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Peter Fuhrman
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Chairman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at China First Capital (www.chinafirstcapital.com) , a China-based international investment bank and advisory firm for capital markets and M&A transactions. China First Capital was established in 2007 and has its headquarters in Shenzhen, China.... More
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  • The ‘children' Of Deng Xiaoping — Toronto Globe And Mail

    The 'children' of Deng Xiaoping

    (click to enlarge)
    From left: Yang Hongchang, Hung Huang, Zhuo Wei, Grace Huang, Wu Hai, He Yongzhi.

     

    The other Chinese revolution: Meet the people who took Deng's economic great leap forward

    By Nathan Vanderklippe

    -

    Deng Xiaoping was no Winston Churchill. He possessed a thick southern accent most people found nearly impenetrable, and was anything but garrulous. In fact, little of what he said was memorable or even original. His most-cited aphorism - "To get rich is glorious" - did not actually spill from his mouth; historians suspect its provenance can be traced to the West.

    But in deed more than word, Mr. Deng was the linchpin in redirecting China's economy away from the backward, centrally planned beast it had become under Mao Zedong. He set it on a path that would see decades of unrelenting growth and the creation of credulity-defying prosperity.

    What he wanted to do, he said in 1978, was to "light a spark" for change:


    Deng Xiaoping

    "If we can't grow faster than the capitalist countries, then we can't show the superiority of our system."

    - Deng, 1978

    And on many indicators, grow they did - more than the U.S

    He succeeded in spurring growth, and wildly so, marshalling the power of the world's most populous nation. Now, 110 years after his birth - an occasion that its leadership has sought to celebrate with lengthy TV biopics and other remembrances - China is filled with millionaires.

    But has the sudden influx of wealth made it happy?

    Where chasing profit was once grounds for harsh re-education, the country's heroes and superstars - Jack Ma and an entire generation of tuhao, or nouveau riche - are now, in ways both spiritual and economic, the children of Deng.

    President Xi Jinping has consciously sought to present himself as the current generation's version of Deng. But for many of Deng's figurative progeny, wealth and happiness haven't always come together. In a recent survey published in the People's Tribune magazine, worries about a moral vacuum, personal selfishness and anxiety over individual and professional status were high on the list of top concerns about the country today. The poll reflected a pervasive cultural disquiet that has reached even into the ranks of those most richly rewarded by the Deng-led opening up.

    "On the social level, money became the only currency in terms of personal relationships, and that's a really sad reality," says Yang Lan, one of the country's top television hosts.

    She points to "the lack of a value system" that she sees when she hears young girls "discussing how they would love to be a mistress so they can live a wealthy life before they are too old. And you see girls discussing these things very openly." China, she says, needs "a new social contract."

    There is little doubt that those who no longer need to worry about making money are more free to criticize others, raising the spectre of hypocrisy. But pained reflection has been among the less-anticipated products of the wealth China has amassed. The comforts of financial security have provided a new space to rethink the path the country has taken and ways it has fallen short.

    And as China's economy slows to a pace not seen in decades, it also faces a moment to consider the sweep of its modern history - decades marked by the vicious turbulence of the Mao years, followed by the full-throttle race away from it inspired by Mr. Deng.

    From 1978, the first year of the Deng-led reforms, China has been so thoroughly reshaped that even numbers struggle to do it justice. Gross domestic product has expanded 156-fold, the value of imports and exports is 727 times higher, and savings are up by a factor of 2,131.

    The growth has been driven by an extraordinary - and massive - cohort of people who have turned personal quests for profit into a national obsession. "China has, in absolute numbers as well as percentage of populace, the most successful entrepreneurs anywhere in the world," says Peter Fuhrman, chairman and founder of China First Capital, a specialist investment bank based in Shenzhen.

    But even those who most warmly embraced the Deng mandate are now pausing for a second look at a country whose vast financial progress has become marred by other problems.

    Read complete article by clicking here.

    Dec 13 8:20 AM | Link | Comment!
  • 我的老家南京,一个现代而古老的地方 21世纪网评论, My Commentary For 21CDH On Nanjing

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    21世纪网 PeterFuhrman 2014-11-27

    美国 南京 家乡 核心提示:我的老家南京,一座现代的君子之城。

    -

    博闻强识而让,敦善行而不怠,谓之君子。请允许我"偷懒"借用我的母校南京大学的校训作为此篇文章的标题,我很喜欢这个新的校训,这八个字不仅仅代表南大的风气,我认为她也正是南京的力量。虽然我出生在纽约,但南京永远是我的"老家",我的老家正是这样一座君子之城。

    南京曾经深受美国的影响,很多美国的老牌工业和商业企业都曾在南京有过他们的辉煌,但有些许遗憾的是,现在这些已渐渐消失了。感谢南京政府,现在让我有机会能够亲身参与,对"老家"的发展作出我力所能及的一些贡献。知史明鉴,在此我想先从一些历史谈起。

    在1981年,我作为研究生第一次来到中国的南京。当时,这还是一座正在沉睡的古老城市,拥有4百万人口及40亿人民币的GDP。现在,南京的人口已经翻了一番,GDP更是增长了200倍,对,你没有看错,30年,200倍,达到了8500亿元。

    即使是从中国目前的标准看,这个增速也是少见的。从1981年以来,南京的GDP增速基本是中国平均增速的两倍,从人均水平来看,南京甚至比北京更为富裕,其经济增速也超过了包括北京、上海在内的的众多大城市。

    可惜的是,美国公司在南京的飞速发展中并没有搭上顺风车。福特大概是为数不多的几个能在南京有一定参与度的美国公司,虽然它只拥有其南京工厂一半的股权;另一半则属于国企长安汽车。

    美国公司在中国投入了巨额的资金,现在看来这个趋势还将继续。但是,他们需要把目光和资本投向那些中国发展最快地方,而这些地方已不再是上海、北京和广州。事实证明,南京代表了一部分中国现在和未来的增长机遇。

    我上周回到南京去拜访一些老朋友及客户,也从南京政府手中正式接过了南京市招商顾问的聘书。这是我与南京市投促委主任孔秋云的合影。这项殊荣对我来说有着特别的意义,因为南京是我的中国"老家",每次回到南京的旅程都有着游子回家的感动。

    无 论我的身份如何,南京都是一个容易让人心生好感的地方。这是一个特别的城市,它有着过去33年不断的飞速发展,更有着2500年的历史文化沉淀。南京在中 国的文明史上有着重要的地位,古老的公园,街道及建筑随处可见。尽管也有着让人悲痛的历史--如1937年的大屠杀及太平天国运动之后的血腥内战--南京 依旧是一个蓬勃向上的城市,并且与中国传统绘画、书法及诗词艺术的发展有着紧密的关系。

    南京的地理位置非常优越。它是中国最富饶最发达地区的大门口,东连富饶的长江三角洲,西靠皖南丘陵,南接太湖水网,北接辽阔的江淮平原,同时是一个天然的河海良港。同时从长江往上,它还连接了湖北、四川、重庆、安徽等具有极大发展潜力的内陆地区。

    与 北京人相比,南京人的生活更悠闲舒适。南京坐落在中国最富饶的一片土地上,河流湖泊纵横交错,自古以来便有着发达的灌溉系统;像中国的伊甸园一样,几乎任 何农作物都能在这里成长丰收。这里的人喜爱鸭子,每年的产销规模接近1亿只。每次我回美国都要带上两只南京桂花盐水鸭,因为我颇为挑食的82岁犹太人老爸 从第一次吃到盐水鸭就爱上了这个味道。

    南京的历史颇为坎坷,近现代更是花费了一些时间才走上正轨。在80年代,南京的经济水平远低于其附近的上海及苏州等地。曾经南京市的管理水平确实堪忧,但现在,一切都已改变。

    略 有缺憾的是,南京虽然有着强劲的经济实力,但却缺乏有国际市场影响力的大公司。这让它区别于北上广深等地区。当然南京政府在此方面也做出了努力,鼓励中小 企业及民营经济的发展,同时积极引进外资,如Sharp (OTCPK:SHCAY), BASF (OTCQX:BASFY), A.O. Smith 和 ThyssenKrupp (OTCPK:TYEKF)等公司在南京都有了许多投资活动;但是世界500强公司的身影在南京尚不多见。我作为南京市政府招商顾问的一个主要目标就是把 更多的美国公司和美国游客带到南京。

    在一个多世纪以前,美国企业曾是进入南京的第一批重要投资者。在20世纪上半页,美国人在南京的发展历程中扮演了十分积极的角色,如美国学者帮助建立了南京两所最古老的大学--我曾留学过的南京大学及南京师范大学。它们现在依旧是南京市高等教育系统内的中坚力量。

    一队美国建筑及城市规划学者负责设计了南京目前的大部分版图,包括城市的中心区新街口。城市的规划融合了巴黎及华盛顿特区的元素,包括宽阔的大道,类似巴黎Place de l'Etoile的庄严的交通交汇路口,以及法国梧桐覆盖的街道两旁属于领馆区的公馆建筑。

    1949 年之前,在南京的美国公司是最成功也最具影响力的。特别是Socony(当时世界最大的石油公司之一,后来改名为美孚石油,并在1999年与另一家公司合 并成立了ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM))以及British American Tobacco (NYSEMKT:BTI),当时都把总部设在南京,管理其大中国区的所有事宜。当时在中国来说这两家公司的体量也是最大的;Socony的红色骏马商标 在中国的知名度就跟现在的山德士上校(肯德基标志)一样。Socony跟British American Tobacco在1949年都撤出了中国,从此再没有回过南京,也失去了昔日的在南京的辉煌。

    Pearl Buck(赛珍珠),一位美国传教士的女儿,曾经在南京的生活了很长一段时间。在南京居住期间,她写了一本关于中国的十分有影响力的英文著作 《The Good Earth》(《大地》)。这部作品随后被改编成为一部很成功的电影,里面描述的中国传统儒家文化思想和在革命之前的中国农村侧写,在众多西方观众心中留 下了深刻的印象。

    在我眼中,美国在南京这片土地还留有很多未竟的事业。对许多优质资本而言这是一个足够优秀的地方;在现代化的飞速进程中,南京一直保持着它温柔敦厚的品格,和力行不怠的态度。

    http://pinglun.21cbh.com/2014/11-27/zMMDAwMzZfMTM0ODEzMQ.html

    Nov 29 7:20 PM | Link | Comment!
  • China's Central Government Gets Serious About Changing IPO Rules And Helping SMEs Raise Capital, Global Times Article

    Govt calls for progress in IPO reform to help small firms

    -

    By Wang Xinyuan Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-24

    Amid a slowing economy, the Chinese government is considering strategies to help the country's cash-starved micro and small companies. Upcoming IPO reform is expected to offer easier access to stock market funding, but investors are concerned it could divert funds from existing stocks.

    While China's economy has been affected by a weakening property sector, erratic foreign demand and sagging domestic investment growth, the authorities are hoping that the country's millions of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) can offer a source of economic energy.

    The State Council, the country's cabinet, pledged on Wednesday to lower the cost of raising funds by giving banks more flexibility to lend and removing rigid profit requirements for a firm to get listed in stock markets, among other measures aimed at making it easier for small firms to grow.

    At the meeting on Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang urged the securities regulator to speed up plans to unveil simplified rules for new IPOs.

    Two days after the cabinet's meeting, the central bank cut interest rates for the first time in two years.

    While the rate cut will be of particular benefit for large State-owned enterprises, simplified IPO access is expected to make it easier for cash-starved smaller firms to raise money directly in the markets.

    Under the existing IPO scheme, applicants must meet certain conditions in order to get listed in Shanghai or Shenzhen, including having made a profit for at least two consecutive years and having net profit of at least 10 million yuan ($1.63 million).

    Even if they meet these requirements, IPO applicants are also subject to the review and approval procedures of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the securities watchdog.

    The CSRC suspended its IPO reviews in late 2012 in a bid to enhance information disclosure and crack down on rampant financial fraud and insider trading.

    The CSRC also wanted to lay solid foundations for a new round of IPO reform intended to diminish government intervention and establish a more efficient, market-based IPO filing system.

    The regulator restarted IPO approvals in December 2013 after a 13-month hiatus.

    However, the suspension had resulted in a long queue of IPO applicants. As of mid-November this year, 570 firms were waiting for their applications to be reviewed, according to media reports.

    A plan for an IPO filing system with a focus on information disclosure is likely to be released by the end of 2014, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Thursday, citing a source close to the CSRC.

    Equal access

    Under the new IPO registration system, the CSRC will no longer intervene in the listing process and will focus on supervision rather than review and approval, analysts said.

    The system will provide access to market financing for all firms, not just those at the front of the queue for IPO approval, and the investment value shall be judged by investors, not the government, Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, wrote on his Weibo on Saturday.

    The CSRC was not available for comment on the schedule of IPO registration reform when reached by the Global Times on Thursday.

    As China tries to move up the value chain and restructure its economy, small firms have become increasingly important. They also account for more than 70 percent of the country's jobs.

    "While the IPO reforms are absolutely correct in their direction and implementation, the capital markets in China are still unable to provide the financing needed for most MSEs to continue to grow," Peter Fuhrman, chairman and CEO of Shenzhen-based investment bank China First Capital, told the Global Times in an e-mail on Saturday.

    Relatively slow approval of IPOs and the exceptionally long waiting list are seen as the major reasons for the difficult funding.

    There are "thousands of Chinese MSEs with good size and profits" that are waiting to go public, said Fuhrman.

    Read full article.

    Nov 29 7:15 PM | Link | Comment!
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