Banking/Finance

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

FINANCE: Ant Makes Case, No New Offer, for MoneyGram Buy

Bottom line: Ant Financial’s open letter to MoneyGram could hint at a new raised offer coming soon for the company, though rival suitor Euronet is likely to bid equally aggressively and has a slightly better chance of winning the contest.

Ant makes case to MoneyGram workers, US politicians

Three weeks after being surprised by an unsolicited counterbid for US money transferring specialist MoneyGram, China’s Ant Financial is finally speaking out on the matter beyond its initial reaction to the rival bid. The former financial unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) frankly isn’t saying much about future plans in its open letter to the MoneyGram community, and there’s no hint on whether it will raise its offer for the US company.

Instead, the letter seems aimed at reassuring MoneyGram employees that their jobs will be safe, and on reassuring wary government officials that information on MoneyGram users won’t be recklessly used. Those messages look squarely aimed at quelling the very real possibility that such a deal could get vetoed by Washington on national security grounds, even though the jobs issue doesn’t really fall into that category. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Qudian Moves Toward Blockbuster NY Listing

Bottom line: Qudian’s IPO will get a moderately warm reception in New York, drawing interest due to its status as a major private fintech firm but also wariness owing to many uncertainties in the young sector.

Qudian moves closer to IPO

Anything involving movement of money has always been slightly problematic in China. Be it paying for things online, paying to play computer games, or even borrowing small sums to buy something like a smartphone, nothing has ever been easy for Chinese consumers. That’s mostly due to the creaky financial system they inherited when the country began its march into the modern era starting in the 1980s and ’90s.

That lack of services has been a godsend for a new generation of companies that are now making their way to market by supplying some of the many basic financial services that consumers crave. An IPO by one of the largest of those looks set to happen in the next 3 months, with word that microlender Qudian has made its first private filings for a New York listing to raise up to $1 billion. Read Full Post…

E-COMMERCE: Ant Trumped in US, Alibaba Reorganizes Video

Bottom line: Ant Financial will counter bid for MoneyGram, following a surprise rival bid for the company, while Alibaba Pictures’ absorption of the former Youku Tudou looks like a logical consolidation of Alibaba’s filmed entertainment assets.

Ant’s MoneyGram offer attracts rival bidder

Two of Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) founder Jack Ma’s biggest endeavors outside his core e-commerce business are in the headlines, led by a counter bid for a US financial services company his Ant Financial is trying to acquire. That particular deal has a US company called Euronet Worldwide announcing a bid for MoneyGram that’s 15 percent higher than Ant’s own $880 million bid made back in January. The other news is slightly more mundane but still significant, and has Ma’s Alibaba moving its Youku Tudou online video service into its separately listed Alibaba Pictures (HKEx: 1060) filmed entertainment unit. Read Full Post…

IPOs: China Rapid Finance, Lakala Join Race for Financial Listings

Bottom line: This year is likely to see at least a half dozen privately owned financial services companies make public listings in the U.S., Hong Kong and China, with Lakala and Lufax likely to be among the first.

Lakala files for ChiNext IPO

We’re already three months into the new year, and still awaiting the first of what looks set to be a bumper crop of IPOs by a new generation of privately owned financial services firms that are far more dynamic than their state-run peers. Two more of those are in the headlines today, led by China Rapid Finance, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lender that says it’s eyeing a $100 million IPO in New York. At the same time, the popular Lakala electronic payments service has filed to make a listing on the Nasdaq-style ChiNext board in Shenzhen.

That pair are joining a few other notable names that are reportedly aiming to list in the not-too-distant future. That group includes Lufax, which bills itself as China’s largest P2P lender and is aiming to list in Hong Kong. Then there’s Qudian, a microlender that is looking to raise hundreds of millions of dollars with a New York listing. And of course, the granddaddy of them all is Ant Financial, which could raise more than $1 billion with a listing in Hong Kong or dual listing in Hong Kong and China. Read Full Post…

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…