888-1 Changping Lu,
PHONE: 139 1825 4545
Down-tempo lounge beats add to the Buddha Bar vibe, minus the pretentious crowd. The Shanghai locals know good music all show up. It’s one of the best kept secrets in Shanghai, definitely a hidden gem. There are standard options for bottled beers (¥25-50), but a great selection of whiskey and bourbon. Fridays bring live bands, while Saturdays feature electronic DJs and jazz. If you’re looking to snuggle, check out the cushioned divan tucked by the door.
The venue’s electronic music parties have become popular among both Shanghai locals and Shanghai expats in search of the best beats.
Many famous DJ’s and bands have performed at Siva Lounge, including the rock group Fusion and DJ Afro-J & Philippe.
The sound system is one of the best in town, and music is proper tech, house, elektro etc professionally mixed together by local DJ’s such as Kaka, John Yang, etc. Drinks are well mixed and strong, go for the massive punch bowl, good value and tasty as hell.
I usually end up here just because it feels like home. It’s a Cheers bar but a club everyone knows your name and the music is always good.
“We are interested in operating the A380 to Shanghai, and we are doing all we can to cooperate with the airport authority here,” said Juerg Christen, Lufthansa’s managing director for China, said on Tuesday.
Lufthansa AG began Airbus A380 flights between Beijing and Frankfurt in 2010, and the route is making profit. The airline operates 81 weekly flights to six destinations in China, and connects the country to more than 170 European destinations.
A Chinese American man won ownership of the home that he and his ex-wife had co-owned in the city after their divorce in Australia, Jing’an District People’s Court announced Tuesday. Yes, the man won, instead of the women walking all over him.
The case sheds some light on how the local court system divvies up property among former spouses following an overseas divorce.
The man, surnamed Gu, married his Australian wife, who was also of Chinese descent, in Australia in 2001, according to a court press release. The couple bought a home in Shanghai in 2002 and another in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, four years later.
After spending 10 years together, Gu and his wife, surnamed Huang, divorced in May 2011 in the Federal Court of Australia. Because the Australian court didn’t have the authority to divide their property in China, Gu and Huang brought their case to Jing’an District People’s Court in August.
Gu and Huang each wanted to retain ownership of the Shanghai apartment, which was worth 3.57 million yuan ($569,740), and leave the other person with the property in Nanjing, which was worth 2.94 million yuan, according to the court. The Shanghai apartment was worth 631,000 yuan more than the one in Nanjing.
To determine who would retain the Shanghai apartment, the court asked Gu and Huang to each bid on how much he or she would be willing to pay the other to keep it. Gu offered 500,000 yuan. Huang failed to bid.
After receiving the bid, the court awarded the Nanjing apartment to Huang and the Shanghai apartment to Gu and ordered Gu to pay his ex-wife 500,000 yuan within seven days of finishing the paperwork. Finally the right answers by the court.
The court also ordered the couple to jointly pay down the 30,000 yuan remaining on the Shanghai apartment’s mortgage.
Rich Chinese tourists paying $40,000 to hunt elk in Utah or booking the entire first-class cabin for a family flight to France show China’s economic slowdown has yet to thin the wallets or dull the appetites of its deep-pocketed elite.
China’s “Golden Week” holiday, a popular time for overseas travel, starts on Saturday. This year it coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival to create a rare eight-day break, and visitors to Europe will not be there to get a taste of austere living.
Helen Shen, a travel planner in Shanghai, said a private business owner had booked the whole first-class section of a Lufthansa jet to fly his family of four to Paris this month.
Shen is one of many luxury travel organizers who still see the money rolling in from executives and members of the “fu er dai” – the second generation of wealthy families – despite China’s economic uncertainty.
“If you look at your affluent Chinese overseas, they are your tourist, your shopper, your investor all in one,” said Christine Lu, co-founder of Affinity China, a Shanghai-based luxury travel firm.
“Even though there is all the talk of a slowdown in China, the luxury sector we are dealing with is a segment that can still afford to travel,” Lu said.
This is good news for luxury brands facing the prospect of weaker demand within Greater China as Beijing cracks down on conspicuous consumption at home.
In the rest of the world, rich Chinese tourists are famed for their lavish spending. To avoid steep sales taxes at home, many of them unleash the cash on deluxe goods and premium cosmetics with every stamp of their passports.
“Most of the people who are going abroad already have quite a bit of wealth and buying things overseas is still much cheaper than buying things in China,” said Renee Hartmann, a luxury retail consultant based in Los Angeles.
HOW MUCH FOR YOUR VILLAGE?
Tax-free shopping firm Global Blue said in July that Chinese travellers were the biggest spenders in duty free shops, racking up 2.1 billion euros in sales in 2011, up 68 percent from last year.
“The (weakness) of the euro and the pound, plus the post-Olympic effect, is increasing the draw of Europe as a tourist destination and enticing wealthy Chinese to shop in Europe,” said You Jinzhang, chief executive of HHtravel, a luxury travel brand under China’s top online travel firm Ctrip.com International Ltd.
The firms that sell coveted brands do not see their Chinese customers suddenly discovering asceticism.
Italian fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli, whose eponymous firm sells cashmere sweaters for almost 2,000 euros, shrugged off concerns about a slowdown, saying Chinese demand for old-world luxury remains strong.
Some of Beijing’s better-heeled are not content with adorning their wardrobes with fine cashmere. Cucinelli told a story of a group of Chinese investors who once visited his company in its hilltop home of Solomeo in central Italy, and were so smitten by the place that they asked how much it would cost to buy the whole village.
“The Chinese love what we do, what we wear. They want to be like us. This is the Chinese century,” Cucinelli said.
WINE AND SHOTGUNS
For this year’s holiday, most boutique-bingeing tourists from China will still travel to Europe and the United States as those trips were planned months in advance, but the pure shopping jaunts in Asia may take a hit.
“(Overall) sales (for the golden week) can come down by 10 to 15 percent both in Hong Kong and China,” said Lam Tung-hing, a general manager in the retail operation of Oriental Watch Holdings Ltd. He cited economic concerns, but also the preference of many shoppers for London, Paris and New York over Hong Kong and Macau.
It isn’t just ringing tills in retail outlets that show the upper echelons of Chinese society are immune to the slowdown. Top-end tourists lap up exclusive experiences such as meeting the family of Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe, or having their genes analysed in Munich.
Affinity’s Lu said her company will host a trip for wine connoisseurs to Bordeaux in France, while Luke Song of Hua Luxury will take Chinese groups to race sports cars in Europe.
52Safari, a hunting club that caters to wealthy Chinese, is also having a good year. Scott Lupien, the club’s American founder, will run three hunting tour groups this holiday. One couple, heading to the U.S. state of Utah for an elk hunting trip, is paying 250,000 yuan.
China’s premier steel manufacturer, Baosteel, has slammed on the breaks at its rolled steel making plant in Shanghai to avoid making any more products that they simply cannot sell.
On Friday, the Shanghai Daily reported that China’s biggest steelmaker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. (SHA: 600019) said it has closed a mill in Shanghai due to lack of demand in a new sign of weakening growth in the world’s second-largest economy. Baosteel is down 5.77 percent year to date.
The National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday that the month of August was the worst month for profits for China industrial companies. Profits fell on average by 6.2 percent, up from 5.4 percent declines in July.
Boasteel’s Luojing facility in northern Shanghai is being put on hold because of lackluster demand from the automarket.
The suspension is another sign of the intense pressure facing China’s steel industry, which is struggling with weak demand, falling prices and high costs, including rising labor costs. The company said it decided to halt production to avoid “further increasing its operating losses,” the firm said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. It didn’t disclose the capacity involved or when production may start again.
Domestic demand for steel has also been hurt by Beijing’s imposed limits on residential real estate construction to prevent a housing bubble. Shipbuilding also has suffered; its industry group says orders are down 50 percent compared with a year ago and news reports say dozens of shipyards might close for lack of business. Baosteel was the first steel producer to announce the closure of a mill while others have kept mills operating at low capacity, buoyed by loans and subsidies from local governments that want to avoid losing jobs.
Baosteel had 117,000 employees in 2011, according to the company’s website. It posted 18 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) in profit last year, mostly due to selling assets rather than operating profits from customer demand.
China’s economic growth fell to 7.6 percent in the three months ended in June, it’s lowest growth in three years. Most of the problem stems from the advanced economies. With little demand for Made in China goods, and rising labor costs, China is finding itself in a bond, partially out of its control. Analysts are forecasting a rebound late this year or in early 2013, but have been missing the bottom. Barclays Capital, for instance, said the bottom in the China economy was likely to come by the beginning of the third quarter. They have since revisited that call and expect it by late in the fourth to early next year.
Barclays also said that China is more likely to stabilize than accelerate in the months ahead. But there is always a risk of deceleration if the U.S. and Europe continue to disappoint.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese banks and companies looking to seize steel pledged as collateral by firms that have defaulted on loans are making an uncomfortable discovery: the metal was never in the warehouses in the first place. China big scams and cons!
China’s demand has faltered with the slowing economy, pushing steel prices to a three-year low and making it tough for mills and traders to keep up with payments on the $400 billion of debt they racked up during years of double-digit growth.
As defaults have risen in the world’s largest steel consumer, lenders have found that warehouse receipts for metal pledged as collateral do not always lead them to stacks of stored metal. Chinese authorities are investigating a number of cases in which steel documented in receipts was either not there, belonged to another company or had been pledged as collateral to multiple lenders, industry sources said. No wonder there are so many millionaires in Shanghai. So many people are running cams in Shanghai.
Ghost inventories are exacerbating the wider ailments of the sector in China, which produces around 45 percent of the world’s steel and has over 200 million metric tons (220.5 million tons) of excess production capacity. Steel is another drag on a financial system struggling with bad loans from the property sector and local governments.
“What we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg,” said a trader from a steel firm in Shanghai who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media. “The situation will get worse as poor demand, slumping prices and tight credit from banks create a domino effect on the industry.”
The Shanghai government’s asset regulator said that it had sent a note to state-owned firms in August asking them to verify receipts for stored metal on financing deals they had with steel traders.
Police have arrested an employee from Baoyang Warehouse in Shanghai and are investigating documentation for steel stocks that the employee issued to a trading firm, said an official with the surname Ou at Baoyang. Baoyang is owned by China Railway Materials Shanghai Company Limited. Magic in the warehouse, The China shell game.
Reuters was unable to contact a member of the police force that could comment on the investigation.
The trade firm used the stocks more than once as collateral to obtain loans, said an executive at Shanghai Minlurin, another trading firm that had steel stocks in the warehouse. The receipts used were for steel worth around 380 million yuan ($59.96 million), the executive said.
Similar cases have prompted some trading houses to temporarily halt transactions related to warehouse receipts, disrupting China’s steel business, traders said.
“We have suspended business for days as we are afraid we won’t be able to get any stocks from the warehouses if we get a fake receipt,” said one Shanghai-based trader.
BANKS BOOST MONITORING
Banks, too, are giving less credit against warehouse receipts.
“Fake warehouse receipts have become a problem for some banks and because of this, many banks have boosted monitoring of existing stocks at warehouses and temporarily stopped accepting steel stocks as collateral for loans,” said a Shanghai-based branch manager from a Chinese bank who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Steel mills and end users rely heavily on trading firms to keep steel flowing from producers to consumers. Steel traders often buy consignments with full payment, ensuring cash flow to the mills. End users can buy small volumes from the traders, more convenient for them than the big volumes the mills sell.
Industry sources estimated cases that have already come to light account for about 5 billion yuan ($787.50 million) of bad debt in Shanghai, one of China’s biggest steel trading centers.
At another warehouse, a logistics unit of giant steelmaker Baosteel rented a small office to a company called Shanghai Yiye Steel Trade Market Management Co Ltd. Documents were forged stating Yiye was the owner of some of the steel stored in the warehouse, said Wang Xueying, the spokeswoman for the unit called Shanghai Baosteel Logistics Co Ltd.
Yiye used the documents in dealings with two companies, China Railway Harbin Logistics and Wuhan Iron Yitong, the spokeswoman said.
The two companies came to the warehouse to collect the stocks only to find that Yiye did not own the materials, she said. The case is still under investigation, she added.
Nobody answered telephone calls to Yiye made by Reuters to request comment for this story. Both China Railway Harbin Logistics and Wuhan Iron Yitong declined to comment when contacted.
($1 = 6.3376 Chinese yuan)
1720 Huaihai Lu,
near Wuxing Lu
Gokohai is a shabu shabu spot, the Japanese hot pot. It’s usually packed, reservations are good. It’s mostly popular for its all-you-can-eat deal, It’s 88 RMB per person but does not include drinks. The big beers are 20RMB each. But ordering dish by dish to dip into the simmering broth is also an option. Cheap draft Asahi, too.
Investors will be looking to a data deluge from China this week to give the global economy a further lift after Friday’s strong U.S. jobs report. They risk being disappointed. China slowed just like the rest of the world.
Figures for July, starting on Thursday and covering everything from trade to bank loans and investment, are likely to show the world’s second-largest economy is, at best, stabilizing rather than recovering briskly.
And while Beijing has both the will and the means to provide extra fiscal and monetary stimulus if growth flags, China-watchers rule out a repeat of the massive expansion of credit that successfully rebooted the economy after the global financial crash of late 2008.
That means China, and Asian economies increasingly tied to it, can do little to overcome the headwinds blowing in from the United States and, especially, Europe. How can China do well if the whole world is slow.
“The problems in Asia that are causing the slowdown come predominantly from outside the region,” said Rob Subbaraman, chief economist for Asia at Nomura in Hong Kong. “Europe is a bigger than the U.S. as an export market for most Asian countries now, and it’s a big investor in the region.”
In today’s interlocking global economy, Asia’s travails are rebounding on the rest of the world.
Europe’s biggest engineering conglomerate; BASF, the world’s top chemicals maker; U.S. blue chip United Technologies [UTX Loading... () ]; and Japan’s Hitachi have all recently reported the impact of lower Chinese demand.
Asia as a whole wants to wean itself off exports and generate more domestic growth. China’s current account surplus is just a third of what it was in 2007.
The process, though, is generally slow.
“Over the next decade we will see domestic demand becoming a bigger engine of growth for China, and that will change the picture quite a lot for Asia,” said Rajiv Biswas, chief Asia-Pacific economist for IHS Global Insight in Singapore.
“But we’re not yet in a situation where the growth engine in Asia is strong enough to cruise through a recession in Europe and stagnant growth in the U.S.,” he added.
China’s economy expanded 7.6 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter, the slowest pace in three years. Economists expect growth to pick up moderately in coming months since Beijing has cut interest rates and is speeding up the approval of investment projects.
But this year has been remarkable so far for what has not happened in China: the ruling Communist Party has not gone flat out for growth despite the imperative to preserve economic and financial stability ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
That is because the 2008 pump-priming has swapped one sort of dangerous imbalance for another: China’s external surplus has shrunk, but the economy has become more dependent than ever on investment, which accounts for close to 50 percent of GDP. Personal consumption, by contrast, is no more than 35 percent of GDP, half that of the United States.
Beijing wants better-balanced growth and so, to the surprise of some, it has kept in place curbs to tamp down house prices. It has also kept local government investment on a fairly tight leash. Local governments have been planning projects that they can not cover and look to the central government when they are in trouble.
Seen in this light, the danger from this week’s figures is not so much that growth undershoots but that, if it does, Beijing presses the panic button and puts investment spending back on the fast track.
“The risk is that you get more stimulus but it leads to a more unbalanced economy,” Nomura’s Subbaraman said.
As such, he said he would be paying particular attention to the relative strength of July’s data on retail sales and fixed-asset investment.
Economists have been paring their full-year growth forecasts for China to 8 percent or less. Markets would react badly to a further slowdown, but Ting Lu, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s China economist, said even a 7 percent pace would not be bad given the weakness in the global economy.
“We expect China to achieve a growth soft-landing if the euro zone does not break up,” Lu, who has an 8 percent forecast, said. “We see many risks, but the Chinese economy is still far from collapse.”
Shifting Down a Gear
Economists at Barclays Capital agreed that the overwhelming likelihood was recovery rather than relapse in China over the rest of the year as the government steps up efforts to support growth.
But they said financial markets needed to adjust their expectations to a China that grows at 8 percent a year and not the 10 percent average annual rate of the past three decades.
“Unlike post the 2008-09 crisis, China will not save the world. Political and economic constraints in China (as well as in the other economies) suggest there will be no silver bullet or panacea to quickly pull the global economy out of the doldrums, and 2012 will be a difficult year,” they said in a report.
No outside central bank watches China more closely than the Reserve Bank of Australia, given the Australian economy’s dependence on commodity exports to the Middle Kingdom.
In a quiet week for major central banks, the RBA is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at a policy meeting on Tuesday.
Citi expects some small upgrades to the RBA’s economic forecasts when it released its quarterly monetary policy statement on Friday.
In Britain, by contrast, the Bank of England may well revise down its forecasts for growth and inflation in 2012 and 2013 when it publishes its latest inflation report on Wednesday, according to economists at Investec.
After the rains and wind die down. It’s time for a drink. Another crazy Shanghai night. It’s got some of the best D.J’s in Shanghai. It’s one of Shanghai’s hidden gems.
888-1 Changping Lu,
near Jiaozhou Lu