Li Sticks to 7.5% Growth Target Despite Disappointing Data
China's official non-manufacturing purchasing managers index dropped to a 9-month low of 53.9 in June, down from 54.3 in May, according to joint figures from the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. The same gauge compiled by HSBC edged up by 0.1 point to 51.3 in the same month, keeping hovering around a 20-month low recorded in April. A reading below 50 indicates contraction from a month ago. China's official manufacturing PMI fell to 50.1 in June from 50.8 a month earlier, while HSBC's figure hit a 9-month low of 48.2. Despite the grim situations, premier Li Keqiang said China is able to maintain this year's growth at 7.5%. Many investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, China International Capital Corp, Barclays and HSBC, had revised down China's GDP growth to 7.4% this year.
Foreign Firms 'Given License for Billing Service'
The People's Bank of China, the nation's central bank, has given a license to a foreign company for providing third-party payment services in China, according to a person familiar with the matter. The official announcement is expected to be made by the end of July at the earliest, said the source. China will likely have issued 260 licenses for third-party payment services by the end of this year, a central bank official previously predicted. Currently 220 companies hold such a license in China.
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