Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
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Dec 20, 2013

Li tightens grip on Hong Kong mobile as Telstra bows out

SYDNEY/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Australia’s Telstra Corp. has agreed to sell its Hong Kong mobile phone business to a company controlled by billionaire Richard Li in a deal worth $2.4 billion (1.4 billion pounds) that boosts the scion’s share of the city’s saturated mobile phone market.

Australia’s biggest phone company said in a filing that it had agreed to sell its 76.4 percent stake in its CSL New World to HKT (6823.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), a listed arm of Li’s PCCW Ltd (0008.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) media conglomerate, for A$2 billion.

Dec 20, 2013

Everbright Bank slides in HK debut amid China cash crunch fears

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China Everbright Bank Co Ltd (601818.SS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) fell in its Hong Kong debut on Friday, as renewed cash crunch fears about China’s banking system exacerbated weak sentiment towards a mid-sized lender that has taken three attempts to come to market.

Everbright (6818.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which raised $3 billion in its IPO, is the latest in a raft of banks rushing to tap investors to meet more stringent capital rules, and which have seen profits shrink and unpaid debts climb amid slower economic growth.

Dec 20, 2013

New securities watchdog targets corporate fraud in Hong Kong

HONG KONG, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s securities
regulator has set up an independent task force to detect fraud
by listed companies, extending its increasingly muscular
approach into an area traditionally overseen by the city’s stock

The power shift marks the latest step by the Securities and
Futures Commission (SFC) to try to tackle fraud in the Hong Kong
stock market, which is particularly tough to police given the
majority of its companies are based overseas.

Dec 20, 2013

Australia’s Telstra to sell Hong Kong unit to Li’s HKT for $2 billion

SYDNEY/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Australia’s Telstra Corp. has agreed to sell its Hong Kong mobile phone business to a company controlled by billionaire Richard Li for A$2 billion ($1.8 billion), in a deal expanding the scion’s grip on the city’s telecom market.

Australia’s biggest phone company said in a filing that it had agreed to sell its 76.4 percent stake in its CSL business to HKT Ltd. (6823.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a listed arm of Li’s PCCW (0008.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) media conglomerate.

Dec 2, 2013

Deluge of M&A deals pays off for SE Asia’s banking rainmakers

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A recruitment firm looking to track down Asia’s most highly prized investment bankers would normally begin searching in their natural habitat – Hong Kong.

Now, a headhunter would more likely book a flight to Manila, home to one-man deal factory Lauro Baja of Swiss bank UBS.

Nov 1, 2013

Top Goldman Asia banker Dees to take global, U.S.-based role-sources

HONG KONG, Nov 1 (Reuters) – A top Goldman Sachs banker in
Asia is relocating to the United States to take on a global
role, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, after
playing a key part in the firm’s efforts to broaden its business
amid a drop in equity offering volumes.

Dan Dees, Goldman’s co-head of investment banking for Asia,
is expected to move within the next few months, the sources
said. They could not confirm the exact title the American banker
will take on, but said it would be a global appointment.

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.

    • 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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