late last year that all second- and third-tier cities would be free to set their own hukou policies, within certain guidelines depending on their population size. SCN.

Car show attracts 50,000: Conventions and exhibitions are coming back to life in the GBA. Foshan just held its annual auto show, which had more than 50 brands on display and attracted over 56,000 attendees. SCN. 

Air show filling up: The China Air Show, Zhuhai’s biggest event of the year, is going ahead as scheduled in the week of November 10-15, with more than 500 exhibitors signed up. Mexico will be bringing a big contingent this year, apparently. SCN.

No. 1 for epidemic equipment:  Guangdong has 27 institutions qualified to conduct inspections of products related to epidemic prevention. They account for 40% of the country’s total capacity for testing epidemic-prevention equipment. In total so far, 5,708 batches of protective clothing and 57,685 batches of masks have been tested by Guangdong institutions. SCN.

Live-broadcasting festival: Guangzhou has just completed a month-long “Live Broadcast Festival”, which attracted hundreds of the country’s most famous online brands and influencers (KOLs) to the city. Across more than 160 venues, over 100,000 product categories were promoted, while around 270,000 live broadcasts were conducted, offering discounts to online shoppers valued at more than 1 billion yuan. Leadings KOLs such as Wei Ya, Deng Yaping, Xie Xingfang, Fan Zhiyi, He Chong, Qin Kai and He Zi appeared during the festival. SCN.

Better beaches: Guangdong has put into action a plan to clean up its beaches this year, with targets set for improvement of water quality and to ensure beach cleaning is done thoroughly and efficiently. Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Shantou seem to have the best quality of beaches at present. SCN.

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