|Bid||59.400 x 0|
|Ask||59.450 x 0|
|Day's Range||59.300 - 59.800|
|52 Week Range||55.300 - 70.500|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.57|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||12.04|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||3.13 (5.23%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Oct 10, 2019|
|1y Target Est||10.07|
(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou shouldn’t be dispatched to the U.S. because her alleged crimes don’t meet Canada’s legal tests for extradition, her defense lawyers said at the opening of hearings.At issue in a legal battle that has severely strained Canada-China relations is whether her extradition request meets the crucial test of double criminality: Would her alleged crime have also been a crime in Canada? If the judge rules it doesn’t meet that standard, she could be discharged, according to Canada’s extradition rules.Extraditing Meng “would undermine the double criminality rule,” her defense lawyer Richard Peck told the court in Vancouver.The hearings that began Monday offer Meng’s first opportunity to avoid handover to the U.S., which accuses her of fraud, saying she lied to HSBC Holdings Plc and tricked it into transactions that violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. Meng attended the hearing in a black dress with polka-dots that displayed the GPS tracker on her ankle as some 150 media and spectators watched the proceedings from the gallery.Her defense has argued that the U.S. case is, in reality, a sanctions-violations complaint that it’s sought to “dress up” as fraud to make it easier to extradite her.“Fraud is a facade,” Peck said. “In the end, we are being asked to impose on Canada an obligation to assist the U.S. in enforcing sanctions on Iran.”Her team, citing section 29 of Canada’s Extradition Act, says double criminality needs to be assessed as of February 2019 -- the date when Canada’s justice minister authorized the start of extradition proceedings.Iran SanctionsAt that time, Canada didn’t have sanctions on Iran. Therefore, her lawyers argue, her case fails to meet the double criminality test -- any transactions by HSBC wouldn’t have broken any Canadian laws.Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes appeared to question whether the court might consider a broader time range. “It might not be as straightforward as it appears,” she said.If so, that could throw a spanner into the defense’s arguments. Meng allegedly tricked the HSBC banker at a meeting at a Hong Kong teahouse in August 2013, when Canada had a full embargo on trade with Iran. So any transactions by HSBC at that time would have violated Canadian sanctions.The judge also appeared to test another central pillar of Meng’s defense. Her lawyers have cited Canadian legal precedent to argue that for fraud to have occurred, HSBC must have been at risk of economic loss. “That essential element of risk of deprivation is missing,” Peck said, pointing again to the lack of Canadian sanctions.Holmes seemed to challenge that: if the case were considered as a domestic proceeding but for one change -- that Meng had lied to HSBC in Canada as opposed to in Hong Kong -- would that not be a prosecutable fraud case here, she asked.Defense lawyer Eric Gottardi, seemingly caught off guard, replied: “If there was dishonesty combined with a risk of deprivation, arguably you could make out the offense.”How Huawei Landed at the Center of Global Tech Tussle: QuickTakeDetained CanadiansMeng, the eldest daughter of billionaire Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has become the highest profile target of a broader U.S. effort to contain China and its largest technology company, which Washington sees as a national security threat. Meng, who turns 48 next month, is charged with bank and wire fraud, which carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison on conviction.China has demanded Canada release Meng, and has retaliated by slapping sanctions on Canadian products such as canola, while detaining two Canadians after her arrest in December 2018.The double-criminality hearings are scheduled for four days but the ruling would likely come much later -- possibly in months.As the extradition hearing began, Huawei released a video statement on its Twitter feed saying it has confidence in the process. “We trust in Canada’s judicial system which will prove Ms. Meng’s innocence,” spokesman Benjamin Howes said.Meng has been biding her time in a Vancouver mansion since her arrest. That’s in sharp contrast to the conditions endured by the two Canadians -- Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor -- who were detained in China after her arrest.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government says securing the release of the two men -- one a former diplomat, the other an entrepreneur -- is a priority and that it has asked the Trump administration for help. Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told reporters Sunday at a cabinet retreat in Winnipeg, Manitoba, that he raised the issue last week with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.Over the weekend, a senior aide to former Prime Minister Jean Chretien joined John Manley, a former Liberal deputy prime minister and industry minister, in urging Trudeau to consider ordering an end to the Huawei executive’s extradition as part of a prisoner exchange for Kovrig and Spavor.Asked about that proposal Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said: “Our government has been clear that we’re a rule of law country and that we honor our extradition treaty commitments. That is what we need to do, and that is what we will do.”(Updates with court arguments starting 11th paragraph)\--With assistance from Stephen Wicary.To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Vancouver at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at email@example.com, Jacqueline ThorpeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
VANCOUVER/TORONTO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will be in a Vancouver courtroom on Monday for the first day of her extradition trial, a process expected to take months - possibly years - to decide whether she can be extradited from Canada to the United States. The United States has charged her with bank fraud, and accused her of misleading HSBC Holdings Plc about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's business in Iran. Meng, 47 is the daughter of Huawei's billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei and remains free on bail in Canada.
TORONTO/LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, will appear in a Vancouver, Canada, courtroom on Monday for the first day of her extradition trial, a process expected to take months - possibly years - to decide whether she can be extradited from Canada to the United States. Dec. 30, 2012 – Reuters publishes an exclusive story https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-huawei-hp/exclusive-huawei-partner-offered-embargoed-hp-gear-to-iran-idUSBRE8BT0BF20121230 citing documents that showed a major partner of Huawei had offered to sell at least 1.3 million euros worth of embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran’s largest mobile-phone operator in late 2010. Jan. 31, 2013 - Reuters publishes another exclusive story https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-huawei-skycom/exclusive-huawei-cfo-linked-to-firm-that-offered-hp-gear-to-iran-idUKBRE90U0CA20130131 revealing that Meng had served on the board of the company that had attempted to sell the embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to the Iranian mobile-phone operator.
(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou has joined Carlos Ghosn in the 1% legal club.Those are the odds that the Chinese executive will win her bid to avoid extradition to the U.S., similar to the chances of acquittal for the auto titan-turned-fugitive in Japan. While Ghosn fled Japan in a big black box for Lebanon, Meng squares up to begin extradition hearings in a Vancouver court on Monday, 13 months after she was arrested on a U.S. handover request.The hearings offer her first shot -- however slim -- at release as a Canadian judge considers whether the case meets the crucial test of double criminality: would her alleged crime have also been a crime in Canada? If not, she could be discharged, according to Canada’s extradition rules.“There’d be nothing holding her -- bail restrictions, house arrest, all of that would be eliminated,“ said Michael Klein, a Vancouver lawyer who worked alongside Meng’s lawyers in a 2004 extradition case. “Just like if you’re acquitted in a criminal case, the Crown may appeal, but that person’s a free person.”Meng, the eldest daughter of billionaire Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has become the highest profile target of a broader U.S. effort to contain China and its largest technology company, which Washington sees as a national security threat. The U.S. accuses her of fraud, saying she lied to HSBC Holdings Plc to trick it into conducting transactions in breach of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Meng, who turns 48 next month, is charged with bank and wire fraud, which carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison on conviction.“In most extradition cases, double criminality is an easy piece of analysis,” says Brock Martland, a Vancouver-based criminal lawyer.In Meng’s case, it’s not, which may help nudge her into the 1% of defendants in Canada who have historically beaten extradition orders to the U.S.Her defense has argued that the U.S. case is, in reality, a sanctions-violations complaint that it’s sought to “dress up” as fraud to make it easier to extradite her. Had Meng’s alleged conduct taken place in Canada, the transactions by HSBC wouldn’t have violated any Canadian sanctions, they say. Canada’s federal prosecutors counter the underlying offense is fraud because she lied to HSBC, causing them to miscalculate Huawei’s risk as a creditor and conduct transactions it otherwise wouldn’t have.“In essence, this is a case of U.S. sanction enforcement masquerading as Canadian fraud,” Meng’s defense said in documents released Friday. If it were only about fraud, the U.S. would have no legitimate reason to go after Meng because “the U.S. is not actively policing the world for foreign nationals who mislead foreign banks to get loans or other financial services.” Hong Kong TeahouseAnother potential sticking point is that Meng’s alleged misconduct didn’t take place in the U.S. or Canada -- it rests heavily on a 2013 meeting at a Hong Kong teahouse between Meng and an HSBC banker.“Canadian fraud laws do not have an extraterritorial reach,” said Ravi Hira, a Vancouver-based lawyer and former special prosecutor. “If you commit a fraud in Hong Kong, I can’t just prosecute you in Canada.”While the double-criminality hearings are scheduled for four days, the ruling would likely come much later -- possibly in months.Prisoner in Vancouver: Huawei CFO Awaits Fate in SplendorBeing trapped in the middle of a trade war has brought the luxury of time. Before her arrest, Meng traveled so frequently for the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker that she’d gone through at least seven passports in a decade. These days, she passes her time oil painting and pursuing an online doctorate. Phone calls with her father have gone from once a year to every few days.“If a busy life has eaten away at my time, then hardship has in turn drawn it back out,” Meng wrote in a poignant letter to her supporters last month on the one-year anniversary of her arrest. “It was never my intention to be stuck here so long.”Ghosn EscapeMeng would find it harder to pull a Ghosn. She’s under 24-hour surveillance by at least two guards at her C$13 million ($10 million) mansion. Her whereabouts are recorded continuously by a GPS tracker on her left ankle. While she’s allowed to roam a roughly 100-square-mile patch of Vancouver during the day accompanied by security, any violation -- including tampering with the device or venturing anywhere near the airport -- would automatically alert police. She’s posted bail of C$10 million, of which C$3 million came from a group of guarantors, some of whom pledged their homes as collateral. Fleeing would cost them all.If the court finds her case fails the double-criminality test, Canada’s attorney general would have the right to appeal within 30 days. In theory, she could be on a plane back to China well before that, says Gary Botting, a Vancouver-based lawyer who’s been involved in hundreds of Canadian extradition cases.Meng’s Road Map: Key Dates in the Huawei CFO’s Extradition CaseOf the 798 U.S. extradition requests received since 2008, Canada has only refused or discharged eight, according to the department of justice. That’s a 99% chance of being handed over -- similar to the conviction rate in Japan. Another 40 cases were withdrawn by the U.S.Still, that’s fractionally better than the odds of two Canadians detained in China, where the conviction rate currently stands at 99.9%, according to Amnesty International.Canadians JailedThat’s if Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor ever make it to trial. The two men were thrown in jail on spying allegations just days after Meng’s arrest in December 2018. Last month, the Chinese government confirmed their cases were transferred to prosecutors, raising the possibility they might finally get access to lawyers.As of last week, that hadn’t happened yet for Kovrig, according to the International Crisis Group, his employer. The former diplomat has been allowed one consular visit a month; in between, he’s unreachable. Communication with his family is limited to letters exchanged in those visits, according to the group.Families of the two men aren’t speaking publicly for fear of jeopardizing their cases. Some sense of the conditions they’re enduring can be gleaned from past history.Spavor, a businessman who ran tours to North Korea from his base in a border town in northeastern China, has been held since May in Dandong Detention Centre, according to the Globe and Mail.It’s a jail familiar to another Canadian, Kevin Garratt, who was snatched along with his wife Julia by Chinese security agents in 2014, becoming pawns in an earlier high-stakes attempt by Beijing to prevent Canada from extraditing millionaire businessman Su Bin to the U.S.Garratt spent 19 months in the forbidding compound surrounded by two-story-high cement walls. Crammed into a cell with up to 14 other inmates, he slurped meals from a communal bowl on the floor. If they were lucky, they got 30 minutes of hot water a day and could exercise in a small outdoor cage, he said in a December 2018 interview.Chinese Arrests Are All Too Familiar for Past Canadian DetaineesChina calls Meng’s arrest politically motivated and accuses Canada of “arbitrary detention.” It rejects any suggestion that the seizures of Kovrig and Spavor were in retaliation, saying China is also a rule-of-law country.Before her arrest, Meng wasn’t happy working at Huawei and had been considering leaving, Ren has said in media interviews. But hardship has toughened her -- when released, she will resume her role, he says.“Over the past year, I have also learned to face up to and accept my situation,” Meng said in her letter. “I’m no longer afraid of the rough road ahead.“\--With assistance from Edwin Chan.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Vancouver at firstname.lastname@example.org;Gao Yuan in Beijing at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
VANCOUVER/TORONTO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Extraditing Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States based on American sanctions against Iran would set a dangerous precedent and could even undermine Canada's policy towards Iran, Meng's lawyers argued in court documents released on Friday. Meng, 47, was arrested at the Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, where she is charged with bank fraud and accused of misleading the bank HSBC about Huawei Technologies' business in Iran. Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Palladium’s extraordinary rally is setting off alarm bells after another sizzling week of advances set a series of records.The silvery-white precious metal used in catalytic converters has been on a tear this year that shows no signs of slowing. On Thursday it hit a record $2,395.71 an ounce, and it’s up 11% this week, the most since January 2017.The gains are surprising even seasoned market watchers, who say there’s little chance that tight supply conditions will ease. South Africa, a major miner, reported a sharp drop in platinum-group metal production in November. Adding to the bullish mood was the U.S.-China trade truce, and record car sales in Europe last month even though they are unlikely to be repeated.“The dynamics are so strong. Nobody can tell me that this is just fundamentals,” said Commerzbank AG analyst Carsten Fritsch. “This is already becoming a bubble.”Palladium’s rise also has been fueled by concern over dwindling supplies as demand surges following stricter emissions standards in China, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. The metal is trading at twice the premium over platinum, which may motivate carmakers to use it as a substitute and could see prices catching up with palladium, the bank said.“A modest recovery in the auto sector along with tighter emissions regulations should lend support to PGMs,” ANZ strategists Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari said in a report Jan. 17. Still, a “price setback is possible for palladium following its impressive rally this year.”On Friday, spot prices traded 1.4% higher at $2,346.52 an ounce at 5:55 a.m. in London. The metal is up 21% this year after skyrocketing 54% in 2019.Sister metal platinum climbed 1% to $1,014.87 an ounce, after touching $1,041.71 on Thursday, the highest level in nearly three years. Gold rose 0.2% and silver advanced 0.6%.Still, palladium’s technicals are stretched and some analysts expect a sharp and brief retreat. The metal’s 14-day relative strength index is now above 90.Several market players meanwhile raised their palladium price forecasts for 2020, including HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and UBS Group AG, confirming their bullish outlook for the metal amid a continuing supply deficit.“The risk on the downside lies with some speculative profit taking, but any correction should be met with aggressive buying and remain short-lived,” precious metals refiner and trader MKS PAMP Group said in a note.\--With assistance from Mark Burton and Joe Richter.To contact the reporters on this story: Elena Mazneva in London at email@example.com;Justina Vasquez in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ranjeetha Pakiam in Singapore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Luzi Ann Javier at email@example.com, Jake Lloyd-Smith, Alpana SarmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.The pound faltered and gilts rallied after inflation data backed up Bank of England policy maker Michael Saunders’ call for urgent stimulus to boost the U.K. economy.Sterling weakened against the euro and 10-year government bond yields dropped to the lowest in seven weeks after the data fueled bets that the central bank will lower interest rates this year. Money markets are now fully pricing in a full 25-basis-point rate cut for May, compared to November a day ago, and see a 65% chance of a move this month.Saunders’ view on the need for more accommodative policy comes just days after BOE Governor Mark Carney said Britain’s economic growth had slowed below potential and that the Monetary Policy Committee had discussed the merits of near-term stimulus.“There is more room for easing expectations to rise should incoming data disappoint and that could keep short-term sterling downside risks intact,” said Manuel Oliveri, a currency strategist at Credit Agricole AG.The pound weakened 0.2% to 85.67 pence per euro as of 4:24 p.m. in London. It dipped below the $1.30 mark earlier Wednesday before being little changed against the dollar at $1.3024. Benchmark 10-year gilt yields led a drop across Europe at eight basis points to 0.65%, having earlier dropped to 0.63%, its lowest since last November. The gap between benchmark U.K. gilt yields and their German peers reached it narrowest since mid-2018.U.K. annual inflation came in at 1.3% for December, versus expectations for 1.5%, data showed. If the U.K. postponed easing policy this could spur risks “of a low inflation trap,” Saunders said earlier on Wednesday.Options traders are refraining from joining the pessimism on the pound. Three-week sterling-dollar risk reversals, a gauge of options sentiment that covers the BOE’s Jan. 30 meeting, shows demand for calls and puts is almost matched. Risk-reversals in the one-month period show the least bearish sterling view since last November.“We still think a rate cut in May is most likely in terms of timing, but the risk of an earlier move is rising,” wrote Daniela Russell, the head of U.K. rates strategy at HSBC Holdings Plc. That favors bets on the front of the yield curve flattening, she said.(Updates chart and prices throughout)\--With assistance from Vassilis Karamanis.To contact the reporter on this story: Anooja Debnath in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at email@example.com, Neil ChatterjeeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
U.S. stocks were set for a sluggish start on Wednesday as the long-awaited trade pact between the U.S. and China is finally to be reached.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.The Bank of England’s dovish shift in the past week has already rippled through markets, and now economists are starting to react too.NatWest Markets, a division of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, changed its interest-rate forecast and now sees a cut to 0.5% from 0.75% at this month’s meeting. Economist Ross Walker sees a second reduction later in the year, having previously predicted no move by the BOE at all until May. Deutsche Bank AG and Nomura also forecast a rate move in two weeks.More forecast changes may follow after Governor Mark Carney and other policy makers said the BOE is looking at whether more stimulus is needed for the economy. Those comments have already sent the pound on its worst losing streak since May, and market bets on a rate cut on Jan. 30 have jumped to around 50%.Economic data on Monday showed the U.K. economy unexpectedly shrank in November. The year-on-year rate of 0.6% was the weakest since mid-2012.Walker said there’s been an “unmistakable underlying deterioration in the U.K. economic data.”The pound was little changed at $1.2997 as of 3:45 p.m. London time, halting a five-day losing streak. U.K. government bonds rose, pushing 10-year yields down three basis points to 0.72%, the lowest since early December.In his first major speech of 2020, Carney said the Monetary Policy Committee has plenty of firepower to aid the economy if necessary. Policy maker Silvana Tenreyro said she may support a rate cut in the next few months if sluggish global growth and Brexit uncertainty persist. Gertjan Vlieghe went further, saying he’d need to see an improvement to justify waiting to cut.Nevertheless, there’s plenty of data still to come, and not all economists are convinced the BOE will act so quickly. Recent comments probably aren’t “as dovish as they appear,” according to HSBC economist Elizabeth Martins. Carney’s and Tenreyro’s remarks in particular seem similar to the BOE’s last set of minutes, she said, and the PMI published on 24 January should be strong enough to keep most policy makers from voting for an immediate cut.(Updates with HSBC comments in final paragraph)\--With assistance from Jill Ward.To contact the reporter on this story: Fergal O'Brien in Zurich at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at email@example.com, Andrew AtkinsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As ransomware attacks go, the cyber intrusion at Travelex that emerged on New Year’s Eve could have lasting consequences — and ones that shouldn’t be just a worry to the currency dealer.Travelex, known mostly for its airport shops and ATMs, was forced to resort to manual dealings and handwritten receipts for foreign exchange sales as it took systems offline to prevent the malware Sodinokibi, also known as REvil, from spreading. Core activities were crippled or halted altogether during what would have been busy trading days, across dozens of countries.Worse still, the company has had to repeatedly deny claims by its attackers that customer data has been stolen, a violation of security that if true would result in a further loss of client trust — and hefty regulatory fines. Under the European General Data Protection Regulation, companies can be sanctioned as much as 4% of annual turnover if appropriate security measures aren’t in place or if the company fails to notify regulators promptly.As of Monday, Travelex hadn’t notified the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office of a breach and it didn’t have evidence data was compromised. Earlier in the day, the company said it was finally restoring customer-facing systems. Meanwhile, London’s Metropolitan Police is investigating.Travelex’s attackers appear to have known how to strike where it hurts. As the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in October, losses from ransomware are increasing even though the number of attacks is declining, a sign that criminals are becoming more sophisticated.Indeed, the dent to Travelex’s reputation and the effect that could have on its business with corporate customers could be considerable. The outage disrupted delivery of cash from its vaults to international banks, and the online suspension of dealings forced corporate clients to stop some services they offer their own customers. Some of the world’s biggest banks, such as Barclays Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc, have been affected.The disruptions prompted a warning from S&P Global Ratings on Travelex’s finances and its creditworthiness as a standalone business. S&P was concerned about the adequacy of Travelex’s controls and governance, and whether the company will be able to renew corporate contracts. Cash from its parent Finablr Plc (owner of six other brands including money-transfer firm UAE Exchange and Ditto digital bank) would help meet liquidity needs but funds haven’t yet been committed.Travelex may have added to its pain with a sloppy public response. The drip-feed of information on the impact of the breach (initially Travelex said the website was down for planned maintenance) will make regaining confidence harder. Its customer data has been somewhat compromised in the past too. In March 2018 Travelex suffered a breach, which was disclosed in Finablr’s prospectus when it sold shares to the public last year.While the company contends that there’s no evidence customer data has been stolen in the Sodinokibi attack, there are reports alleging that the hackers claiming responsibility have demanded as much as $6 million in ransom to stop them releasing data publicly. Travelex isn’t commenting on the ransom request. The FBI in recent guidance acknowledged there will be circumstances under which companies may have no choice but to cough up if they’re struggling to do normal business. Meantime, insurers have spotted a financial opportunity, helping to shield firms from the risks, while fueling some concern that they’re urging customers to meet criminals’ ransom demands with extra haste. The more sophisticated the attacks, the greater the pressure on victims to put the fire out quickly. Travelex is a reminder of what’s at stake.To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Travelex Holdings Ltd., the London-based foreign exchange company, said it’s been successful in containing the spread of a cyber attack that forced the firm to suspend services across 30 countries.It said in a statement on Wednesday that sensitive customer data appeared not to be compromised, and that it was now restoring internal systems.“Whilst there has been some data encryption, there is no evidence that structured personal customer data has been encrypted,” Travelex said in the statement. “There is still no evidence that any data has been exfiltrated.”Shares in parent company Finablr PLC dropped 14% in early trading Wednesday. Investors also sold $75 million in shares via a placement that launched on Tuesday.BBC News earlier reported that hackers claiming responsibility for the attack were demanding Travelex pay $6 million (4.6 million pounds). They told the news site they’d gained access to the firm’s computer network six months ago and had downloaded 5 gigabytes of sensitive customer data.The impact of the attack has prevented some banks, such as HSBC, from being able to take travel money orders. A spokeswoman for HSBC in the U.K. said dollars and euros could still be bought at high-street branches, but that its “online and telephone banking travel money service remains unavailable.”Travelex confirmed the discovery of a software virus on Jan. 2, and said in a statement on its website that IT specialists and cybersecurity experts are working to isolate the virus.“Our investigation to date shows no indication that any personal or customer data has been compromised,” it said in a statement at the time. Travelex couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.Meanwhile, Travelex’s network of branches is continuing to provide foreign exchange services manually.Travelex said in a statement Tuesday that it is in discussions with the National Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police “who are conducting their own criminal investigations, as well as its regulators across the world.”Ransomware attacks have become a major source of concern for companies and infrastructure in the U.K., the U.S. and elsewhere. Companies, like Norsk Hydro ASA in Norway, have lost millions after being halted for sometimes weeks to restore operations.(Updates with Travelex statement in third paragraph, shares in fourth paragraph, HSBC comment in sixth)\--With assistance from Nate Lanxon.To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Andrew MartinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
HSBC Holdings, which traces its origin in Hong Kong to March 1865, is the latest institution to be embroiled in the city's worst political crisis.What appears to be a routine regulatory decision to close a client's corporate banking account has triggered an ugly backlash as its outlets became the latest target of vandalism after seven months of anti-government protests.The client Prime Management Service Limited, though, is no ordinary customer. The account is said to be linked to Spark Alliance HK, which raises money from crowdfunding to help grease the wheel of protests since 2016. It also posted bail for protesters arrested during the opposition to the ill-fated extradition bill for much of last year, according to its Facebook page.On the eve of Christmas, HSBC's branch in Mong Kok was smashed while facilities on Hennessy Road outlet were damaged as the city ushered in the new year. Even a pair of iconic pre-war lion sculptures were not spared. All told, almost a dozen branches belonging to HSBC and its majority-owned Hang Seng Bank were put out of action for several days.The banking group has distanced itself from any linkages that its decision to close the account was tied to a crackdown by the Hong Kong police and the force's move to freeze about HK$70 million (US$9 million) of its funds.One of the bronze lions outside the HSBC headquarters in Central was vandalised during an anti-government rally on January 1. Photo: Nora Tam alt=One of the bronze lions outside the HSBC headquarters in Central was vandalised during an anti-government rally on January 1. Photo: Nora TamThe closure preceded a notification in December from the enforcement agency regarding handling of the account balance, the bank said.What did Spark Alliance say about thisThe platform would use other methods to raise fresh funds and urged the public to visit its online shop to support the arrested protesters.In a December 19 posting, it condemned the police for the arrests of some of its alleged members.What is the anti-money laundering law in Hong KongThe anti-money-laundering and counterterrorist Financing Ordinance came into effect on April 1, 2012 and later amended to include additional requirements in April 2018.The law follows international standards set out by the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body comprising 37 member countries and two regional organisations to chiefly combat money laundering and terrorist financing. HSBC group keeps nearly a dozen Hong Kong outlets closed after vandals laid waste to premisesThe ordinance requires banks, stockbrokers, real property agents, insurance companies, trust companies, accountants and lawyers to conduct customer due diligence and record-keeping to identify any suspicious transactions regarding money laundering or terrorist financing.Local regulatory and professional bodies including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Securities and Futures Commission, the Insurance Authority and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, have issued guidelines for their sectors to keep up with the laws. A breach may entail a reprimand and a fine of up to HK$10 million.What banks, brokers, accountants or other relevant bodies need to do under this lawCustomers due diligence is an important part of what these financial and transaction agents need to do under the ordinance, according to Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong, a lawmaker for accountancy sector."When a customer opens a bank account, the bank needs to check his/her background and the sources of funding," he said. "Likewise, when an accountant or a lawyer sets up a trust account, they need to conduct the same check to ensure the funds are not related to any illegal activities."Once the accounts are established, banks, brokers or accountants need to do follow-up checks to ensure that the accounts and their purposes have not changed in nature, as well as to screen for any potential suspicious transactions. Man arrested as HSBC cheque deposit machine is smashed in Hong Kong branchWhat banks or other institutions do when they see suspicious transactionsBanks are required to submit a suspicious transaction report to the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit, which is jointly run by the police and the Customs & Excise Department, if they have any reason to suspect money laundering or fraud."We do not take the decision to close any account lightly," HSBC said in an email reply on December 29. "As an international bank, the decision to close the account is in accordance with global regulatory standards."How do banks conduct due diligence process on customers?HSBC Hong Kong's chief executive Diana Cesar in a media briefing in 2017 explained how the bank conducted the regular due diligence under the anti-money laundering regulation.For the retail customers, the bank conducts regular checks every few years, and requires retail customers to disclose how their accounts are used, she said then. These are in addition to requiring them to furnish their addresses, contact details, employment and income history.Corporate clients must provide information with supporting documents on the nature of their business, ownership data, the jurisdiction of their operations, source of funding and the purpose of the account.What stockbrokers need to do under the Ordinance"Stockbrokers also need to check the background of their customers to make sure their sources of funding do not come from any illegal activities," said Gordon Tsui, chairman of Hong Kong Securities Association. "If we find any suspicious transaction, we need to make a report to the police."All of the city's 600-odd brokerages are also not allowed to accept cash as payment for stock purchases or for investment products, he added. These transactions must be settled via bank transfers or cheques.Can a company account be used to pay for personal insurance policies?"In general, if it is a company bank account, then the account should be used for corporate transactions," said Leung, the lawmaker for the accountancy sector."The company can buy policies for business use such as credit insurance or property insurance. If anyone uses a corporate account to buy personal insurance products, that would be considered as suspicious and not advisable," he said.HSBC, in an education booklet, also advises small and medium-sized enterprises to not use their corporate accounts for personal transactions.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
(Bloomberg) -- Philippine stocks will see a turnaround in 2020 as faster economic growth and central-bank easing will offset regulatory and geopolitical risks, according to the nation’s biggest money manager.The Philippine Stock Exchange Index, among Asia’s laggards in 2019, could surge 13% this year, driven by banks and developers, according to Fritz Ocampo, BDO Unibank Inc.’s chief investment officer. While that’s a great return, his forecast of 8,800 is still about 3% below the benchmark’s record in 2018. The gauge rose 0.2% to 7,816.37 at 2 p.m. in Manila Tuesday.“The upside is pretty good for stocks,” said Ocampo, who helps manage 1.3 trillion pesos ($25.5 billion) in assets. “Philippine growth momentum is back on track. You have monetary and fiscal stimulus happening simultaneously. That hasn’t happened for a while.”The nation’s equity benchmark bounced between about 7,500 and 8,400 last year amid slowing economic growth, the U.S.-China trade war and a rebalancing that cut the weighting of Philippine shares in global and regional indexes. A climb to bull territory in July faded as foreigners withdrew money from equity funds despite easing monetary policy and slowing inflation.But 2020 should be better, Ocampo said. The fund manager sees the economy expanding 6.5% versus about 6% in 2019, with corporate earnings growing more than 12%. The government’s 4.1 trillion peso budget and potential cuts in policy rates and reserve requirements will be key to propelling the nation’s shares, he said.Of course, there are risks. U.S.-Iran tension is one -- it could disrupt oil supply and keep Philippine inflation between 2% and 4%, according to Ocampo. Others include the government’s dispute with Manila’s water providers and delays in infrastructure projects, he said.Even though the Philippine stock index is likely to post double-digit gains this year as economic growth quickens, Cheuk Wan Fan, HSBC Private Bank’s chief market strategist for Asia, is keeping a neutral stance. She recommends investing in stocks that will benefit from “resilient consumer spending and the strong rebound in fixed-asset investment.”While the row between the government and Manila’s water utilities poses regulatory risks and “short-term headwinds,” it shouldn’t lead to “significant downside” since the Philippine stock market is very domestically driven, with the lowest level of foreign ownership in Asia, Fan added.Ocampo favors banks and property stocks, including conglomerates exposed to both sectors, as financial easing boosts lenders’ margins, while stable interest rates will support real estate purchases. He said gains in banks and developers could overcome potential drags from regulatory risks. He is underweight consumer-related companies, as “stiff competition” will temper the sector’s earnings, he said.“The catalysts are there for stocks to move higher,” Ocampo said. “The Philippines will be among the fastest growing economies in the world’s fastest growing region.”(Adds Tueday’s trading in second paragraph, comments from HSBC in seventh and eighth paragraphs)To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Sayson in Manila at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lianting Tu at email@example.com, Cecile Vannucci, Kurt SchusslerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Joseph Molloy joined HSBC in March 2015 as the new global head of passive equity. Prior to HSBC, Molloy was global head of index equities at Legal & General Investment Management, where he was employed since 2009. Patricia Keogh joined HSBC in March 2013 as a senior fund manager.
European stocks on Monday slumped in a broad-based decline that was the worst in more than a month on worries about ratcheting Middle East tensions.
HSBC will suspend overnight services at 19 ATM clusters in Hong Kong on weekends and public holidays, the bank said on Friday, two days after its branches and ATMs were targeted during anti-government protests. Hong Kong is the bank's single most important market, accounting for just over half of its $12.5 billion pre-tax profits in the first half of 2019. Until mid-December, HSBC had largely escaped direct involvement in the often violent anti-government protests that have shaken Hong Kong for more than six months even as other companies with perceived links to Beijing saw premises vandalised.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s always easier to put up a barrier on an empty road than a busy highway.That's worth remembering in light of recent reports that China has temporarily suspended cross-border listings between the Shanghai and London stock exchanges. The halt is a response to the U.K.’s stance on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the matter, and any resumption would depend on how diplomatic relations proceed.On Friday, China denied the reports that the link had been halted. The China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country's securities watchdog, said operations at the link had been "normal" since its launch in June.The pipeline between these two major financial hubs launched with the aim to allow companies listed on one exchange to issue shares on the other. The program was feted as a vote of confidence in a shrinking U.K. IPO market: 2019 marked one of London’s worst years in a decade for new listings, as companies worried about Brexit delayed their capital-raising plans. As recently as September, optimism remained intact. The London Stock Exchange even cited the Connect program as a better way to forge ties with China when it snubbed a bid by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. last year.But interest has been minimal. Seven months in, just one mainland firm has used it: Huatai Securities Co., which raised $1.7 billion in a U.K. IPO in June. While its stock has surged, volumes were thin. (Huatai’s shares tumbled as much as 11% Thursday in London.) In December, an average of 123,914 London-listed shares changed hands daily, compared with 106 million for their Shanghai counterparts, and well below an October peak of 381,976, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. SDIC Power Holdings Co. was set to be the second Chinese company to list there, yet it postponed plans in December, citing market conditions. On the other end of the link, not a single British company went public in Shanghai. Talk that HSBC Holding Plc(1) would be London's first candidate have gone ominously quiet since the U.K. lender entered Beijing's bad books for providing information that led to the arrest and prosecution of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co.The Shanghai-London Connect never made much sense for Chinese firms from a capital-raising perspective, as I’ve written. Unlike New York, London doesn’t have a deep bench of institutional players eager to get their hands on mainland startups. In most markets, investors are biased toward stocks they recognize. And while the pipe enabled Chinese and British companies to raise money in each other’s markets, investors weren’t allowed to trade between exchanges, as they do with similar links between Hong Kong and the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges.It’s worth noting that China hasn't blocked its firms from going public in the U.S., which has also shown support for Hong Kong’s protesters. Mainland companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have a current market value of about $1.5 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Given that China Pacific Insurance Group Co. and SDIC Power were slated to raise offshore money from listings in London through this pipe, the real losers of a prolonged suspension might be mainland companies. If that's the case, the link could very well be reinstated at some point.\--With assistance from Irene Huang. (Updates to include China’s response.)(1) The fact that mainland investors can buy HSBC's Hong Kong-traded shares through the Shanghai or Shenzhen Connect also probably made a Shanghai listing a lot less urgent.To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Around 400 people were arrested during a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong on New Year's Day, according to Reuters . What Happened Thousands of people gathered for a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong on ...
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese shares rose to the highest since February 2018 after an earlier-than-expected cash injection from the central bank spurred expectations of more support.The CSI 300 Index advanced 1.4% at the close, with nearly seven stocks rising for every one that fell. Thursday’s rally was especially notable because Kweichow Moutai Co. -- one of the largest stocks in China -- dropped 4.5% after missing profit estimates. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.2% to 3,085.20, ending the day above a technical level at 3,050 points that has stopped rallies in recent months.The rally in Chinese equities has gathered strength as optimism grows that trade ties with the U.S. will improve and the government will provide more support to the economy. The CSI 300 jumped 7% in December, its best gain in 10 months. China’s manufacturers continued to expand output last month, providing evidence of some stabilization, although the outlook for the private sector is less certain.“The mood today is much buoyed by the RRR cut, which came slightly earlier than expected and comes with further expectations that targeted cuts are on the way,” said Wu Xuan, chief strategist at Tebon Fund. “Moutai has not spoiled things today because the market has found a new sense of direction.”The People’s Bank of China said Wednesday it will cut the amount of cash lenders need to hold as reserves from Jan. 6, unleashing about 800 billion yuan ($115 billion) in funds. While the cut was not a surprise, the early announcement suggests policy makers may add more liquidity in the next few weeks to match cash demands ahead of the Lunar New Year.Moutai said its 2019 revenue and earnings will both rise about 15%. The world’s most profitable distiller also set a sales growth target of 10% for 2020, a more modest goal than last year.Stocks in Hong Kong also kicked off 2020 with a gain, as the Hang Seng Index rose 1.3% to its highest close since July. The advance came after the former British colony rang in the new year with tear gas, fires, vandalism and roadblocks in busy downtown areas. Protesters vowed to continue their fight for more democracy and less Chinese control.Still, investors are optimistic that China and the U.S. can settle their trade differences, with President Donald Trump saying he will sign the first phase of a deal on Jan. 15. The date has yet to be confirmed by the Chinese side.Jefferies and Citigroup Inc. said they remain bullish on China’s property sector for this year. Improved liquidity from the RRR cut means lower borrowing costs to developers and home buyers, Jefferies analysts including Stephen Cheung wrote in a note. Chinese developers advanced, with Shanghai Wanye Enterprises Co. and Beijing Capital Development Co. rising at least 3.3%.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: April Ma in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at email@example.com, Philip Glamann, Kevin KingsburyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
HSBC is being drawn into Hong Kong's political turmoil with protesters attacking some of its branches and graffiti daubed on the famous pair of lions that guard its city-centre headquarters. Hong Kong is the bank's single most important market, accounting for just over half of its $12.5 billion pre-tax profits in the first half of 2019, though with the protests tipping Hong Kong's economy into recession, HSBC and its peers are expected to take a financial hit. Until now, HSBC had largely escaped direct involvement in the often-violent anti-government protests that have shaken Hong Kong for more than six months even as other companies with perceived links to Beijing have seen premises vandalised, including Bank of China (Hong Kong) , Hong Kong's second largest bank behind HSBC.
HSBC is being drawn into Hong Kong's political turmoil with protesters attacking some of its branches and graffiti daubed on the famous pair of lions that guard its city-center headquarters. Hong Kong is the bank's single most important market, accounting for just over half of its $12.5 billion pre-tax profits in the first half of 2019, though with the protests tipping Hong Kong's economy into recession, HSBC and its peers are expected to take a financial hit. Until now, HSBC had largely escaped direct involvement in the often-violent anti-government protests that have shaken Hong Kong for more than six months even as other companies with perceived links to Beijing have seen premises vandalized, including Bank of China (Hong Kong) , Hong Kong's second largest bank behind HSBC.