The prestigious Fortune China 500 list has been released for 2019, with GBA companies standing out in measures of both revenues and profits. Shenzhen-based Ping An, which began as an insurer but is now more of a fintech firm, is the GBA’s leading light, ranking No. 4 in revenues and No. 6 in profits nationwide.
A total of 86 from the GBA made the top 500. Moreover, 12 of the top 40 most profitable were from the GBA.
In spite of escalating trade tensions with the United States, China’s hotel pipeline now stands at 2,845 hotels and 590,809 rooms, up 15 percent by hotels and 8 percent by rooms year over year – and a good number of the hotels are from American brands, according to Lodging Econometrics. Guangzhou leads this pipeline, with 128 hotels and 28,367 rooms under development, near its high set in Q4 2018, followed by Shanghai and Chengdu.
The consultant said liquidity unleashed by the government last year to offset the manufacturing slump and slowing economy had been a big driver for the industry.
Three global franchise companies now have record-high pipelines for China. Hilton takes the top spot with 421 hotels and 86,750 rooms. IHG follows with 340 hotels and 76,861 rooms. In April, IHG called Greater China its “fastest growing region.” The company recently opened its 400th Chinese hotel in Zhuhai.
British business associations have formed a network with other international groups to maximize opportunities arising from the Greater Bay Area’s development plan, reports the South China Morning Post.
The chamber said in a statement that they, together with the chambers in Guangdong and Macau, the China-Britain Business Council, and the Confederation of British Industry Beijing Office, agreed to form an inter-organisation working group on the GBA initiative.
The platform, which appeared to be the first among major Western countries in the development zone, would work to identify opportunities in fields including construction, engineering, financial services, transport and health care for British companies. It will also work together to develop policy recommendations to governments and regulators across the region.
Customs Deal: Macau and the mainland signed a new cooperative arrangement to simplify their joint Customs clearance process and combat smuggling, including launching speed clearance projects, deepening information exchange, and conducting joint law enforcement actions. Read more.
Zhaoqing Credit: Loans in Zhaoqing have grown steadily this year, with the balance of outstanding loans in the city’s banks reaching RMB197.7 billion by the end of May, up RMB12.8 billion or 7.51% from the start of the year. Read more.
Songshan Upgrade: The construction of Dongguan’s Songshan Lake Material Lab kicked off yesterday with other key projects in the second batch of GBA-related construction, totaling RMB39.1 billion in investment, which will focus on developing new materials for battery, semiconductor, fiber, biomimetic cryopreservation, etc. Read more.
TCM innovation center: Margaret Chan, a member of the standing committee of the CPPCC and former director-general of the World Health Organization, says it is “urgent” that a Traditional Chinese Medicine “innovation center” be established in the GBA. Read more
Guangzhou will add six high-speed railway lines to its network, which will connect to, but are different from, the existing Intercity and Metro lines. According to Guangzhou Transport Planning Research, two are already being constructed and will run between the capital’s CBD area and Nansha, at its southern tip, at speeds of 160 km/h. A third is just started, which will connect to Foshan, also at 160 km/h. The three others, however, are still being planned. They will run northwards and travel at 250 km/h. They are awaiting approval as part of the GBA Intercity Railway Construction Plan.
The creation of the Greater Bay Area requires a new way of thinking about how to finance its development going forward, and China Daily (Hong Kong) has produced a timely and insightful report on the subject. As the state-run news outlet explains, the construction of a rapid intercity transportation network is becoming “too large in scale to rely solely on local governments. Private enterprises should also gain many opportunities to participate in the Bay Area construction.”
But what should the financing model be? Build-Operate-Transfer? That didn’t suit the HZMB, the region’s single biggest project to date. Asset-backed securitization? Government-subsidized private projects? Perhaps there are creative ways to structure public-private partnerships (PPPs) that “meet project needs while conforming to the regulatory structures of various governments”, the media group opines. This will require some changes in government regulation, which, it seems, the article is suggesting are under consideration.
The article quotes Wallace Yu Ka-hung, at the Beijing-based sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp, as saying private capital could flow into the Bay Area via PPP financing.
“As a modern city cluster development plan, some more innovative financing solutions should be introduced in the Bay Area,” Yu said.