Hong Kong stretches lead

Hong Kong stretches lead

Competition between Hong Kong and Singapore is nothing new. But it reared its head again last week as the South China Morning Post trumpeted that “Hong Kong widens yuan hub lead over Singapore”. The occasion was Hopewell Highway Infrastructure’s decision to launch a Rmb386.4 million ($61.8 million) share placement in Hong Kong. It turned out to be a “hot” offering, points out IFR, with orders filled in just half an hour. It also marked the second renminbi-denominated equity offering in Hong Kong – last year the Hui Xian REIT launched an IPO in the Chinese currency in the territory.

But Singapore – which also aspires to be a yuan hub (see our Focus issue, Ready for the RMB) – had reckoned on evening up the IPO tally. It was scheduled to host the listing of the Dynasty REIT, sponsored by real estate fund manager ARA Asset, for as much as $1 billion in a dual currency transaction that included a renminbi component. However, the deal was recently postponed due to poor market conditions, leading the crowing SCMP to declare: “Hong Kong 2 Singapore 0”.

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