Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
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Oct 28, 2013

Chong Hing shares drop after $1.5 bln deal with China buyer

HONG KONG, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Shares in Hong Kong’s Chong
Hing Bank Ltd slumped on Monday amid concerns a $1.5
billion offer for control of the bank may hit regulatory
hurdles, while some investors took profits after a steep run-up
in the company’s stock.

Chong Hing shares fell as much as 10 percent in its biggest
one-day percentage fall in five years and its busiest trading
day in a decade.

Oct 10, 2013

Private equity firms adding to Asia’s debt pile, for a fee

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Private equity firms in Asia Pacific are increasingly paying special dividends to themselves funded by refinancing debt of the businesses they own, a development that is being fuelled by frothy credit markets and sluggish prospects for “exit” sales.

So-called dividend recapitalisation loans have been popular for some years in North America and Europe. Their growth in Asia is a sign the region’s leveraged finance industry is evolving from its conservative past, with local banks fiercely competing to provide loans even if it means loosening credit standards.

Sep 19, 2013

Goldman, HSBC spat over Huishan IPO highlights Chinese squeeze on banks

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A recent shouting match between senior bankers involved in Hong Kong’s second-largest IPO so far this year illustrates the competitive squeeze on banks from Chinese companies offering incentives ahead of lucrative initial public offerings.

At a routine September 6 meeting of around 20 underwriters to China Huishan Dairy Holdings Co Ltd’s (6863.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) planned $1.3 billion IPO, tempers flared between two bankers from HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said people who were at the meeting and others briefed on the incident. One said the row escalated to the point where the Goldman banker threatened to have his HSBC rival fired.

Sep 9, 2013

Huishan Dairy plans up to $1.3 billion Hong Kong IPO

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China Huishan Dairy plans to raise up to $1.3 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering to fund its expansion, with the world’s No.2 economy expected to catch up with its Asian peers in the consumption of infant formula, yogurt and fresh milk.

Investors have bought up shares of companies including China Modern Dairy (1117.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and China Mengniu Dairy (2319.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), betting that the country’s huge consumer market will fuel China’s long-term intake of milk products. China’s current per capita dairy consumption rate of 23 kilograms is less than half of its Asian neighbours, according to Macquarie.

Sep 2, 2013

Stock offering plans by China’s banks seen as short-term fix

HONG KONG, Sept 3 (Reuters) – For the Chinese banks seeking
billions of dollars in upcoming stock offerings, a concern is
growing that the money will only refinance old loans and do
little to prevent the lenders from hitting up shareholders for
more cash in a few years or less.

In 2010, Chinese lenders raised $82 billion as a surging
stock market helped them replenish cash after a post-financial
crisis lending binge. Now, in a far less forgiving climate, they
are again lining up for more money, attempting to tap investors
as the economy slows, profits shrink and unpaid debts pile up.

Aug 27, 2013

Hong Kong Exchange names former NYSE LIFFE exec as LME CEO

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, Aug 27 (Reuters) – The Hong Kong Stock
Exchange named industry veteran Garry Jones as the CEO of the
London Metal Exchange, banking on a former top executive at the
NYSE Liffe to help drive its expansion into commodities and

Jones, a 30-year veteran of exchanges and financial services
but with limited experience in metals, inherits a difficult role
at a time when the LME is caught in a controversy over
warehousing metals and its impact on consumers.

Aug 19, 2013

JPMorgan China probe sends chill through investment banks

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A U.S. banking regulator’s probe into JPMorgan’s (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hiring practices in China will have rival banks scrambling to review their own records, lawyers say, in a market where ties to political and business leaders can be key to winning big deals.

Banks around the world commonly hire people with government connections, but this is especially prevalent in China due to the role the ruling Communist Party plays in the country’s business.

Aug 19, 2013

Alibaba in talks with HKEx on ownership structure ahead of IPO-sources

HONG KONG, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd
is in talks with the Hong Kong stock exchange about
allowing its founders to maintain control over the Chinese
e-commerce company even after it becomes listed, people familiar
with the matter told Reuters.

Alibaba is widely expected to launch an initial public
offering worth more than $15 billion by the end of the year,
with Hong Kong tipped as the likely venue.

Jul 10, 2013

KKR tops rivals with largest Asia fund as valuations drop

HONG KONG, July 10 (Reuters) – A record $6 billion Asia fund
announced by U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co on Wednesday will
be deployed at a time when an economic slowdown and emerging
market sell-off has knocked the overall value of Asia Pacific
corporations to historic lows.

While the market volatility should offer KKR opportunities
to buy low, the record of the private equity industry in Asia
shows that investing in the region is not as easy as it seems.

Jul 10, 2013

KKR raises $6 billion in new Asia fund, region’s largest

HONG KONG, July 10 (Reuters) – KKR & Co raised $6 billion
for its third Asia private equity fund, equipping the firm with
the largest such fund in the region at a time when market
turmoil is creating both opportunities and challenges for
foreign investors.

KKR said it raised $1.5 billion, or 26 percent of the fund,
from Asian investors. That is an increase from the $908 million
it raised from the region for its first Asia fund.

    • 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
      Peninsula Press Club, 2002, Reuters Journalist of the Year, 2007, M&A International, 2007
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