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Daily Dispatches – China IPO freeze extended

Bad news for Chinese investors whose wealth creation options were limited by the decision last year to call a halt to 700 planned IPOs. Asian Banking & Finance reports that the country has decided to extend the moratorium on initial offerings after the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission promised to beef up its rules to improve investor protection.  Among the victims of this this decision are several regional banks who were looking to listings to raise capital. Lenders have been hit by rising bad loans, which are up again for the sixth consecutive quarter. Non-performing loans climbed by US$5.5 billion in the three months ended March 31 to US$85.8 billion. Hong Kong, however, is potentially the happy beneficiary of this decision –  Huishang Bank Corporation is preparing for an IPO in Hong Kong, and has invited investment banks to bid for advisory roles. Companies have raised US$4.6 billion from IPOs in Hong Kong this year, more than triple reported for the same period in 2012. Financial services firms account for two of the three largest IPOs in the city in the past 12 months.

Inside jail

An Australian accountant from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ tax and legal department has been sentenced to nearly two years jail time for insider trading. Nicholas Glynatsis, 30, was found guilty of using inside information while at PwC to trade financial products in numerous energy and resource companies between November 2009 and 2010.

Singapore pay bump

Only days after Singapore announced that basic wages growth had fallen below inflation in 2012, the government has announced that all civil servants will be paid a 0.4-month mid-year bonus, slightly higher than the 0.3 month annual variable component they received last year, but less than the half-month payout and one-off quantum of $250 they got in 2011.

StanChart beefs up research team

Standard Chartered has hired Zhang Su to cover emerging companies in China and Hong Kong.

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