One of the world’s leading university ranking systems has found significant improvement in Asia’s tertiary education institutions over the past year, although long-established Western bodies continue to dominate the field in most key academic subjects.
QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a London-based group, published its 2017 rankings covering 1,127 universities from 74 countries across 46 subjects. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, described as “perennial rivals” by QS, led all universities in the field in 15 and 12 subjects, respectively.
But the prominence of Asian universities has been increasing in recent years. While elite U.S. and European institutions are likely to remain at the top of the rankings in the near future, more Asian universities nonetheless are moving up the list, as regional economies grow and education spending increases.
“It seems certain that Asia’s leading institutions will continue to strongly displace the second tier of North American and European institutions,” said QS research director Ben Sowter.
The rankings are based on academic paper citations as well as on survey responses from 74,651 academics and 40,643 employers worldwide.
According to the QS report, the best Asian performers were from China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, although universities in the Philippines also made rapid progress lower down the list.
Chinese FX reserves data published a short while ago 7 Jan
- total reserves now near 6-year lows
- gold reserves USD 67.878bln vs 69.785bln prev
- gold reserves 59.24mln troy oz vs 59.240mln prev
A drop in reserves of $41bln, albeit less than the $51bln expected versus a $69bln drop in November and the 6th straight month of declines.
The PBOC has now been forced to reduce its reserves by half a trillion USD since Aug 2015 after it devalued the yuan in a surprise move.
Plenty of fun and games this past week for the offshore and onshore yuan with o/n depo rates surging above 95% at one point.
Yesterday the PBOC hiked CNY by the biggest amount in 11 years vs USD and the onshore pair closed at 6.9230. The Chinese MOFCOM also had this to say on outflow curbs.
Two months ago, when looking at an alternative measure of Chinese capital outflows using SAFE data, Goldman found that contrary to official PBOC reserve data, “China’s Capital Outflows Are Soaring Again”, having hit $78 billion in September.
Over the weekend, and following the latest PBOC data which revealed an outflow of $56 billion in November (which was only $34 billion when FX adjusted), Goldman repeated its FX flow calculation using SAFE data, and found the China continues to mask the full extent of its outflows, which in November spiked to $69 billion, and that “since June, this data has continued to suggest significantly larger FX sales by the PBOC than is implied by FX reserve data”, once again suggesting that China is eager to mask the true extent of reserve outflows, perhaps in an attempt to not precipitate the feedback loop of even further panicked selling of Yuan and even more outflows, and thus, even more reserve depletion.
According to Goldman’s MK Tang, money has been leaving in yuan payments for 14 consecutive months, while the central bank’s yuan positions have slumped the most since January. The situation could get worse, said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Ltd, cited by Bloomberg.
In addition to its now traditional credit-funded boom-bubble-bust cycle which rotates from asset to asset, and is then promptly recycled courtesy of the nearly $35 trillion in various financial system “assets”, another staple of the “new” Chinese economy are smog alerts following every burst in economic strength driven by “old economy” manufacturing.
That’s what happened overnight, when following months of manufacturing expansion, China’s pollution problem has again caught up, and as a result Beijing’s city government ordered 1,200 factories near the Chinese capital, including a major oil refinery run by state oil giant Sinopec, to shut or cut output on Saturday after authorities issued the highest possible air pollution alert.
Notice from ministry of improved reality: for Beijing’s supersmog weekend, the official name of smog has been changed to “Parfum de GDP.” pic.twitter.com/hIWfSTMqok
— Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) December 16, 2016
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) December 16, 2016
Traffic on the city’s roads was lower than usual as residents complied with limits on car use and many of the city’s 22 million residents sat out the haze at home. “I’ll just take a rest and not go outside,” said Wang Jianan, a 23-year-old Beijing resident and teaching assistant. With Christmas just a week away, others resorted to dark humour to help cope with the latest episode of toxic air.
Chinese media reported that at least 388 people have been fined for lighting outdoor barbecues and fires.
China will soon slap a penalty on an un-named U.S. automaker for monopolistic behaviour, the official China Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday, quoting a senior state planning official.
Investigators found the U.S. company had instructed distributors to fix prices starting in 2014, Zhang Handong, director of the National Development and Reform Commission’s price supervision bureau, was quoted as saying.
Beijing maintains that self-ruled Taiwan is a wayward province of China and has never renounced the use of force to take it back.
Zhang was quoted in an exclusive interview with the newspaper as saying that no one should “read anything improper” into the timing or target of the penalty.
The article did not give further details.
It seems that Trump’s phone call with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen as well a recent pair of tweets from the president-elect blasting China for devaluing their currency, taxing U.S. imports and military provocations in the South China Sea have served their purpose of ruffling some feathers in Beijing.
While the “official reaction” out of Beijing to Trump’s “provocations and falsehoods” has been muted, newspapers across China, often viewed as a mouthpiece of the Communist Party, have spent the day lashing out at the “diplomatic rookie.”. Per Yahoo News, the People’s Daily accused Trump of “provoking friction and messing up China-US relations,” a move they say will not help “make America great again.”
Donald Trump is a “diplomatic rookie” who must learn not to cross Beijing on issues like trade and Taiwan, Chinese state media said Tuesday, warning America could pay dearly for his naivety.
Trump’s protocol-shattering call with Taiwan’s president and a subsequent Twitter tirade against Beijing’s policies could risk upending the delicate balance between the world’s two largest economies, major media outlets said.
“Provoking friction and messing up China-US relations won’t help ‘make America great again'”, said a front-page opinion piece in the overseas edition of Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily.
Bloomberg with headlines from Financial News
- Yuan is unlikely to depreciate sharply for long
- China’s FX reserves are big enough to combat yuan fall
- China must interfere in the yuan market when necessary
USD/CNY mid rate, higher (weaker CNY) after the overnight USD strength
- PBOC Inject 95bn yuan through 7-day reverse repos
- PBOC Inject 65bn yuan through 14-day reverse repos
- PBOC Inject 35bn yuan through 28-day reverse repos
- A net 595bn yuan injected this week (compared with net 95.5bn injected the previous week)