Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
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Jul 8, 2012

Behind Hong Kong watchdog’s wins, an “uncompromising” Aussie

HONG KONG (Reuters) – To some, he’s a crusading champion of the “normal people” trampled when businesses go wrong. To others, he’s an overly aggressive bruiser making Hong Kong less attractive as a financial centre.

In his six years as head of enforcement at the former British colony’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Mark Steward has won the agency’s first criminal convictions for insider dealing, strong-armed bank executives over the sale of Lehman mini-bonds and, most recently, forced a Chinese company to repay investors.

Jul 1, 2012

Dealtalk: BofA, Goldman among beneficiaries of Malaysia deal boom

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) – In an otherwise dismal year for Asia’s investment banking industry, a ray of hope has appeared from the most unlikely of places: Malaysia.

State oil company Petronas announced the country’s largest-ever outbound takeover last week, offering to buy its Canadian partner Progress Energy Resources Corp for $4.7 billion to gain control of vast shale gas deposits to supply lucrative Asian markets. The news broke on the same day Malaysian palm oil firm Felda Global listed its $3.1 billion IPO with a 20 percent pop.

Jul 1, 2012

BofA, Goldman among beneficiaries of Malaysia deal boom

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, July 2 (Reuters) – In an otherwise
dismal year for Asia’s investment banking industry, a ray of
hope has appeared from the most unlikely of places: Malaysia.

State oil company Petronas announced the country’s
largest-ever outbound takeover last week, offering to buy its
Canadian partner Progress Energy Resources Corp for $4.7 billion
to gain control of vast shale gas deposits to supply lucrative
Asian markets. The news broke on the same day Malaysian palm oil
firm Felda Global listed its $3.1 billion IPO with a 20 percent
pop.

Jun 27, 2012

In a first, Citi fills global retail role with Asia exec

HONG KONG, June 27 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc has named
Jonathan Larsen as global head of its retail bank, filling the
position for the first time with an Asia-based banker, in a move
underscoring the company’s growth in the region.

Citigroup’s consumer bank is one of its three main divisions
in Asia, having merged its corporate and investment bank into
one unit after 2008. The third pillar is its steady,
cash-generative global transactions services (GTS) business,
which handles such tasks as cash management and trade finance.

Jun 27, 2012

High costs, delays, and tough timing vex Barclays’ Asia plan

June 27 (Reuters) – Three years into Barclays’ costly global
expansion from fixed-income shop to full investment bank, the
Asia leg of the build-out is struggling to gain ground on its
rivals.

Barclays hired an A-list of veteran and expensive Asia
investment bankers after the 2008 financial crisis, with the
hope of forming a banking and equities business that would put
them in the same league as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Jun 27, 2012

Analysis: High costs, delays, and tough timing vex Barclays’ Asia plan

By Lawrence White and Michael Flaherty

(Reuters) – Three years into Barclays’ costly global expansion from fixed-income shop to full investment bank, the Asia leg of the build-out is struggling to gain ground on its rivals.

Barclays hired an A-list of veteran and expensive Asia investment bankers after the 2008 financial crisis, with the hope of forming a banking and equities business that would put them in the same league as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Jun 24, 2012

Asia’s investment banks launch round of job cuts

HONG KONG, June 25 (Reuters) – Investment banks and
brokerages across Asia have launched a sweeping round of job
cuts as Europe’s debt crisis and China’s economic slowdown bite
into the region’s financial activity.

Speaking to bankers and other industry sources, Reuters was
able to confirm at least 50 people were let go in the past three
weeks, a cull that includes senior expatriates as well as junior
bankers. The cuts mainly target the equities business, with more
layoffs expected in coming weeks.

Jun 6, 2012

TPG shuffles Asia team ahead of new $5 bln fund

HONG KONG, June 6 (Reuters) – TPG Capital has
shuffled its Asia senior management team as the global
powerhouse with $48 billion in assets fights for investor
dollars in the region with private equity rivals KKR,
Carlyle and RRJ Capital.

TPG has made the changes ahead of wrapping up a new, roughly
$5 billion Asia purse, its sixth regional fund.

May 18, 2012

Bain, TPG’s Lilliput woes a warning on India investing

HONG KONG, May 18 (Reuters) – Last September, less than two
weeks after an IPO plan was approved, the private equity owners
of India’s Lilliput Kidswear got a call that set off a chain of
events that could wipe out their investment.

According to sources with knowledge of the matter, an
anonymous caller phoned Lilliput’s accountants on Sept. 22 with
information that revenue figures might be inflated.

May 10, 2012

Nomura MDs made to wait 5 years to cash bonus shares-sources

HONG KONG, May 10 (Reuters) – Nomura has made it
mandatory for managing directors to wait five years before they
can cash the share portions of their bonuses, sources said on
Thursday, the longest waiting period for such a payout at an
investment bank in the latest pay cycle.

Last year, Nomura and other investment banks moved to make
employees wait for three years to cash out the share portion of
an annual bonus, wh ich for managing directors in the industry
can be at least $1 million in cash and shares — on top of a
$250,000 per year salary.

    • About Michael

      "In June 2009, Michael Flaherty became a Chief Correspondent for Reuters News, leading a team of journalists who cover investment banking, mergers & acquisitions, private equity and hedge funds, equity capital markets, natural resources and property across Asia. He arrived in Hong Kong in Feb. 2008 as Reuters' Asia Financial Services correspondent, covering the investment banks and M&A. Flaherty was hired by Reuters in New York in Dec. 2003. He was voted Reuters Journalist of the Year for his 2007 coverage of the U.S. private equity boom and bust. He started at Reuters with the consumer group covering office retailers ..."
      Joined Reuters:
      Dec. 1, 2003
      Awards:
      Peninsula Press Club, 2002, Reuters Journalist of the Year, 2007, M&A International, 2007
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