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GREED IS GOOD! : Foreign Stock Markets



  • The Hong Kong government has removed three subsidised housing sites from its tender sales list in what is being viewed as a sign of further intervention to prop up the private property market. The changes were announced yesterday as part of changes to this financial year’s land sales programme. Three Private Sector Participation Scheme sites sufficient to produce 7,300 flats have instead been put on what is known as the application list. This means that the site sin Kwai Chung, Sha Tin and Tseung Kwan O will not be released for sale until developers express an interest and a minimum purchase price is agreed.

  • Founder Holdings, the Hong King-listed red chip vehicle of the mainland’s largest software maker, is back in the black for the first half of the year due to cost cutting and faster growth in its system integration business. The company also said Softbank, Asia’s top internet company, would invest US$10 million to buy 18% of its Japanese electronic publishing arm.
  • Chase Manhattan’s acquisition of JP Morgan will have little impact on the investment fund arm of Jardine Fleming, according to Blair Pickerell managing director of JF Asset Management. Last month, Chase Manhattan completed the take over of Jardine Fleming’s parent company Robert Fleming. Pickerell said there was little overlap in the fund management businesses of Jardine Fleming and Chase Manhattan in Asia.
  • New T&T has formed a strategic alliance with Level 3 Communications in a deal that will strengthen both companies’ positions in the Internet connectivity market. Under the agreement, the US submarine-cable operator will provide capacity on its Hong Kong-Japan cable to New T&T, which will complement New T&T’s previous investments in trans-Pacific Japan-US cable in its quest to become a global Internet protocol network.
  • Hong Kong Stocks: Pressure on PCCW seen leading index lower

    Hong Kong, Sept. 21 -- The Hang Seng Index is seen extending losses Thursday on weak market sentiment amid persistent concerns over higher oil prices, said brokers. Pacific Century CyberWorks, which is expected to resume trading this morning, is seen leading the market decline after the disposal of a 4.9% stake in the company by the U.K.'s Cable & Wireless Plc.

    "I doubt the market will be able to rebound Thursday, there's not enough momentum for that. Yesterday the rebound only lasted for half a day," said Vickers Ballas sales director Anthony Mak.

    Brokers see the market shedding around 200-250 points Thursday amid weaker market sentiment and the dismal performance on Wall Street overnight.

    Although, the Nasdaq managed to end in positive territory last night, closing up 0.82%, the Dow fell 0.94%, unable to overcome negative sentiment tied to higher oil prices, a weaker euro and negative pre-announcements.

    Brokers believe the losses Thursday will be led by giant Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW), on strong pressure following the disposal of 1.04 billion shares by the U.K.'s Cable & Wireless HKT.

    The placement, which is thought to have been completed Wednesday, was priced at a 7-10% discount to PCCW's morning close Wednesday, or $9.675-$9.9975. The stock was suspended in the afternoon after closing the AM session flat at $10.75.

    "In the U.S. overnight, PCCW's ADRs have already fallen below $10.00. In Hong Kong the same fate is likely," said Mak. He said that although there was a large amount of short positions built up on the stock over the past few sessions that may warrant short-covering Thursday-Friday, most of the major short-sellers would have already covered their positions from a piece of the placement.

    "So the short-covering pressure will be much less. Most of the activity (on stock) today will come from those who got some shares through the placement, dumping them in the market, he said. -- BridgeNews
  • The share price of the Hong Kong convergence giant Pacific Century CyberWorks HKT (PCCW-HKT) fell dramatically this week, largely on the news that Cable & Wireless shareholders sold a 4.9 percent stake in the company for HK$9.88 a share.

    The fact that this represented the lowest share price in the company since December 1999, that it represented about a 38 percent discount to the price PCCW-HKT chairman Richard Li obtained when he sold one percent of the company on August 9, and the fact that Cable & Wireless had been fishing around for a buyer for its 1.04 billion shares since August 18 — the day following merger approval — and then wearily elected to get rid of the stock in a slumping market, all signalled to investors that worse was to come.

    They were right. The stock dropped 16 percent on September 21, it is down 25 percent for the week and — most significantly — is now trading below Cable & Wireless’s recent placement price.

    A source close to the deal denies rumours that Merrill Lynch failed to cover its book on the placement, saying the issue was 1.6 times oversubscribed.

    The source outlines several reasons for the PCCW-HKT decline: “There is a lack of direction from PCCW which has been putting a lot of downward pressure [on the stock]. There is no proper analysts’ coverage on the stock, because one way or another we are blacked out [because most of the major investment banks have been involved in at least one PCCW deal]. I think, understandably, the company has been dealing with the merger and has not been communicating with the analysts. Plus there has been this overhang.”

    The source adds that while Cable & Wireless shareholders will be allowed to sell 50 percent of its remaining stake in PCCW-HKT in February and the rest of its shares in August 2001, this should not be treated as another stock overhang. “It still is not clear what Cable &Wireless will do with this stock. They still own more than 15 percent [of PCCW-HKT] which gives them two board seats. I think it’s significant that they held onto 15 percent [which is the minimum amount to be granted two board seats].”
  • Chinese education platform gets $5 million
    Modern Distance Education (MDE), one of the largest online education service providers in China says it has secured $5 million in its first funding round from a group of investors led by Citicorp Capital Asia. Other investors are IDG Ventures, Technology Venture Inc, and Ecoban.

    MDE provides a centralised platform for mainland universities and educational institutions offering both degree and non-degree education courses online.

    “We are very positive about online education in China in view of the intense unsatisfied demand,” said K.S. Butalia, managing director of CCAL. “The business model is unique and the financial model is strongly cash positive.”

    Previous to this, CCAL had only invested in one internet company in the Hong Kong and China area - lead-managing a $30 million funding round for online trading company Meetchina.com in July. Citicorp’s venture capital activities in China were limited before to manufacturing companies through the US$150 million China Everbright Citicorp Fund. That fund’s five-year investment period has already lapsed.
  • Technology and business solutions provider CommVerge Solutions has secured $20 million in its second round of financing. Silicon Valley-based Oak Investment Partners led the fund raising with the company’s other existing investors Worldview Technology Partners and Pacific Technology & Investment Group which also invested in a previous $10 million funding round for the company. The only new investor is Wireless Facilities Inc (WFI), a wireless network management company.

    CommVerge, headquartered in Hong Kong, says it bridges the gap between telecommunication service providers and technology vendors by providing technical support and financial advisory to new telecommunications companies trying to challenge the majors.

    CommVerge’s marketing manager Grace Lau says investors were attracted by the business model which, she says, is a solid one. “Many new telecom service providers in the region have abundant access to capital but lack the knowledge and technology support for development,’’ she says.

    The company generates most of its revenue from the sale of equipment it sources from telecommunication technology vendors to telecom companies in Asia. Its technology vendors partners include Triton Networks, Australia-based Telemedia and Red Back, which provides a subscriber management system. The company said it would use the proceeds to expand operations across Asia. At present its clients are based in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Internet investment company and incubator techpacific.com has opened its incubation centre, tp Labs to accommodate a larger number of companies. The site, at 250,000 sq.feet, is much bigger than the cramped facility in its office in Central, Hong Kong.

    Johnny Chan, techpacific.com’s chief executive officer, said 15 companies are now housed in tp Labs. Three of them are invested partners, six are incubatees and the rest are toolbox companies, in which techpacific.com has invested to provide business services to its companies.
  • Internet investment company and incubator techpacific.com has opened its incubation centre, tp Labs to accommodate a larger number of companies. The site, at 250,000 sq.feet, is much bigger than the cramped facility in its office in Central, Hong Kong.

    Johnny Chan, techpacific.com’s chief executive officer, said 15 companies are now housed in tp Labs. Three of them are invested partners, six are incubatees and the rest are toolbox companies, in which techpacific.com has invested to provide business services to its companies.
  • New York -- Federal regulators may ask America Online Inc. to open its instant-messaging service to rivals if it wants approval for its purchase of Time Warner Inc., The Wall Street Journal's interactive edition reported Wednesday.

    The Federal Communications Commission may also want Time Warner to open its high-speed cable lines to competitors beyond the extent to which the companies already have consented, the report said.

    The suggestions are only a first step in the merger review, which will continue for another month before it goes to the full commission for a vote, the report said.

    The proposals are likely to undergo change. However, they indicate the initial thinking of regulators who could make or break the deal, the report said.

    The agency is expected to take a first step Wednesday toward a national Internet "open access" policy that would apply to all high-speed cable television operators, not just AOL, the report said.

    The plan suggests FCC staff members are keen to recommend that the agency approve the $129 billion transaction, though with conditions that could reach beyond what AOL and Time Warner have said they would accept.

    The companies want to open their cable lines to competitors and may eventually open their instant-messaging services. But they have resisted some of the terms now under consideration at the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission, which is conducting its own review.

    As per the proposal, AOL may have to open its instant-messaging service to users of other messaging services either six months after FCC approval of the merger or as soon as AOL enables the two separate instant-message services it now operates--AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ--to interact, whichever occurs first, the report said.

    The proposal will allow users of AOL instant-message services and rival providers to exchange messages, which pop up instantly on a recipient's screen.

    Though no consensus has emerged, FCC staff members are examining the tangled ownership ties between AOL, Time Warner and AT&T, and the future of Road Runner, a high-speed Internet-service provider part-owned by Time Warner and AT&T, the report said.

    The FCC has given itself 180 days to finish its review. That means approval of the deal could come by mid-October, if the companies and the agency can agree on terms, the report said. -- BridgeNews
  • The share price of Pacific Century Cyberworks (PCCW) moved sideways in morning trade as the market digested its first-half figures, released September 28. For the six months to June 30, the company reported an operating profit of HK$33.9 million ($4.38 million) on revenue of HK$104 million.

    The company reported a HK$34.9 million loss attributable to shareholders. This loss principally stems from a HK$1.16 billion “arrangement fee” the company incurred in its merger with CWHKT. PCCW booked an amortised HK$222 million charge for this fee in the first half.

    The company also booked HK$509.52 million in unrealised gains from its investments in the internet companies CMGI and Tom.com.

    These figures are unaudited and do not account for the revenue of Cable & Wireless Hongkong Telecom (CWHKT) with which it recently merged.
    PCCW said it spent $130 million in the first half on its Network of the World (Now) broadband content service, and will invest $700 million in the service in the next 18 months.

    PCCW’s share price lost HK$0.20 in moderate trade on September 29 to HK$8.80.
  • U.K.-based Band-X is investing through its subsidiary up to $10 million in India to launch a bandwidth trading exchange operating in Mumbai.

    The trading exchange would allow internet service providers (ISP)s to buy bandwidth capacity via the company's trading floor. Analysts say the Indian exchange would serve as a launching pad for Band-X entry into Asia and could threaten local players. Ace Capacity Exchange, a Hong Kong-headquartered bandwidth trading exchange has so far been one of the more successful ones in Asia, but the recent downturn in sentiment for internet shares had made it difficult for the business-to-business (B2B) exchange to raise funds. A source close to ACE earlier said the exchange had been trying very hard to scale its operation given the threat from American and European exchanges poaching into Asia in the coming months.

  • Provider of high-speed internet access Asia Online will not be raising $100 million from a US IPO before the end of the year, as originally planned. Credit Suisse First Boston was to have handled the sale. Unsurprisingly, sources close to the company say that management decided against the capital raising due to poor sentiment on global equity markets.
  • Pacific Century Cyberworks (PCCW) of Hong Kong is helping Cable & Wireless of the UK find a buyer for the latter's 14 percent stake in PCCW, says David Prince, chief financial officer of PCCW.

    In an interview with CNN on September 29, Prince said that talks are ongoing with C&W to find a strategic investor willing to buy C&W's holding in PCCW.

    When C&W sold its majority stake in Cable & Wireless HKT of Hong Kong to PCCW, the deal provided for C&W to receive PCCW shares as part of the payment it received for selling off its former Hong Kong unit.

    Prince also rejected speculations that PCCW's $3 billion mobile and Internet joint venture with Telstra of Australia is facing difficulties. "Our deputy chairman Alex Arena is in Australia with a large team (of PCCW staff) to try to work out a definitive agreement following a preliminary agreement that we signed with Telstra earlier," he says.

    On September 26, PCCW shares dropped seven percent in the wake of speculations relating to its alliance with Telstra.
  • Mobile telephone operator Orange of the UK has agreed to take a 34 percent stake for an undisclosed sum in a mobile telephone company in Bangkok majority owned by the Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand (CP). CP senior executive vice president Veeravat Kanchanadul says Orange will take 34 percent of Bangkok Inter Teletech.

    The CP group will hold 51 percent and small investors will take the rest of the stake. Orange international business development manager David Holliday, who represented Orange at the signing of the joint venture in Bangkok on September 29, said about $500 million would be spent by the joint venture partners on the development of a network in and around Bangkok. He declined to give details of Orange's stake in Bangkok Inter Teletech, its first investment in Asia.

    Bangkok Inter Teletech is the latest entrant to Thailand's growing mobile telephone industry.
  • KuyaDannyKuyaDanny Moderator PEx Moderator
    Shares of Intimate Brands Inc. (NYSE:IBI), which operates Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, surged 10% on Wednesday after the company reported 10% growth from a year ago in same-store sales for September. The Columbus, Ohio-based lingerie and cosmetics retailer is planning an elaborate makeover that includes remodeling stores, showing off new styles of bras and moving into the upscale fragrance market.

  • Hey PExeR's im back... after a very stressing situation... moving placements, stocks, and currencies around to ensure the highest and safest yield ... we havent seen anything yet... the worse is yet to come...

  • With Jack Welch turning 65 and retiring next year after more than 20 years at General Electric's helm, the succession talk concerned three candidates: Robert L. Nardelli, President and CEO of GE Power Systems, W. James McNerney, head of GE Aircraft Engines, and Jeffrey R. Immelt, President and CEO of GE Medical Systems. This morning, the company anointed Immelt.


  • just curious... much have u earned/gained so far in trading... and if so, at what rate/day or month
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