< HOME  Sunday, December 25, 2005

Made in CHINA; Or, is it?

Everything Americans buy today is "made in China." But, who drives the Chinese economy?
Citigroup Inc, the world's biggest bank, will increase its stake in [China's] Pudong Development Bank Co. to 19.9 percent, from 4.6 percent, after the Chinese lender agreed to scrap an exclusivity agreement.

Citigroup will then hold the maximum stake permitted under Chinese regulations, the Shanghai-based lender said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange. Citigroup will also be free to invest in other Chinese banks.
Like they say, never put all your eggs in one basket! Pretty soon, Citibank won't care if America's economy goes to hell in a handbasket.
Citigroup is leading a bid of about 22 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) for 85 percent [!!!] of Guangdong Development Bank, which is aiming to be the first Chinese bank to sell at least 51 percent of its shares to private investors.

The New York-based bank trails rivals such as HSBC Holdings Plc in tapping China's $1.7 trillion household savings market [holy cow!] after missing a chance to invest in No. 3 lender China Construction Bank Corp.
Citibank is the slowpoke of international banks!
Citigroup's bid for Guangdong Bank, the second-largest lender in the southern Chinese province, had required approval from Pudong Bank because Citigroup agreed in 2003 that it wouldn't invest in a second bank.

Pudong Bank has agreed to the waiver as long as Guangdong Bank avoids directly competing with Pudong Bank . . .Citigroup is barred from setting up credit-card operations with Guangdong Bank and also is required to keep its Pudong Bank stake
Sounds like a shameless oligopoly to me.
Citigroup and Pudong Bank have together issued about 300,000 so-called dual-currency credit cards and they plan to issue up to 1 million cards by the end of next year.
If international bankers have their way, within 50 years the Chinese will be up to their eyeballs in consumer debt, just like Americans.
Pudong Bank, with 335 branches nationwide, is targeting 18 percent annual earnings growth [holy cow!] for the next five years. The company's bad-loan ratio was 2.2 percent on Sept. 30, compared with 3.9 percent at China Construction Bank Corp., the nation's third-biggest lender, as of June 30.
LOW risk, HIGH yield; standard operating procedure for moneylenders.

Now, you know what 'made in China' REALLY means.


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