China could rein in Bitcoin miners

Business | Reuters, Tracy Hu and Samantha Wong 4 Jan 2018

China's central bank was yesterday reported to be considering making moves to regulate Bitcoin miners.

While the People's Bank of China can't directly regulate bitcoin miners' power usage, it can ask local authorities to do so. The central bank told a top-level government internet finance group that local governments could bring in rules to gradually reduce the scale of their production, according to a report from Reuters.

However, the cryptocurrency rebounded yesterday as the PayPal founder was said to be a big fan, holding Bitcoins worth several hundred million US dollars.

Meanwhile, the price of gold edged down yesterday as the dollar recovered from its lows and technical indicators pointed to a short-term correction.

The yuan eased against the US dollar after an economist of the State Information Center said the yuan should be devalued moderately so as to stimulate exports and to maintain economic growth.

In Hong Kong, stocks rose further to a fresh decade-high. At the close, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.15 percent to 30,560 points.

Tencent (0700) was up 1.05 percent to HK$422.2. ICBC (1398) gained 0.31 percent to HK$6.5, reaching its highest in two and a half years.

But some blue-chip shares saw a downward trend. Ping An (2318) was down 1.41 percent. China Mobile (0941) closed 1.32 percent lower.

Stocks markets on the mainland also continued to gain. The Shanghai Composite index was up 20.78 points or 0.62 percent at 3,369. Shares of auto companies rose as it was reported sales of vehicles in China will exceed 90 million in 2017 while handset related shares fell as sales dropped more than expected.

In Hong Kong, market watchers are welcoming the pilot program of H-shares full convertibility.

Ba Shusong, chief China economist at HKEx (0388), said yesterday that H shares full convertibility can help domestic shareholders cash in their equity assets and provide a new platform for Chinese state-owned enterprises, which are in the middle of the mixed ownership reform to attract overseas capital.

Helen Zhu Yue, managing director at BlackRock, said the full convertibility of H-shares will increase the number of transactions in the Hong Kong stock market and help push H shares to enter the global market.

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