China Minsheng Financial to bring more mainland based private companies to Hong Kong

Hong Kong capital markets still appealing for mainland companies, says chief executive Sing Wang

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 June, 2016, 7:53pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 June, 2016, 8:07pm

China Minsheng Financial Holding Corporation (CMF), the Hong Kong listed unit of China Minsheng Investment Corporation (CMI), one of China’s largest private investment funds, is looking to connect more mainland companies with Hong Kong capital markets.

“It is true that currently the mainland capital markets tend to give a higher valuation for companies, but Hong Kong still has its appeal and strengths, like its more straight forward fund-raising approval process,” said Sing Wang, chief executive of CMF and former partner at TPG Capital.

Sing, who was also the former CEO of Tom Group, the Chinese media conglomerate controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, said CMF will leverage on the strong network of its parent, CMI, to reach more private companies on the mainland.

CMF is looking to tap the niche in early-stage investment for emerging industries like health care and new energy and also provide financial services ranging from private equity financing to initial public offerings, Sing said.

CMI was founded in May 2014 by 60 private enterprises with a registered capital of 50 billion yuan (HK$59.09 billion). Its businesses now covers equity investment, financial leasing, financial consulting, and asset management.

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Dong Wenbiao, former chairman of China Minsheng Banking Corporation, a well-known senior banker, is the chairman of CMI.

CMI acquired 70.64 per cent stake in Hong Kong listed company Seven Star in December, and changed its name to “China Minsheng Financial” after injecting HK$5 billion. It was included in the Hang Seng Composite Index and Hang Seng Global Composite Index, since March 14.

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Seven Star shares surged from around 30 Hong Kong cents in mid April last year to a peak of HK$1.88 on June 12, after which it sought a share suspension. A week later, it announced the acquisition plan of CMI and other three investors. CMF shares closed at 90 Hong Kong cents on Wednesday.

Li Huaizhen, chairman of CMF, said CMI, its parent company, was well -connected to the most vibrant private companies. This would in turn become a rich source of clients for CMF, he said.

CMI said in March that it would invest US$5 billion to develop an industrial park in Indonesia, with ten partners. It is also seeking similar deals in Thailand and other countries. In July 2015, CMI acquired US based reinsurance company Sirius International Insurance Group for about US$2.2 billion.

Last year, CMI paid 120 million euros (HK$1.06 billion) to acquire a 33.7 per cent stake in European business aviation services firm Luxaviation and a 49 per cent stake in Zurich-headquartered ExecuJet Aviation Group.