ZhongAn’s Insurance Sales Show Signs of Picking Up, But Challenges Remain

Data suggests growth in the digital insurer’s gross written premiums accelerated strongly in the second half of last year from the first half, but it continues to face numerous uncertainties Key Takeaways: By Warren Yang Last year may have ended on a better note than it began with for ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. Ltd. (6060.HK), as suggested by its year-end gross written premium data for 2022 released at the end of last week. But the digital insurer may not want to uncork the champagne just yet as it leaps…

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Ant Group Tipped to Revive IPO Plans after Jack Ma Bows Out

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has relinquished control of the company’s financial affiliate, Ant Group, as the firms emerge from a two-year regulatory crackdown Key Takeaways: By Fai Pui The New Year looks to herald a fresh start for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA.US; 9988.HK) and its fintech offshoot. Shares in the e-commerce giant surged this month, helping to push Hong Kong’s benchmark index up through its 250-day moving average into bull market territory. As of Jan. 17, Alibaba’s share price has climbed 32% this year and has gained around 90%…

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Big Banks Test the Waters for New China Listings With QuantaSing IPO

The adult education specialist’s IPO underwriters include Citigroup, as well as two of China’s biggest investment banks Key Takeaways: By Doug Young After hiding in the shadows for nearly two years, the big-name investment banks are quietly testing the waters for a return to underwriting Chinese IPOs in New York. That’s the big story in an IPO filing by QuantaSing Group Ltd. (QSG.US), an adult education company whose newly filed listing plan is most notable for the big names sponsoring it than anything else. The offering is being underwritten by…

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Is Fosun Set to Rise Again as China Reopens?

The debt-heavy conglomerate announced a fresh $1 billion in asset sales last week, as growing signs emerge that its looming debt crisis of 2022 may be receding Key Takeaways: By Chen Ruzhen On the last evening of 2022, Guo Guangchang, chairman of conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. (0656.HK), visited a lantern festival at Yu Garden, the famous Shanghai tourist attraction operated by one of his company’s units. The rags-to-riches billionaire made New Year’s wishes that life would return to normal in China, and that Fosun’s global partners could visit a country…

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Unimpressive Hong Kong Keeps No. 3 Spot in Global IPO Race

New listings in the city tumbled 68% to just 90 last year, much of that on a surge in activity in the second half Key Takeaways: By Emily Chan Last year wasn’t kind to global stock markets, which were rocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting energy shortages in Europe. Ruthless interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve to tame inflation, and repeated outbreaks of the Covid-19 epidemic in China, didn’t help either. That confluence of factors not only hit corporate valuations, but also put a major damper…

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From Boom to Gloom: SPAC Frenzy Fizzles in Asia after US Falters

The SPAC bandwagon that rolled out of the U.S. has gone off the rails in Asia. Some listed SPACs have been liquidated, and the volume of SPAC applications in Singapore and Hong Kong has been lighter than expected in the past year Key takeaways: By Ken Lo So much for an Asian SPAC boom. The market for special purpose acquisition companies has turned out to be more of a damp squib since exchanges in Singapore and Hong Kong opened their doors to the listings. It’s a far cry from the…

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