CX Daily: A Fugitive Businessman’s High-profile Bet in Myanmar
Cover Story: A fugitive businessman’s high-profile bet in Myanmar
A high-profile investment project in Myanmar backed by a reclusive Chinese businessman who has done business under at least four names fell under scrutiny for allegations of illegal gambling operations, bringing to light the investor’s shady business history.
At the center of the controversy is an ambitious $15 billion project called Yatai City that aims to turn a quiet Myanmar border village into a Singapore-like business hub, according to public information. The main architect of what’s also known as the Myanmar Yatai Shwe Kokko Special Economic Zone is a 38-year-old expatriate Chinese businessman who goes by the name She Kailun and three others, based on Caixin reporting.
She, the chairman of Yatai International Holding Group, is the honorary president of several Chinese chambers of commerce in Southeast Asian countries and a leading figure in the overseas Chinese community in the region. Little public information is available about She outside company documents, which often portray him as a leading entrepreneur and philanthropist.
FINANCE & ECONOMICS
Ant Group set its Shanghai IPO price at near 68.8 yuan per share, which would give the company a market valuation of around 2.1 trillion yuan.
Ant Group sets prices for world's largest IPO
Ant Group Co. Ltd., the fintech affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., set its Shanghai offering price at 68.8 yuan ($10.30) a share as the company prepares for the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO) in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The company priced its dual listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at HK$80 ($10.32) a share, about the same as the price on Shanghai's STAR Market, according to regulatory filings released Monday. The concurrent share sale will raise $39.41 billion, surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29.4 billion offering around the beginning of this year.
The pricing gives Ant Group a market valuation of around 2.1 trillion yuan ($314.5 billion), which will account for about 40% of the total value of listings on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style high-tech board after the offering.
Analysis: Jack Ma needs a refresher on how financial regulation works
Financial risks /
Financial sector should avoid ‘wrong paths’ of speculation, bubbles and Ponzi schemes, vice president says
China’s finance industry should stay off the “wrong paths” of speculation, self-circulating financial bubbles and Ponzi schemes, Vice President Wang Qishan told a financial summit Saturday.
The industry should serve the real economy and focus on preventing financial risks, Wang said in a pre-recorded speech presented to the Bund Summit in Shanghai.
Wang made his remarks as China pushes ahead with efforts to prevent systemic risks in the financial sector that have been created by high debt levels, many companies’ immature risk control, and underregulation of emerging areas such as internet finance.
Far west China region to test 4.7 million residents for Covid-19 after 100-case flare-up
China’s far western prefecture of Kashgar launched a mass testing program after more than 100 people tested positive for the coronavirus.
Disease control workers are testing the area’s 4.75 million people after 137 new asymptomatic cases were detected Sunday, according to a statement (link in Chinese) from the health commission of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which administers Kashgar.
The new cases were linked to a garment factory where a 17-year-old girl who tested positive Saturday worked, the commission’s deputy director Gu Yingsu said at a Sunday press conference (link in Chinese). The outbreak represented the Chinese mainland’s first locally transmitted infections for 10 days, when one was discovered in the eastern port city of Qingdao.
Foreigners are snapping up China government bonds like never before
They came for the yield and stayed for the currency: Foreigners are buying Chinese bonds like never before even though domestic investors keep dumping the notes.
Overseas funds boosted their holdings of Chinese sovereign debt by a record 439 billion yuan ($66 billion) last quarter, according to Bloomberg calculations. With a 10-year yield at 3.196%, the securities are attractive to foreign traders at a time when $16 trillion of the world’s debt yields less than zero.
Foreigners are buying yuan bonds because for one, they are denominated in a currency that just jumped to the strongest since July 2018. Also, they will see long-term support due to passive capital inflows, as FTSE Russell last month followed JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bloomberg Barclays to include them in its flagship indexes.
Quick hits /
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BUSINESS & TECH
Brilliance Auto wanted its creditors to give it an extra 90 days to make the payments, according to a source from a private fund manager that held the bond.
BMW’s Chinese venture partner defaults on $149 million bond
Brilliance Auto Group Holdings Co. Ltd., parent of BMW AG’s main Chinese joint-venture partner, failed to repay a 1 billion yuan ($149 million) bond that came due Friday.
The default is the culmination of months of financial strain that began to show at the state-owned automaker in August, when a sell-off in the company’s bonds revealed that investors were concerned about its ability to scrape together the cash to pay its bills and pay off its debts.
Brilliance Auto, which is owned by the government of Northeast China’s Liaoning province, acknowledged that it was having trouble getting its hands on enough cash to pay the 1 billion yuan in principal and 53 million yuan in interest due when the bond matured Friday. “It remains uncertain whether the company will be able to find enough money in time,” the company said in an announcement (link in Chinese) dated Friday on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s website.
China rail operator opens gate to flexible ticket prices
China’s lucrative high-speed rail line between Beijing and Shanghai will move from a fixed- to a flexible-price ticketing system at the end of this year, raising current prices nearly 10% in some cases, to boost profits by better reflecting demand during peak and slow periods.
The change will take effect Dec. 23, and apply to trains traveling as between 300 kph and 350 kph on the line, one the most lucrative in China’s state-of-the-art high-speed rail network, according to a Friday stock exchange filing (link in Chinese) from Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co. Ltd. For example, second-class tickets between Beijing and Shanghai that now cost 553 yuan ($83) will sell for between 498 yuan and 598 yuan under the new system. Business class tickets that currently cost 1,748 yuan will float in a smaller range from 1,748 yuan to 1,998 yuan.
Momo breaks up with founder as dating app’s revenue continues to slide
The founder of Momo Inc., which operates two of China’s top dating apps, is stepping down from his CEO position as the company struggles to reverse a long-term decline in revenue growth.
Tang Yan, who founded Momo in 2011, will become chairman of the board, the company said Friday in a press release. Wang Li, chief operating officer and president, will be the new CEO. The staffing changes will take effect Nov. 1. The shuffle is unsurprising as Tang hasn’t been involved with the business’s day-to-day operations for a while, some of Momo’s staff told Caixin. “All vice president-level managers have been reporting to Wang since the second half of 2017,” a former member of Momo staff told Caixin.
Tesla recalls nearly 50,000 U.S.-made cars in China over suspension problems
Tesla is recalling two of its most popular models that were made in the U.S. and exported to China over potential suspension problems.
The recall affects 29,193 Model S and Model X vehicles manufactured between Sept. 17, 2013, and Aug. 16, 2017, and 19,249 Model S vehicles produced between Sept. 17, 2013, and Jan. 15, 2018, according to a notice by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation Friday.
For the 29,193 Model S and Model X vehicles, Tesla will replace the rear linkages of the left and right front suspension. And for the 19,249 Model S cars, the company will replace the upper linkages of the left and right rear suspension. All replacements will be made at no cost to car owners, according to the notice. This is Tesla’s fourth recall of cars exported from the U.S. to China.
Quick hits /
WeChat judge won’t pause temporary order blocking Trump ban
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Chip designer Smartsens raises nearly $225 million from national chip fund, Xiaomi
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