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Morning Coffee: It’s official – M&A bankers are needed urgently in China

Merger

In recent weeks we’ve been pointing out that Chinese bankers with cross-border M&A skills are becoming extremely hot property as acquisition-hungry Chinese companies look to expand overseas.

China’s President, Xi Jinping, has now helped to fuel the M&A fire. Opening the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation CEO Summit in Beijing, he announced that Chinese offshore investment will reach $1.25 trillion over the next decade. This potential near-tripling of existing Chinese outbound direct investment comes as the country reduces restrictions on outbound investment and encourages companies to look overseas for mergers and acquisitions, reports the Financial Times.

Foreign banks in China (who’ve traditionally struggled to gain state-owned enterprises as clients in the face of competition from Chinese banks) are increasingly trying to pick up private-sector clients and hire more bankers to service them. Late last week, for example, Andrew Jones, Asia Pacific co-CEO for Barclays, said his firm would expand in Chinese investment banking, despite making layoffs elsewhere.

But as Andrew Geczy, ANZ’s CEO for international and institutional banking, pointed out last week, hiring bankers in China isn’t easy. Global M&A skills and Chinese client networks aren’t a common combination. “More and more this year I’m seeing banks send some of their top Chinese analysts and associates to their US or London offices for extended secondments,” Rafael Brana, a consultant at search firm Bo Le Associates in Hong Kong, told us previously. “This helps banks cover Chinese cross-border transactions by having Chinese staff globally located to coordinate multi-country teams for Chinese clients looking for M&A opportunities in North American, South American, African or European countries.”

Meanwhile:

17 November launch date for Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect, but who will benefit? (Market Watch)

Minsheng Bank to issue 8b yuan in shares to employees. (South China Morning Post)

Robert Rankin quits Deutsche Bank for “Asia-based” role running Packer investment empire. (AFR)

Boost for trade finance and syndicated loan jobs in Asia? (South China Morning Post)

Malaysian bank mega merger set for Q1. (The Star)

Singapore strengthens Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for accountants. (Business Times)

TPG Capital’s Japan head, Jun Tsusaka, leaves to set up investment fund. (Reuters)

Western banker bashing grows in Hong Kong. (Business Times)


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