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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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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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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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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Tencent Music Plans IPO in United States at More than $25 Billion Valuation

Tencent Music Plans IPO in United States at More than $25 Billion Valuation

Tencent Music, a business unit of China technology giant Tencent Holdings, is planning an IPO in the United States that is expected to value the music business at more than $25 billion.  The filing was made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) on 8th July 2018, which will be spin-off from Tencent Holdings (listed on HKSE).

” Tencent Music Plans IPO in United States at More than $25 Billion Valuation “

Tencent Music Entertainment Group, is a leading online music entertainment platform in China and is a business subsidiary of spin-off from Tencent Holdings.  In December 2017, the world’s largest music streaming company Spotify, took a 9% equity stake in Tencent Music, and Tencent taking a 7.5% equity stake in Spotify.  In April 2018, Spotify went public in United States at more than $26 billion market value.  Spotify was founded by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon and was launched in 2008 and is available in more than 60 countries.  It is the biggest music streaming company in the world with 71 million premium subscribers ($9.99 monthly) globally while Apple music streaming service has 36 million subscribers (April 2018).  After the IPO, both founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon became billionaires with net worth of more than $2 billion & $1 billion respectively.

Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China in November 1998 by 5 founders, Ma Huateng (Pony Ma), Zhang Zhidong, Xu Chenye, Chen Yidan and Zeng Liqing.  It is one of the world’s largest technology company with a market value of more than $500 billion (July 2018) while Tencent CEO Ma Huateng (Pony Ma) is one of the world’s richest man with more than $40 billion personal net worth.

Tencent is a leading provider of Internet value added services in China.  It has more than 1.04 billion users on its social messaging platforms, Weixin and WeChat and 805 million users its QQ platform.  On June 16, 2004, Tencent Holdings Limited (SEHK 700) went public on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Source: ReutersSCMPTencent FilingTWI

 

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Chinese Top Actress Shu Qi Buys $16.23 Million Apartment in Hong Kong Mid-Levels West

Chinese Top Actress Shu Qi Buys $16.23 Million Apartment in Hong Kong Mid-Levels West

Chinese top actress Shu Qi has bought a $16.23 Million (HK$ 127.5 million) apartment in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels West in June 2018.  The apartment is a duplex (2,499 sq ft) at yoo 18 Bonham in the luxury residential area in Mid-Levels West.  Mid-Levels West is located near Soho, Lan Kwai Fong and top education institutions including University of Hong Kong, King’s College, St. Paul’s College, Ying Wa Girls’ School and St. Stephen’s Girls’ College.

” Chinese Top Actress Shu Qi Buys $16.23 Million Apartment in Hong Kong Mid-Levels West “

The luxury development, yoo 18 Bonham, has only 12 large luxury residential flats, with 3 simplexes, 8 duplexes and 1 single triplex ranging from 1,200 to 3,700 sq ft.  Each unit at yoo 18 Bonham has 2 lifts (a main lift & a service lift).  The triplex and each duplex have 2 private lift lobbies, while each simplex has one private lift lobby.  The upper floor units offer a 270-degree panoramic view of Victoria Harbour.  The project was developed by YOO Studio founded by John Hitchcox and Phillippe Starck in 1999.  YOO Studio has developed 82 projects across 57 cities in 24 countries.

Shu Qi is one of China’s top actress and in the 2017 Forbes China Celebrity List, she was ranked 48th with earnings of $6.81 million (CNY 45 million).  She was born in 1976 (age 42) in Taiwan, and had relocated to Hong Kong to develop her movie career.

Source: SCMP, JLL, Forbes

 

2017 Forbes China Celebrity List: Selected

Rank Name USD CNY
1 Fan Bingbing $45.5 Million 300 Million
2 Lu Han $31.9 Million 210 Million
3 Yang Mi $30.3 Million 200 Million
7 Jackie $50.1 Million 330 Million
8 Angelababy $33.4 Million 220 Million
9 Jay Chou $39.4 Million 260 Million
23 Liu Yifei $6.1 Million 40 Million
27 Andy Lau $21.2 Million 140 Million
28 Zhao Wei $6.1 Million 40 Million
29 Li Bingbing $12.9 Million 85 Million
32 Lin Chi-Ling $22.0 Million 145 Million
45 Faye Wong $13.7 Million 90 Million
48 Shu Qi $6.8 Million 45 Million
57 Jacky Cheung $18.2 Million 120 Million
58 Eason Chan $13.7 Million 90 Million
59 Donnie Yen $14.4 Million 95 Million
61 Louis Koo $16.7 Million 110 Million
65 Show Lo $12.1 Million 80 Million
66 Tony  Leung $12.1 Million 80 Million
68 Ruby Lin $6.1 Million 40 Million
82 Carina Lau $9.1 Million 60 Million
84 Nicholas Tse $9.1 Million 60 Million
85 Aaron Kwok $8.3 Million 55 Million
97 A Mei $11.4 Million 75 Million
98 Zhang Yimou $6.1 Million 40 Million

 

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Credit Suisse to Pay $76 Million to US Authorities for Hiring Practices in Asia-Pacific

Credit Suisse to Pay $76 Million to US Authorities for Hiring Practices in Asia-Pacific

Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) has agreed to pay United States authorities $76 million to resolve investigations of the Swiss bank hiring practices in Asia-Pacific.  The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) have announced that Credit Suisse had engaged in a corrupt scheme by by hiring friends and family of Chinese government officials to win business with Chinese state-owned entities, generating at least $46 million in profits.

” Credit Suisse to Pay $76 Million to US Authorities for Hiring Practices in Asia-Pacific “

Between 2007 and 2013, several Credit Suisse senior managers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region had hired and promoted candidates of government officials and executives of clients that were state-owned entities (SOEs) to win business for Credit Suisse.  These ‘relationship hires’ often lacked necessary technical skills, and offered fewer qualifications and significantly less relevant banking experience than other candidates for the jobs.  The hiring of friends and family of Chinese government officials had generated the bank at least $46 million in profits.

The DoJ and Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) have entered into a non-prosecution agreement, with the Swiss bank paying a criminal penalty of $47 million ($76,853,720) to resolve the matter.  In related proceedings, Credit Suisse Group also settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), paying a total of $24,989,843 in disgorgement of profits and $4.8 million ($4,833,961) in prejudgment interest.  The total fine from both United States authorities DoJ and SEC, amounted to $76 million ($76,853,720).

Other banks have also made settlements with U.S. authorities for hiring practices, including JP Morgan paying more than $260 million in 2017.

Source: Credit Suisse, Reuters, Bloomberg

 

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New McLaren 600LT Coupé Launched and Priced at $244,000

New McLaren 600LT Coupé Launched and Priced at $244,000

McLaren has released the McLaren 600LT Coupé priced at $244,000 (£185,500).  The McLaren 600LT is only the 4th fourth McLaren to have the ‘Longtail’ name.

” New McLaren 600LT Coupé Launched and Priced at $244,000 “

The ‘Longtail’ of the McLaren F1 GTR made its debut during the 1997 season.  The McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ took victory in five of the 11 rounds of the 1997 FIA GT Championship and finished 1st and 2nd in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The nearest opposition was almost 30 laps behind.  Only 9 examples and the development prototype were built.

The McLaren 600LT  has a 3.8-litre V8 engine with peak power at 600PS (592bhp) and maximum torque of 620Nm (457lb ft).  Volume of the new McLaren LT will also be strictly limited and production of the 600LT Coupé will begin in October 2018 and last for around 12 months.  Like its 675LT predecessors, each 600LT will be hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey. It is available to order at McLaren retailers with a price tag of $244,000 (£185,500), and includes a Pure McLaren Road Owner Track Day at a race circuit, with expert driving tuition.

McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars.  The company, launched in 2010, is now the largest part of the McLaren Group.  Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.  The company has three defined product families: Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series which are retailed through over 80 retailers in 30 markets around the world.

Source: McLaren

 

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