Australian Intelligence Chair Names Chinese-Australian Billionaire Dr. Chau Chak Wing in Alleged UN Bribery Case

Australian Intelligence Chair Names Chinese-Australian Billionaire Dr. Chau Chak Wing in Alleged UN Bribery Case

The chair of Australia’s intelligence and security committee in Canberra, Andrew Hastie has named one of Australia’s biggest political donors, Chinese-Australian billionaire Dr. Chau Chak Wing in a United Nations bribery case.  The Chinese-Australian billionaire is alleged to pay $200,000 (€170,000) in 2013 to a then UN General Assembly President John Ashe, to attend a conference in China.

” Australian Intelligence Chair Names Chinese-Australian Billionaire Dr. Chau Chak Wing in Alleged UN Bribery Case “

Chinese-Australian billionaire Dr. Chau is the founder and Chairman of Kingold Group, founded in early 1990s and headquartered in China.  The group  has diversified businesses in real estate, finance, health, education, hospitality and media.  In 2015, he bought one of Australia’s most recognisable Sydney mansion for $70 million from James Packer, one of Australia’s wealthiest man, a media and casino mogul, major shareholder at Crown Resorts and ex-fiancee of international artist Mariah Carey.

Dr. Chau has already sued two Australian media houses for making accusations, but will not be able to sue Andrew Hastie as he had made named Dr. Chau under parliamentary privilege.

Source: ABC News, The Guardian, Business Insider

 

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Private Equity Firm Blackstone Exits Final Investments in Hilton for $1.3 Billion

Private Equity Firm Blackstone Exits Final Investments in Hilton for $1.3 Billion

The world’s leading investment manger and private equity firm Blackstone has exited its last investments in Hilton, selling its last 15.8 million shares for more than $1.3 billion.  In the private transaction, Hilton will buy 1.25 million shares from Blackstone, which will no longer own any shares of Hilton’s common stock.

” Private Equity Firm Blackstone Exits Final Investments in Hilton for $1.3 Billion “

In 2007, Blackstone had acquired and privatised Hilton in a leverage buyout of the company for a total value of $26 billion.  In 2013, Hilton went public and since then, Blackstone had been progressively exiting its investments in Hilton.  For the 11 years investments in Hilton, Blackstone is estimated to generate more than $13 billion in profit, more than 3 times its capital.

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,300 properties with more than 863,000 rooms, in 106 countries. The company’s portfolio includes Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Canopy, Curio Collection, DoubleTree, Tapestry Collection, Embassy Suites, Hampton and many others.  Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms, with $450 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds.

Source: Reuters, Bloomberg, Hilton

 

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Citigroup Fined $7.26 Million by Hong Kong Regulator for Poor Practices in IPO Transaction

Citigroup Fined $7.26 Million by Hong Kong Regulator for Poor Practices in IPO Transaction

Citigroup Global Markets in Asia has been fined $7.26 million by Hong Kong regulator for poor practices in handling the IPO application of Real Gold Mining Limited.  The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) investigations uncovered incidents where Citi had failed to sufficiently verify Real Gold’s customers and documents were signed by the wrong responsible officer for the IPO application.

” Citigroup Fined $7.26 Million by Hong Kong Regulator for Poor Practices in IPO Transaction “

Real Gold Mining, a gold mining company was listed in Hong Kong in February 2009.  It was many times oversubscribed and market value soared to more than $2 billion a year later in 2010.  In May 2011, 2 years after its IPO, the company had been suspended due to accounting fraud.

The IPO of Real Gold Mining Limited (Real Gold) in 2009 was Citi’s first and only listing application.  In the investigation, Citi had cooperated fully to resolve the concern.

 

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Cambridge Analytica Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy after Facebook and US Election Scandals

Cambridge Analytica Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy after Facebook and US Election Scandals

Cambridge Analytica has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the United States after announcing that it had lost most of its clients for using data from 87 million Facebook users to influence the 2016 US election.  It is facing lawsuits in the United States over Facebook data collection and in the filing, listed assets of $100,001 to $500,000 and liabilities in the range of $1 million to $10 million.

” Cambridge Analytica Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy after Facebook and US Election Scandals “

Cambridge Analytica was founded in 2013, and uses data to help commercial and political divisions change audience behavior.  The board includes Rebekah Mercer and Jennifer Mercer, daughters of billionaire Robert Mercer and co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, one of the world’s largest hedge fund.

In the United States, Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing means the debtor’s assets are sold to pay the lenders (creditors) while in Chapter 11, the debtor will restructure with creditors to ensure the orderly regroup or disposal of assets.

Source: SCMP, ReutersCambridge Analytica

 

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Global Billionaires increased by 357 from 2,397 to 2,754 in 2017

Global Billionaires increased by 357 from 2,397 to 2,754 in 2017

The number of billionaires increased by 357, from 2,397 to 2,754 in 2017 with a combined wealth of $9.2 trillion, in a latest report by Wealth-X Billionaire Census 2018.

” Global Billionaires increased by 357 from 2,397 to 2,754 in 2017 “

The number of billionaires in the world in 2017 is 2,754 with combined $9.2 trillion of wealth, of which 816 billionaires with $2.4 trillion of wealth are in Asia-Pacific, 884 with $3.7 trillion of wealth in The Americas (North & South) and 1,054with $3.7 trillion of wealth in Europe, Middle-east and Africa .

Wealth-X is a leading global wealth information and insight business providing annual reports including The Wealth-X Billionaire Census and the World Ultra Wealth Report.

 

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Picasso $70 Million 1943 Painting Damaged Before Auction

Picasso $70 Million 1943 Painting Damaged Before Auction

A Pablo Picasso’s 1943 painting was accidentally damaged by a falling pole during preparation for a Christie’s auction on the 11th of May 2018, just a day before the Christie’s 12th-15th May 2018 exhibition in New York.  The 1943 painting by Pablo Picasso, Le Marin (The Sailor), is estimated to fetch more than $70 million at the Christie’s auction on 15th May 2018.

” Picasso $70 Million 1943 Painting Damaged Before Auction “

Born in Spain in 1881, Pablo Picasso is one of the most renowned artist and painter in the 20th century, producing more than 20,000 works in his lifetime.  The 1943 Le Marin (The Sailor) painting is being assessed and recommendations have been made for the restoration of the painting.  The painting is reported to be owned by Steve Wynn, founder of Wynn Resorts.

Source: Christie’s, Bloomberg, People

 

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Barclays CEO Jes Staley Fined $870k for Attempting to Identify Whistleblower in 2016

Barclays CEO Jes Staley Fined $870k for Attempting to Identify Whistleblower in 2016

Barclays Group CEO Jes Staley has been fined $870k (£642,430) for attempting to identify a whistleblower in 2016.  The total fine of $870k (£642,430) was imposed by 2 UK financial authorities, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) of £321,200 and £321,230 respectively, for failing to act with due skill, care and diligence.

” Barclays CEO Jes Staley Fined $870k for Attempting to Identify Whistleblower in 2016 “

In 2016, Barclays Group CEO Jes Staley attempted to identify the author of an anonymous letter containing various allegations, including himself.  The author had claimed to be a Barclays shareholder.  Both UK authorities FCA and PRA conducted investigations and concluded that given the conflict of interest, the Barclays CEO should had distanced himself from the case.  Apart from the fine, Barclays have also clawed back £500k of his 2016 bonus.

Jes Staley was at JP Morgan for more than 30 years and became the Chief Executive of JP Morgan investment bank in 2009.  In 2015, he became Barclays Group CEO.

Source: Barclays, Bank of England, Bloomberg, The Guardian

 

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Chairman of China Insurer Anbang Group Wu Xiaohui Jailed for 18 Years

Chairman of China Insurer Anbang Group Wu Xiaohui Jailed for 18 Years

The former chairman of Anbang Insurance Group Wu Xiaohui, has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for fundraising fraud and embezzlement.  He will be barred from political rights (holding of public office) for 4 years and to surrender $1.6 billion (CNY 10.5 billion) of personal assets.

” Chairman of China Insurer Anbang Group Wu Xiaohui Jailed for 18 Years “

Wu Xiaohui was found guilty of using other companies owned by him to indirectly controll Anbang Property and Casualty Insurance Co. and the Anbang Insurance Group.  Between 2011 to 2017, he had also oversold insurance products above the approved limits, defrauding more than $9.88 billion (CNY 65.2 bilion).

In February 2018, the Chinese government had seized control of Anbang Insurance Group.  Anbang Insurance Group is being managed by a group of officials from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) for one year.  The regulatory intervention is one of China’s recent moves to stop Chinese conglomerates on aggressive overseas acquisition and to reduce financial risk.  The insurance conglomerate have significant stakes in banks and property developers including China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd, China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, developers China Vanke Co Ltd and Gemdale Corp.

Anbang Insurance Group is a global insurance company with total assets of nearly CNY 1,9 trillion ($304 billion).  The group employs over 30,000 employees and has a customer base of 35 million worldwide.  Anbang Insurance Group was established in 2004,

In 2004, Anbang Property & Casualty Insurance was established and opened its first branch in Beijing.  In 2011, CIRC approved the restructuring of Anbang Property & Casualty Insurance for the establishment of Anbang Insurance Group.  Chairman Wu Xiaohui had transformed the group over the 10 years into one of the world’s largest insurance company.  He is married to Zhuo Ran, the granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping, China’s leader between 1978 to 1989.

More: Xinhua, Reuters, Bloomberg

 

 

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About Anbang Insurance Group

Anbang Insurance Group is a global insurance company with total assets of nearly 1971 billion RMB. With over 30,000 employees and a customer base of 35 million worldwide, Anbang stands out as one of the most profitable insurance companies in China. Its business covers life insurance, P&C insurance, health insurance, pension insurance, banking, asset management, etc. With a “customer-centric” strategy in mind, Anbang Insurance is dedicated to creating value for its worldwide customers.

Visit: Anbang Insurance Group

 

 


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China ZTE Suspends Major Operations after US Government Imposed 7 Years Trade Ban

China ZTE Suspends Major Operations after US Government Imposed 7 Years Trade Ban

China’s 2nd largest telecom equipment maker, ZTE Corp has suspended all major operations after a 7 years export ban was imposed on the company by the United States government on 16th April 2018.  The 7 years ban means ZTE will not be able to buy components and technology from U.S. companies such as Qualcomm and Intel, crippling its major operations.

” China ZTE Suspends Major Operations after US Government Imposed 7 Years Trade Ban “

In 2017, ZTE had paid almost $900 million in settlements after admitting to violating trade restrictions by shipping products with United States technology to countries including Iran in 2016.  On 17th April 2018, a day after the 7 years ban was imposed by the United States, ZTE suspended trading of its share on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.  ZTE is actively communicating with the United States government to reverse or modify the ban.

ZTE is one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers alongside Huawei.  The company was founded in 1985 as Zhongxing Semiconductor Co.

Source: ZTE, SCMP, Reuters, Bloomberg

 

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China Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Files for IPO in Hong Kong

China Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Files for IPO in Hong Kong

China smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. has filed for an IPO in Hong Kong, in what is expected to be the biggest IPO since Alibaba Group raising $25 billion its IPO in 2014 .  The market is anticipating at least $10 billion to be raised by Xiaomi, valuing the 8 year old company at more than $100 billion.  At $100 billion valuation, it will be China’s 3rd largest technology company after Alibaba and Tencent.

” China Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Files for IPO in Hong Kong “

Xiaomi is founded in 2010 by Lei Jun and 7 other co-founders.  It  is the 4th largest smartphone player by market share, behind Apple, Samsung and Huawei.  In 2017, the smartphone maker sold 91.4 million smartphones, generated revenue of $18.09 billion (CNY 114.6 billion) and incurred a net loss of $6.93 billion (CNY 43.9 billion).

In the IPO filing under the new Hong Kong listing rule, Xiaomi will have weighted voting rights (WVR) structure, or dual-class shares.  The dual-class share will give greater power to founding shareholders, even with minority shareholding.  At the moment, Lei Jun owns 31.4%  shareholding of Xiaomi while Lin Bin holds 13.3%.

Source: SCMP, Bloomberg, Reuters

 

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