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CICC Hires Barclays’ China Economist Peng to Replace Ha Jiming

China International Capital Corp. has hired Peng Wensheng, head of China research at Barclays Capital, as chief economist to replace Ha Jiming.

Peng, who joined Barclays in June 2008 from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de-facto central bank, confirmed the appointment when reached by phone today. He declined further comment.

Ha is leaving Beijing-based CICC, the top-ranked brokerage for China research in the annual survey by Asiamoney magazine, to join Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment banking division, the Wall Street Journal reported July 21, citing people familiar with the situation.

“Peng’s joining won’t change the style of CICC’s research team, which is a bit conservative in its views about the economy and stock market,” said Dai Ming, a fund manager at Shanghai Kingsun Investment Management & Consulting Co.

Peng was head of China affairs at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority before joining Barclays. He started as an economist with the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. in 1993.

Yang Guang, a spokesman for CICC, said in an e-mailed message he hasn’t received notice of the appointment. Angie Tang, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Barclays, declined to comment.

Peng led Barclays’ coverage of macroeconomic research on China and Hong Kong. In a June 11 interview with Bloomberg Television, he said the recent rise in Chinese wages is a long-term trend and the country retains advantages in manufacturing given its “reasonably good” infrastructure and large pool of suppliers.

China surpassed Japan as the world second-largest economy last quarter, capping the nation’s three decade rise from Communist isolation to emerging superpower.

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