The last few days have seen much written about the proposed sale of Park n Shop by Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa. But the idea of selling off one of its lower margin businesses is not new: I had already flagged this in a January 2011 column, published in Dow Jones Investment Banker and on WSJ.com, the website of the Wall Street Journal. read
I was interviewed by Reuters and Bloomberg again to comment on the IPOs of China Galaxy Securities (US$1.1 billion) and Sinopec Engineering (expected to raise US$1.8 billion), which are indicative of a pick-up in IPO activity in Hong Kong. read
Like an endangered species clinging on to the last remnants of its natural habitat, the Hong Kong initial public offering was scantly seen in 2012. The euro-zone sovereign debt crisis rumbled through the markets for most of the year, putting paid to many issuers’ plans.
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Investment Banker) – The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEx) is reportedly trying to woo Spain’s Inditex to list in Asia, as part of an international marketing roadshow in Europe in November. Such a move would make little sense if what is suggested is a secondary listing. But a spin-off in Hong Kong of the group’s fast-growing regional operations could be an attractive move. read
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Investment Banker) – Singapore-listed Noble Group Ltd. likes to point out that its net book value has grown at a compound annual rate of 27% since its listing in 1997. However, it is currently trading on a price-to-book multiple of only 1.47x and a forward P/E below 10x, well below comparables. The proposed listing of its sizable and profitable agricultural business in Singapore, on which JPMorgan is advising, should be accretive for the group and result in a re-rating. read
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Investment Banker) – The Hong Kong Jockey Club provides sporting entertainment to the public through horse racing, football betting and the Mark Six lottery. It’s also one of the city’s largest taxpayers and a major non-government benefactor, donating more than US$125 million a year to charitable and community projects. With betting revenue fleeing to Macau’s casinos, and no other obvious sources of income on the horizon, a flotation of the lottery – a marginal business for the Club – through a business trust could provide significant additional resources to its operations, and non-profit activities, without materially altering its unusual corporate structure.
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Investment Banker) – PPR SA’s refocusing is still a work in progress. The lack of growth at its legacy retailing business is affecting overall margins, and penalizing valuation. A flotation of part of the Asia-Pacific activities of its luxury arm, Gucci Group, in Hong Kong would boost its market capitalization, and create a vehicle to fund acquisitions in its fastest-growing region of operations.
It’s been quite a journey for the long-suffering shareholders of PCCW since the merger with Cable & Wireless HKT in 2000. Macquarie Bank’s and TPG Newbridge’s offers for its telecommunications business in 2006 were vetoed. Other attempts to sell the assets came to nothing in 2008, while a privatisation proposal by chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai in 2009 was ruled out by the Court of Appeal. And in April, the exchange rejected PCCW’s application to list a business trust – a type of transaction untried in Hong Kong.
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Investment Banker) – As the fortunes of the world’s top luxury goods companies increasingly hinge on growth in Asia, and with Prada SpA showing that Western companies can successfully tap the Hong Kong stock market, ECM bankers there have been actively pitching corporates from Europe and beyond to float in Asia.
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Investment Banker) – Amid the largest drop for a month in the Hang Seng index, Tenfu (Cayman) Holdings Company Limited, a producer and retailer of tea products in China, has just started bookbuilding for its Hong Kong IPO of up to US$182 million. The deal, set to price on September 20, with listing on the 26th, is led by China International Capital Corp. (CICC), Credit Suisse, and Taiwan’s Polaris Securities.