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Asia News Bulletin - Apr 23


Hong Kong is expected to begin a one-way quarantine-free scheme for mainland travellers in mid-May, while Singapore plans to shorten the quarantine period for Hong Kong travellers to 7 days. At the global climate summit, China as world’s top emitter has not offered any new commitments, but President Xi Jinping has pledged to strictly control coal-fired power plants.


MAJOR HEADLINES IN ASIA

This section tracks major political, economic and business news from the key economies in Asia.

  • Australia cancelled two deals struck by its state of Victoria with China on Beijing's flagship Belt and Road Initiative, prompting the Chinese embassy in Canberra to warn that already tense bilateral ties were bound to worsen. – Reuters

  • The ASEAN Blockchain Consortium came into force on Thursday to foster and drive cross-border collaboration in promoting blockchain technology, and to engage with regulators to ensure legal compliance of blockchain regulations are set out accordingly. – The Business Times

  • Japan will encourage domestic and foreign businesses to set up data centres in the country by offering tax breaks and other assistance, hoping to speed up its own digital transformation. – Nikkei Asia

  • China is setting up a special fund from the central government’s budget for direct investments in the Greater Bay Area project. The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone and the Guangdong-Macao Deep Cooperation Zone will be the priorities. – Caixin Global

  • South Korean financial regulators are discussing the introduction of new regulatory guidelines on overseas remittances made by investors to profit by taking advantage of bitcoin price gaps in virtual currency exchanges in Korea and other countries. – The Korea Times


EQUITY AND DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS

This section highlights the biggest ECM and DCM developments in China and Hong Kong which are moving markets and grabbing headlines.

CHINA

  • Some 85 percent of companies listed on China’s stock exchanges that have released their first quarter results so far are anticipating a big jump in net profit from the same period in 2020. – Yicai Global

  • China will suspend the ability of foreign investors to trade if they cause serious market volatility through massive capital flows in a short period of time, said Fang Xinghai, vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, at the Boao Forum. – South China Morning Post

HONG KONG

  • Oatly, a Swedish dairy-free beverage brand backed by a joint venture between China Resources Group and Verlinvest, has filed for a US IPO and put in place a mechanism for an additional Hong Kong listing. – AVCJ

  • The board of directors at China Tourism Group Duty Free has agreed to pursue a secondary listing in Hong Kong. – Yicai Global


PE/VC DEAL ACTIVITY

This section tracks the fundraising, deals and other activities conducted by the PE/VC funds in Asia.


CHINA AND HONG KONG

  • Centurium Capital and Joy Capital have invested US$250 million in scandal-hit Luckin Coffee, with Centurium describing it as a sign of faith in the company’s long-term prospects. – AVCJ

  • China’s Xingyun Group, a digital supply chain provider for cross-border e-commerce, has raised US$600 million in the second tranche of Series C round led by Yunfeng Capital. – AVCJ

  • Chinese data analytics firm Kyligence has raised US$70 million in its Series D round of funding led by SPDB International. – DealStreetAsia

  • Chinese genome editing startup EdiGene Inc has secured US$61.7 million in a Series B+ round of financing led by Loyal Valley Capital. – DealStreetAsia

JAPAN AND KOREA

  • Bain Capital has closed its first dedicated Japan private equity fund with US$1.01 billion in commitments. – AVCJ

  • CVC Capital Partners will postpone submitting a formal proposal to acquire Toshiba until further notice after the Japanese industrial group appointed a new CEO. – Nikkei Asia

SOUTHEAST ASIA

  • Singapore-based rechargeable batteries manufacturer SES has raised US$139 million in a Series D round funding led by General Motors. – DealStreetAsia

  • Indonesian startup CoLearn has raised US$10 million in Series A funding co-led by Alpha Wave Incubation and GSV Ventures. – TechCrunch


REGULATORY UPDATES

This section highlights the major regulations, policy changes and political developments in China and Hong Kong that have implications for the business environment.

CHINA

  • China will step up scrutiny of financial institutions’ shareholding structures and tighten oversight of major shareholders and management to root out risks in the financial system, said regulators at the Boao Forum – Caixin Global

  • Jointly issued by the People’s Bank of China, the National Development and Reform Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, an updated list (link in Chinese) of industries and projects eligible to be funded by green bonds no longer includes “the clean use of coal and other fossil energy”. – South China Morning Post

HONG KONG

  • It was revealed in the latest Legislative Council meeting on the electoral reform bill that Beijing could introduce further reform as there is a vacuum period after the five-year term of the upcoming Election Committee. – South China Morning Post


ONE FOR THE WEEKEND

Each week we will select one or two articles which have caught our attention – long reads, institutional outlooks, analysis or interesting viewpoints


Days before this week’s global climate summit, China and the US jointly stated their commitment to working together to uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change. While observers ponder whether the summit would mark a positive change in the two countries’ fraught relationship, the article “Compete, confront, cooperate: climate summit test for Biden’s China watchwords”, by The Guardian, analyses how the two position themselves in this global climate crisis.



THE WEEK AHEAD

After Singapore and Hong Kong called off the announcement of their highly anticipated air travel bubble originally planned this week, the two governments are expected to give details next Monday at the earliest.



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