Banking/Finance

YoungChinabiz – Top news about Banking in China & Finance from Reuter reporter based in China

FINANCE: IDG China Affiliate Roars with US Parent Buy

Bottom line: IDG Capital is likely to buy out the venture funding business of US affiliate IDG in the next year, setting the stage for the emergence of China’s first global venture capital firm.

IDG Capital roars with purchase of US parent

A sort of “mouse that roared” story is in the headlines today, with word that US tech finance and information giant International Data Group (IDG) has been bought out by its China affiliate. The China affiliate, IDG Capital, is actually teaming up with another major local partner, China Oceanwide Holdings, to purchase Boston-based IDG, whose assets include the well-respected market research firm International Data Corp (IDC), as well as PCWorld Magazine. Read Full Post…

FINANCE: WeChat Sips with Starbucks; Alipay in Europe, Australia

Bottom line: Starbucks’ selection of WeChat before Alipay for in-store electronic payments is a symbolic victory for the former, while Alipay’s aggressive global expansion could eventually help it to overtake UnionPay outside China.

WeChat ties with Starbucks

China’s two leading mobile payments services are both in the headlines, led by word of a major new tie-up between Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) WeChat and coffee lifestyle titan Starbucks (NYSE: SBUX). I have to admit that my interest in this particular tie-up is somewhat personal, as I’m a big fan of both of these companies and have been waiting a long time for such a partnership.

But equally significant is the fact that Starbucks chose WeChat before archrival Alipay. That same Alipay is in a couple of its own headlines, both showing how it’s trying to expand abroad to compete with China’s other major electronic payments system, the state-owned UnionPay. One of those headlines has Alipay in a new tie-up in Australia, while the other has it announcing partnerships with four major financial companies to expand its footprint in Europe. Read Full Post…

M&A: China-US Deals Stall as Trump Presidency Nears

Bottom line: A Chinese bid for the Chicago Stock Exchange could get vetoed on concerns about exposure to the US financial system, while a similar bid for chip maker Lattice could get approved due to its relatively small size.

Lattice buyer has Beijing backing

Two cross-border deals involving China M&A in the US appear to be stalling, even before the protectionist-minded Donald Trump becomes the next US president. That certainly doesn’t bode well for either deal, one in the high-tech chip space and the other in the financial sector, since both could easily have Chinese government backing. One of those has a Sichuan-based investor group trying to buy the tiny Chicago Stock Exchange, while the other has a different group trying to buy mid-sized chip design house Lattice Semiconductor (Nasdaq: LSCC). Read Full Post…

IPOs: Qudian IPO Banks on China Consumer Micro Loans

Bottom line: Microlender Qudian could raise $500 million or more in an IPO in the first half of next year, most likely in New York, and could get a modestly positive reception as one of the first in a new wave of private Chinese financial firms to list overseas.

Qudian hires CFO, investment bank

Growing signals are emerging that an offshore IPO could be coming soon for Qudian, a financial firm that began its life as a microlender named Qufenqi helping college students to buy things like computers and smartphones. That’s my assessment after learning from one of my sources that Qudian has hired a foreign-trained CFO and also an investment bank, typical developments for a company that wants to make an offshore listing within the next year and often even sooner.

From an investor’s perspective, the company would offer an interesting private play into China’s financial sector, albeit a relatively niche part of that sector. Investors can already buy into numerous Chinese banks and other financial institutions like brokerages and asset managers. But most of those are state-owned and make many of their decisions based on government directives, with the result that their decisions often have a heavy political element that doesn’t always make commercial sense. Read Full Post…

IPOs: NetEase Media Eyes NY Listing; ZTO, Recurrent Energy Vanish

Bottom line: NetEase could abandon a newly announced New York IPO plan for its media arm if it can find a suitable buyer, while a previously announced New York listing plan by ZTO Express could be revived before year-end.

NetEase news unit makes filing for NY IPO

What’s shaping up as a quiet year for Chinese IPOs in New York has just gotten a small boost, with word that online gaming giant NetEase (NYSE: NTES) has made an initial filing to list its respected but financially-challenged news portal business. Meantime, rumors are building for what’s likely to be one of next year’s biggest offerings from Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and owner of the Alipay e-payments service. But in this case, Ant is shooting down the latest buzz that specific plans are in place for a Hong Kong IPO next year. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Yum China Nears NY Debut, Merchants Securities Lists in HK

Bottom line: Yum China’s new stock will post moderate gains of 3-6 percent when trading begins on November 1, while Merchants Securities’ IPO shares will price in the middle of their range and debut flat to up slightly.

Merchants Securities makes HK listing

IPOs are heating up as we head into the fourth quarter of 2016 and companies race to complete offerings before the traditionally slow period between Christmas and Chinese New Year. The last week alone has seen progress on what could be the world’s 2 biggest offerings this year, being made by Postal Savings Bank of China and P2P lender Lufax. (previous post) Now 2 more mega listings are in the headlines, as brokerage Merchants Securities prepares for an IPO in Hong Kong and KFC parent Yum (NYSE: YUM) gets set to spin off and separately list its China unit in New York. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Lufax Kicks Off HK Listing, Xinhuanet Eyes Shanghai

Bottom line: Lufax’s Hong Kong IPO could launch by the end of this year and will get a strong reception, while Xinhuanet’s Shanghai IPO will get a similarly positive reception due to strong support from state-run investors.

Xinhuanet approved for Shanghai IPO

Just days after the stodgy Postal Savings Bank of China launched an IPO that will be the world’s biggest in 2 years, the much higher-tech P2P lender Lufax has kicked off another Hong Kong listing that’s nearly as large. More specifically, Shanghai-based Lufax has begun hiring investment banks for a listing that could raise up to $5 billion, according to new reports.

Meantime, a flurry of new domestic Chinese IPO plans is also in the headlines, led by word that state-owned online news giant Xinhuanet has been approved for a new listing in Shanghai. China stock watchers might recall that Xinhuanet’s IPO plan first surfaced in the headlines 3 years ago, but was indefinitely shelved due to repeated slowdowns and freezes for new domestic offerings due to market volatility. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Postal Bank Offering Fizzles, Anbang Eyes HK

Bottom line: Postal Savings Bank’s IPO is likely to price weakly and make a flat trading debut due to waning enthusiasm, while Anbang could make a similarly large IPO next year that will get an equally tepid reception.

Anbang eyes HK IPO

The world’s biggest IPO in 2 years is quickly running out of steam, with word that a Hong Kong listing by Postal Savings Bank of China, the nation’s last national bank to list, is set to price near the bottom of its range. Meantime, what could easily become one of next year’s biggest offering has just popped into the headlines, as insurance giant Anbang is saying in one of its first-ever foreign media interviews that it wants to make its own listing, also in Hong Kong. Read Full Post…

FINANCE: PayPal Edges Closer to China with UnionPay Tie-Up

Bottom line: A new global tie-up between UnionPay and PayPal could auger another alliance by the end of the year that would allow the US company to launch a domestic electronic payments service in China by the end of this year.

PayPal in tie-up with UnionPay

In what must certainly be one of the slowest marches to China of all time, US electronic payments giant PayPal (Nasdaq: PYPL) has just formed a tie-up with UnionPay, operator of China’s largest electronic transactions settlement network. On reading the headline I thought that PayPal had finally cracked the market for domestic transactions in China, following more than a decade of trying to enter the lucrative business. But it turns out the new tie-up only covers cross-border transactions and is mostly for UnionPay’s benefit, meaning PayPal is still being locked out of the domestic China market. Read Full Post…

IPOs: NetEase Eyes Portal Spin-Off, Friends Deliver for Postal Bank

Bottom line: NetEase is likely to complete a spin-off of its news division, possibly through a sale to Sina, while Postal Savings Bank’s massive IPO will meet with tepid reception due to limited growth prospects.

NetEase plans portal spin-off

Two significant but very different IPOs are in the headlines as we get set for the Mid-Autumn holiday break, one from China’s vibrant private sector and the other from a big state-run behemoth. In the former category is NetEase (Nasdaq: NTES), one of China’s oldest Internet companies, which is reportedly mulling an IPO for its news portal, one of its original businesses with a history dating back to the 1990s. In the other news, China Postal Savings Bank has reportedly placed most of the shares for its massive $8 billion listing with a group of 6 cornerstone investors. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Yum Picks Financial Partners Primavera, Ant for China Spin-Off

Bottom line: Yum’s selection of Primavera and Ant Financial to anchor its China unit spin-off look like reasonable choices, as it tries to put the business back on solid footing before a New York IPO that should enjoy modest success.

Yum China sells stake to Primavera, Ant
Yum China sells stake to Primavera, Ant

After months of talks and speculation, fast food giant Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM) has announced that two firms with distinctly financial backgrounds will anchor its plan to spin off its China business. The larger of the investors, private equity firm Primavera, doesn’t look extremely exciting strategically, as it’s mostly a private equity investor with little experience in the tough retail sector. The second investor, Alibaba’s (NYSE: BABA) Ant Financial affiliate, looks a little more interesting since its core Alipay electronic payments service could help to propel Yum’s aging KFC and Pizza Hut brands into the modern era. Read Full Post…