|Bid||8,232.00 x 0|
|Ask||8,236.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||8,000.00 - 8,250.00|
|52 Week Range||75.15 - 8,628.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.54|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||69.86|
|Earnings Date||Jul 30, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.00 (1.23%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Apr 30, 2020|
|1y Target Est||4,810.83|
China's stock market regulators have allowed one of the nation's biggest insurers to list its shares in London under a year-old stock exchange cooperation scheme, putting fragile Sino-British ties to the test.China Pacific Insurance, the fourth-largest by revenue, plans to issue 126 million global depositary receipts (GDRs) on London Stock Exchange after getting approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, it said in a filing on Wednesday.The GDRs represent about 10 per cent of the insurer's A shares traded on the Shanghai stock exchange, it said. Swiss Re, the world's second-largest reinsurer, will take up part of the offering, it added. The listing is subject to approval from LSE, which did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.Despite potential risks stemming from the UK's stance on Hong Kong, China still has a better relationship with the country than with the US, Alan Li, portfolio manager at Atta Capital in Hong Kong."The UK may be performing its duties under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, but it has not gone towards the direction of sanctions or containment of China [like the US]," said Li. "China may quicken the development of the Stock Connect to cushion the impact from the US." Boris Johnson vows historic overhaul of visa system to accommodate Hongkongers under national security lawThe Shanghai-based insurer is only the second company to be approved for listing under the so-called Shanghai-London Stock Connect programme launched in June 2019. Brokerage Huatai Securities is its first and only listing to date.Since then, however, Sino-British relations have deteriorated over the UK's perceived support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong that took off shortly after the stock market cooperation, prompting China to freeze listing approvals.China has revived the stock programme amid heightened hostility with the US, as the Trump administration threatened to shut out Chinese companies from American stock exchanges.The China Pacific Insurance announcement came on the same day Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain is prepared to give Hongkongers with British National (Overseas) passports a path to citizenship. The move was in response to China's decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong.Swiss Re has agreed to subscribe for up to 1.5 per cent of the overall stake, which will be subject to a three-year lock-up period, according to today's announcement.The listing may be a drawn out affair. Huatai Securities, based in Jiangsu province, raised US$1.54 billion through the Stock Connect programme a year ago. Its June 17 debut took nearly seven months, between the CSRC approval in November 2018 and LSE's on June 4.The resumption of London listings could also provide another avenue for some of the nation's biggest companies to tap global capital for expansion as they struggle to climb out of the depths of an economy battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.Chinese regulators have recently resumed approving such listing applications, the South China Morning Post reported earlier, as they seek to hedge against an intensifying clampdown on Chinese companies listed in the US.For example, the US Senate passed a bill last month that could potentially delist Chinese firms from US exchanges, after President Donald Trump banned the main federal pension fund from investing in Chinese companies.China Pacific Insurance rose as much as 2.3 per cent in morning trading in Shanghai on Wednesday after the announcement. Its stock in Hong Kong climbed by as much as 4.8 per cent.The new share issuance is unlikely to weigh on the price of its existing shares, given the amount was just 10 per cent of its A shares, Bocom International said in a report on Wednesday.The introduction of Swiss Re, which is estimated to subscribe to 16.5 per cent of the GDRs, as a cornerstone investor will help the Chinese insurer enhance its corporate governance and quicken its global expansion, the report says. 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) -- Most U.K. stock market participants want a reduction in the world’s longest trading hours, which they say can improve liquidity and industry diversity, according to the results of a London Stock Exchange survey.“A significant majority of respondents were sympathetic to the arguments that a reduction of market hours could lead to improvements in diversity and wellbeing,” the LSE said as it released the outcome of its consultation, without disclosing the percentage of those favoring shorter hours.Most of the more than 140 respondents said that any change would need a unified approach across European exchanges and other trading venues, according to the LSE. In light of this, the bourse said it’ll wait for the results of other European exchanges’ surveys on market hours, which at 8 1/2-hours exceed the U.S. by two hours.The results of the consultation lend weight to a proposal by two professional bodies to shorten European market hours for reasons including the concentration of liquidity in the first and last hours of trading, the short time window between corporate news releases and the market opening, and the need to improve the work-life balance and diversity at financial firms. The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) and the Investment Association of U.K. asset managers asked bourses in November to consider cutting 90 minutes from their trading day.The LSE survey was conducted in December-January 2020, with respondents ranging from individual investors through to global investment banks. The exchange said it will also monitor whether the period of remote working due to the coronavirus pandemic has altered any views on shorter trading hours. Lobby groups for the industry have previously said they would support a 12-month pilot across all major European exchanges and trading venues.The majority of those surveyed favored a 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. trading day, which would mean a one-hour delay to the open and a 30-minutes earlier closing time. Some advocated for both 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. working days. A minority advocated leaving hours unchanged, LSE said.“Shortening trading hours has the potential to improve wellbeing and diversity on our trading floors and ultimately to deliver better outcomes for our clients,” said Galina Dimitrova, director for investment and capital markets at the Investment Association. “The fact that the majority of respondents to the LSE’s consultation on market trading hours agree, adds further weight to the argument that it is time to reduce trading hours.”Even if the session would be reduced to seven hours, as favored by most respondents, the European trading day would still be longer than in the U.S. and Japan and would overlap with American markets. Most respondents in the survey didn’t consider the current overlap with Asian market hours to be as important as that with U.S. market hours.While the majority said shorter hours would improve trading velocity and liquidity on the order book, “very few” believe that this would result in an increase in trading volumes, according to LSE.The capitalization of the Stoxx Europe 600 Index is about half that of the S&P 500 and the average turnover in the European benchmark in the last 12 months is about 40% lower than on Wall Street.An informal Bloomberg News survey in February showed that across Europe, 74% of finance professionals, including traders, analysts and fund managers, favor reducing the length of the stock market day.Here are some other findings of the LSE consultation:A “small number” of respondents proposed a lunch break as an alternative to a shorter trading daySome participants questioned whether shorter hours would be detrimental to London’s position as a global financial centerFew believed that reducing hours would have any real impact on derivatives marketsRespondents had mixed views on the impact on retail investors, with some advocating longer hoursViews on the timing of earnings announcements were also mixed, with some advocating for a later release time and others saying that an extra hour before the market open would give participants more time to consider the opening price(Updates with IA’s comment in seventh paragraph)For 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.
Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) continues to review for downgrade the long-term ratings of London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSEG, A3 review for downgrade) and London Stock Exchange plc (LSE, A3 review for downgrade). Moody's said its review for downgrade was initiated on 2 August 2019, following LSEG's announcement that it had agreed to acquire for $27 billion Refinitiv from Refinitiv Holdings Ltd. (affiliated with Refinitiv US Holdings Inc., B3 review for upgrade).
Italy is set to approve a decree on Thursday enacting special powers to protect the Milan bourse, media companies and key infrastructure from unwanted foreign interest, two sources told Reuters. The Milan bourse, which includes a strategic trading platform for Italy's sovereign bonds, is controlled by the London Stock Exchange.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Hong Kong’s stock-exchange operator is at a crossroads. Just like its home city, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. needs to find a path through a turbulent era that reconciles its international and Chinese identities.HKEX is hunting for a new chief executive officer after Charles Li said he will step down by October next year at the latest, when his contract expires. Nicknamed “Mr. China” for his success in building trading links with mainland exchanges, Li doubled revenue during his decade leading the company. An attempt to vault HKEX into the top ranks of global exchange operators failed last year when the London Stock Exchange Group Plc rejected a $37 billion takeover approach, citing concerns over its relationship with Hong Kong’s government, which is appointed by Beijing.Li’s successor will have to carry forward his work of deepening ties with the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges, while keeping foreign investors happy by improving corporate governance. It’s a delicate task. The mainland Chinese markets are competitors as well as partners. Hong Kong is trying to position itself as the venue of choice for Chinese technology companies seeking to go public, especially as the U.S. market becomes less hospitable. Shanghai and Shenzhen are undertaking their own initiatives to persuade companies to list at home.Shanghai has been particularly aggressive, becoming the world’s top destination for initial public offerings in 2020 (albeit without a single overseas listing), a title that Hong Kong has held for years. While its Star market aimed at tech companies has yet to attract any big names, competition is heating up. Shenzhen, the southern city that borders Hong Kong, is preparing to emulate Shanghai by moving to a registration-based IPO system and scrapping limits on price movements on its Nasdaq-like ChiNext board.That will put a premium on finding a CEO who can match Li’s mainland connections and diplomatic prowess. With international expansion seemingly blocked off after the LSE rebuff and the coronavirus outbreak, HKEX’s growth will continue to rely heavily on cooperation with Chinese exchanges and regulators. Expanding the stock-trading pipes that Li established with Shanghai and Shenzhen is one route. HKEX scored a coup when New York-traded Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s biggest company by market value, raised $13 billion in a Hong Kong secondary offering last November. Some of the sheen came off the celebrations when it emerged that Alibaba wouldn’t be included in the so-called Stock Connect programs, blocking mainland-based investors from trading the shares. Getting secondary listings on the Connect should be a priority — especially given Hong Kong is looking to woo other U.S.-listed Chinese companies such as JD.com Inc.There are further opportunities for expanding the cross-border trading links, including letting mainland investors buy overseas bonds. Currently, the three-year-old Bond Connect is a one-way system, allowing Hong Kong investors to buy mainland securities but not vice-versa. The next HKEX chief may also push for Hong Kong ETFs and IPO subscriptions to be admitted to the connect programs.At the same time, Hong Kong needs to keep its international flavor if it’s to appeal to Chinese punters who want access to global investments. HKEX slowed efforts to attract foreign listings in recent years, as volumes dimmed, having drawn some notable names including Italian luxury house Prada SpA. It should restart these. Hong Kong’s role as an international market depends critically on sustaining confidence among global investors that it is relatively clean and well governed. Under Li, the Hong Kong exchange bowed to the commercial imperative by opening the door to dual-class share structures and presided over a market where bad behavior among small-caps was endemic. His replacement will need to change Hong Kong’s reputation as a playground for short sellers such as Carson Block’s Muddy Waters and Gillem Tulloch’s GMT Research Ltd.Managing these push-pull conflicts — moving closer to China while becoming more international, building up business while improving governance — will take some dexterity. Li has said he may leave before the end of his term if a successor is found. An early exit is far from assured.\--With assistance from Zhen Hao Toh. This 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/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The London Stock Exchange on Wednesday formally asked the European Union's competition officials to approve its $27 billion takeover of data and analytics company Refinitiv. The European Commission set a June 26 deadline for its decision, the notification said. It can clear the deal with or without conditions or open a four-month long investigation following the end of its preliminary review if it has serious concerns.
(Bloomberg) -- Imagination Technologies Group Plc worked to reassure lawmakers about its commitment to the U.K. in correspondence ahead of a hearing looking into its relationship with a Chinese state-owned asset manager.The company’s letters to lawmakers were made public ahead of a hearing of Parliament’s cross-party Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, when current and former executives will be questioned about the company’s role in the U.K. tech scene and its ties to China.Lawmakers are worried that Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, which acquired the chip designer in 2017, plans to shift parts of the business and sensitive technology from the U.K. to China. Canyon Bridge, a private equity fund with offices in California and Beijing, is investing on behalf of a Chinese venture capital fund that, according to regulatory filings, is sponsored by China Reform Fund Management, a state-owned asset manager.The controversy started after Imagination briefly considered naming China Reform executives to the board.China Reform has “no control over the company,” Imagination Chief Executive Officer Ray Bingham said in a letter to Tom Tugendhat, the committee’s chairman. The company had considered the new board members in order to “enhance its financial and technical expertise and improve scrutiny of executive decision making.”Imagination also said that shifting intellectual property to another country was expensive and, since the company is free to license it all over the world, pointless. Chips designed by the company’s technology end up in consumer products, such as TVs and virtual reality systems. They aren’t used by the government or in telecommunications infrastructure, it said.Imagination announced last month that its previous CEO, Ron Black, was stepping down to be replaced by Bingham, Canyon’s executive chairman. Black was in a standoff with the private equity firm over a proposal to increase Chinese control over Imagination’s board, Sky News had reported previously.Black and Bingham will appear on Tuesday along with Hossein Yassaie, who was Imagination’s CEO for more than two decades before leaving in 2016. He had warned in a letter on LinkedIn last month that “there is a real risk for the company to lose its U.K. capabilities and base altogether over a period of time,” which had implications for jobs, key intellectual property and “independence in a number of key enabling technologies for our country.”Imagination also said that Canyon Bridge is considering eventually exiting its investment in the company via an initial public offering, and that it’s considering a listing on the London Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq or the Star market in Shanghai. But it plans to keep its headquarters in the U.K.For 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.
Banks are dusting off their no-deal Brexit plans as concerns deepen that Britain and the European Union won't agree a trade deal by December as the COVID-19 pandemic compounds fundamental disagreements over future relations. Financial services exports to the EU are worth about 26 billion pounds ($32.51 billion) a year, and although Britain left the bloc in January it still has unfettered access until the end of December under a transition agreement, allowing banks, asset managers and insurers to continue serving their biggest export market. If it wants an extension to the transition period, it must ask Brussels by the end of June.
(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire activist investor Christopher Hohn has called on Wirecard AG to remove Chief Executive Officer Markus Braun after an independent audit of past revenues criticized the German payments processor for internal “shortcomings.”The probe by KPMG was unable to obtain the data needed to verify revenues of 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in transactions with third parties. Wirecard hired the accounting firm in October to look into its third-party partner business as well as operations in India and Singapore following a series of reports by the Financial Times that accused the company of accounting fraud in several countries.Shares in Wirecard fell 12.6% in early trading in Frankfurt, taking the drop since start of trading Tuesday to 37%.Given management didn’t provide KPMG with the necessary documentation to verify the revenue, “we are of the view that the supervisory board is legally obliged to intervene,” Hohn’s TCI Fund Management Ltd. said in a letter also posted on its website.“In our opinion, the necessary intervention is now to remove the CEO from all management duties,” TCI said. Failing that, the board must take responsibility for the investigation and remove Wirecard’s management from involvement in the audit until the allegations have been resolved, it said.TCI has a short position in Wirecard, equivalent to 1.04% of the company’s stock.Hohn’s hedge fund, which managed about $30 billion before suffering its steepest ever monthly decline in March, specializes in taking large stakes in companies and agitating for change to boost the firms’ share prices.His bets have included companies such as ABN Amro Bank NV, News Corp. and most recently some attempted agitation against the London Stock Exchange Group Plc.The tactic has worked well for TCI -- it’s made money every year since 2008. It gained 41% in 2019, its best annual performance in six years.(Updates with share price, corrects company name.)For 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.
Troubled hospital operator NMC Health <NMC.L> said on Monday it requested its shares be delisted from the London Stock Exchange after they were suspended two months ago. Shares in the UAE-based company were suspended two months ago and it was placed into administration this month following an application form one of the company's biggest lenders, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank <ADCB.AD>. "We are working at pace to ensure continuity of patient care, stability for staff and suppliers and financial security for NMC's operating companies," Richard Fleming, joint administrator of NMC Health and managing director of Alvarez & Marsal, said in a statement on NMC's behalf.
The London Stock Exchange said on Tuesday it was committed to completing its $27 billion takeover of data company Refinitiv in the second half of the year, with no plans to revise its savings targets for the deal as a deep recession beckons. "We still have a lot of confidence in the transaction, in the strategic rationale of the transaction," LSE Chief Executive David Schwimmer told analysts. The coronavirus pandemic is sending economies rapidly into deep recession, forcing many companies to furlough millions of staff and raise funds to stay afloat.
The London Stock Exchange said it has no plans to change its targets for synergies from its planned $27 billion takeover of data and analytics company Refinitiv. "There are no plans to change anything in terms of target synergies," LSE Chief Executive David Schwimmer told an analyst conference call. Schwimmer said the recurring nature of Refinitiv's income is an "attractive element" that offers resiliency.
European stock and bond settlement house Euroclear said it was halting all work on whether it should float or find other ways to enable its shareholders sell stakes. Euroclear has been looking at ways to make it easier for many shareholders which own small stakes in the company to sell out, either by a stock market listing for the company or a placement scheme. "Given the current uncertain environment, the board has decided to stop all work on a tentative liquidity initiative, and wait until economic activity and market stability has been restored in a sustained way to consider the matter again," Euroclear said in a statement on Friday.
Credit rating agencies should avoid deepening the coronavirus crisis by quick-fire downgrades of countries and companies as the pandemic pushes economies into recession, the European Union's securities market chief said on Thursday. Steven Maijoor, chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said the watchdog has intensified its interactions with rating agencies to understand how they are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has shut down large swathes of the economy, with France already in recession as businesses are forced to obtain loans and furlough millions of staff to stay afloat.
The sharp rise in trading volumes during closing auctions at global stock markets requires more innovation by brokers to capture value for buy-side investors, one of the world's largest asset managers said on Tuesday. Gradually introduced by major stock markets since the late 1990s, auctions held in the final minutes of trade were initially seen as an efficient, hard-to-manipulate way to establish end-of-day prices. The percentage of daily trade taking place in those final minutes roughly doubled between 2014 and 2019 in both Europe and the United States however, NBIM's calculations show, turning them into major trading opportunities with ample liquidity.
Italy plans to extend the special powers it has to shield key industries from unwanted foreign interest, a senior government official said on Saturday, adding that the measures would apply to investors from other European Union nations. The plan reflects concerns in Italy's ruling coalition that foreign investors could take advantage of the recent collapse of share prices triggered by the coronavirus crisis to buy assets in industries deemed as strategic for the country. Cabinet undersecretary Riccardo Fraccaro said on Saturday that Rome would expand its vetting powers to the whole banking and insurance sector, as well as the health and food industry.
Banning short-selling of shares gives the impression of responding decisively to events without achieving any useful result, the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) said on Monday. In an unusually blunt statement, the global umbrella group for exchanges and clearing houses said bourses already have safeguards like circuit breakers to slow markets during bouts of extreme volatility. Several European Union countries, including Spain, Italy, France and Belgium have banned traders borrowing a company stock with a view to selling it, hoping to buy it back later at a lower price and pocket the difference, a practice that critics say can exacerbate market moves amid panic selling.
The London Stock Exchange said on Thursday it was waiving registration fees for market makers to attract more liquidity in trading that has become volatile due to economic fallout from the coronavirus. "To help provide support to liquidity in stocks admitted to London Stock Exchange’s Main Market and AIM amidst volatile trading conditions, a three month waiver on registration fees for market makers has been applied until the end of June, 2020," the exchange said in a statement.
Regulators will continue to cooperate closely to keep financial markets orderly and open during disruptions caused by the impact of coronavirus on the global economy, global securities watchdog IOSCO on Wednesday. "The fundamental purpose of equity, credit and hedging markets is to support the real economy, and the IOSCO Board is absolutely determined to ensure that they will remain open and functional throughout this difficult period," Ashley Alder, chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions said in a statement.
The London Stock Exchange said it would allow companies listed on its market to defer payment of dividends for up to 30 days due to coronavirus hitting markets. "As a result of market conditions and issuers implementing their contingency plans, the Exchange has received enquiries from issuers and their advisers regarding deferral or cancellation of their dividend payments," the LSE said in a statement to the market. "From today the Exchange will permit a deferral period of up to 30 business days for payment of a dividend, but no more than 60 business days after the record date."
Keeping markets open in the United States during the coronavirus epidemic is critical for maintaining investor confidence, exchanges and market industry bodies said in a joint statement on Friday. "Keeping all U.S. financial markets open is essential to the well-being of the general economy and vital to maintaining and bolstering investor confidence, particularly once the economy recovers from the effects of this pandemic," the statement said. Signatories to the statement included the American Bankers Association, CBOE, Nasdaq, CME, the Institute of International Finance and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.