Account irregularities in China state firms

At least 11 state-owned conglomerates in China have been found by the National Audit Office with accounting irregularities.

China flag
Source: Bloomberg

This ranged from misrepresentation of assets, misused funds, improper bidding protocol, and illegal property development.

Among those in its tally are China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC); China Resources, the parent of 10 companies listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong; defence contractor China South Industries Group, China State Shipbuilding Corp; China National Tobacco Corp; and China Metallurgical Group.

The companies have each so far issued statements offering solutions to fix the problems. This comes less than a week after the agency said it had uncovered financial irregularities at two big state banks and China’s sovereign wealth fund.

Management failures were found related to investments at China Investment Corp, as well as irregular lending at Bank of China and Agricultural Development Bank of China. However, the auditor said that since last month, all three have largely addressed the problems.

With the latest news, we could see investors a bit more cautious in Chinese markets, with an interesting opportunity for them to buy on dips. Companies, such as Petrochina, claim that the audit will not have any major impact on overall performance and financials.

Ahead of the Singapore Open

Another event that could shift sentiment will be today’s HSBC manufacturing PMI estimates for June. The market forecast is for a slight improvement from the prior month but still contracting at 49.7. Any better-than-expected numbers could help give some support to markets, which have largely been weighed down by concerns over a property slump.

There will also be June PMI estimates from Japan, with market expectations for the data to improve at 50.1, from 49.9 the prior month.

We are calling for the MSCI Singapore to open -0.30 points at 370.00.

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