Hong Kong is presently the world’s largest IPO center. However, latest reports from Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predict that China is well on its way towards leading the IPO market.

From 2000 to June 2010, companies in China’s mainland raised $188 billion in 495 deals on the leading bourses such as New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq Stock Market, London Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Overall, there were 1,114 global deals raising $366 billion in the same period. Hong Kong Stock Exchange was ranked first with 409 deals raising $171.2 billion.

In the near future, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that domestic PRC companies are expected to raise US$55.7 billion on the Shanghai Stock Exchange this year, while in Hong Kong the figure is expected to be US$47.7 billion.

It can be deduced that the Chinese companies are recovering from the worldwide economic slump and have not been adversely affected by the Europe debt crisis. In terms of fund raising, more Chinese companies choose domestic capital markets as they have become increasingly attractive compared with foreign markets. Domestic companies have raised RMB213bn from 176 IPOs in the first half of the year, more than the RMB187bn raised in the whole of 2009. And according to PwC’s predictions, the total number of new listings on the country’s two bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen may reach 300 in 2010, compared to 99 last year. Unlike other countries, China has high investor confidence due to increasing listing value and the strict regulations of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Companies in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries constituted nearly 68 percent of the total funds raised in the past decade. London stock exchange, NYSE and NASDAQ were ranked second, third and fourth respectively in the report.

July 15th, 2010

Posted In: Asia Market Watch, China, Deal Watch, Dollars and Yuan, India, Russia, Uncategorized

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Russia is continuing to be a challenging market for law firms trying to keep an office there with an M&A market that has had deal volumes almost halve over the past year.

Simmons & Simmons became the first major international firm to pull out of Russia last month, and partners at other firms have also admitted that cracking Moscow is a lot more difficult than originally thought.

One Moscow-based partner at a top 10 UK law firm said: “I have a lot of respect for Simmons, but it is getting harder and harder to break into the Moscow market.”

While other firms have not yet exited the market altogether, most firms, including Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, White & Case and Denton Wilde Sapte, have reduced headcount in Russia over the last year.

Data gathered by Mergermarket for Legal Week demonstrate the M&A drought, with 227 deals with a total value of E22.2bn in the year from November 1, 2008 to October 31, 2009, as compared to 419 deals, worth a total of E80.7bn – the previous year.

However, many partners believe that the market is improving, with a number of firms even hoping on opening an office in Moscow, including SJ Berwin and Am Law 100 firm King & Spalding.

Oxana Balayan, Lovells Moscow managing partner, commented: “The market is really picking up, but with a lot of pressure on pricing it may be difficult for some law firms’ Moscow operations to remain profitable.”

November 24th, 2009

Posted In: Russia

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Simmons & Simmons is leaving Russia only a little more than two years after opening its Moscow office. If the closure is approved in a vote this week, the firm will immediately start shutting the office down. The office head, capital markets partner Tony Smith, will relocate to London in December.

The firm stated that the global financial crisis was the main reason for the decision. Managing partner Mark Dawkins said: “”Our firm strategy is to build on our strengths and we had built the Moscow office around structured finance. We do not see activity returning.”

November 4th, 2009

Posted In: Russia

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Dormition_(Kremlin).JPGLet’s talk about Russia.  Russia has seen a massive influx of foreign direct investment since the 1980s, and American and UK firms have been quick to follow the money.  Despite the financial crisis of 1998, the political climate in Russia is becoming ever more stable, and according to American Lawyer writer Richard Lloyd, practices in “capital markets [in both debt and equity]…are in overdrive.”

Why?  Because Russian companies have been going public, typically in London, in record numbers since 2005.  The inevitable result is that US and UK law firms have been recently expanding their practices in Moscow.  The Russian legal landscape is fairly complex, and companies that want to navigate it are in great need of guidance.

Despite what you may have heard about the credit crunch and layoffs, Moscow law firms are actively looking for new hires.  They need them so critically that candidates without Russian language skills can be eligible (although Russian language skills are certainly a plus).

If working in capital markets is not for you, other practice areas are also thriving.  Law firms have been making a killing in Moscow with their M&A, private equity, finance, securities, energy and natural resources, telecommunications, media and technology, property, commercial litigation and arbitration, IP, and tax departments.

Moscow is a great city to work in, not just because of its storied culture and history, but also because of its increasingly modern economy.  So take a look, Moscow may just be the right next step for you.

January 23rd, 2009

Posted In: Russia

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