The man bankers talk to
On the evening of June 17 Frank Ning appeared very calm. The chief executive of China Resources gave no hint that next morning the newspaper headlines would be trumpeting his company's purchase of 50% of Hongkong Chinese Bank for HK$2 billion (US$258 million). Ning's company has a market capitalization of HK$42 billion, next month it will be rated by Standard & Poor's. Hong Kong's investment bankers say he's the best red-chip manager around. In an interview, Steven Irvine asked:
What do you think about investment bankers?
I feel there are quite a few investment banks which do not spend the time understanding the company and just say: "Why don't you do an equity placement?" You have to understand the company's concerns.
Secondly we need new ideas. I think every investment banker in town comes to me and says look I want to do a convertible, I want to do a placement for you, straight equity. As a red-chip company that is becoming a little more sophisticated we need a new instrument. We need a new, more proactive, tailored approach rather than the traditional ways to do the financing.
Service is key too. When there is a presentation you get a whole team of merchant bankers round a table. From number one to number 10. They tell you this is a team, this is how we execute a deal. Suddenly you sign a mandate and then only one of them is left. All the other guys went to other projects to do some more marketing.