Asia Private Equity Weekly News, Nov. 26, 2013

HONG KONG, Nov. 26 (Reuters) - News and developments in Asia private equity from Reuters News for the week ending Nov. 22.


OAKTREE CAPITAL Group LLC, the world's largest distressed debt investor, is among a group of firms buying shares of China Cinda Asset Management Corp as part of its up to $2.5 billion initial public offering, sources said.


HONG KONG-based private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners and three South Korean investors have teamed up to buy the London headquarters of retailer Marks & Spencer for around $321 million, adding to a string property deals by Asian investors this year.

YUANSHENGTAI DAIRY Farm, China's fourth biggest raw milk producer, is set to raise about $425 million after pricing its Hong Kong IPO below the mid-point of a marketing range.

BARCLAYS NATURAL Resource Investments (BNRI), a private equity division of Barclays Bank PLC, and Ilex Partners, a Beijing-based advisory firm, said they have formed a strategic partnership to help BNRI develop its portfolio companies in mainland China. ()

NOMURA HOLDINGS Inc and Intermediate Capital Group have agreed a 50:50 partnership that will structure and distribute mezzanine investments and funds, to be managed by a local Japanese fund management company. ()


FULLERTON FUND Management, a wholly-owned unit of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, is increasing its exposure to China, encouraged by reform plans that could benefit sectors such as consumer, infrastructure, clean energy and insurance.


BLACKSTONE GROUP'S Antony Leung is leaving his role as Greater China Chairman to lead a Hong Kong-based property conglomerate, the private equity firm said.

U.S. PRIVATE equity firm Blackstone and Indian developer Panchshil Realty are close to buying a majority stake in an office tower in Mumbai for about 9 billion rupees ($144 million), two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

SINGAPORE WAREHOUSE and industrial park developer Ascendas Pte Ltd said it has set up a programme with a target asset size of S$600 million ($481.60 million) to invest in Indian real estate. Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd is a principal investor in the programme.

CHINA'S TOP securities regulator reiterated commitments to easing the government's control over the initial public offering process, but said the government will also intensify its auditing of companies hoping to list.

ASIAN-INSPIRED jewellery company John Hardy Group is exploring a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter. Bali-based John Hardy, a portfolio company of British private equity firm 3i Group PLC, has hired Rothschild to conduct a sales process, which is in the early stages, the sources said.


ASIA PRIVATE equity firm RRJ Capital is launching an up to $1 billion real estate fund that will mostly target investments in China, the firm's founder, former Goldman Sachs dealmaker Richard Ong, told Reuters.

A GOVERNMENT body called on Hong Kong's regulators to step up reforms to maintain the city's competitive edge as a premier offshore yuan hub and a global financial centre.

  • Oil went through the roof after a report that OPEC reached a deal to limit production
    Business Insider

    Oil went through the roof after a report that OPEC reached a deal to limit production

    Oil is going through the roof following a Reuters report citing sources that say OPEC has reached a deal to limit oil production, with the deal going into effect in November. Prices for Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, surged by as much 6.3%, to $49.44 per barrel, around 2:33 p.m. ET. "OPEC agreed on Wednesday to reduce its oil output to 32.5 million [barrels per day] from the current production levels of around 33.24 million bpd, two OPEC sources told Reuters.

  • Let's fill a toilet with 240 pounds of mercury and then flush it

    Let's fill a toilet with 240 pounds of mercury and then flush it

    Mercury, both beautiful and potentially dangerous, is a heavy metal that's liquid at normal ambient temperatures. It can be poisonous and should be treated with care. So what do you do with several large flasks of the shimmery stuff? You flush it down a toilet, of course. YouTube channel Cody's Lab filmed that exact experiment for us all to watch with wonder. Related stories Flush a functional solid-gold toilet at the Guggenheim Museum Iron Throne toilet lets you rule the bathroom The Cody's Lab video, posted on Tuesday, kicks off by discussing just how hard it is to flush a dense lead bullet down a toilet. You need a super-sucker of a loo to get the job done. The bullet test prompted Cody to

  • Andrea Tantaros Refuses ‘Seven Figure’ Settlement Offer from Fox News to Drop Harassment Case

    Andrea Tantaros Refuses ‘Seven Figure’ Settlement Offer from Fox News to Drop Harassment Case

    The attorney for former Fox News Channel personality Andrea Tantaros said Wednesday the host had turned down a settlement offer in the  “seven figures” and would continue to press her case alleging harassment by senior executives at the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news outlet. The legal development threatens to fan the flames of a controversy that the network and its parent hope to extinguish: Roger Ailes, the leader of the network and architect of its popular and influential programming, was ousted in July in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson alleging sexual harassment by the executive. “As has been widely reported, Fox News previously offered Ms. Tantaros seven figures to renounce her harassment claims against Ailes (and others) in exchange for her eternal silence,” said Judd Burstein, a lawyer representing Tantaros in the matter, in a statement.

  • Unhappy Target customers send strong message on pill bottles
    Associated Press

    Unhappy Target customers send strong message on pill bottles

    Longtime customers of Target's pharmacies are finding a change in pill bottle design hard to swallow. After CVS began operating Target's drugstores earlier this year, distraught customers have been asking — in some cases begging — the drugstore chain to bring back the retailer's red prescription bottles, which came with color-coded rings, labeling on the top and prescription information that was easier to read. Vivian Ruth Sawyer went fishing through her trash to rescue the old Target bottles soon after opening her stapled prescription bag to find the dowdy, white-capped amber vials that are common in most medicine cabinets.

  • 4 in 10 Parents Saving for College Are Making This Really Expensive Mistake

    4 in 10 Parents Saving for College Are Making This Really Expensive Mistake

    Four in 10 parents say they’re using a checking account to hold their college savings, and six in 10 report using a plain old savings account, in Sallie Mae’s annual How America Saves for College report. In fact, more than 40% of all college-savings dollars are held in low- or no-return vehicles such as checking accounts, savings accounts, or certificates of deposit. Interest rates in those accounts are negligible—less than 0.1% for most checking accounts and less than 1% for savings accounts.

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  • Here’s Who the Betting Markets Are Saying Will Win the Election
    The Fiscal Times

    Here’s Who the Betting Markets Are Saying Will Win the Election

    Anyone who missed last night’s presidential debate and turned to social media to try to determine how it went might have a difficult time figuring out whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump came away on top. Trump supporters and the candidate himself are busy declaring victory and promoting internet polls in which as many as 80 percent of respondents claimed that Trump won. Team Clinton, meanwhile, has also declared victory and is citing multiple analysts in the media who insist that Clinton won, either by virtue of Trump self-destructing or her superior preparation.

  • Report: DirecTV parent AT&T to phase out satellites in 3 to 5 years
    Denver Business Journal

    Report: DirecTV parent AT&T to phase out satellites in 3 to 5 years

    AT&T Inc. – which is expected to premier its streaming service DirecTV Now later this year – reportedly will work to make streaming its primary TV platform by 2020. AT&T last year acquired satellite-TV service DirecTV, which has a large Colorado footprint. Under the timeline, as reported by Bloomberg, DirecTV set-top boxes and satellite dishes could be obsolete in three to five years. Bloomberg cites people familiar with the plans. Dallas-based AT&T (NYSE: T) has claimed no allegiance to satellite TV technology from day one of its $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV, but it hasn’t publicly provided any definitive answers or a timeline on a migration of its 25 million video subscribers toward

  • Here's what Mylan makes per EpiPen
    Pittsburgh Business Times

    Here's what Mylan makes per EpiPen

    How much profit does Mylan NV derive from sales of the anti-allergy drug EpiPen? Last week, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch told the House Government Oversight Committee that its profit was about $100 per two-pack that lists for just over $600. Mylan (Nasdaq: MYL) provided more detail late Monday in an SEC filing that showed that Mylan’s $100 profit includes a tax rate of 37.5 percent. The Wall Street Journal noted that Mylan paid five times less than its overall tax rate of 7.4 percent; the Los Angeles Times last month reported that Mylan’s effective tax rate was 16.2 percent in 2013. According to the data Mylan provided in the SEC filing — and including the 37.5 percent tax — Mylan makes $52 per pen.

  • Japan conglomerates seek to merge loss-making nuclear fuel operations: sources

    Japan conglomerates seek to merge loss-making nuclear fuel operations: sources

    Three Japanese conglomerates are in talks to combine their loss-making domestic nuclear fuel operations, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, as the outlook for restarts of reactors following the Fukushima nuclear crisis remains bleak. Hitachi Ltd , Toshiba Corp and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd aim to merge the operations as early as spring 2017, one of the people said, declining to be identified as the discussions were confidential.

  • Tyson Foods recalls chicken nuggets sold at Costco stores

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    Tyson said it got complaints from consumers saying they had found small pieces of hard, white plastic in the nuggets, prompting the recall. The plastic may have originated from a rod used to connect a plastic transfer belt, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said, and classified it as a Class I recall. There have been no injuries associated with this recall, Tyson said.

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  • VW CEO hopeful of deal with U.S. authorities by year-end

    VW CEO hopeful of deal with U.S. authorities by year-end

    Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said on Wednesday he is hopeful the German automaker can reach agreement by the end of the year with the U.S. government on the size of a fine to settle a criminal investigation of the company's alleged violations of U.S. clean air laws. Mueller, speaking on the sidelines of the Paris auto show, said he also sees “good progress” toward an agreement with U.S. regulators that could allow Volkswagen to repair certain 3.0 liter diesel engines that emit more pollutants than U.S. law allows. Speculation that the U.S. Justice Department will demand a multibillion-dollar fine to settle a criminal investigation of the automaker's use of illegal software to deceive U.S. environmental regulators sent Volkswagen shares into a tailspin earlier this week.

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    Why investors should look at listed real estate

    The return and risk characteristics of listed real estate are exactly the same as real estate assets, says AMP capital's Charles Wong.

  • What Happens to Your Credit Score When You Buy a House?

    What Happens to Your Credit Score When You Buy a House?

    If you’ve just bought a new home, chances are you spent quite some time worrying about your credit score. After all, your credit score affects your ability to get a mortgage, and the interest rate you’ll pay on that mortgage. You’ll likely start seeing minor dings in your credit score as soon as you begin applying for mortgages.

  • Business
    U.S.News & World Report

    Should a Part-Time Job Be Part of a Retirement Plan?

    No longer can the average worker count on a defined pension plan to fund retirement. Social Security is estimated to become insolvent in 2034, and surveys show many workers are not saving enough on their own. Beyond that, people are living longer and health care costs are increasing at more than twice the rate of inflation, says Ann Minnium, certified financial planner and principal of Concierge Financial Planning in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

  • Business

    Draghi says ECB not to blame for problems Deutsche Bank is facing

    European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday the bank's low interest rate policies were not responsible for the problems that Deutsche Bank is facing (DBKGn.DE). Michael Kemmer, the head of Germany's BdB banking association, earlier on Wednesday told Deutschlandfunk radio that the ECB's low interest rate policy was partly responsible for the current problems that Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) are facing. "No I don't share this view," Draghi told reporters when asked about Kemmer's remarks on Deutsche Bank and whether the bank posed a systemic risk.

  • Why Time Off From Work Is Better Than a Pay Bump

    Why Time Off From Work Is Better Than a Pay Bump

    Workers’ values are changing. These days, millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, and that’s shifting work culture. This generation cares about things like flexibility, inspiration, and purpose as much as, or even more than, they care

  • Business

    NASA to help China improve air traffic management

    NASA has signed an agreement with the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment (CAE) to cooperate on research that will help China's airports improve their management of air traffic, the U.S. space agency said late on Wednesday. China is the world's fastest growing aviation market but passengers often have to cope with long flight delays. The memorandum of understanding will see the two agencies use data from Chinese airports to identify potential efficiencies in air traffic management, with a view to improve air transportation automation for U.S. and Chinese aviation operations in the country.

  • Deutsche Post to buy UK Mail in boost to European network

    Deutsche Post to buy UK Mail in boost to European network

    Germany's Deutsche Post, owner of express delivery service DHL, on Wednesday said it had agreed to buy UK Mail in a push to strengthen its European foothold, while taking advantage of a post-Brexit vote slump in the pound. The German logistics giant said it would pay 440 pence a share for UK Mail, valuing the company at 242.7 million pounds (281 million euros, $316 million). "With this acquisition, we will further extend our network and have a strong foothold in Europe's three largest e-commerce markets, the UK, Germany and France," Deutsche Post DHL group board member Juergen Gerdes said.

  • Business

    AIG's ex-CEO Greenberg cites lawyers, accountants in fraud defense

    Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, the 91-year-old former chairman of former American International Group Inc , said at his fraud trial that he never would have considered doing a transaction that failed to pass muster with the insurer’s lawyers and accountants. Greenberg defended himself during his second day of testimony over two allegedly sham transactions. "The concept of converting underwriting losses to investment losses was intriguing," Greenberg said in the Manhattan courtroom on Wednesday.

  • Business

    European turboprop maker ATR to get new CEO - source

    A senior Airbus Group (AIR.PA) executive, Christian Scherer, is to be named as chief executive of Franco-Italian turboprop aircraft maker ATR, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Scherer, who currently heads Airbus Group International, will replace Patrick de Castelbajac, who is leaving half way through his four-year mandate to return to Airbus, one of ATR's two shareholders, the source said, asking not to be named. Scherer is expected to serve the full four-year term at the world's largest regional turboprop maker, whose top post usually alternates every four years between joint shareholders Airbus Group and Italy's Leonardo Finmeccanica (LDOF.MI).

  • California suspends business relationships with Wells Fargo

    California suspends business relationships with Wells Fargo

    California State Treasurer John Chiang on Wednesday announced a sweeping suspension of business relationships with Wells Fargo & Co as punishment for the company's defrauding of customers. In addition, Chiang vowed to work with the state's two giant public pension funds to change the management structure at the bank, which is California's oldest financial institution. California is the nation's largest issuer of municipal debt.

  • Help! A Payday Debt Collector Says I Owe them Money, But It's Not On My Credit Report

    Help! A Payday Debt Collector Says I Owe them Money, But It's Not On My Credit Report

    Just ask intrepid consumer reporter Bob Sullivan, who received his very own debt collection note after simply reaching out to a payday loan company (and alleged phantom debt collector) for a story. For starters, payday lenders don't typically report to major credit bureaus, like Experian, according to the bureau's Director of Public Education, Rod Griffin. "Any debt you enter into contractually you are obligated to repay, even if it doesn't appear in a credit report," Griffin said, and ignoring a legitimate debt could have serious consequences.

  • Devil's in the details of OPEC deal as Asia oil buyers stay cautious

    Devil's in the details of OPEC deal as Asia oil buyers stay cautious

    SINGAPORE/SEOUL (Reuters) - Oil buyers from China to India remained cautious as they await details of OPEC's agreement to cut production for the first time since 2008 in order to reduce a global oversupply of crude. Global oil prices held onto gains on Thursday after soaring 6 percent in the previous session as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed on Wednesday to reduce output to a range of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels per day (bpd). The group will decide how much each country will produce at the next formal OPEC meeting in November, when an invitation to join the cuts could also be extended to non-OPEC countries such as Russia.