Hong Kong is not fit for unicorns

8th February 2017

The filing of form S-1, the draft registration statement for the proposed $3bn New York IPO of Snap, the $25bn parent company of messaging app Snapchat, was full of surprises — not all of them good for investors. If anything, it also showed that Hong Kong will, most likely, never be able to compete with the US exchanges when it comes to listing unicorns.

The elephants’ graveyard

6th January 2017

Thirty-first of December was not only the last day of a decidedly subdued year, but also the deadline by which Credit Suisse bankers in London were allegedly asked to return the mobile phones issued to them by their employer. This is only the latest nail in the coffin of a profession once seen more as a lifestyle, but which has now become (almost) like any other.

He who pays the piper calls the tune

10th December 2016

Or so the saying goes. Not in China, it seems.

Sometimes it’s hard to be a sponsor

4th November 2016

The recent news that UBS was being investigated by Hong Kong’s SFC in connection with its work as IPO sponsor in the city has taken the local financial community by storm, not least because of the very real possibility that the firm may loose its corporate finance licence – at least for a period of time.

The Juggernaut

6th October 2016

Last week’s news was all about Goldman Sachs and Bank of America materially trimming their investment banking platforms in Asia, as margins for bulge bracket houses in the region have gradually eroded in the face of intense competition by Chinese brokers.

Cornerstone summer party

8th September 2016

Readers of this column will be familiar with my occasional ranting about Hong Kong’s cornerstone investor regime, and in particular the doltish six-month lock-up rule which the Singapore Exchange, for one, never saw fit to introduce, and which even Bursa Malaysia ended up ditching, after having initially restricted it to subscriptions representing 5% or more of a company’s share capital.

New thriller!

5th September 2016

I am very pleased to announce the publication of my new thriller, “The Traveler” (a jihadist’s journey), which is now available to buy as a Kindle ebook on the Amazon.com website.

Doing away with Hong Kong’s free float rule

5th August 2016

On July 27, the HKEx announced that “it was minded to exercise its power” to cancel the listing of China Oriental Group within a period of six months, due to the company’s insufficient public float. This, however, was only the latest step in a rather long saga, which illustrates to a tee not only that the exchange’s minimum free float rule actually serves little purpose, but also how incredibly slowly the regulators can move to make decisions in the city, thereby hurting both institutional and retail investors.

 

 

 

I have set up this blog to report notable events on international IPOs.

These include particularly remarkable transactions, changes in market practice (whether pertaining to documentation, valuation or marketing techniques) and regulations, as well as appointments in the sphere of equity capital markets (ECM).

Although the blog has a bias towards the Asia-Pacific region, since this is where I am based, it is intended to be global in both its scope and outlook.

Please use the contact form above to report an IPO story or an ECM development.

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