|Bid||26.55 x 1100|
|Ask||26.63 x 3200|
|Day's Range||26.51 - 27.04|
|52 Week Range||22.67 - 42.17|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.51|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||29.66|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Feb 27, 2020|
|1y Target Est||29.10|
Hollywood Bowl shored up its balance sheet with a £10.9m placing post period end, and has also secured additional headroom with lenders, writes Alex Janiaud. With a March 31 period-end, Hollywood Bowl’s half-year figures do not reflect the worst effects of the lockdown. Excluding the fortnight commencing March 16, which was impacted by the roll-out of social distancing protocols, like-for-like turnover rose by 8.6 per cent, against a growth rate of 4.4 per cent for the corresponding period in 2019.
Hong Kong’s legislature approved a contentious bill Thursday that makes it illegal to insult the Chinese national anthem.
HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HSBC) has publicly backed China's controversial national security law for semi-autonomous city Hong Kong, Reuters reported Wednesday.What Happened The Asia Chief Executive at Europe's largest bank, Peter Wong, signed a petition backing the law aimed at further reducing Hong Kong's autonomy, according to Reuters.Wong told Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency that the law would help bring stability to Hong Kong, which has seen frequent clashes between the Beijing-backed local administration and anti-government protestors, as reported by Reuters.HSBC said in a social media post in China that the bank "respects and supports all laws that stabilize Hong Kong's social order," Reuters noted.Why It Matters Hong Kong is the biggest market for HSBC, and the British bank has struggled with operations in the country in the eye of widespread protests since last year.HSBC became a target of the protests earlier around New Year's eve as the bank closed a fund-raising account of activists opposing a proposed extradition bill.China's latest move to bring in a national security law in Hong Kong, aimed at curbing any dissent against the country's communist government, has received strong opposition from the United States and the European Union.HSBC Price Action HSBC shares traded at $24.99, 1.07% down, in New York on Thursday at press time. See more from Benzinga * Goldman Sachs Plans To Expand Cash Management To Europe Despite Coronavirus Impact(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Senior British and U.S. politicians criticised HSBC and Standard Chartered on Thursday after the banks backed China's national security law for Hong Kong, in conflict with the British government's opposition to the proposed legislation. In a break from their usual policy of political neutrality, the British banks on Wednesday expressed support for the law even as it drew global condemnation, including from Britain, and revived anti-government demonstrations in the Asian financial hub of Hong Kong. Shares in HSBC, which is Britain's biggest bank, fell more than 1% in London, paring earlier gains in its Hong-Kong listed stocks while Standard Chartered shares in London were flat.
Citigroup is looking to ramp up its commercial banking operations across Europe, Middle East and Africa, plugging gaps left by rivals facing fallout from a coronavirus-induced recession. The U.S. bank plans to expand its business lending division catering to companies with annual turnover between $25 million and $2.5 billion with a slew of new hires and office launches in several Western European countries by the end of 2020. Competitors, including HSBC and Standard Chartered , have made similar bids to win business from small and mid-sized European companies in the past few years, hoping to increase revenues in a market traditionally dominated by local banks.
The UK-based banks have both come out in support of China's controversial national security laws.
HSBC and Standard Chartered have drawn the ire of politicians and investors in the UK for their public support of a controversial national security law China plans to impose on Hong Kong. On Wednesday, the two banks released carefully-worded statements backing the legislation, which Beijing says intends to target “splittist, subversion of state power, terrorism or interference by foreign countries or outside influences” in Hong Kong. “I wonder why HSBC and StanChart are choosing to back an authoritarian state’s repression of liberties and undermining of the rule of law?” tweeted British Conservative party politician Tom Tugendhat, who chairs parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
UK banks HSBC and Standard Chartered have openly supported the national security law China is imposing on Hong Kong, breaking their silence on the legislation opposed by the British government. The decisions follow similar moves by Swire and Jardine Matheson, two British colonial-era trading houses. In a carefully worded post on Chinese social media platform WeChat on Wednesday, HSBC said that Peter Wong, chief executive of the lender’s Asian businesses, had signed a petition in support of the legislation.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Hong Kong’s finance industry is thriving from the great divorce between the U.S. and China. Billion-dollar initial public offerings are on the horizon again, as New York-listed mainland companies seek a second home. The city’s blue-chip index has even revised its weighting rules so tech stocks can feature more prominently. But is this enough to rouse a sleepy stock market? While Hong Kong is on par with Shanghai in terms of total market capitalization, turnover pales in comparison, and it's practically a stagnant pool compared with the very liquid Shenzhen bourse. While mega IPOs are exciting, they are one-time events. Once bankers earn their fees and wave goodbye, trading could languish again.South Korea may offer some insights. One year ago, Seoul was still in a deep bear market, plagued by steep conglomerate discounts and historically low turnover. Now, it’s teeming with life. Since global markets started turning around in late March, the benchmark Kospi index has soared more than 40%, making it one of the world’s best performers.All of a sudden, Koreans, who dabbled in cryptocurrencies and all sorts of structured products, are frantically buying cash equities. Retail investors have single-handedly supported the main stock index as foreigners and domestic institutional investors sold.CLSA Ltd. recently conducted a fascinating study explaining what’s become one of the Kospi’s largest ownership changes in history. Survey data show a few usual suspects: historically low deposit rates, cheap valuations, and blow-ups in popular alternative investments, such as mezzanine convertible bonds and equity-linked securities. A liquidity crisis and global market meltdown have tamed Koreans’ taste for exotic products.But the most interesting finding is that investors are swapping their real estate holdings for stocks. This comes as President Moon Jae-in’s administration has made it harder to invest in residential property, with a recent ban on mortgage lending for anything valued over 1.5 billion won ($1.2 million). In the past few years, a series of tightening measures has worked: A flattening of home prices, along with dwindling sales volumes, dented investor sentiment.Apartments in Seoul were once considered one of Korea's best performing long-term assets. They registered a capital gain of 80.9% over the past 15 years, with flats in the affluent Gangnam district returning more than 200%, data provided by CLSA show. Yet property restrictions look set to remain as long as Moon’s around — and he’s not required to leave office until 2022. So people with money to invest have to look elsewhere. Samsung Electronics Co., which gained 443% over the same period, is a good alternative. Retail investors have poured $7.2 billion into the company’s shares this year. Many of the catalysts that drove Koreans to stocks are present in Hong Kong, too. Interest rates are even lower and high-profile stocks are landing, including NetEase Inc., while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. completed its secondary listing last year. Meanwhile, local investors can no longer count on HSBC Holdings Plc for reliable dividend payouts, forcing them to look at tech companies instead. It’s no coincidence that the retail portion of NetEase’s Hong Kong listing was met with brisk demand on the first day, enabling the company to increase its allotment to local investors. The missing piece, however, is real estate. As soon as Hong Kong loosened its social distancing rules in May, secondary home-sales prices ticked up, along with transaction volume. The Land Registry recorded 6,885 property deals in May, a 12-month high. The faith that this sector can outperform stocks hasn’t broken yet. For an equity market to shine, local retail participation is essential. Overseas institutional investors, the biggest contributors to Hong Kong’s turnover, come and go. Those from the mainland, now active players through the stock connect, are equally fickle, given they’re so used to liquidity-driven markets back home. So unless Hong Kong moms and pops can learn from the Koreans — trading away their flats in Gangnam for a slice of Samsung — the Hang Seng will remain asleep. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.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.
HSBC <HSBA.L> and Standard Chartered <STAN.L> banks gave their backing to China's imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong on Wednesday in a break from their usual policy of political neutrality. HSBC's Asia-Pacific Chief Executive Peter Wong signed a petition backing the law, the bank said. HSBC "respects and supports all laws that stabilise Hong Kong's social order," it said in a post on social media in China.
HSBC said it "respects and supports" legislation that stabilises order in Hong Kong, as China moves to impose a national security law it says is aimed at curbing sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference. The bank's statement came as tensions rise between HSBC's two home countries, after Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson said the UK will not walk away from the people of Hong Kong if China imposes a national security law that would conflict with its international obligations under a 1984 accord.
Some global companies are considering shifting some of their treasury operations out of Hong Kong as the United States moves to end the city's privileges, senior bankers said, in the latest blow to the territory's status as a major financial hub. U.S. President Donald Trump has begun the process of eliminating special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong to punish Beijing's decision to impose new national security laws there - which China and Hong Kong say will not hurt rights and freedoms. Against the backdrop, a handful of global firms are eyeing a move of some of their corporate treasury operations to countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, four senior bankers with knowledge of the matter said.
(Bloomberg) -- It’s the rise of the robots: Japan’s second-largest company is now a maker of industrial automation systems, highlighting the rising importance of a less visible sector to a nation long associated with consumer-facing brands.Keyence Corp., a maker of machine vision systems and sensors for factories, has jumped 19% this year to become Japan’s second-largest company by market value. At a valuation of over 11 trillion yen ($100 billion), it has overtaken telecommunications giants SoftBank Group Corp., and NTT Docomo Inc., which have jostled for the honor to sit behind Toyota Motor Corp. over most of the past decade.Keyence is famed for its dizzying profitability with an operating profit margin of more than 50%, among the country’s highest. That’s enabled by its “fabless” output model, according to analysts, with production of its array of pressure sensors, barcode readers and laser scanners outsourced to avoid high capital costs.Its industry-leading sales system creates bespoke solutions for clients, and its frequently listed as the highest-paying company in Japan. The surge in its shares has also benefited founder Takemitsu Takizaki, who has overtaken SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son by a good margin to become Japan’s second-richest man.“It’s got everything — high growth, high dividends and a high operating margin,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. “It’s the type of long-term stock you want to leave to your kids or your grandkids.”Keyence has more than tripled in market value since early 2016. “We feel the sense of expectation from our shareholders,” said Keyence director Keiichi Kimura when asked to comment on the milestone. “We’ll do our best to live up to those expectations.”The rise has also underscored how important the country’s parts and robot makers have become to the stock market, shown in the weighting of companies that make up the the country’s benchmark Topix index. Japan stocks were once dominated by banks and automakers — but years of zero rates which now dip into negative have hurt the profitability of the former, while the importance of the latter was declining even before the coronavirus sent the industry into reverse gear.The weighting of the Topix’s Electrical Appliance sector, also home to the likes of Sony Corp., Murata Manufacturing Co., and Fanuc Corp., has increased to almost 15%, the highest in about a decade, as the importance of the Banks and Transportation Equipment sectors have declined. The Information and Communication sector, headed by the five listed companies that dominate Japan’s mobile carriers, is the second-most heavily weighted segment.The growing presence of IT shares has also been a feature in the U.S. stock market, with the sector making up the highest proportion of the S&P 500 Index since the dot-com bubble burst. The coronavirus pandemic has amplified a trend for investors to prefer companies that eliminate humans from the process — a trend Keyence benefits from both with its fabless production model, and by enabling companies to automate their own production.“It’s a business model that grows the more factory automation throughout the world progresses,” said Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities’ Fujito.Founder Takizaki holds about 23% of Keyence’s shares, Bloomberg-compiled data show. For the Topix, which takes the free float of the shares into account in its weightings, those holdings mean Keyence is less heavily weighted than Sony, whose market value trails by comparison. Toyota the biggest company on the index, and even forecasting an 80% drop in profit this year, the automaker remains Japan’s largest business with a market value double that of Keyence.“We like Keyence as it outsources production instead of owning factories, allowing it to focus on R&D,” HSBC analysts including Helen Fang wrote in a May 26 report that initiated coverage of the company with a buy rating. “It also uses a direct-sales model that keeps it close to clients. This strategy means it can better capture market share in a widening array of industries and can focus on high-value client solutions.”While the coronavirus pandemic will depress profits this year, Nomura sees a recovery “to record-high profit levels” the following year and sees a record profit the next, analyst Masayasu Noguchi wrote in a report May 28 raising its target price on the stock.“It’s unclear how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue,” Keyence’s Kimura said. “The global uncertainty is likely to continue and in the midst of that we’ll continue to do what we can.”Factory Automation in Asia May Be First to Recover From PandemicThe notoriously tight-lipped Osaka-based company does not provide earnings guidance in its sparse quarterly disclosure. It’s an outlier in a country where companies are being encouraged to boost their transparency and communication with the market.“They are an efficiency-above-any-other kind of company, so doing extra that doesn’t result in revenue addition is probably less of a priority,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Takeshi Kitaura. “They think generally those following the company are happy when they manage solid earnings and growth.”Yoshiharu Izumi, an analyst at SBI Securities Co., says that Keyence holds talks with shareholders and that reassures investors, and doesn’t view the paucity of disclosure as a problem. “Keyence has overtaken Sony, which is extremely proactive in responding to shareholders,” he said. “When Keyence starts putting energy into disclosure, that might be the time to sell.”(Updates with quotes from Keyence from sixth 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.
Hong Kong lawmakers are set to resume a debate on Wednesday over a controversial bill that would make disrespecting China's national anthem a criminal offence, as the city ramps up for fresh protests amid simmering anti-government tensions. The ban comes on the heels of China's plan to directly impose national security laws on Hong Kong, a move that has drawn international condemnation and revived anti-government demonstrations in the former British colony. On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Beijing's decision would "dramatically" erode Hong Kong's autonomy and the United Kingdom is prepared to change its immigration rules to accommodate Hong Kong residents.
JPMorgan Chase & Co and Barclays Plc will pay $20.7 million to resolve investors' claims they conspired to rig the Mexican government bond market, the first of nine banks in the proposed class-action litigation to settle. In a Monday night filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for the investors said the "ice breaker" settlements could be a catalyst for settlements with the other bank defendants. JPMorgan is paying $15 million, and Barclays is paying $5.7 million.
Shares of Primark owner Associated British Foods rallied on Monday as the company said most of the clothing retailer’s stores would be open by the end of the month.
HSBC’s dominant and lucrative business position in Hong Kong “should not be taken for granted”, a former Hong Kong chief executive has warned, as pressure grows on the city’s businesses to declare their support for a contentious new national security law being imposed by Beijing. “HSBC has been enjoying unique privileges in Hong Kong which should not be taken for granted,” Leung Chun-ying, who served as the Chinese special administrative region’s third chief executive, told the Financial Times in an email exchange on Friday. Mr Leung has been one of the territory’s highest profile pro-Beijing figures for decades and was chief executive during the “umbrella revolution” protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2014.
President Donald Trump on Friday ordered his administration to begin the process of eliminating special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong to punish China, but stopped short of calling an immediate end to privileges that have helped the territory remain a global financial center. In making the announcement, Trump used some of his toughest rhetoric yet against China, saying Beijing had broken its word over Hong Kong's autonomy by moving to impose new national security legislation and the territory no longer warranted U.S. economic privileges. At a White House news conference, Trump called this a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, China and the world, having already attacked Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China.
A U.S. judge on Thursday said institutional investors, including BlackRock Inc <BLK.N> and Allianz SE's <ALVG.DE> Pacific Investment Management Co, can pursue much of their lawsuit accusing 15 major banks of rigging prices in the $6.6 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan said the nearly 1,300 plaintiffs, including many mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, plausibly alleged that the banks conspired to rig currency benchmarks from 2003 to 2013 and profit at their expense. "This is an injury of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent," Schofield wrote in a 40-page decision.
HSBC Bank USA, N.A., (HSBC), part of the HSBC Group, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, today announced it has partnered with RateReset to license its award-winning platform, KNOCK KNOCK. The platform, branded "EasyReset" for HSBC, allows the bank to reset existing Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) loans with the click of a button.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The deterioration of U.S.-China relations is fast and furious, with Washington throwing out accusations of unfair trade practices, unlawful technology transfer and an early cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed over 100,000 American lives. The Chinese yuan, this year’s beacon of stability, is now is now at risk of tumbling like other emerging markets currencies.On Wednesday, the offshore yuan, which trades freely, flirted with its weakest level on record, dropping as much as 0.7% to 7.1965. While Thursday morning’s yuan fix came in stronger than expected, the overall sentiment is downbeat.It’s tempting to theorize that a weaker yuan could become a powerful weapon in the new Cold War, yet there’s little evidence of foul play from the People’s Bank of China. Since mid-2017, the central bank has based its fixing on the previous day’s close, dollar movement overnight against a currency basket, and what it calls the “countercyclical factor," a catch-all metric that grants wiggle room to deviate from market fundamentals. The yuan can move in a 2% trading range around the PBOC’s daily target.Take a look at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s estimate of the countercyclical factor. Over the last year, the PBOC has been consistently guiding its yuan stronger, not weaker, to artificially track the dollar. For all the theatrics of getting labeled a currency manipulator, Beijing wasn’t making its exports any cheaper.What’s new this year is the PBOC’s Zen-like attitude. Rather than playing the heroic fireman, handling one crisis after another, the central bank has been largely hands-off. It has used the countercyclical factor in a meaningful way only twice since January, on Feb. 4 when China emerged from the Lunar New Year holiday to face a national lockdown, and at the end of March when the outbreak was shaking up global markets.And why should the PBOC adhere to the dollar anyway? The coronavirus downturn has only showcased America’s exceptionalism — it prints the world’s reserve currency. Haven demand for the dollar has surged, evidenced by soaring currency swap rates from the euro zone to South Korea, and the Federal Reserve’s scramble to re-establish swap lines with other central banks. Looking back to 2008, the greenback only started to weaken two months after demand for “emergency dollars” peaked, data provided by Deutsche Bank AG show.So it makes sense for China to adopt a more enlightened approach, allowing the yuan to weaken during periods of dollar strength, and catch up when global tensions recede. From the PBOC’s view, the trade-weighted yuan is certainly stronger now than it was last fall, when the central bank was in fire-fighting mode. China doesn’t want to spend another $1 trillion of its foreign reserves defending its currency. The rapid drawdown in 2015 and 2016 traumatized the Chinese for good.To be sure, the pressure of capital outflows is still there. Just look at the consistent negative value of the “net error and omissions” figures in China’s balance of payment data. However, here’s the beauty of the virus: The Chinese can’t go anywhere. They can’t come to Hong Kong to buy insurance products, and unless you’re ultra-rich (with private bankers around the world apartment-hunting for you), Manhattan real estate is off-limits. The PBOC has less to worry about than before.So now the market can test the true value of the yuan. It could easily drop below 7.30 if the phase one trade deal breaks down and the Trump administration imposes some of the tariffs it had previously threatened, estimates HSBC Holdings Plc.Long-time China bear Kyle Bass abandoned his yuan short in early 2019 for the greenback-pegged Hong Kong dollar. He didn’t profit from his yuan trade because the PBOC established powerful tools, such as selling yuan-denominated bills in the offshore market, to kill anyone betting against the currency. Now that their interests are becoming aligned, it’s time for the bears to wake up.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.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.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou has lost a key aspect of the trial on her extradition to the United States, a Canadian court announced on Wednesday. The judge sided with the Canadian prosecutors in ruling that the legal standard of double criminality had been met, meaning the U.S. charges against Meng are also crimes in Canada. The United States has charged Meng with bank fraud and misleading HSBC about a Huawei-owned company's dealings with Iran - was also illegal in Canada at the time of her December 2018 arrest.
A Canadian judge will rule Wednesday on a key aspect of Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou's extradition to the United States, with a favourable judgment seen as paving the way for the release of the Chinese executive after 18 months of house arrest. British Columbia's Superior Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes will rule on the double criminality issue of the extradition case, deciding whether Meng's alleged actions were a crime in Canada as well as the United States at the time of her arrest.