Sep 13, 2019 06:25 AM

CX Daily: HKEx's London Stock Exchange Bid Was A Long Time Coming

The proposed deal would be Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd’s second major overseas expansion. Photo: IC Photo
The proposed deal would be Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd’s second major overseas expansion. Photo: IC Photo

M&A /

Exclusive: London Stock Exchange bid in the works since last year, HKEx chief says

It caught world markets by surprise, but the Hong Kong Stock Exchange operator’s unsolicited 29.6 billion pound ($36.5 billion) bid for London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) has been in the works for quite some time, its chairwoman told us.

The move is in line with a strategic plan that Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (HKEx) published in February and included an aim to expand its global connections, HKEx Chairwoman Laura Cha Shih May-lung said. The proposition was first floated by the board of directors, and an initial framework for the offer was hammered out last September, Cha said. A successful purchase would strengthen and expand the Chinese mainland’s stock markets and also have a positive influence on opening China’s market, she said.



On Sept. 11, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would postpone a new tariff increase on China until Oct. 15. Photo: VCG

Trade war /

Trump's ‘goodwill gesture’ on trade war met with cautious optimism

China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said China welcomed President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will postpone a planned tariff hike on Chinese imports — a move he framed as a “gesture of goodwill ... Chinese enterprises have resumed the enquiry of buying U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans and pork.”

The response from investors was more muted, at least at first. The Shanghai Composite Index opened 0.2% higher Thursday after Trump tweeted that a tariff increase from 25% to 30% on $250 billion of Chinese goods, originally slated to take effect Oct. 1, would be postponed to Oct. 15. The index closed 0.75% higher at 3,031.24.

Trade war /

China starts tariff exemptions, keeps pressure on U.S. farms

China announced a range of U.S. goods to be exempted from 25% extra tariffs put in place last year as the government seeks to ease the impact from the trade war without lifting charges on major agricultural items like soybeans and pork.

Pharmaceuticals and lubricant oil are among exclusions to levies on imports announced by the Ministry of Finance on its website Wednesday. The exemptions, effective from Sept. 17 to Sept. 16, 2020, will cover 16 categories of products worth about $1.65 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations based on China’s 2018 trade data. Other products on the list include alfalfa, fish meal and pesticides.

Pork /

China vows to ensure there’s enough pork to eat

China vowed to meet its population’s meat demand by increasing pork production amid a devastating outbreak of African swine fever that has wiped out about a third of its hog herds and sent pork prices to record highs.

“To solve the meat consumption problem, we must stick to the principle of self-sufficiency on pork production,” said Yu Kangzhen, a vice minister for agriculture, at a press conference Wednesday in Beijing. On Tuesday, the State Council issued guidelines to support the pork industry, outlining measures such as increased subsidies to boost domestic production, and setting a 95% self-sufficiency target for pork supply.

Financial risk /

Growth in China banking assets slows as crackdown bites

China’s efforts to reduce risks in the nation’s financial system have shown some success with the rate of growth of assets held by the country’s banks dropping by almost half over the past three years, the banking regulator said Wednesday.

Banks’ total assets stood at 281.6 trillion yuan at the end of June, 8.2% higher than the same period last year, Xiao Yuanqi, chief risk officer of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), said at a briefing. That’s down from a 15.7% increase in the same period in 2016, and 11.5% in 2017. The slowdown has been mainly due to a slump in shadow banking activities after a deleveraging campaign by financial regulators, Xiao said.

Coming up /

Mon. Sept. 16: The NBS will release several August reports, including ones on industrial production operation, investment in fixed assets, investment in real estate development, total retail sales of consumer goods and energy production.

Tue. Sept. 17: The NBS will release the August report on sales prices of residential buildings in 70 large and medium-sized cities.

Wed. Sept .18: The first Women’s Forum Asia will take place in Singapore Sept. 18-20. Caixin Global is an official media partner. Lihui Zhang, executive president of Caixin Media, will moderate a panel discussion focusing on the future of work.

Fri. Sept. 20: The 2019 Singapore Summit will take place Sept. 20-21. Caixin is an official media partner and will host a side event Sept. 20 titled “Outlook For Tech and Trade in Asia.

Quick hits /

Opinion: China’s value to the global economy



Cathay Pacific Airways passenger jets on the tarmac at Hong Kong's international airport, Aug. 7, 2018. Photo: VCG

Aviation /

Cathay Pacific passenger numbers drop 11.3% in August amid HK protest turbulence

In August, Cathay Pacific – and its subsidiary Cathay Dragon – carried a combined total of 2.9 million passengers, a drop of 11.3% from the same month last year, the carrier said Wednesday in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It was the biggest monthly fall since mid-2009.

Hong Kong’s tourism industry has taken a hit from protests that have caused more than 30 countries to issue travel warnings for the city. Thousands of protestors have massed at random times in the international airport terminal since July, blocking traveler access and leading to many flights being canceled. Officials said inbound tourists in August dropped by 40%.

Alcohol /

World’s biggest brewer restarts Hong Kong IPO for its Asia unit

European brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev) has resuscitated its application to list its Asia unit in Hong Kong two months after pulling out of its previous plan, the company said Thursday. Sources tell us the IPO is expected to take place this month, with investors able to begin placing share orders as soon as next week.

The Belgium-based parent company resumed the process for listing a minority stake of its Asia Pacific subsidiary, Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC Ltd., on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but “no assurance can be given that this transaction will be completed, and the decision to proceed will depend on a number of factors and prevailing market conditions,” it said in a statement.

Biotech /

Chinese scientists edit DNA in attempt to cure man’s cancer, HIV

Chinese researchers treated a man with leukemia and HIV using gene-edited stem cells, another step in a field that was shaken last year when another Chinese scientist created the world’s first genetically edited babies.

The man’s medical case, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first detailed report in a major academic journal of how doctors are using the experimental tool Crispr to manipulate the DNA of living patients. Because of the dual diseases, the man needed a transplant of stem cells to replace the damaged ones that were causing his blood cancer. That procedure also re-engineered a gene called CCR5 in the donor cells to be resistant to HIV.

Electric cars /

‘Tesla of China’ sputters a year after IPO

Electric-car startup Nio Inc. was the envy of its class when it powered past hundreds of Chinese peers a year ago to make a New York IPO. But one year after the listing, the story of China’s Tesla has run out of fuel as it grapples with a steady stream of negative headlines — including fundamental questions about the safety of its cars.

The new reality has sapped Nio’s stock, which now trades at about half its listing price of $6.26 when its IPO raised a $1 billion in new funding last year. As the electric-car frenzy in China wanes with the phasing out of government subsidies, Nio is scaling back and taking a more measured development approach. The company needs to control costs and focus less on hype and more on developing high-quality, reliable products to ensure its future viability, analysts said.

Check out our progress update.

Quick hits /

Huawei drops lawsuit after U.S. returns detained telecom gear

Huawei to raise $844 million in first on-shore bond sales

Opinion: The real risk for Chinese students in the United States

Boeing warns U.S.-China spat raises new risk for 787 Dreamliner

China’s first dedicated international data link strengths ties with Singapore

Next year will be key for ‘Robotaxi’ industry, startup says

Video app Kuaishou mulls U.S. IPO, raises funds at $25 billion valuation

Kweichow Moutai toasts long-term partnership with Chinese genomics giant

After opening gates to outside food, Disney clarifies what is and isn’t allowed

China's electric-car sales drop for second straight month

Terry Gou-backed LCD panel plant seeks cash injection

Fosun biotech unit Henlius aims to raise $477 million in Hong Kong IPO

Chinese cheer as Apple compares itself with Huawei for the first time

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