Virus could spur buyout appetite for Chinese food

[HONG KONG] Buyout funds could become a white knight for China's dining sector. McDonald's, KFC operator Yum China and hotpot chain Haidilao have all closed stores on the mainland as the coronavirus spreads. Until now, Chinese restaurants and private equity have been wary of each other. That may...

COMMENTARY

Infrastructure investors catch the tech bug

AN unsexy corner of the investment world is getting a little racier. The infrastructure and real estate investment arm of Macquarie is in advanced talks to buy data centre company AirTrunk for over A$3 billion (S$2.8 billion), Bloomberg reported last week. Growing data consumption is fuelling...

Infrastructure investors catch the tech bug

[HONG KONG] An unsexy corner of the investment world is getting a little racier. The infrastructure and real estate investment arm of Macquarie is in advanced talks to buy data-centre company AirTrunk for over A$3 billion (S$2.78 billion), Bloomberg reported last week. Growing data consumption...

COMMENTARY

Bidding war for Caltex Australia lacks fuel

A QUASI-BIDDING war for Caltex Australia is missing some fuel. The transport gas provider and petrol station operator has received takeover interest from suitors including UK-based privately owned EG Group, increasing pressure on Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard to sweeten its A$8.7 billion (S$...

Hong Kong poised to reclaim IPO crown

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong will rise again in at least one financial realm. Only twice – in post-crisis 2009 and 2010 – has the local bourse managed to outduel the combined power of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq for new equity issuance. Violent pro-democracy protests present a significant...

COMMENTARY

HSBC's HK protest-induced headache looks like its worst

HSBC is on a tightrope it will struggle to walk. Hong Kong demonstrators vandalised bank branches after police froze an account used to pay their legal fees. In the first nine months of 2019, HSBC earned over half of its US$18 billion in pre-tax profit in the city, but six months of violent...

Asia-Pacific is primed for its next 11-digit leveraged buyout

[HONG KONG] It is shaping up to be a big year for buyouts in Asia. There's over US$250 billion of capital committed to private equity in the region, according to research outfit Preqin. KKR plans to raise a fund that would be bigger than its flagship US one. Cheap debt is also available from...

Ping An's fintech halo is losing its glow

[HONG KONG] A Chinese fintech glow is burning less brightly. Insurance titan Ping An just kicked off plans to take public its OneConnect banking software business in New York. A mooted US$5 billion valuation would be a third less than its most recent funding round last year, taking additional...

Jollibee risks indigestion with US coffee deal

[HONG KONG] Jollibee Foods is risking indigestion with its acquired taste for coffee. The US$5 billion Philippine fried chicken and burger chain is buying Caifornia-based retailer The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) for US$350 million. The deal gives Jollibee 1,189 stores, over 400 of them in...

COMMENTARY

Crackdown on banks gives Hong Kong an IPO edge

IT may have taken a while, but Hong Kong finally showcased an investor-protection edge. The financial regulator banned UBS from leading market debuts for a year, and the Swiss bank and three of its peers will pay US$100 million in fines for shoddy due diligence on initial public offerings (IPOs...