China’s Communist party marked its centenary with a series of events in Beijing, culminating in a speech by Xi Jinping on Thursday. As Hong Kong’s mass vaccination makes progress, rumours are circulating that the city may be able to resume cross-border travels with Macau as soon as this month. Singapore and UK have signed a new MoU to strengthen relationship in financial services and regulatory cooperation, and the EU and China are in talks to set up common standards for green projects.
MAJOR HEADLINES IN ASIA
This section tracks major political, economic and business news from the key economies in Asia.
Singapore and the UK have launched a new Financial Partnership at the sixth UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue. The new Memorandum of Understanding states that the two countries will explore opportunities for greater financial cooperation, including enhanced information sharing, bilateral cybersecurity cooperation, regulatory deference, and closer cooperation in international fora. – The Business Times
China and the EU are expected to finalise common classification standards for green projects by the end of this year, which can help attract overseas investors who are eying China’s relatively high bond yields. – Caixin Global
Following the shutdown of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, a number of pro-democracy media outlets, including the city’s major reader-funded Stand News, also quickly adjusted their operations, including removal of content, donation scheme, employment contracts, directorships, etc. Hong Kong public broadcaster, RTHK, has also suspended a few programmes and sacked veteran journalists, as the station continued to cancel other shows amid a government-directed editorial overhaul. – China Digital Times, Hong Kong Free Press, South China Morning Post
Global banks are battling to keep junior investment bankers in Asia where fintech and investment companies can offer a route to faster promotion and the prospects for higher earnings. Nomura lost about 20 investment bankers in Asia in May, adding to a stream of departures from Japan’s biggest brokerage as financial firms vie for talent in the region. The news also highlighted the acute talent shortage in China and Hong Kong, where turnover this year of junior bankers has roughly doubled at some firms. – Bloomberg
South Korea's Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the country will soon unveil the detailed plan of large-scale R&D projects to nurture the rechargeable battery sector, including supporting companies’ facility investment and providing tax incentives and other support, with the goal of the country taking the lead in the segment. – 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.
Mainland China and Hong Kong, among the world's top listing destinations, are looking at a busy calendar for IPOs in the second half of 2021, after funds raised globally via share sales in the first six months surpassed the amount raised during any half-yearly period in the last five years. – S&P Global
Chinese semiconductor chip maker Loongson Technology has filed an IPO in Shanghai, aiming to sell up to 41 million shares to raise US$542 million. – South China Morning Post
Chinese biotechnology and health care companies have become a steady source of IPOs in Hong Kong, accounting for more new listings than any other sector in the first six months of 2021 and making up half of the 10 deals that attracted the most bids. Funds raised are expected to hit a record US$27.3 billion for the six-month period, making Hong Kong the world’s third-largest IPO market behind the two leading US exchanges. – South China Morning Post
Deutsche Bank will be unable to sponsor IPOs in Hong Kong from July after the German lender failed to replace two regulated staff on time, disrupting the company’s plans to relaunch its Asia equities business. – Financial Times
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
Smart lithium battery total solutions provider Dongying Cospowers Technology has garnered ‘tens of millions of US dollars’ in a Series C round of financing from a cluster of undisclosed government-led industry funds. – DealStreetAsia
Industrial software developer ONES has secured US$46 million in its Series B1 and B2 rounds of financing, which saw the participation from new investors including SBCVC, Source Code Capital, and technology-focused XYC. – DealStreetAsia
Youshan Capital and China Merchants Capital have led a US$61 million Series B round for Han's Robot, a China-based manufacturer of industrial robots. – AVCJ
ZWC Partners, a Chinese venture capital firm that invests in China and Southeast Asia, has reached the final close of a new USD-denominated fund at over US$774 million. – DealStreetAsia
Beijing-headquartered industrial vision solutions developer Sigma Squares Tech has raised US$10 million in a Series A round of financing led by V Fund. – DealStreetAsia
Japanese private equity firm Nippon Investment Corporation has acquired the local subsidiary of Germany-based winemaker and distributor Pieroth for an undisclosed sum. – AVCJ
Real estate investment manager Savills Investment Management has acquired a further US$218 million of assets for its Japanese residential strategy. – DealStreetAsia
Philippines-based Voyager Innovations, which owns payment and financial services app PayMaya, has raised US$167 million in new funding. IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund participated as a new investor. – Tech in Asia
Southeast Asia’s cross-border e-commerce enabler SCI Ecommerce has closed an US$65.4 million financing round after raising fresh capital from EDBI and other investors. – DealStreetAsia
This section highlights the major regulations, policy changes and political developments in China and Hong Kong that have implications for the business environment.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission published new disclosure rules (link in Chinese) for publicly traded businesses, which adds a new chapter on environmental and social responsibility, requiring companies to disclose pollutant emission situations, environmental impacts and administrative penalties arising from environmental issues. – Caixin Global
In Hong Kong’s latest senior officials reshuffle, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu was sworn in as Chief Secretary for Administration while police chief Chris Tang Ping-keung took over his previous portfolio. Lee’s promotion marked the first time that a security official, rather than a candidate with an administrative or financial background, has been named to the city’s No. 2 job, spurring criticisms of the city’s direction towards a “police-state”. – The Standard, South China Morning Post
The Securities and Futures Commission said that regulated banks, brokers and financial advisers had insufficient oversight of their own accounts and those of clients, giving a warning after finding examples of inadequate controls as it escalates efforts to monitor unauthorised trading and cash movements. – Bloomberg
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 century after the Communist Party’s founding, China’s leader said foreign powers would “crack their heads and spill blood” if they tried to stop its rise. President Xi Jinping at the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary celebration trumpeted the party’s success in tamping down COVID-19, reducing poverty and firmly quashing dissent in Hong Kong, in a speech that hinted Xi is not planning on stepping down from power anytime soon. – The New York Times
THE WEEK AHEAD
This year’s Asia-Pacific Climate Week, hosted by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, will take place virtually on 6-9 July to build momentum towards success at COP26 – the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties – to be hosted by the UK in Glasgow in November.
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