accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in
banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ
ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.
Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati
ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.
Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w
ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.
Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl
ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.
“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.
Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said
Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare
Chinese local government bonds worth 1.4 billion yuan ($208.5 million) were snapped up by retail investors within a single day, after counter sales in banks we
re made available for the first time. The fundraising will help supplement a broader fiscal deficit this year, analysts said.
On Monday, individuals in China were able to purchase bonds issued by t
he Zhejiang provincial government (five-year term, 3.32 percent coupon rate) and the N
ingbo city government (three-year term, 3.04 percent coupon rate). Proceeds from the sales will be used for land purchases (300 million yuan) and shantytown renovations (1.1 billion yuan), acc
ording to a notice on the website of China Central Depository and Clearing, a clearinghouse under the central bank.
The minimum investment amount for retail investors is 100 yuan, lower than most wealth management products issu
ed by commercial banks. Previously, individual investors could only purchase bonds issued by the central government, kno
wn as treasury bonds. And before Monday, local government bonds were traded mainly in the interbank market.
nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count
ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.
The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.
Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity
in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu
sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.
“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make
local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the
bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”
domestically rated “AAA”, the safest level. The sale to individual investors is mainly of project-link
ed special-purpose bonds, a type of local government bond vigorously promoted by the government in re
cent years. The cash flows generated from the underlying projects will be used as the primary repayment sources.
In China, there are two types of local government bonds: general bonds and special purpose bonds. According to the country’s 2019 budget repor
t, which was approved by the top legislature earlier this month, the budgeted deficit for local governments is 930 billion yuan, up 100 billi
on yuan compared with 2018, and this fund gap will be supplemented by general bonds.
In the meantime, 2.15 trillion yuan of special purpose bonds will be issued to support la
rge infrastructure projects, such as shantytown renovation projects and railways, said the ministry.
Letting individual buyers invest in local government bonds is a way to narrow the government’s financin
g gap, said Hu Yijian, a tax professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The gap is expected to expand, as policym
akers decided to cut about 2 trillion yuan in taxes and fees this year while at the same time increase spending on investment.
bird’s reproductive system was not behaving normally. The eggshell consists of two layers instea
d of one as in normal, healthy bird eggs, indicating the egg was retained too long inside the abdomen, Bailleul said.
This condition occurs in living birds as a result of stress. Unlaid eggs may be coated with a second laye
r, or sometimes more, of shell. This abnormality has also been documented in sauropod dinosaurs, and in fossil and living turtles.
In addition, the eggshell was extremely thin, thinner than a sheet of paper, and did not have the proportions of a healthy egg, Bailleul said.
hina’s civil aviation regulator has temporarily stopped issuing airworthine
ss certificates for Boeing 737 Max 8s because of safety concerns, a move an expert said will bring huge economic losses to Boeing.
Two Boeing 737 MAX 8s have crashed in the last five months. All 157 pa
ssengers and crew members of a 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines died on Mar 10, includi
ng eight Chinese nationals. In October, the same model of plane, operated by Lion Air, went down over the Java Sea, killing 189.
levated China’s ties with Italy, Monaco and France to a new level, and injected new impetus into China-Europe compreh
ensive strategic partnership, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.
When the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, Xi’s Europe tour, hailed b
y the international community, is dedicated to deepening partnership for cooperation, improving global governance, and uphol
ding multilateralism, which shows China’s sense of responsibility as a major country, Wang said.
In six days, the Chinese president attended over 40 events during his visit to five cities including Rome, Palermo, Monaco, Nice a
nd Paris, Wang noted, adding that it is a trip of friendship, cooperation and exploration that has delivered fruitful results.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic
partnership, and next year will witness the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic relations.
At meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Xi agreed with them to further i
ntensify high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and elevate bilateral relations, Wang said.
gmatism over its decision of endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying Xi and Mattarella agreed
that China and Italy, which are at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, are natural partners in constructing the Belt and Road.
Conte, according to Wang, said the BRI will bring great opportunities to Italy. He also agre
ed to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing next month.
France is one of the earliest European countries that have expressed the willingness to take pa
rt in the BRI cooperation. During Xi’s visit to France, the two countries signed agreements on the third round of the BRI-related dem
onstration projects in third-party markets and kicked off a third-party market fund, Wang said.
At the closing session of a global governance forum co-hosted by China and France, Macron
said the BRI is significant and can play an important role in world peace, stability and development, adding that the EU could align
its development strategy with the BRI in an innovative way and jointly promote Eurasian connectivity.