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Jan 23, 2014

How Caterpillar got bulldozed in China

23 (Reuters) – Asia’s top mergers and
acquisitions bankers gathered two years ago at the swanky Island
Shangri La in Hong Kong to celebrate the top deals of 2012. As
the transactions were being toasted, one was unraveling.

Advisers on Caterpillar Inc’s $677 million purchase
of ERA Mining Machinery Ltd picked up an award for cross-border
deal of the year. The purchase was billed as a coup for
Caterpillar, the world’s top maker of tractors and excavators.
ERA was the holding company for Zhengzhou Siwei Mechanical &
Electrical Equipment Manufacturing Co Ltd, one of China’s
biggest makers of hydraulic coal-mine roof supports. Siwei would
help Caterpillar gain traction in the world’s largest coal
industry.

Jan 16, 2014

Luxury in China loses lustre as wealthy flee

HONG KONG, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Wealthy Chinese are likely to
buy fewer luxury goods again this year after the steepest
cut-back on spending in at least five years, changing the game
for high-end retailers like Louis Vuitton which have
staked their growth on China.

Overall spending by wealthy Chinese fell by 15 percent in
2013, the third consecutive year of decline, according to a
survey by the Hurun Report. Spending on gifts in particular also
declined by a quarter.

Jan 6, 2014

For the first time, China crushes 6 metric tonnes of ivory in public

DONGGUAN/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China crushed 6.2 metric tonnes (6.83 tons) of confiscated ivory on Monday in the first such public destruction of any part of its stockpile, after the country’s fitful enforcement efforts led experts to question its commitment to stamping out smuggling.

Animal rights groups say China’s growing appetite for the contraband material has fuelled a surge in poaching in Africa.

Dec 1, 2013

Cut from the same cloth: Esprit tries on Zara for fashion makeover

HONG KONG/MADRID, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Esprit Holdings’
chief is doubling down on a bet to fix the struggling
clothing retailer he took charge of a year ago by revamping its
existing business model and recreating it in the image of his
former employer-now-rival, Zara.

Jose Manuel Martinez Gutierrez, 44, has stacked his
management suite with veterans of Zara owner Inditex,
the world’s biggest retailer whose model of rapidly changing
fashion analysts say is among the best in the industry.

Nov 13, 2013

China considering easing rules on animal testing for some cosmetics

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG, Nov 13 (Reuters) – China is considering
a rule change that would allow the sale of some cosmetics
without requiring them to be tested on animals, opening up a
potential route into the Chinese market for international firms
opposed to the practice.

Under the potential changes, “non-specialised cosmetics”
manufactured in China — such as shampoos, soaps, nail products
and some skin products — could be sold from June 2014 without
undergoing animal testing, according to the China Food and Drug
Administration (CFDA).

Oct 11, 2013

Singapore exchange steps up stock trading scrutiny; confusion over curbs

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Several brokerages
in Singapore could lose millions of dollars in the wake of
recent sharp price falls in three stocks, traders said, and as
the stock exchange probes short-selling in two of the stocks
early this week when they were subject to trading curbs.

Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX), both the market
operator and regulator, suspended trading in shares of Blumont
Group Ltd, Asiasons Capital Ltd and LionGold
Corp Ltd last Friday following the big price moves. On
Sunday, it declared them “designated securities” – its first
such move in five years.

Aug 15, 2013

Hong Kong’s Richard Li to tap ex-AIA deputy as new insurance CEO: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong businessman Richard Li, the youngest son of Asia’s richest man, will appoint a former top executive at AIA Group Ltd as the CEO of his new insurance company, according to people with direct knowledge of the move.

Li will hire Huynh Thanh Phong, previously one of three deputies to AIA (1299.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) CEO Mark Tucker, to run the upstart insurer, known as FWD. Before AIA, Phong worked at British insurer Prudential Plc (PRU.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Temasek Holding’s TEM.UL Fullerton Financial Holdings.

Jul 11, 2013

Banking business leaves Ping An exposed to China market turmoil

HONG KONG, July 12 (Reuters) – The Ping An Insurance Group
Co of China Ltd has, for years, been the
country’s financial industry darling.

With close ties to the top of the ruling Communist Party, it
has grown into a financial services giant with a market
capitalization of $47 billion, thanks in part to an aggressive
push into banking.

Apr 29, 2013

Asian insurance M&A gets pricey as region’s promise beckons

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A deal-making frenzy in Asia’s insurance industry is turning up the heat on buyers to fork out huge sums or miss out on a prime chance to tap into the sector’s fastest growing market, and few predict a slowdown despite the eye-popping prices.

The appeal of Asia’s growing middle class and rising personal income pushed insurance takeovers in the region to a record $30.5 billion last year, according to S&P Capital IQ, a data compiler. At least $5 billion more are in the pipeline and that’s good news for bankers, lawyers and shareholders such as Malaysia’s AMMB Holdings Bhd (AMMB.KL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which is shedding its life insurance unit.

Apr 11, 2013

S.Korea may be next to face halt in Iran oil over insurance -sources

HONG KONG/TOKYO, April 11 (Reuters) – South Korea could
become the second major buyer of Iran’s crude to face a halt in
imports from the Middle Eastern nation, as insurers broaden
Western sanctions to refineries, people involved with the matter
say.

Tough curbs by the United States and Europe to force Tehran
to end its nuclear programme have more than halved Iran’s oil
exports over the past year, as an EU ban on insurers aiding
transport of its crude left buyers unable to find coverage.

    • About Clare

      "I am based in New York and write about IPOs and wealth management. I was formerly based in San Francisco, where I wrote about tech companies."
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