Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
Michael's Feed
Dec 9, 2012

CNOOC pledge small step for China transparency, sceptics abound

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG Dec 10 (Reuters) – CNOOC’s promise of
transparency, pledged to win approval from Canada for its $15.1
billion purchase of Nexen Inc, looks like a positive step on the
face of it but is unlikely to represent a sea change in Chinese
business practices.

To be sure, the details of commitment are not clear. The
state-controlled energy firm has promised the Canadian
government an annual compliance report on all its commitments
that are part of its takeover of Nexen Inc, China’s biggest ever
takeover. These include listing shares on Toronto stock
exchange, which comes with certain disclosure requirements.

Dec 7, 2012

Chinese group in talks to buy AIG air lease arm

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A group of Chinese companies, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), is in talks to buy nearly all of American International Group Inc’s (AIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) aircraft leasing unit for about $5.5 billion (3.4 billion pounds), AIG said on Friday.

The deal is expected to be announced as soon as early next week, a source familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

Dec 7, 2012

Chinese group in talks to buy AIG air leasing arm-source

HONG KONG, Dec 7 (Reuters) – A group of Chinese companies,
including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), is
in talks to buy American International Group’s aircraft
leasing unit for around $5.5 billion, a source familiar with the
matter said on Friday.

AIG, which has been selling assets to pay back a $182
billion U.S. government bailout in 2008, had long been hoping to
float its ILFC unit through an initial public offering (IPO),
but poor market conditions forced it to delay the plans.

Nov 27, 2012

Hong Kong watchdog says IPO sponsors to have more power to probe

HONG KONG, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Proposed new regulations for
sponsors of IPOs in Hong Kong will give bankers greater
authority to scrutinise their clients before they list, the CEO
of city’s securities watchdog told Reuters on Tuesday, referring
to a controversial plan that could make banks liable for listing
documents.

Ashley Alder, chief executive of the Securities and Futures
Commission (SFC), told Reuters that responses to a consultation
on initial public offering sponsor regulation would be released
next month and include proposals to give sponsors more powers.

Nov 21, 2012

Muddy Waters publishes Olam letter, stock rebounds

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Muddy Waters, the
research firm engaged in a battle against Olam International Ltd
, published its first official material on the company
on Wednesday, taking deeper aim at the Singapore commodities
trader in a letter that investors took in stride.

Shares of Olam jumped 4 percent on Wednesday, in a sign that
investors were relieved that Muddy Waters has yet to publish a
long, detailed report on the company as it has with other
targets.

Oct 26, 2012

Gloved-up Hong Kong city slickers fight “mid-life crisis”

HONG KONG, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Adam Gazal trained for six
months to stand in the ring for six minutes of live boxing. He
remembers the noise, and not much else, and said he’d like to
try it again, though he realizes that the time in the gym took
time away from home.

“I think my wife will divorce me if I go through another six
months of training,” Gazal, 35, said after the fight.

Oct 25, 2012

HSBC swings to victory at Hong Kong’s hedge fund fight night

HONG KONG, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Adam Gazal trained for six
months to stand in the ring for six minutes of live boxing. He
remembers the noise, and not much else, and said he’d like to
try it again, though he realizes that the time in the gym took
time away from home.

“I think my wife will divorce me if I go through another six
months of training,” Gazal said after the fight.

Oct 23, 2012

As Asia investment banks cut staff, clients also dumped

HONG KONG (Reuters) – As well as firing thousands of staff, investment banks in Asia are quietly culling clients, too.

The region’s initial public offering boom has slowed – the $20 billion mega-IPOs by Agricultural Bank of China (601288.SS: Quote, Profile, Research) and insurer AIA Group Ltd (1299.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) are now more than two years ago – and the banks’ business model needs a refresh.

Oct 16, 2012

BofA hires Margaret Ren as BofA Merrill China chairman-memo

HONG KONG, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp
hired veteran China banker Margaret Ren as chairman of its China
business, a memo obtained by Reuters on Tuesday showed, bringing
her back into the Merrill fold at a time when the bank is trying
to expand its business inside the country.

BofA has moved to cut staff in Asia and streamline its
business, though it has also embarked on the hiring of several
senior bankers this year, including the signing of ex-Deutsche
Bank regional markets chief Loh Boon Chye, and UBS
M&A banker Stephen Gore.

Sep 9, 2012

Analysis – Asia debt fees overtake equity as banking model flips

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Investment banks in Asia are making more money from debt deals than underwriting stock offerings for the first time, a milestone in how evolving regional markets are challenging a business model that has relied upon high-paying equity deals.

While the bond business is booming and increasing its share of Asia’s fee pool, its lower margins mean those gains will not cover the billion-dollar-plus shortfall in equity fees that is making 2012 such a miserable year for investment banks in the region.

    • 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
    • Contact Michael

    • Follow Michael