Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
Michael's Feed
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.

Sep 9, 2012

Asia debt fees overtake equity as banking model flips

HONG KONG, Sept 10 (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, i ts l ower 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.

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.

    • 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