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OPINION

Off the record

January-February 2023

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“There are so many unknowns out there. We have to make hay while the sun shines. Nobody wants a repeat of last year”

A DCM banker in Hong Kong isn’t getting carried away by a knockout start to the year


“With 2,500 business and government leaders gathering in the Swiss Alps, the only thing missing at Davos is snow”

Which is kind of the point for this head of ESG research at one impact investing firm


“A few smaller banks saw crypto exchanges and investors as a differentiated source of deposits. But it turned out that those deposits were expensive, flighty and low return That’s not the kind of banking business that is going to attract a bigger acquirer”

This investor says regional US banks are unlikely to return to crypto


“In the longer term, only a few very strong private-sector real-estate firms will remain, and what will dominate will be state-owned and more easily controlled”

A Hong Kong-based banker sees Beijing taking control of its ailing property sector


“The only people who’ve made money from Hong Kong IPOs over the past six months are the auditors, who have spent their time refiling and refiling and refiling listing documents”

At least someone is making money from Hong Kong IPOs…


“2023 is going to be a long year for Jane Fraser. Investors are getting restless with a bank valued at 0.5x book. She’ll have been CEO for two years this March. Her strongest card is that – at least at this point – there is no other obvious strategy than the one she is pursuing”

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it