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Daily Dispatches - Asian M&A feeling the squeeze

M&A woes in Asia

China's leadership changeover caused a drag on outbound merger and acquisition activity from Asia this year, according to a report in Finance Asia based on new data from Dealogic.

Volumes were also affected by a slowing mining sector, which has historically dominated deal flow. The report says that elections in many parts of the region had also dampened activity.

Good news though is that conversations around deals in China, after being suspended until the new leadership became entrenched, have re-started between banks and state-owned enterprises.

Fee income has also been affected, with revenues in Asia for the year to date contributing 17% of investment banking revenue, compared with 21% in the US and 27% in Europe.

Six i-banks poised to bring home IPO bacon

Shuanghui International Holdings, the Chinese company that bought the world’s biggest pork supplier this year, plans raise up to $6 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, according to a Bloomberg report.

BOC International Holdings, Citic Securities, Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and UBS are all said to be in the running to advise Shuanhui on the listing, says Bloomberg.

EU to levy $2 billion fine on banks for interest rate fixing

Reuters says a number of finance firms, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Rabobank face billions of euros in fines next month from European Union regulators for colluding on global benchmark interest rates.

EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia is set to unveil a record fine of at least 1.5 billion euros ($2.03 billion) on six banks, including Barclays and RBS, for rigging the yen Libor interest rate benchmark.

New competition for Chinese banks gaining momentum

An affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding - the firm that already dominates online shopping in China - has moved aggressively over the past year to lend to small businesses and take money from savers. Reuters says Alibaba's money-market fund, called Yu'E Bao, projects the business will sell $16.3 billion worth of its money-market-like investments and amass a loan book of $2 billion by the end of this year.

TransRe sets up shop in Singapore 

New York-headquartered TransRe has announced that it has received a licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for its fifth office in the region, joining Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo, according to the Asia Insurance Review.

Bank of China goes mobile  

Bank of China, one of China’s big four state-owned banks, has launched Micro-Bank, a series of products accessible on the internet as it gears up to establish a network bank and focus on mobile finance, reports Asian Business & Finance.

AUTHORAmanda Vermeulen

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