Asia News Bulletin - August 13


China has partly shut the world’s third-busiest container port due to a COVID-19 infection, putting further strain on global supply chains. After New Zealand's nearly 18-months of pandemic-induced isolation, the country is planning for its reopening-up to the rest of the world. While investors are still rattled by China's recent regulatory clampdown, the Chinese authorities took another step by releasing a new blueprint calling for further legislation in areas such as technology, education and national security in the next five years.


MAJOR HEADLINES IN ASIA

This section tracks major political, economic and business news from the key economies in Asia.

  • China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the world’s largest shipping port by cargo tonnage, has shut down one of its key terminals following a confirmed case of COVID-19, putting further strain on the global shipping industry and disrupting supply chains. – Reuters

  • More than 30 organisations representing a wide range of industries have signed a letter to US top trade officials imploring them to work with China to remove tariffs that are still in place from the US-China trade war. However, US officials have appeared to shrug off this pressure, noting only that the Biden administration is still reviewing its China policy. – South China Morning Post

  • Indonesia has launched the "Online Single Submission" website to process investment permits, which the government hailed as an important milestone in reforms aimed at making it easier and quicker to do business in Southeast Asia's largest economy. – Reuters

  • Korea is expected to speed up its free trade negotiations with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, as it aims to further expand its export portfolio. The four countries make up around 68 per cent of the region’s economy. – The Korea Herald


EQUITY AND DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS

This section highlights the biggest ECM and DCM developments in China and Hong Kong which are moving markets and grabbing headlines.

CHINA

  • China Telecom’s upcoming flotation on the Shanghai stock market, just half a year after its removal from the New York bourse, is set to be the biggest listing on the mainland in the past ten years as it expects to rake in as much as US$8.3 billion if it fully exercises the greenshoe option. – Yicai Global

HONG KONG

  • New rules are expected to be introduced next year by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, requiring investors to register their personal details with HKEX and report over-the-counter securities transactions starting from 2023. – South China Morning Post

  • Despite Cloud Village’s withdrawal of its Hong Kong IPO, HKEX’s new CEO Nicolas Aguzin said that the bourse sees a “significant and healthy” pipeline with about 200 companies filing for listing. – Financial Times, Bloomberg


PE/VC DEAL ACTIVITY

This section tracks the fundraising, deals and other activities conducted by the PE/VC funds in Asia.


CHINA AND HONG KONG

  • Beijing Yuanxin Technology, operator of China-based online healthcare services platform Miaoshou Doctor, has raised US$231 million in Series F funding featuring Sequoia Capital China. – AVCJ

  • MediTrust Health, a provider of digital healthcare payment services from China, has closed a Series C round led by Boyu Capital and Janchor Partners, raising over US$308 million. – KrAsia

  • Joinn Biologics, a subsidiary of China-headquartered contract manufacturing organisation Joinn Laboratories, has completed a US$150m series B round led by CPE. – Global Corporate Venturing

  • Shenzhen-based Chinese AI drug discovery platform XtalPi has raked in US$400 million in a Series D round co-led by OrbiMed Healthcare Fund Management and HOPU Investments. – DealStreetAsia

JAPAN AND KOREA

  • Antler, a global early-stage VC firm, has announced its launch in South Korea. The company is looking to invest in 100 startups over four years from its new office. – TechinAsia

SOUTHEAST ASIA

  • Turmeric Capital, an investment firm led by former L Catterton Asia head Ravi Thakran, is exploring listing a SPAC in Singapore, which could raise about US$221 million. – Bloomberg

  • Indonesian insurtech company Fuse has completed a Series B funding round led by GGV Capital. – TechinAsia

  • Singapore-headquartered delivery experience SaaS platform Parcel Perform has secured US$20 million in a Series A round led by Cambridge Capital. – TechCrunch


REGULATORY UPDATES

This section highlights the major regulations, policy changes and political developments in China and Hong Kong that have implications for the business environment.

CHINA

  • China released a five-year blueprint (link in Chinese) calling for greater regulation of vast parts of the economy, providing a sweeping framework for the broader crackdown on key industries that have left investors reeling. The document said authorities would actively work on legislation in areas including national security, technology innovation, monopolies and education. – Bloomberg, Reuters

  • Beijing is set to roll back tax incentives for software companies in favour of hard tech research and development, a policy change that may cast a shadow over the earnings prospects of companies such as Alibaba and Tencent. – South China Morning Post

HONG KONG

  • Professional Teachers’ Union, one of Hong Kong’s largest and longest-standing unions, disbanded after authorities cut ties with the group and warned that law enforcement could take action against it if there is evidence of national security law violation. Other labour and political groups are also under pressure and are potentially facing disbandment. – South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press


ONE FOR THE WEEKEND

Each week we will select one or two articles which have caught our attention – long reads, institutional outlooks, analysis or interesting viewpoints


A landmark assessment of climate change, released on Monday by the United Nations’ advisory body on climate, suggests that despite a lower risk of extreme changes in temperature, it is now more urgent than ever to act on decarbonisation. Failure to cut greenhouse gas emissions would lead within a few decades to what a leading climatologist called “hell on earth”, said the Financial Times.



THE WEEK AHEAD

China’s top legislative body is expected to meet next week to add the new anti-sanctions law to the Hong Kong and Macau Basic Laws, which would allow Beijing to take countermeasures against foreign individuals and entities involved in sanctions against Chinese businesses or officials. The legislation could potentially impose compliance hurdles on multinationals operating in Hong Kong. – South China Morning Post



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