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China corporate tax rate reform: winner and loser

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The following screen shot is from Capital Week Jan 5, 2008

2006_7_CHN_Tax_rate

We know from Jan 1 2008 China will have a unified corp tax rate of 25% (some tax rebate for certain industry and foreign enterprises will still apply for a while).

It appears retailer, bank, home builder, and telecom (include mobile phone) will be the big winner here as they are paying a rate of 37%, 34%, 35% and 37% in 2007, respectively. From year 2008 they will enjoy the lower rate of 25%.

On the other hand, it will have little effect for Information technology, automotive, and machinery etc. as they are enjoying lower tax rate and will enjoy it for a while.

So should we go buy ICBC, BoC (Bank of China), China Construction Bank (CCB) and Vanke? Unfortunately they are listed in Hongkong, Shanghai or Shenzhen, not in the US. If a US person wants to jump on this band wagon, FXI (FTSE Xinhua) and LFC (Life Insurance China) is indirect way to own it.

For telecom and mobile, China Mobile (CHL) is the dominant No. 1 player in China wireless arena. China Unicom (CHU), the No. 2 player, is having some left over. There are rumors about the re-org of China telecom/mobile players (around 3G thing), but things are not final as far as I know.

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