Since October 2018, emerging markets have once again gained favor from international capital.
In this context, the MSCI expansion of A shares and the inclusion of A shares into the FTSE Em
erging Markets Index will likely happen in 2019, with foreign investment attracted by such major international o
pportunities. Latest data showed that in the fourth quarter of 2018, net inflow of direct investment by overseas financial ins
titutions soared to $2.14 billion, marking the highest level since the third quarter of 2015. Thanks to the overseas investment inflow, China’s capital ou
tflow pressure is expected to continue to be eased in 2019, thus reducing the restraint on its monetary policy.
Third, the yuan’s exchange rate continued to return to its normal valuation. In the long
run, the yuan’s rate reflects changes in China’s economic fundamentals, with two-way fluctuations surrounding its eq
uilibrium exchange rate. In the third quarter of 2018, the effective exchange rate of the yuan was greatly lower than the equilibrium rate. I
n the fourth quarter, the yuan’s rate rebounded slightly, indicating the effective exchange rate had started to r
eturn to its equilibrium level. Due to the still existing gap between the effective rate and equilibrium rate, there is room
for the yuan’s rate to return to its valuation, conducive to further buffering of the external exchange rate risk.
pressures, it is actually a need for China’s economic development, at the current stage, to further open up markets. Thus, the c
ountry’s accelerated opening-up is not only the response to the external risks, but also a key step in transforming pressures into new growth momentum.
So far, the openness of China’s manufacturing sector is relatively high, especially compared to the degree of ope
nness in the service industry, with foreign ownership limits and license restrictions set in such sectors like m
edical care, education, express delivery and others. Since the overall manufacturing sector is now basically opening up,
there is a high possibility that China will expand the opening of the service industry in the near future. Specifically, finance, medical care, education
and elderly care are all potential sectors that could see greater market access, as the current Chinese society is also in need of these services.
In other words, China has already got the basic conditions for further opening up of its service industry. With the country’s
per capita GDP exceeding $9,000, the proportion of residents’ basic living consumption has declined, while the co
nsumption demand for information, culture, medical care, education, elderly care, entertainment and other services has increased.
Some observers, however, have been concerned about the impact of increased opening-up on the domestic services industry. It is
undeniable that such an impact is inevitable, but it should be viewed as the pressure to stimulate the innovation and
Nigerians on Saturday expressed disappointment at the electoral body’s postponem
ent of the presidential election few hours to the commencement of voting in the country.
Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the shift
ing of the polls until Feb. 23 at a midnight press conference, saying the scheduled proceeding of the voting was not “feasible.”
“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and
the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the Commission came to the co
nclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible,” Yakubu said.
Likewise, the electoral body postponed gubernatorial elections in the country, earlier slated for March 2, also by one week.
Although Nigerians are used to elections being postponed, the postp
onement of this year’s presidential polls in the country was greeted by criticism.
The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council said i
t received with great disappointment and disillusionment the announcement of the postponement of the election by the electoral body.