Domestic brands largely absent from gift lists

Date Jan 12 2012 15:20:36 Source:SHMET

BEIJING / SHANGHAI - Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Hermes are the most popular luxury labels that wealthy Chinese reach for when giving gifts to friends and business contacts, with the Chinese liquor Moutai the only domestic brand among the top 10, a study of the nation's richest people has found. 

"Gift-giving is an essential part of Chinese culture," Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, a research unit and publishing group, told a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday. 

"The money spent on gifts is staggering compared with the West." 

The report, Top 10 Gifts for the Chinese Luxury Consumer 2012, found that French brands dominate with the five of the top 10, followed by Italy's Gucci and Prada. Apple Inc of the US was sixth. 

The study covered 503 wealthy Chinese on the mainland as it sought to reveal their brand awareness and preferences, consumption habits and lifestyle trends. 

Those interviewed - mostly engaged in manufacturing and property development - had average wealth of 63 million yuan ($10 million), up 15 percent from the previous year. 

Their spending for the year, however, fell 9 percent to 1.76 million yuan, or about 3 percent of each one's wealth. 

China's richest consumers spent the most on travel, followed by education for their children, entertainment, gifts and collecting, the report said. 

Guan Hongsheng, 44, who owns a trading company in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, spent more than 1 million yuan last year on giving gifts to business contacts. 

The gifts included more than 40 iPhones, seven iPad 2s, a dozen Macbooks and items from Cartier, Hermes and Montblanc. 

"What I want is a brand that is widely recognized," Guan said. "Domestic brands are still not well-known enough for my friends. I prefer the latest items that cost more than 10,000 yuan each." 

Quality and "history" are also highly important when the Chinese super-rich choose brands. 

"Luxury brands make it easier for the recipient to understand the value of the present," said Chen Lijun, a 63-year-old billionaire and the owner of Zhejiang Huari Industry Investment Co Ltd. 

Chen gave watches, jewelry and wallets worth nearly 2 million yuan last year as gifts. 

China is home to more than 1 million super-luxury consumers based on a study by the Hurun Report in April last year, which identified 960,000 individuals with personal wealth of 10 million yuan. 

Hurun's wealthy individuals are 41 years old, on average. 

A typical wealthy Chinese individual included in the survey "has two private bank accounts, 4.2 watches and three cars," Hoogewerf said. 

"They travel eight days a month for work. They go abroad three times and spend 20 days for leisure in a year." 

The report found that the very wealthy have less interest in real estate this year, which still tops their investment category, with gold ranked second and fixed-income securities ranked third. 

Domestic brands largely absent from gift lists
Report by SHMET

China's PPI up 1.7% in Dec

Date Jan 12 2012 15:19:41 Source:SHMET

China's Producer Price Index (PPI), a main gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, rose 1.7 percent in December year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.

The reading eased further from November's 2.7-percent growth, the NBS said in a statement on its website.

On a month-on-month basis, China's December PPI fell 0.3 percent from November, the NBS said.

Producer purchase prices grew 3.5 percent year-on-year in December and were down 0.4 percent from a month ago, said the NBS.

The full-year PPI climbed 6 percent year-on-year in 2011, while producer purchase prices rose 9.1 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts expect the pullback to ease temporarily, as upcoming holiday demand will drive prices higher in the short term, although the downward trend is likely to last amid the global economic downturn. 

"As long as there is not a significant easing of China's monetary policy, the downward trend will not change," read an analysis by Bocom International. 

Analysts warned that any change in market sentiment will influence the trend. 

"Though investors' confidence remains low, possible government measures to spur the economy could boost prices at all levels," said Chen Kexin, an analyst with the distribution productivity promotion center of China Commerce.

Report by SHMET

Shanghai housing prices to drop in '12: mayor

Date Jan 12 2012 15:18:55 Source:SHMET

SHANGHAI - Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng on Wednesday said the government will continue with its policies aiming to bring down the prices of the city's new residential apartments.

Han told a municipal congressional meeting that Shanghai will carry on implementing the central government's package of policies, which include mortgage restrictions and limits on the numbers of homes people can own, to cool the property market while increasing land supply and deepening property tax reforms.

The mayor also said Shanghai will build more affordable apartments and public rental houses for the city's low-income families.

China's efforts to cool the red-hot property market paid off in 2011. Nearly 50 out of 70 major Chinese cities had reported monthly decline in the price of new apartments by November, the first decline in three years in the case of many cities.

Shanghai reported the first monthly drop in prices of new residential apartments in October. For the whole of 2011, new residential apartments were sold at an average of 22,432 yuan ($3,532) per square meter, according to estimates by real-estate agents. 

Report by SHMET

Oil windfall tax threshold raised to $55

Date Jan 11 2012 15:45:36 Source:

BEIJING - China's two largest oil producers, PetroChina and Sinopec Group, said Thursday night that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) has raised the exemption threshold on the so-called "windfall tax" on upstream oil producers to $55 per barrel of crude oil since November 2011.

The levy, described by the MOF as a "special oil sales charge", will be set at a progressive rate between 20 and 40 percent on the excess of the average realized oil price from a base of $55 per barrel, compared with $40 previously, the oil companies said.

The charge is 20 percent when the price is between $55 and $60 and will rise progressively by 5 percentage points for every $5 increase to a limit of 40 percent when the price sits above $75 per barrel.

Edited by SHMET

An adjustment in the factory price made by the Jinchuan Nickel Company's

Date Jan 11 2012 15:43:25 Source:SHMET
Jan.11,2012(SHMET)--The Jinchuan Nickel Co. has adjusted its factory price again from RMB 131000 to RMB 135000 per tonne on 11th January,2012.Report by SHMET