Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
Michael's Feed
Mar 23, 2012

ING puts $775 mln Thailand bank stake on block – sources

March 23 (Reuters) – ING Groep NV has put its
roughly $775 million stake in Thailand’s TMB Bank Pcl
on the block as the bailed-out Dutch financial services group
pushes ahead with Asian divestments, sources familiar with the
matter told Reuters.

ING, which is selling assets to help repay a 2008 rescue by
the Dutch government, recently hired an investment bank to help
find a buyer for its 31 percent stake in TMB Bank, the sources
added, underscoring its seriousness to pursue an auction.

Feb 21, 2012

As Asia private equity stalls, secondary firms march in

HONG KONG, Feb 21 (Reuters) – As hundreds thronged a
financial conference in Hong Kong last year to hear an executive
of U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital, Doug Coulter took a
seat in a nearly empty room next door at a separate session on
the secondary part of the buyout industry in Asia.

Coulter, Asia head of private equity for LGT Capital
Partners, was encouraged by what he saw.

Jan 21, 2012

Insight: Clash over strategy forced high-profile exits at Nomura

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The shock waves that jolted Nomura on January 10 were not so much sparked by the resignation of the Japanese bank’s wholesale division CEO Jesse Bhattal, but the news, shortly afterwards, that Tarun Jotwani, a close friend of Bhattal’s and a lieutenant being groomed to succeed him, was also out.

Nomura announced it was splitting its fixed income and equity divisions – a year after Bhattal and Jotwani, a fellow Lehman Brothers alumnus had combined them. Jotwani’s role as global markets head was eliminated, making him redundant.

Jan 21, 2012

Clash over strategy forced high-profile exits at Nomura

HONG KONG, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The shock waves that
jolted Nomura on Jan. 10 were not so much sparked by the
resignation of the Japanese bank’s wholesale division CEO Jesse
Bhattal, but the news, shortly afterwards, that Tarun Jotwani, a
close friend of Bhattal’s and a lieutenant being groomed to
succeed him, was also out.

Nomura announced it was splitting its fixed income
and equity divisions – a year after Bhattal and Jotwani, a
fellow Lehman Brothers alumnus had combined them. Jotwani’s role
as global markets head was eliminated, making him redundant.

Jan 20, 2012

Under Fu, Sinopec M&A machine overtakes Exxon, BP

HONG KONG, Jan 5 (Reuters) – “Chairman Fu” is stepping
on the gas at Sinopec’s M&A machine.

A $2.2 billion deal with U.S. oil and natural gas producer
Devon Energy Corp this week is the Chinese group’s 11th
deal since June and takes spending on acquisitions to $10.4
billion in that time, according to Thomson Reuters – more M&A
volume than Sinopec’s two Chinese rivals, Exxon-Mobil,
BP, Shell and Chevron combined.

Jan 13, 2012

Former Citadel Asia star eyes China for turnaround

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Senrigan Capital, among Asia’s relatively few $1 billion (651 million pounds) hedge funds and a firm run by former Citadel star trader Nick Taylor, is counting on a wave of China outbound deals to help fuel a performance turnaround in 2012.

British-born Taylor, who is one of only five or six managers in Asia to grow a fund to the $1 billion mark post-2008, told Reuters in an exclusive interview that his 2012 strategy would focus mainly on tracking mergers and acquisitions.

Jan 12, 2012

Insight: Foreign banks squeeze costs as Asia’s glow fades

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Big Wall Street and European banks are looking to slash budgets across Asia, as the emerging market promise is trumped by an urgent need to control costs.

From taxi and air fares and year-end parties to entire operational divisions and new country offices, little is sacred.

Jan 12, 2012

Foreign banks squeeze costs as Asia’s glow fades

HONG KONG, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Big Wall Street and
European banks are looking to slash budgets across Asia, as the
emerging market promise is trumped by an urgent need to control
costs.

From taxi and air fares and year-end parties to entire
operational divisions and new country offices, little is sacred.

Jan 10, 2012

Ex-Lehman’s Bhattal quits Nomura amid deep losses

TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Jasjit Bhattal, the highest-ranking ex-Lehman executive at Nomura Holdings (8604.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), resigned on Tuesday after the wholesale division he led suffered heavy losses and forced the Japanese investment bank to scale back its global expansion.

The departure of Bhattal is the latest blow to Nomura’s ambitions to join the elite ranks of global investment banks following its acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ European and Asian operations after the storied Wall Street firm collapsed in 2008.

Jan 9, 2012

BofA prunes senior ranks in Asia investment banking: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, is cutting around a fifth of its managing directors across its Asia investment banking division, sources said on Monday, in a bid to cut costs as the outlook sours in a once-booming region.

Foreign banks in Asia stepped up their cost cutting in the latter part of last year and are now moving up the experience chain to prune positions and units seen as too expensive in the current environment.

    • 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 ..."
      Hometown:
      West Newbury, Mass. USA
      Joined Reuters:
      Dec. 1, 2003
      Awards:
      Peninsula Press Club, 2002, Reuters Journalist of the Year, 2007, M&A International, 2007
    • Contact Michael

      Phone:
      +852-2843-6540
    • Follow Michael