With the largest tumble in gold in three decades, the shares of Hong Kong’s three biggest jewellery retailers fell sharply this week, despite a rush of customers wanting to take advantage of lower bullion prices.
Investors were clearly more interested in the impact of lower gold prices on the stores’ margins than in the potential benefits of the surge in sales. Continue reading »
That in turn will allow them to offer renminbi-denominated funds to their clients around the world. This is a big change – until now only Chinese brokers and asset managers have been able to offer these services. Continue reading »
On the face of it, Hong Kong’s market for new equity listings has perked up. Deal volume in the year to date is at its highest since 2010, while retail investors have finally returned. But, with many of the recent deals faring poorly in secondary trading, and China’s equity rally losing steam, the market for new offerings may stall before it gets out of first gear.
So far this year, Hong Kong has seen six deals, which have together raised $788m, compared with $452m by this time last year and $256m in 2011, according to Dealogic. Retail activity has also picked up, with heavy oversubscription in a number of this year’s offerings. Continue reading »
The Chinese art market, which in 2011 was reported to have leapfrogged the US to become the largest in the world, took a severe battering in 2012 and may have already lost its number one position, according to the front-page story in February edition of The Art Newspaper.
According to the publication, sales at China’s two largest auction houses, Poly Auction and China Guardian, have plummeted by more than half. Poly, part of a conglomerate which also includes the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, saw sales drop from $1.9bn in 2011 to $965m in 2012. China Guardian reported $1.8bn in 2011 but just $820m in sales in 2012. Continue reading »
It has taken almost a week, but one of China’s biggest scrap metal dealers is finally ready for a, er, scrap.
China Metal Recycling, a HK$11bn company, was targeted by a Californian short-seller and research company on Monday. Glaucus Research Group, a new name on the beat-em-up circuit, issued a report on Monday accusing the the Hong Kong-listed group of exaggerating the size of its business. Continue reading »
No retail sector in the world has benefitted as much from the new wealth in China as Hong Kong’s has. But in the second half of 2012 retail sales growth slumped to single digits, a far cry from the 20 per cent monthly growth rates in 2011.
However, despite this slowing growth, the Hong Kong Tourism Board revealed on Monday a 16 per cent increase in visitor arrivals to the city to 49m in 2012, with a staggering 35m coming from mainland China. Why the slump? Continue reading »
From time to time concerns are raised that Hong Kong could one day be eclipsed by financial centres on the Chinese mainland, notably Shanghai. But such fears are overblown according to a new report from HSBC’s Donna Kwok, which says Hong Kong has quite enough advantages to avoid being put in the shade any time soon. Continue reading »
Lean times require mean valuations. And so it is with Chinese state-owned insurer PICC Group, which has cut back the proposed price tag on its Hong Kong IPO from an original estimate of up to $30.5bn to $15.4bn-$18.2bn.
The much-delayed sale would still raise up to $3.6bn in Hong Kong’s biggest offering since AIA (also an insurer) secured $20.5bn in 2010. With cornerstone investors headed by US insurer AIG and Chinese state companies pledging $1.85bn, the deal – at its new price level – finally seems set to reach the market. Continue reading »
Big city Chinese tend to look down on people from anywhere other than Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. But last year nearly 9m Chinese from cities other than those three visited Hong Kong and spent the night, according to the latest Mainland Chinese Visitor Study from Nielsen – up 43 per cent last year over the previous year.
Like their big city brethren, they come to shop – but they don’t necessarily like to buy the same things. Continue reading »
There is a chill in the air as Sotheby’s opens its Hong Kong autumn sales on Friday, and it’s not because the worst of the summer heat is over.
This week is China’s “Golden Week”, traditionally the public holiday when the world’s most populous country goes on holiday and spends a lot of money abroad. But retailers in Hong Kong – the most popular destination for mainland tourists – have noticed a sharp fall off in sales growth this year. Continue reading »
It’s a basic rule of investing: don’t buy shares in companies whose directors and advisers have poor track records.
The trouble, however, is that digging up this kind of historical data has traditionally been a laborious undertaking, particularly for retail investors without access to expensive terminals like Bloomberg or Reuters.
Not any more – at least in Hong Kong, thanks to a powerful, free, online database created by David Webb, the corporate governance activist. Continue reading »
Coal may be an unloved commodity and IPO markets may be floundering, but a Chinese coal producer has just raised $900m in Hong Kong’s second-biggest new share sale this year.
Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal, the biggest coal group in the Chinese region bordering Mongolia, sold 162.8m shares at HK$43 (US$5.50) apiece on Friday, at the low end of a range marketed to investors, Reuters reported. Continue reading »
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the reaction in Hong Kong to the suggestion by Joseph Yam that the territory should consider breaking its currency’s 28-year-old peg to the US dollar.
Yam, who ran the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for 16 years until 2009, proposed in a paper on Tuesday that the Hong Kong dollar could be managed in a more flexible fashion against the dollar, renminbi, or a basket of currencies. Continue reading »