Category Archives: News

Bank of England warns: UK economic outlook has deteriorated significantly

International Business News  –  On July 5, local time, the Bank of England warned that the outlook for the UK and global economy has “seriously deteriorated”. The Bank of England said energy and fuel costs were rising rapidly around the world, making the cost of living rising faster overall.

In the Bank of England’s latest Financial Stability Report, the bank said the UK banking sector was well-positioned to deal with a severe recession, but noted that banks must increase their reserves to deal with shocks. From now on, banks will be required to set aside an amount equal to 2% of their total assets as a buffer instead of the normal 1%.

UK petrol prices hit record high sparks protests

International Business News  –  Financial Associated Press, July 4 News As domestic oil prices soared due to sanctions against Russia, European and American countries have recently put pressure on OPEC to increase production.  Shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden spoke last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week urged Saudi Arabia to increase oil production in an attempt to cool record fuel prices.

Johnson told the British House of Commons on Monday that “there may be some question as to how much more Saudi Arabia can increase production at this particular moment. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that they need to produce more oil.”

Last week, Biden said he hoped major Persian Gulf producers would increase output. Biden will visit several countries in the Middle East this month, including Saudi Arabia. Market speculation is that Biden’s trip is to persuade Saudi Arabia to increase production to suppress oil prices.

Crude prices have remained above $110 a barrel for much of this year as supplies can’t keep up with post-pandemic rebounding demand, significantly increasing the cost of living for consumers and potentially tipping the global economy into recession.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that Western sanctions on Russia’s energy trade have roiled global oil markets and could lead to the worst supply disruption in decades.

“There is no question that we need OPEC+ to produce more oil,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s call comes as UK petrol prices hit record highs, sparking a wave of “slow down” protests on the country’s motorways.

Petrol prices in the country have hit a record high of 191.53 pence ($2.32) a litre, while diesel prices are just shy of the record 199.03 pence a litre, according to the Royal Automobile Club (RAC). Soaring fuel prices are driving Britain’s highest inflation rate in years.

OPEC+ fails to contain oil prices

OPEC+ has agreed to accelerate its planned output increase this summer, although investment restrictions and political instability mean most members cannot provide additional supply. Analysts are now even skeptical about how much extra capacity Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two of OPEC+’s main oil exporters, can deploy.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron told the U.S. president at the G7 summit that UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed revealed that the UAE’s oil production has reached “maximum” and that Saudi Arabia can only “add a little more”.

While the UAE quickly clarified that “maximum” production refers only to its OPEC+ quota, questions remain about the ability of the two exporters to increase production.

Official Saudi figures show the kingdom’s crude output could reach 12 million barrels a day, about 1.5 million barrels higher than current levels. But Saudi Arabia’s previous highest monthly production level was only 11.6 million bpd in April 2020, according to data compiled by the media.

Some of the latest data shows that OPEC+ is also doing little to help rein in prices.

OPEC production fell by 120,000 barrels a day in June, the second straight monthly decline, the survey showed. OPEC+ producers have supplied more than 500 million barrels of oil to the global market over the past two years, according to media reports last week.

UK PM Johnson agrees to resign

International Business News  –  According to the British “Guardian” news, the current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has agreed to resign, but hopes to stay in office until this autumn, until the British Conservative Party elects a successor.

According to reports, on July 7, local time, the new British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadim Zahavi once again called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign. A day earlier, he had called for Johnson’s resignation at the Prime Minister’s Office. It is reported that more than 50 government officials have resigned after losing confidence in Prime Minister Johnson.

Earlier, a large number of British people gathered near the British Prime Minister’s Office to demonstrate and protest, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Johnson.

UK to expand data mining freedom for AI

International Business News  –  On June 28, 2022, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) announced that the UK will expand the application of the data mining copyright exception following a review of artificial intelligence policy.

UKIPO conducted a consultation on IP and AI issues between October 2021 and January 2022, the results of which confirmed the above policy.

As part of the consultation, UKIPO asked stakeholders whether the current UK patent and copyright law was appropriate to deal with intellectual property issues in the field of artificial intelligence.

One of the biggest debates in the UK and internationally is whether intellectual property offices should grant patents listing AI applications as inventors.

But UKIPO has decided to take no action and limit the most significant policy changes to the copyright area.

The biggest change in intellectual property policy will be the expansion of the data mining copyright exception. Data mining is the process of using software to analyze data, including for training artificial intelligence.

Under the UK government’s scheme, anyone with legal access to copyrighted material can carry out this kind of data analysis without further permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright owners can still control access to their data by others, but can not charge additional fees to interested parties for data mining purposes.

Data mining of copyrighted material is legal in the UK, but only for non-commercial use. This means that the current exception does not apply to the training of many AI programs. Matt Hervey, head of artificial intelligence law at London law firm Gowling WLG, said that the UK’s new policy was more favourable than EU rules, which allow data mining but copyright owners can opt out.

“The UK government is taking a very pro-innovation position for text and data mining,” Hervey said.

He added: “Compared to EU rules, having no opt-out mechanism is more conducive to commercial AI innovation and supports our world-class AI industry.”

British Science, Research and Innovation Minister George Freeman said the UK’s copyright framework would be one of the most AI-friendly in the world.

Freeman said: “The UK’s new rules on copyright and data mining will be a catalyst for innovation organisations to flourish, helping to ensure that the UK’s intellectual property system remains a strong enabler of breakthrough research and development.”

UK illegally extends steel tariffs

International Business News  –  A few days ago, the British International Trade Minister Trevelyan said that the United Kingdom will extend the import protection tariff for steel products until June 2024, as a way to protect the British domestic steel industry. It is reported that, in order to prevent the influx of steel products into the British market, the steel safeguard tariffs mainly for developed countries and China, and plans to gradually expand to other developing countries. Trevelyan said that the British side has been in contact with the relevant parties on the future situation of the safeguard measures. British authorities acknowledged that the move may conflict with World Trade Organization rules and may face legal challenges from the WTO, but the removal of safeguards on steel would cause more serious damage to the British steel industry.

1  The UK extended the safeguard tariffs on steel imports for two years for five products

In 2018, the UK, then still a member of the EU, introduced steel safeguards with the EU to protect domestic steel producers from cheap international steel. After Brexit, the UK decided to retain the EU global safeguard measures for steel products and reduce the scope of application of the measures from 26 major categories to 19 major categories of steel products. in October 2020, the UK trade remedy investigation authority launched a transitional review of the measures to decide whether to continue the measures or make adjustments after their expiration.On June 30, 2021, the UK Department for International Trade issued an announcement and decided to extend the implementation period of global safeguard measures for 15 major categories of steel products, of which the measures applicable to 10 major categories of steel products were extended for 3 years, and the measures applicable to 5 major categories of steel products were extended by 1 year, and the implementation method was to impose a 25% tariff on imports exceeding the quota. Therefore, the UK steel safeguards currently apply to 15 steel types, of which 10 steel measures are valid until June 2024 and 5 steel products expire on 30 June this year. A few days ago, the British Department of International Trade proposed a plan to extend tariffs on these five categories of products for another two years. At the same time, the authorities also hope that safeguard restrictions will be imposed on some developing countries whose imports exceed the thresholds established by law. Britain’s international trade secretary Trevillian said extending tariffs on steel products was crucial to protecting Britain’s steel industry. The UK Trade Remedy Authority (TRA) also recently announced that the data of the global steel market shows that in the foreseeable future, the relevant steel products in the international market are very likely to face the problem of oversupply. After a comprehensive assessment of a number of indicators such as capacity, import trends and UK market attractiveness, the TRA said that if this safeguard is removed, imports of all types of steel products could increase significantly, which will cause serious damage to the UK steel industry. Based on this, Trevillian stressed that the removal of steel safeguards will lead to an increase in imports, which will cause serious damage to local steel producers, so the British authorities have decided to extend the measures. In addition, she added that import restrictions on developing countries were intended to serve the same purpose.

2 British circles have different attitudes to the decision to extend the steel safeguard measures

Considering that the influx of cheap steel could cause thousands of people to lose their jobs in the UK, the British authorities decided to extend the steel safeguard measures. In this regard, the British steel industry expressed support and praised the determination of the authorities to protect the British domestic steel industry. Gareth Stas, director general of the British Steel Institute, pointed out that the British government’s safeguard measures will prevent a surge in imports from steel markets such as the United States and Europe, which will jeopardize employment and investment in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the British Forging Association (CBM) is opposed to this. Even though the British authorities have repeatedly reiterated that the decision is aimed at solving the employment problem in the UK, CBM has warned that the tariff, which aims to protect the British steel production sector, has had a serious impact on the more than 200 members of the association, and the existence of the tariff has caused downstream industries. domestic demand cannot be met. If the government does not reconsider its decision to extend steel safeguards, thousands of downstream manufacturing jobs will still be lost in the UK domestic supply chain. Contractors and subcontractors in UK automotive, aerospace, construction and general engineering are currently paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to import steel of the specific quality and properties they require from steel mills in Europe. CBM said that while the move was welcomed by UK-based steelmakers, it was not enough to eliminate unnecessary financial costs and damage to industries downstream in the supply chain, while also increasing lost orders and shifting production from the UK possibility of going out. Steve, the chairman of the association, believes that British steel mills are unable to provide the specific steel required by the association members to support the British domestic and export supply chain. The extension of safeguards means member businesses will continue to operate under a high degree of uncertainty. If this uncertainty persists over the next two years, it will lead overseas holding companies to constantly question the viability of UK manufacturing. Even if tariff levels are reduced, tariff costs will cause unreasonable damage to these downstream players.

3  Britain’s decision to extend steel tariffs may face legal challenges at the WTO

In addition, Johnson’s unstable leadership may also be one of the reasons for his proposed extension of steel tariffs. At present, the United Kingdom is caught in the dire waters of inflation, and the inflation rate in May refreshed a 40-year record. The strike of the century has also been staged in the UK, which has made ordinary British people full of doubts about Johnson. At the moment, the steel tariffs can be used as a bargaining chip for Johnson to appease the British industry and restore some positive images. However, the move could face legal challenges from the WTO for breaching WTO obligations. Although Trevelyan has repeatedly emphasized that the original intention of extending the steel import safeguard measures is to protect the British steel industry, she also admitted that although the plan to protect the British steel industry is in the “national interest”, it also “deviates from the British international legal obligations”. Likewise, the decision was condemned by free-market supporters. Conservative MP Anthony Mannall has voiced his support for protecting the steel industry, but “not by extending safeguards like this”. Liam Fox, the former UK international trade secretary and chairman of the trade committee, also urged Johnson’s government to drop the tariffs, saying the UK should “play a leadership role in free trade” rather than “damaging its global reputation to the detriment of other economies at home”. The sector is in uncertainty.” He bluntly said that protectionism, like inflation, hits low-income people the hardest. This is not dissimilar to Britain breaking its WTO commitments with steel measures. While human protection may take some of the pressure off UK steel producers, countries whose exports have been hit because of UK steel safeguards, such as Turkey, India and South Korea, could impose retaliatory tariffs on UK cars or whisky products , thereby affecting the rest of the UK economy. For example, South Korea, which has £13.3bn of trade with the UK, is unlikely to stand idly by and watch its steel exports be curbed without any countermeasures. As a result, Fox believes that “choosing protectionism is one of the worst decisions this administration has ever made”. To play a leading role in free trade, British authorities will have to find an alternative solution for the steel industry that does not damage Britain’s global reputation or jeopardize the rest of the economy at home.

Mingyang Smart successfully listed in the UK

International Business News  –  Recently, another Chinese company successfully listed in the UK.

British Investor (July 13, 2022) was informed that Mingyang Smart Energy Group Co., Ltd. (referred to as Mingyang Smart), a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer, will officially land on the main board of the London Stock Exchange today (July 13). , the stock code is MYSE.

Last Friday (July 8), Mingyang Intelligence submitted a Publication of a Prospectus on the London Stock Exchange, stating that it would be listed in London by issuing Global Depositary Receipts (GDR).

After the completion of this GDR issuance, Mingyang Intelligence will also become the 4th Chinese company listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange through the “Shanghai-London Stock Connect”.

According to the information on the official website of the London Stock Exchange, Mingyang Intelligence issued a total of 31,280,500 GDRs in this listing. Each GDR represents 5 A shares of the company’s underlying securities, and the corresponding number of new A shares of the underlying securities is 156,402,500 shares.

Before the exercise of the over-allotment option, the company’s total share capital was changed to 2,260,185,706 shares after the listing of the newly added underlying securities A shares corresponding to the GDR issued by the company.

Based on the price of US$21 per GDR, Mingyang Intelligence will raise a total of US$656.89 million in this listing.

According to the over-allotment option arrangement, Mingyang Smart can also issue additional GDRs by exercising the over-allotment option and raise additional funds of no more than US$50 million. It is assumed that the over-allotment option is fully exercised (the corresponding number of GDR issuance is 2.38 million).

Mingyang Intelligence also stated in the prospectus that the purpose of this issuance of GDR to raise funds is to:

  • About 60% of the net proceeds will be used to enhance the Group’s wind turbine manufacturing and sales capabilities (including research, manufacturing and sales of the Group’s wind turbines);
  • About 20% of the net proceeds will be used to promote the Group’s internationalization strategy;
  • About 10% of the net proceeds will be used to enhance the group’s photovoltaic, energy storage and hydrogen energy capabilities;
  • About 10% of the net proceeds will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes.

UBS, HSBC and CLSA are the joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners of Mingyang Intelligence; CICC and Haitong International are the joint bookrunners; Tianyuan and Linklaters are the Chinese lawyers and the company’s British lawyers respectively.

The prospectus also shows that Mr. Zhang Chuanwei, Ms. Wu Ling (Zhang Chuanwei’s wife), and Mr. Zhang Rui (Zhang Chuanwei’s son) were the substantial controllers in Mingyang Smart’s shareholder structure before its listing on the London Stock Exchange.

In the three fiscal years of 2019, 2020, 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, Mingyang Smart’s operating income was 10.493 billion, 22.457 billion, 27.158 billion and 7.029 billion yuan, respectively, and the corresponding net profit was 661 million , 1.304 billion, 2.959 billion and 1.406 billion yuan.

Who is Mingyang Intelligence?

Mingyang Intelligent was established in 2006 and is headquartered in Zhongshan, Guangdong, China.

The company is a Chinese A-share listed company, ranking 18th among the top 500 global new energy companies in 2021, and ranking first in the global offshore wind power innovation ranking.

In 2020, Mingyang Smart opened a business and engineering center in Hamburg, Germany.

In 2021, Mingyang also won a wind turbine manufacturing contract in Italy and successfully entered the European offshore wind power market.

For the UK, Mingyang Smart said that the company is very interested in using UK engineering technology, manufacturing components and other services to develop its local supply chain.

Mingyang Intelligence has deployed five centers around the world, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Silicon Valley in the United States, and Hamburg in Germany. A base for R&D, complete machine parts manufacturing and engineering services.

In December 2021, Mingyang Smart and the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) signed a memorandum of understanding, announcing their intention to use the UK as their manufacturing base in Europe, and plans to build the UK’s first-ever wind turbine assembly plant.

According to the official announcement, Mingyang Intelligence will invest in the construction of a blade manufacturing plant, a service center and possibly a wind turbine assembly plant in the UK.

If the project goes well, the investment will create the UK’s first wind turbine assembly plant, which will also mean greater local manufacturing capacity for UK offshore wind power and create more green jobs in the UK.

Mingyang Smart said that the reason why it chose to build a factory in the UK is because of the great potential of wind power in the UK.

Statistics show that the UK is one of the largest markets for offshore wind power in the world, and it is planned that the installed capacity of offshore wind power generation will reach 40GW by 2030. The UK is expected to be the second largest offshore wind market in the world after China by 2035.

What other Chinese companies have successfully listed in the UK?

In fact, in addition to Mingyang Intelligence, many Chinese companies have successfully landed on the London Stock Exchange through Shanghai-London Stock Connect or direct listing. They are:

1. Huatai Securities

On June 11, 2019, Huatai Securities announced that it would issue no more than 75.0137 million Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) on the London Stock Exchange, with each GDR representing 10 A shares of the company.

The GDRs issued this time have been officially listed on the London Stock Exchange and traded on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

As a Chinese listed company, Huatai Securities has also become the first A-share company listed on the London Stock Exchange through the Shanghai-London Stock Connect after obtaining the issuance approval from the British FCA.

2. China Pacific Insurance

On September 23, 2019, China Pacific Insurance (“CPIC”) issued an announcement announcing that it would issue Global Depository Receipts (GDR) and list them on the London Stock Exchange. A Chinese company listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange.

According to the announcement, the new A-shares of the underlying securities represented by the GDR issued by China Pacific Insurance will not exceed 628.67 million shares, which will not exceed 10% of the company’s A-shares before the issuance.

After successfully landing on the London Stock Exchange, China Pacific Insurance has also become the first insurance company in China to be listed on A+H+G (Shanghai, Hong Kong, London).

3. SDIC Power

On the evening of October 29, 2019, SDIC Power issued an announcement saying that the company has received the approval document issued by the China Securities Regulatory Commission and approved the issuance of no more than about 67.8602 million Global Depository Receipts (GDR), corresponding to the newly added A-share underlying stocks. Not more than about 679 million shares.

After the completion of this GDR issuance, it means that SDIC Power can be listed on the London Stock Exchange (hereinafter referred to as the London Stock Exchange), becoming the third Chinese company to be listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange through the “Shanghai-London Stock Connect”.

SDIC Power is a comprehensive power listed company that focuses on hydropower, combines water and fire, and supplements scenery. Its controlling shareholder is State Development and Investment Group Co., Ltd.

4. RC365

In March 2022, RC365, a financial technology company from Hong Kong, China, has successfully listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RCGH.

According to RC365, a total of 32,534,591 new shares were issued in this listing, and the issue price per ordinary share was 6.2 pence (issue price), and a total of 2 million pounds was raised in this listing. At the issue price, RC365 has a market value of approximately £6.7 million.

RC365 was established in Hong Kong, China in 2013, focusing on fintech, including online and offline payment platform solutions.

It is worth mentioning that RC365 is also the first Chinese company to be approved by FCA and listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange in the form of direct listing during the new crown epidemic.

China becomes UK’s largest source of international students

International Business News  –  The latest data shows that the number of Chinese students applying to study in the UK has reached a new high.

According to the UK University and College Admissions Service (UCAS), as of June 30, 31,400 Chinese students had applied to study at UK universities, an increase of 10% from last year and an increase of nearly 60% from 2019. Before 2020, most foreign students in the UK came from EU countries, with about 50,000 applicants per year. But EU students have to pay higher tuition fees after the UK leaves the EU, which is also the reason for the decline in EU students.

Britons have mixed views on the issue. In an interview with the Telegraph, Nick Hillman, director of the UK Higher Education Policy Institute, expressed concern that UK universities are too economically dependent on China.

He said: “It’s great for me to have so many Chinese nationals wanting to study in the UK, but our universities are at serious risk due to geopolitical changes.” He added: “If the UK-China relationship changes, UK universities will be the big losers will have to scale back the research they do.”

Starbucks considering leaving UK

International Business News  –  US coffee chain giant Starbucks is considering leaving the UK market due to competition and changing consumer preferences.

According to the BBC, Starbucks turned to a consulting firm to consider selling some of its stores. Starbucks has more than 1,000 stores in the UK and about 4,000 employees.

In March, Starbucks ceased operations in Russia after Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine.

UK steel industry opposes lifting of anti-dumping measures against China

International Business News  –  According to the British “Financial Times” report,  British Trade Remedy Office proposed to remove anti-dumping duties on high-fatigue-resistant steel bars produced in China, because the continued implementation of these measures is no longer in the UK’s economic interest.

Trade Remedies Authority, established only last year, is an independent arms-length body that advises ministerial officials. The agency proposes to remove existing anti-dumping duties on Chinese-made high-fatigue-resistance steel bars, which are used in the UK and Ireland to increase concrete strength.

British manufacturing companies have warned that the removal of anti-dumping measures on a Chinese steel could lead to an influx of this steel into the UK at low prices and threaten hundreds of jobs in the industry.

UK workers see biggest drop in wages in more than two decades

International Business News  –  British workers are struggling to cope with the biggest drop in wages in more than two decades as food and energy prices have risen sharply, official figures released Tuesday night, Singapore time 19, showed.

According to data released Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the real wages of British workers – that is, workers’ wages adjusted for inflation – fell 2.8 percent from March to May compared with the same period last year. That’s the biggest drop since the ONS began recording the data in 2001.

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned amid a series of ethics scandals that cost the Johnson administration too much to ignore. His successor will also face a daunting set of economic and financial challenges.

For months, rising global energy and commodity prices have fueled global inflation, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict has added to the situation. The U.K. is the world’s fifth-largest economy, and the country has been one of the most severely affected by inflation among the world’s richest countries.

Britain’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 9.1 percent in May, a 40-year high and the highest level of inflation among G7 countries. The country’s CPI increase is expected to climb to more than 11 percent later this year, despite a series of interest rate hikes in the U.K.

British families are also feeling the pressure of inflation. Mind-boggling energy and grocery expenses have plunged Britons into the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. This year, the Bank of England estimates that Britons will see the second-largest annual drop in disposable income since records began in 1964.

According to data released Tuesday by research firm Kantar, inflation on Britons’ grocery bills reached nearly 10 percent in the four weeks ending July 10. That means the average Briton will spend an extra 454 pounds ($545) on food and necessities this year.

And according to energy research firm Cornwall Insight, the average energy bill for millions of British households is estimated to be more than £3,000 ($3,603) in the year beginning in October. In April this year, Britons’ energy bills soared by 54 percent. The U.K. government will adjust the energy price cap each October to limit the amount suppliers can charge customers per unit of energy.