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Jan 29, 2015

Exclusive: BOC Hong Kong considering sale of $6 billion bank unit – sources

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Lender BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd (2388.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) is considering a sale of subsidiary Nanyang Commercial Bank (NCB) that could fetch about $6 billion, in a bid to stop cannibalizing the China business of its parent, people familiar with the matter said.

BOC Hong Kong is a unit of Bank of China Ltd (3988.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), the fourth-biggest lender by assets in the mainland, and a sale of NCB will help streamline the group’s operations in the country, the people said. As of June last year, half of NCB’s total loans were to customers in China, according to ratings agency Moody’s.

Jan 29, 2015

Exclusive: BOC Hong Kong considering sale of $6 billion bank unit Nanyang – sources

By Denny Thomas and Engen Tham

(Reuters) – Lender BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd (2388.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) is considering a sale of its $6 billion subsidiary Nanyang Commercial Bank (NCB) to stop cannibalising the China business of its parent, people familiar with the matter said.

BOC Hong Kong is a unit of Bank of China Ltd (3988.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), the fourth-biggest lender by assets in the mainland, and a sale of NCB will help streamline the group’s operations in the country, the people said.

Jan 28, 2015

Wanted: Asia-focused banker for StanChart’s top spot

HONG KONG, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Standard Chartered Plc
is seeking a leader with a tough-to-find mix of Asian
experience and regulatory clout as it kicks off the search for a
successor to CEO Peter Sands, investors, bankers and headhunters
told Reuters.

The list of potential candidates is wide and includes Piyush
Gupta, CEO of Singapore-based DBS, outgoing Westpac
CEO Gail Kelly, National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s boss Alex
Thursby, ANZ CEO Mike Smith and Antonio Horta-Osorio,
CEO of Lloyds Banking Group.

Jan 25, 2015

Hong Kong tycoon’s M&A spree promises bumper year for Asia banks

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Li Ka-shing’s hectic start to 2015 has meant record Asia M&A, loan and equity deals so far this month – good news for investment bankers close to the 86-year-old Hong Kong tycoon’s empire.

The brisk business – $108 billion of Asia M&A makes it the best start to a year, according to Thomson Reuters data – raises hopes that the Chinese Year of the Goat could bring a windfall to a region that has been starved of fees.

Jan 23, 2015

Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison to buy Telefonica UK unit for $15 billion: source

MADRID/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd is set to buy Telefonica’s British mobile unit O2 in a deal valued at more than 10 billion pounds ($15 billion), a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, as Asia’s richest man makes one of his biggest bets yet to revamp his European telecoms business.

The agreement is likely to be announced on Friday and will mark the latest move towards telecoms consolidation in Britain, where the market is split between four mobile network operators and four separately owned fixed-line and broadband providers.

Jan 23, 2015

Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison to buy Telefonica UK unit for $15bln-source

MADRID/HONG KONG, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison
Whampoa Ltd is set to buy Telefonica’s
British mobile unit O2 in a deal valued at more than 10 billion
pounds ($15 billion), a source with direct knowledge of the
matter said, as Asia’s richest man makes one of his biggest bets
yet to revamp his European telecoms business.

The agreement is likely to be announced on Friday and will
mark the latest move towards telecoms consolidation in Britain,
where the market is split between four mobile network operators
and four separately owned fixed-line and broadband providers.

Jan 22, 2015

Analyst-turned-fund manager basks in Xiaomi glow

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Richard Ji, whose little-known fund was the biggest investor in leading Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc’s [XTC.UL] $1.1 billion fundraising last month, is a numbers man looking to spot ‘category killers’ – start-ups with the power to disrupt.

Ji, a former Morgan Stanley technology industry analyst, co-founded All-Stars Investment Ltd in Hong Kong last April with half a dozen colleagues from the Wall Street bank.

Jan 21, 2015

Canning Fok, at the ‘Hong Kong Heart’ of Li Ka-shing’s deal machine

HONG KONG, Jan 22 (Reuters) – In late summer 2014, as mass
protests rocked central Hong Kong, Canning Fok sat in his office
quietly planning a business overhaul that would make his boss Li
Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, richer still.

After Li revealed the fruits of Fok’s labour on Jan. 9,
describing it as a “watershed” moment in the history of his
business group, shares in his principal companies, Cheung Kong
Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa, jumped more
than 14 percent.

Jan 21, 2015

Investment bank fees soar to seven-year high, led by JP Morgan

HONG KONG, (Reuters) – Investment banking fees surged to a seven-year high of $90.1 billion in 2014, driven by deals in North Asia and Southern Europe, with the huge North American market offering ballast in a sector increasingly expected to see some wobbles this year.

Fees for deals done in North Asia leapt 28 percent to $7.4 billion while Southern Europe saw a 29 percent jump to $2.6 billion, data compiled by Thomson Reuters shows. North America is still the supreme market for investment banks in absolute terms, generating $47 billion in fees last year. That was three times more than that of Asia as whole.

Jan 16, 2015

StanChart eyes bank stake sales as it tries to slim down

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Standard Chartered’s (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) abrupt move to shut its global equities business last week could be a prelude to the lender selling off stakes in a number of Asian banks as it looks to boost capital, people familiar with the lender’s thinking said.

The most likely potential sale is Standard Chartered’s $621 million holding in Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (601288.SS: Quote, Profile, Research) (AgBank), a person with direct knowledge of the situation said.