China

Another Chinese bank bailed out

Harbin Bank, a 622 billion yuan (US$90bn in assets) juggernaut in the country’s north became the fifth bank – after Baoshang Bank, Bank of Jinzhou, Heng Feng Bank, and Henan Yichuan Rural Commercial Bank – to be bailed out by the Chinese state.  As can be seen above, the trend of confidence shown by the markets over recent years is waning – fast.

According to Zerohedge, “as was the case with at least one previous bank “rescue”, Harbin Bank was connected to a former oligarch who disappeared not that long ago amid allegations of massive fraud..”

ZH goes on, “Another curious fact: a little over a year ago, Harbin Bank, which in March 2018 had abandoned plans to list its shares in China, announced it would raise over $2 billion in perpetual bonds to replenish its capital after regulators in early 2018 allowed lenders to sell such instruments to bolster their balance sheets. Incidentally, a perpetual bonds is effectively the same thing as equity, but for some bizarre reason sells much better in China where the investing population is apparently stupid enough to be fooled by the clever change in designation. As such, Harbin Bank was the first Chinese lender to announce its intention to sell perpetual bonds to increase its Additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital. We now know what prompted the bank’s rush.”

According to Bloomberg,

Chinese banks reported 2.2 trillion yuan (US$315bn) of non-performing loans at the end of June, which, according to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) is the highest level in over 15 years…Troubles facing Guangdong Nanyue’s biggest shareholders may also add to its woes. Neoglory Holding Group Co., which is going through a court-led bankruptcy restructuring after defaulting on its bonds, is the largest shareholder of Guangdong Nanyue with a 16.52% stake, followed by Gionee Communication Equipment Co., which is in liquidation, according to a report published by China Lianhe Credit Rating in June. The two hold a combined 25.4% stake in the lender.

Note in recent times, Baoshang Bank was taken over by the government in May and the Bank of Jinzhou was rescued in July.

We shouldn’t forget “special mention” loans which are not classified as NPLs but potentially at risk of becoming so (equivalent to being 90+ days in arrears), rose to 3.63 trillion yuan (US$521bn), accounting for 3.3% of the total loan volume for commercial banks according to the CBIRC.

Nothing to see here? This doesn’t even include the issues of the shadow bank lending market. The one thing to be sure of is that is likely far worse than the official figures. Peer-to-peer lending ran at around $1 trillion but shonky practices has meant more than 80% of China’s 6,200 P2P platforms ended up shutting or faced serious difficulties. Only 50 were expected to pass scrutiny to continue to operate but the government, keen to revive the slowing economy, has looked to ease restrictions again.

This can only end in tears

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As Sweden’s economy slows to the worst economic growth rate in 5 years under a negative interest rate policy, one would think the Swedish Central Bank (Riksbank) would be seeking to prudently manage its asset book on the basis of appropriate risk/reward as opposed to lecturing Australia and Canada on their respective carbon footprints. What we are witnessing is yet another discrete move by authorities to manipulate markets based on fantasy rather than fact.  The hypocrisy is extreme as we shall discover.

While the Riksbank should have complete freedom in how it wishes to deploy capital, we should view this is a pathetic sop to the cabal at the European Central Bank (ECB). Since when did central bankers become experts on climate change? The RBA is no better. Deputy Governor, Guy Debelle, gave a speech in March 2019 on the risks posed by climate change which based prophecies on the data accident-prone IPCC and Bureau of Meteorology. Why not seek balance? Easier to fold to group think so as not to be outed as a pariah. Utterly gutless. Our own APRA is also pushing this ridiculous agenda on climate change reporting. It is willful negligence.

While it is true that on a per capita basis, Australia and Canada’s emissions are higher than the global average, why doesn’t the Riksbank give us credit for lowering that amount 11.4% since 2000? Even Canada has reduced its carbon emissions by 7.3% over the last 18 years. Admittedly Sweden’s emissions per capita have fallen 21.9% according to the IEA. Greta will be happy.

Why hasn’t the Riksbank taken China or India to task for their 169.9% or 94.7% growth in CO2 emissions respectively? There are plenty of oil-producing nations – Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman that have worse per capita outcomes than Australia or Canada. Do these countries get special dispensation from the wrath of the Riksbank? Clearly.

The US has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. If the US has marginally lower emissions per capita (15.74t/CO2-e) than Australia (16.45t/CO2-e), isn’t a double standard to write,

The conditions for active climate consideration are slightly better in our work with the foreign exchange reserves. To ensure that the foreign exchange reserves fulfil their purpose, they need to consist of assets that can be rapidly converted to money even when the markets are not functioning properly. Our assessment is that the foreign exchange reserves best correspond to this need if they consist of 75 per cent US government bonds, 20 per cent German and 5 per cent British, Danish and Norwegian government bonds.

Essentially Riksbank commitment to climate change is conditional. The US which is responsible for 13.8% of global emissions can be 75% of holdings. Australia at 1.3% can’t. No doubt sacrificing Queensland Treasury Corp, WA Treasury Corp and Albertan bonds from a Riksbank balance sheet perspective will have little impact on the total. In short, it looks to be pure tokenism. The Riksbank has invested around 8% of its foreign exchange reserves in Australian and Canadian central and federal government bonds. So perhaps at the moment, it is nothing but substitution from state to federal. Why not punish NSW TCorp for being part of a state that has 85%+ coal-fired power generation?

At the very least the Riksbank admits its own hypocrisy.

The Riksbank needs to develop its work on how to take climate change into consideration in asset management. For instance, we need a broader and deeper analysis of the issuers’ climate footprint. At the same time, one must remember that the foreign exchange reserves are unavoidably dominated by US and German government bonds. The Riksbank’s contribution to a better development of the climate will, therefore, remain small. This is entirely natural. The important decisions on how climate change should be counteracted in Sweden are political and should be taken by the government and the Riksdag (parliament).

Still, what hope have we got when Benoît Cœuré, member of the Executive Board of the ECB, lecturing those on “Scaling up Green Finance: The Role of Central Banks.” He noted,

2018 has seen one of the hottest summers in Europe since weather records began. Increasing weather extremes, rising sea levels and the Arctic melting are now clearly visible consequences of human-induced warming. Climate change is not a theory. It is a fact.

Reading more of this report only confirms the commitment of the ECB to follow the UN’s lead and deliberately look to misallocate capital based on unfounded claims of falling crop yields and rising prices (the opposite is occurring) and rising hurricane and drought activity (claims that even the IPCC has admitted there is little or no evidence by climate change). Sweden is merely being a well-behaved schoolboy.

Cœuré made the explicit claim, “The ECB, together with other national central banks of the Eurosystem, is actively supporting the European Commission’s sustainable finance agenda.

CM thinks the biggest problem with this “agenda” is that it risks even further misallocation of capital within global markets already drowning in poorly directed investment. It isn’t hard to see what is going on here. It is nothing short of deliberate market manipulation by trying to increase the cost of funding to conventional energy using farcical concocted “climate risks” to regulate them out of existence.

Cœuré made this clear in his speech,

once markets and credit risk agencies price climate risks properly, the amount of collateralised borrowing counterparties can obtain from the ECB will be adjusted accordingly.

What do you know? On cue, Seeking Alpha notes,

Cutting €2bn of yearly investments, the European Union will stop funding oil, natural gas and coal projects at the end of 2021 as it aims to become the first climate-neutral continent.

All CM will say is best of luck with this decision. Just watch how this kneeling at the altar of the pagan god of climate change will completely ruin the EU economy. The long term ramifications are already being felt. The EU can’t escape the fact that 118mn of its citizens (up from 78m in 2007) are below the poverty line. That is 22% of the population. So why then does Cœuré mention, in spite of such alarming poverty, that taking actions (that will likely increase unemployment) will be helped by “migration [which] has contributed to dampening wage growth…in recent years, thereby further complicating our efforts to bring inflation back to levels closer to 2%.

Closer to home, the National Australia Bank (NAB) has joined in the groupthink by looking to phase out lending to thermal coal companies by 2035. The $760 million exposure will be cut in half by 2028. If climate change is such a huge issue why not look to end it ASAP? This is terrible governance.

Why not assess thermal coal companies on the merits of the industry’s future rather than have the acting-CEO Philip Chronican make a limp-wristed excuse that it is merely getting in line with the government commitment to Paris? If lending to thermal coal is good for shareholders in 2036, who cares what our emissions targets are (which continue to fall per capita)? Maybe this is industry and regulator working hand-in-hand?

The market has always been the best weighing mechanism for risk. Unfortunately, for the last two decades, global central bank policy has gone out of its way to prevent the market from clearing. Now it seems that the authorities are taking actions that look like collusion to bully the ratings agencies into marking down legitimate businesses that are being punished for heresy.

This will ironically only make them even better investments down the track when reality dawns, just as CM pointed out with anti-ESG stocks. Just expect the entry points to these stocks to be exceedingly cheap. Buy what the market hates. It looks as though the bureaucrats are set to make fossil fuel companies penny stocks.

Nothing to see here

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Chinese regional bank, Guangdong Nanyue Bank Co said it won’t exercise an early redemption on its 1.5 bn yuan (US$215 million) 6% tier-two bond in December.

According to Bloomberg,

Chinese banks reported 2.2 trillion yuan (US$315bn) of non-performing loans at the end of June, which, according to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) is the highest level in over 15 years…Troubles facing Guangdong Nanyue’s biggest shareholders may also add to its woes. Neoglory Holding Group Co., which is going through a court-led bankruptcy restructuring after defaulting on its bonds, is the largest shareholder of Guangdong Nanyue with a 16.52% stake, followed by Gionee Communication Equipment Co., which is in liquidation, according to a report published by China Lianhe Credit Rating in June. The two hold a combined 25.4% stake in the lender.

Note in recent times, Baoshang Bank was taken over by the government in May and the Bank of Jinzhou was rescued in July.

We shouldn’t forget “special mention” loans which are not classified as NPLs but potentially at risk of becoming so (equivalent to being 90+ days in arrears), rose to 3.63 trillion yuan (US$521bn), accounting for 3.3% of the total loan volume for commercial banks according to the CBIRC.

Climate change – as should be taught to school kids

Image result for climate strike school

Thank you SMcK.

“Attention, students. Because so many of you missed Friday’s classes, what with your little climate party and all, today I’m assigning extra work.

Let’s begin with mathematics. 558,400,000 is a really big number. Can anyone here tell me what it might represent? No?

Well, that’s the amount in tonnes of carbon dioxide that Australia emitted last year.

I’ll just pause here for a minute until Samantha stops crying. By the way, Samantha, your sign at the climate rally needed a possessive apostrophe and “planet” was spelt incorrectly, so I’m putting you back in remedial English again.

Where were we? Oh, yes. 558,400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Let’s see how we can reduce that number. Ban coal mining? That’ll knock off a big chunk.

Ban petrol-powered vehicles? Good call. That’s another slab of emissions gone.

Does the class believe we should ban all mining? You do. Interesting. For your homework tonight, I want you all to design batteries that contain no nickel or cadmium.
Good luck getting to school in electric cars without those.

And there’ll be no more steel wind turbines once the iron ore mines are closed. It’s just the price we’ll have to pay, I suppose.

Even with all those bans, however, Australia will still be churning out carbon dioxide by the magical solar-powered truckload. Cuts need to go much further.

More people means more human activity which means more carbon dioxide, so let’s permanently ban immigration. Is the class agreed?

Hmmm. You’re not quite so enthusiastic about that one. Come on, students. Sacrifices must be made.

Speaking of which, how many of you have grandparents? Not any more you don’t.
And Samantha is crying again. Can someone please take her to the school safe space and let her “process some emotions”, or whatever the hell it is you kids do in there? Thank you.

Sing along with Kim Carnes: “All the world knows of her charms/She’s got/Stop Adani arms”

Who agrees we need to simplify our lives in order to reduce emissions? Returning to earlier times, when emissions were much lower, might help save our earth.

So goodbye to air travel, the internet and your cell phones. People got by without them in the past and they’ll survive without them in our sustainable future.

Still, those emissions will be way too high. Just for fun, let’s ban Australia and see what happens.

All factories, houses, streets, farms – gone. All people gone. Every atom of human presence on this land mass, completely erased.

At that point we’ll have finally cut our emissions to nothing. We’ve subtracted an annual 558,400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Congratulations, children. By eliminating Australia, you’ve just reduced the world’s yearly generation of carbon dioxide from 37,100,000,000 tonnes to just … 36,541,600,000 tonnes.

Still, every tiny reduction helps, right? Maybe not. Let’s have a quick geography lesson. Tyler, please point out China on this map. No; that’s Luxembourg. China is a bit bigger. Try over here. There you go.

Here’s the thing about China. How long will it take for China to produce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that we’ve slashed by vanishing Australia? One year? Two years? Five years?

Not quite. Start the carbon dioxide clock on China right now, and that one enormous nation will have matched our annual output in 20 days, for China adds a whole Australia to the global emissions total in that time.

For that matter, China will have added another 1,190,953 tonnes by the end of this one-hour class.

Even a tiny increase in China’s output puts Australia in the shade. Various experts last year estimated that China was on course for a five per cent carbon dioxide boost.
This would mean an extra 521,637,550 tonnes – or basically what Australia generates. Our total is the same as China’s gentle upswing.

So maybe your protest was in the wrong country. Here’s another assignment: write letters to the Chinese government demanding it stops dragging people out of poverty.
Make sure you include your full name and address, because the Chinese government is kind of big on keeping records. Send a photograph of yourself standing in front of your parents’ house.

You might repeat this process in India. In fact, rather than going to Europe for your next big family holiday, prevail upon your parents to visit India instead. The tiny village of Salaidih would be the perfect place to tell slum-dwelling residents they shouldn’t have electricity.

They’ll probably thank you for it. Or they should, if they aren’t stupid climate deniers. Indian paupers must avoid making the same tragic affluence mistakes as us, so we must keep their carbon footprints as tiny as possible.

Can you imagine how terrible is would be for the earth if all of India’s one billion-plus population owned cars and air-conditioners? It really doesn’t bear thinking about.
One further assignment: tonight, locate a clean, green alternative source for $66 billion in exports. That’s how much was raised last year by the Australian coal industry.
Working it out won’t be too much of a challenge, I’m sure. After all, you know science and stuff. About half of your signs on Friday claimed you know more about all these things than does the Prime Minister.

Show him how advanced your brains are by devising a brand-new multi-billion export bonanza.

Hey, look who’s back! Feeling better, Samantha? That’s nice. Feelings are the most important thing of all.”

Thank God China has clarified the Pacific Island claims with action

One would think China is channeling the former Iraqi Ministry of Information.

China’s Special Envoy to the Pacific, Ambassador Wang Xuefeng, told the Pacific Island Forum in Tuvalu,

“As the largest developing country in the world, China always attaches great importance to the special concerns and legitimate demands of small island countries in combating climate change…Developed countries should earnestly carry out their obligations set out in the (UN Climate Change) Convention and the (Paris) Agreement, including providing sufficient support in terms of finance, technology and capacity-building to small island countries and other developing countries to help them increase their capacities in combating climate change.”

What he should have added was,

We intend to belch as much CO2 as we please until 2030. We know we’re already 29.3% of global CO2 emissions. We’re not sure why but until the Extinction Rebellion Beijing chapter starts we figure it mustn’t be a concern in China. ”

Perhaps the most laughable part of it was to say all countries, big or small, are equal in China’s eyes. Except HK, Taiwan, Paracelsus, Spratly and Senkaku Islands.

It wasn’t so long ago that CM was covering machinery stocks and local Chinese governments preferred industry polluted because it meant fines that filled up their coffers. The industry obliged because it was cheaper to produce by paying the fines.

Perhaps China will open its doors to all these climate refugees when whole villages are forced to move to mountain tops.

We should expect that Ambassador Wang will travel by sailing boat to future summits. It’s for the planet you know.

Even China can’t help us avoid a Climate Emergency

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Here are the numbers. This is the contribution of many of the Pacific Island Summit attendees’ CO2 emissions as a % of the global atmosphere. Why do the media guffaw at the ridiculous when looking at the numbers? Do the political class honestly think that spending billions on renewables will make the slightest difference? Scott Morrison absolutely right to soften the language in the draft agreement at the summit. Honestly, he should push to have it removed in its entirety. Even China’s CO2 emissions are 0.000352% of the world’s atmosphere. China can’t even save us.

So to the Pacific Island leaders – go ahead and buy more Maseratis. The Italian economy needs an economic boost because they’re sinking, unlike your islands.

A tip against the Pacific gratuity

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If we are to be realistic,  $500m doesn’t buy us a thing in the Pacific Islands. No political influence. No loyalty. No defence against China. Apart from the fact that Australia’s emissions add up to 0.0000134% of global CO2, our ability to prevent sea levels rising (which aren’t happening anyway – refer CM report here) is absolutely zero. If Australia offered the islands a fraction of the $9.5bn we spend on renewables annually in return for all the coal-fired power we wanted, these islands would be silly to refuse the deal. Most likely they wouldn’t.

In September 2018, Australia was beaten over the head for not helping the Pacific Islands cope with the dangers of climate change. What better way for PNG to have averted the climate emergency by using part of the $150mn in aid money from Australia to buy 40 gas-guzzling Maserati sports limousines from Italy?

Actions not words. The $500m reminds CM of those investment banks that only partially invested in their franchises. They all failed. If there is no strategy, best not spending a cent. $500m is pointless and that won’t be lost on the Pacific Island governments. If PM Morrison wants to buy influence, he needs to think beyond this measly gratuity.

What have these Island nations said to China? China makes up 45% of global coal power gen capacity. Australia 1.6%. China has another 100+ currently under construction and another 76 yet to break ground. So why haven’t they raised hell in Beijing? Because Australia fold to this ridiculous pandering.