CLSA’s Five-Year Plan Shows Communist China Is in Charge

Views Of the CLSA Hong Kong Office

Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Before CLSA Ltd. was acquired in 2013, the Hong Kong brokerage’s research division issued a warning to investors in Chinese financial companies: beware of “high-frequency interference” from the Communist Party.

Nearly a decade on, there’s no better example of how Chinese government control can transform a financial firm than CLSA itself.

The latest case in point: CLSA executives have for the first time been ordered by their bosses at state-owned Citic Securities Ltd. to participate in China’s five-year planning process, a ritual that Communist Party leaders have used to guide the nation’s economy since the 1950s, people familiar with the matter said. Major state-owned enterprises are required to submit five-year plans to the government, and CLSA’s outlook will now feed into Citic’s report to Beijing, which is unveiling a new road map in October, one of the people said.

The diktat adds to a

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