3 Must Read Stories: Chinese Financial Market Reforms, Bitcoin Rally, China-Singapore Relations Back on Track

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is holding a meeting on Tuesday to discuss a raft of reforms  which would give foreign investors greater access to the financial services industry in the world’s second biggest economy.

Here’s the South China Morning Postwith the details:

The People’s Bank of China will convene an internal meeting on Tuesday to discuss its proposals and get feedback from Chinese institutions, said the people, who asked not to be names.

The meeting will also discuss the timetable for opening up the financial sector and the lessons learned from previous cooperation with foreign firms, they added.

While the details of the plan have yet to be finalised, it may include permission for foreign institutions to control their local finance-sector joint ventures, as well as raising the current 25 per cent ceiling on foreign ownership in Chinese banks.

It may also allow foreign firms to provide yuan-denominated bank card clearing services. The China Banking Regulatory Commission is also said to be involved in the proposal.

The knifes have been out for Bitcoin recently amid increased scrutiny from Chinese authorities and a host of experts slamming the crypto-currency.  However, the demise of Bitcoin has been greatly exaggerated. Having fallen for seven consecutive days to close at $3,391 last Thursday, the digital currency has rallied more than 20% to around $4,029 as concerns over the Chinese crackdown ease. Bloomberghas the details:

The cryptocurrency has breached $4,000, soaring more than 20 percent from the lows reached Friday, as concern eases that a crackdown by Chinese regulators will hinder the growth of the alternative method of exchange. After reaching a record high of $4,921 on Sept. 1, the digital currency fell as low as $2,975 on Sept. 15.

Prices are rebounding because traders in China are likely to switch to alternative exchanges or seek loopholes in the regulation, said Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center, a Washington-based nonprofit research firm focusing on cryptocurrencies.

“The efficacy of any bitcoin ban is pretty dubious,” said Van Valkenburgh. “It’s bullish because if a powerful government like China feels the need to ban major trading, then it’s a good indicator that the technology works and that it does what it’s supposed to. If it overcomes those controls, then it’s further proof that it’s independent from government controls, which is pretty radical.”

The visit to China by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong starting Tuesday is a sign that relations between the two nations are are back on track, according to the South China Morning Post. Relations between the the world’s second largest economy and the city state had been tested after Singapore was seen as siding with the U.S in China’s claims to historic and economic rights in the South China Sea.  Here’s the South China Morning Post with the details of what will be on the agenda:

In an interview with Xinhua on Monday, Lee said the two sides would discuss the development of a high-speed railway linking Singapore with the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. He suggested also that Chinese companies could set up regional headquarters and solicit capital through the city state for projects under China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”.

In May, Lee did not attend a summit in Beijing about the grand plan to boost infrastructure and trade links from Asia to Africa, which cast a shadow over bilateral ties.

His absence came after Beijing blamed Singapore for siding with the United States on South China Sea disputes – in which Singapore is not a claimant – and honouring an international tribunal ruling from July 2016 that dismissed most of Beijing’s claims to the disputed waters.