Crown Resorts Owner & Australian Billionaire James Packer Quits 22 Boards as He Battles Mental Health Issues

Crown Resorts Owner & Australian Billionaire James Packer Quits 22 Boards as He Battles Mental Health Issues

Crown Resorts owner & Australian billionaire James Packer has quit directorship on 22 boards in Australia as he battles mental health issues.  On 27th June 2018, he resigned from his private holding company, Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) and subsequently another 21 board directorships.

” Crown Resorts Owner & Australian Billionaire James Packer Quits 22 Boards as He Battles Mental Health Issues “

James Packer has an estimated fortune of more than $4 billion and is Australia’s top 10 wealthiest person. In March 2018, he had resigned as director of Crown Resorts and in recent times, has been battling business and personal issues.  He was linked to a corruption scandal involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is being investigated for receiving lavish gifts from businessmen including James Packer.  In Australia, he reportedly had $2.3 billion of debt at CPH & over $3 billion of debt at Crown, and exited his casino business in Macau after investigation & fines by Chinese authorities.

In 2015, after almost 10 years of negotiating, a settlement was reached with his elder sister, Gretel Packer over his late father’s $1.25 billion will.  In 2017, he ended his relationship & engagement with pop star Mariah Carey and made a settlement of more than a few million dollars to her.

James Packer, born in 1967 and age 50, is the son of the late Australian media mogul Kerry Packer who founded Publishing and Broadcasting Limited, and inherited Consolidated Press Holdings.  Crown Resorts was founded in 2007 through a divestment from Publishing and Broadcasting Limited.

Source: ABC, Reuters, TWI

 

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English Football Club Arsenal Tricked in Bogus $176,000 Chinese Largest Electric Carmaker BYD Sponsorship Deal

English Football Club Arsenal Tricked in Bogus $176,000 Chinese Largest Electric Carmaker BYD Sponsorship Deal

English premier league football club Arsenal has been tricked in a bogus $176,000 (CNY 1.2 million) “official car and bus partner” sponsorship deal with Chinese largest electric carmaker, BYD.

” English Football Club Arsenal Tricked in Bogus $176,000 Chinese Largest Electric Carmaker BYD Sponsorship Deal “

The fraudsters Li Juan and Chen Zhenyu have tricked at least 30 companies by representing BYD and sign fradulent sponsorship deals of around $177 million (CNY 1.2 billion) in the name of BYD.  They have been reported to have been arrested by Chinese police.

BYD (Build Your Dreams) was founded in 1995 and is a listed company on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of more than $16 billion (18/7/2018). The company is the IT industry, with businesses in rechargeable battery, handset and computer components and assembly services, automobile business in traditional fuel-powered vehicles and new energy vehicles.  The company also actively develop new energy products such as rail transit, solar farm, energy storage station, electric vehicles, LED, electric forklift.  BYD has nearly 220,000 employees and 30 industrial parks worldwide.  The company was founded as a rechargeable battery company by Wang Chuanfu.  He is a billionaire and is estimated to be worth almost $3.8 billion (Forbes).

Arsenal Football Club is one of the leading football club in England alongside Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.  The club has 1.9 million members (Red & Digital members) and 38 million Facebook fans.  In 2016/2017, the football club reported revenue of $553 million (£424.0 million).  It is valued at $2.238 billion and ranked #39 in the 50 most valuable sports teams of 2018 by Forbes.

< Arsenal have issued the following statement:

BYD has informed Arsenal that they believe they have been the victim of a fraud in relation to various advertising agreements. This includes our partnership with BYD which was formally launched by both parties at an event at Emirates Stadium on 8th May. We are investigating the situation and discussing it with senior level BYD representatives who were involved in the launch of the partnership. We will make no further comments on this matter. >

Source: Arsenal, Caixin, BBC, The Sun, Forbes

 

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China 3-Year-Old E-Commerce Pinduoduo Files IPO in United States at $20 Billion Valuation

China 3-Year-Old E-Commerce Pinduoduo Files IPO in United States at $20 Billion Valuation

One of China’s fastest growing e-commerce Pinduoduo has filed for IPO on NASDAQ (United States) that could value the 3-year-old company at more than $20 billion.  It is expected to announce pricing terms in the week of 23rd July 2018, raising up to $1.63 billion in the IPO.

” China 3-Year-Old E-Commerce Pinduoduo Plans IPO in United States at $20 Billion Valuation “

Pinduoduo was founded in 2015 by ex-Google engineer Colin Huang.   The 3-year-old e-commerce company allows consumers to form groups to get higher discounts from sellers & merchants.  In March 2018, it reported 103 million active monthly users on its mobile app, gross merchandise volume of $14.74 billion (CNY 100 billion) and revenue of $462 million for the 12 months period from April 2017 to March 2018.  It is now China’s 3rd largest e-commerce company behind the 2 largest players, Alibaba and JD.com.

The key shareholders of Pinduoduo includes Tencent Holding and Sequoia Capital.  The IPO is expected to make Colin Huang a billionaire with shares (50.7%) worth more than $10 billion in value if the company is listed at $20 billion market valuation.

Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs (Asia), CICC and China Renaissance are the joint bookrunners on the deal.

Source: NASDAQ, Renaissance Capital, Reuters, Financial Times

 

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Boss of China Investment Company Zillion Holdings in $5.67 Billion Fund-Raising Fraud has Left China

Boss of China Investment Company Zillion Holdings in $5.67 Billion Fund-Raising Fraud has Left China

The boss of a China investment company Zillion Holdings involved in a $5.67 billion illegal fundraising fraud,  Wu Zaiping, has reportedly left China.

” Boss of China Investment Company Zillion Holdings in $5.67 Billion Fund-Raising Fraud has Left China “

The investment company Zillion Holdings, without approvals, had raised over $5.67 billion (CNY 38 billion) through peer-to-peer lending and other platforms, and sold wealth management products.  Wu Zaiping is the boss of the company while Zillion Holdings’ legal representative, Tao Lei, had been arrested.

Source: Caixing, Zillion Holdings

 

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Hollywood Star George Clooney is Best Paid Actor with $239 Million Earnings in 2017/2018

Hollywood Star George Clooney is Best Paid Actor with $239 Million Earnings in 2017/2018

Hollywood star George Clooney is the best paid actor in the world with $239 million earnings in 2017/2018 ( June 2017 – May 2018), in the list of the world’s 100 highest-paid entertainers by Forbes.  The highest paid celebrity is boxer Floyd Mayweather (#1) with $285 million earnings while there are 2 Asians on the top 100 list with Jackie Chan (joint #49) with $45.5 million earnings and Bollywood actor Salman Khan (#82) with $37.7 million earnings.

” Hollywood Star George Clooney is Best Paid Actor with $239 Million Earnings in 2017/2018 “

George Clooney is a Hollywood A-list celebrity and is most known for his roles in the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ films, with Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon.  He also received an Oscar for his performance in ‘Syriana.’

George Clooney (Age 57) was born in 1961 in Kentucky, United States.  He was born into a family of entertainers with his father being a television personality and news anchor, while his aunt was a singer and actress.

 

Forbes Top 10 highest paid celebrities:

  1. Floyd Mayweather – $285 million
  2. George Clooney – $239 million
  3. Kylie Jenner – $166.5 million
  4. Judy Sheindlin – $147 million
  5. Dwayne Johnson – $124 million
  6. U2 – $118 million
  7. Coldplay – $115.5 million
  8. Lionel Messi – $111 million
  9. Ed Sheeran – $110 million
  10. Cristiano Ronaldo – $108 million

 

Joint #59 Jackie Chan $45.5 million (Asian celebrity)
#89 Salman Khan  $37.7 million (Asian celebrity) (edited and included in this article on 20th July 2018)

 

Source: BioReutersBBCIndependent, Forbes

 

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UAE Court Drops Charges over $48.2 Million Bounced Cheque Against Founder of Middle East Largest Private Equity Abraaj Group

UAE Court Drops Charges over $48.2 Million Bounced Cheque Against Founder of Middle East Largest Private Equity Abraaj Group

The UAE court has dropped charges over a $48.2 million bounced cheque against Arif Naqvi, founder of  Middle East largest private equity group, Abraaj Group.

” UAE Court Drops Charges over $48.2 Million Bounced Cheque Against Founder of Middle East Largest Private Equity Abraaj Group “

Hamid Jafar, a businessman and also founding shareholder of Abraaj Group, had requested the UAW court to drop the proceedings against Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj Group.  The $48.2 million bounced cheque is reported to be part of a settlement of $300 million loan from Hamid Jafar to Arif Naqvi.

In June 2018, Abraaj Group with $13.6 billion AUM has filed for restructuring in the Cayman Islands to facilitate the orderly restructuring of the firm.

The restructuring filing is to stop legal action by Kuwait’s pension fund, Kuwait Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) and other creditors who are seeking the liquidation and winding up of Abraaj for non-payment of debt.  Investors including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through accountants had also uncovered lapses in control in the usage of funds.  The appointment of provisional liquidators (PwC) imposes a moratorium (temporarily restriction) of all claims against Abraaj, allowing an orderly restructuring process.

The Abraaj Group is Middle East’s biggest private equity firm with $13.6 billion AUM, $8.1 billion in deployed capital in over 200 investments and had exited more than 100 investments totalling $6.8 billion (data as of 30th June 2017).  The firm specialises in private equity, private credit, impact investing and real estate and invest into growth markets across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Turkey.

The Abraaj Group was founded in 2002 by Pakistani Arif Naqvi in 2002 with $60 million.  He grew the firm into Middle East’s biggest private equity firm with $13.6 billion AUM in 2017, presence in over 20 country offices and 5 regional hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Nairobi and Singapore.

Source: FTThe NationalWSJ , TWI

 

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Hong Kong Central Bank Fines Citi Hong Kong $500,000 for Routing Non-Qualified Clients to Dark Pool Trades

Hong Kong Central Bank Fines Citi Hong Kong $500,000 for Routing Non-Qualified Clients to Dark Pool Trades

Hong Kong central bank, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has fined Citi in Hong Kong $500,000 (HK$4 Million) for routing non-qualified clients to “dark pool” trades.

” Hong Kong Central Bank Fines Citi Hong Kong $500,000 for Routing Non-Qualified Clients to Dark Pool Trades “

Between 2016 to 2017, a review was donated on the alternative liquidity pools, known as Citi Match in Citigroup Global Markets Asia Limited.  The bank system had defaulted certain clients as allowed to match trades in Citi Match, when their orders should not have been enabled access to ALP. In August 2016, it was discovered that the default setting of over 470 clients was incorrect and the orders of over 130 clients were routed to Citi Match for execution.  The clients were not assessed if they are qualified investors and, therefore did not provide them with the ALP Guidelines.  (All affected clients qualified investors.)

“Dark pool” trades are officially known as alternative liquidity pools in Hong Kong.  The platform allows investors to trade shares anonymously, with information of their orders being spread and affecting the price.

Source: HKMA, Reuters, SCMP

 

 

 

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Hong Kong Billionaire Henry Cheng & Family Buys Irish Plane Lessor for $2.8 Billion

Hong Kong Billionaire Henry Cheng & Family Buys Irish Plane Lessor for $2.8 Billion

Hong Kong billionaire and business tycoon Henry Cheng & family, has acquired Irish plane-lessor Sky Aviation Leasing for $2.8 billion through its subsidiary Goshawk Aviation.  Goshawk Aviation is owned by 2 of Hong Kong’s largest business conglomerates and public-listed companies, Chow Tai Fook (best known for its jewellery business) and NWS Holdings.

” Hong Kong Billionaire Henry Cheng Buys Irish Plane Lessor for $2.8 Billion “

The acquisition of Irish plane-lessor Sky Aviation Leasing, will add 51 planes to Goshawk Aviation to form a total fleet of 183 planes.  The total value of the fleet will be $9.1 billion, and will set Goshawk Aviation to become a top 10 aircraft lessor in 5 years.  Sky Aviation Leasing is owned by Canadian pension fund, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board and private-equity firm ATL Partners.  The transaction is financed through unsecured debt financing and funds from Goshawk main shareholders Chow Tai Fook and NWS Holdings.

Goshawk Aviation is founded in 2013 as a full-service aircraft leasing platform.  It is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland with an Asian regional office in Hong Kong.  The shareholders are public-listed companies in Hong Kong, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited and NWS Holdings Limited.  Both companies are owned by the late Dato’ Dr. Cheng Yu Tung (1925-2016) and family, and now headed by his eldest son, Henry Cheng.

In 2016,  the late Dato’ Dr. Cheng Yu Tung (1925-2016) has an estimated personal net worth of more than $16 billion, and is one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest and most successful businessman.  New World Development Company and NWS Holdings are founded by his eldest son, Henry Cheng, and is estimated to have a net worth of more than $16 billion.

  • Chow Tai Fook (Market Cap $10.52 billion) is owned by the late Dato’ Dr. Cheng Yu Tung and family.
  • Chow Tai Fook is also the controlling shareholder of New World Development Company (Market Cap $14.24 billion), a listed conglomerate in Hong Kong.
  • NWS Holdings (Market Cap $6.84 billion) is the infrastructure and service flagship business of New World Development Company, and is also listed in Hong Kong.

Source: GoshawkBloomberg, The Irish Times

 

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JD.com Finance Arm Raises $1.95 Billion at $20 Billion Valuation 

JD.com Finance Arm Raises $1.95 Billion at $20 Billion Valuation

The finance arm of China leading e-commerce company JD.com, JD Finance, has raised $1.95 billion (CNY 13 billion).  The funding of $1.95 billion raised will value the company at nearly $20 billion (CNY 133 billion).

” JD.com Finance Arm Raises $1.95 Billion at $20 Billion Valuation “

In 2017, the finance arm of JD.com was separated to form JD Finance.  JD Finance products includes consumer credit and wealth management products, and currently served 8 million small businesses and 400 million individuals.

In China, JD Finance is competing with the world’s largest fintech company, Alibaba spin-off, Ant Financial, which owns Alipay.  JD.com is China’s leading one-stop e-commerce platform, providing 301.8 million active customers.  In 2014, JD.com became publicly listed on NASDAQ with a market value of more than $26 billion.  The company was founded in 2004 in Beijing by CEO, Richard Liu who has an estimated net worth of around $10 billion.

Investors in JD Finance $1.95 billion round includes China’s leading private equity firms CICC Capital, China Securities, Citic Capital and Bank of China Group Investment (BOCGI).

Source: ReutersBloombergXinhua

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Co-Creater of Spiderman and Doctor Strange Stephen Ditko Has Died at Age 90

Co-Creater of Spiderman and Doctor Strange Stephen Ditko Has Died at Age 90

The co-creater of the popular Marvel Comics superheroes “Spiderman” and “Doctor Strange” Stephen Ditko, has died at the age of 90 (1927-2018).  He was found dead in his Manhattan apartment in New York on the 29th June 2018.  Stephen Ditko is known as one of the greatest talents in comic book history.  For many decades, he lead a private life and was nowhere to be found.

” Co-Creater of Spiderman and Doctor Strange Stephen Ditko Has Died at Age 90 “

Stephen Ditko was born in 1927 in Pennsylvania in the United States.  During his U.S Army service (after World War II), he drew comics for the Army newsletter.  After his service, he understudied Batman artist, Jerry Robinson.  In 1954, he joined Charlton Comics, and thereafter Atlas/Marvel where he and Stan Lee (ex-Marvel Comics editor-in-chief and Chairman Emeritus) introduced the Amazing Spider-Man and Peter Park (in human form) in 1962.  He also re-designed Iron Man into the red-and-gold design, transformed the way Bruce Banner turns into the (incredible) Hulk and created the Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange in 1963.

Marvel Entertainment which owns characters including Spiderman, Doctor Strange, X-Men and Fantastic 4, was acquired in 2009 for more than $4 billion by The Walt Disney Company.  The Walt Disney Company is one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, and owns the world’s most recognisable media brands including Disney Channel, ABC, ESPN, PIXAR, Lucasfilm and Marvel Studio.

The Walt Disney Company was founded by Walt Disney (1901-1966) in 1923.  After creating the short and silent film “Alice in Wonderland” in a company (Laugh-O-Gram Studio) that was going bankrupt in 1923, he founded Disney Brothers Studio‍ with his brother to continue the work.  In 1928, he found success in 1928 with the creation of “Mickey Mouse” and thereafter Snow White & Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella and many others.  In 1955, he opened the amusement park, Disneyland.  Today, the company has a market value of more than $150 billion (July 2018).

Source: CNNMarvelNY PostThe Walt Disney CompanyLA Times

 

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