Hong Kong: UK hedge fund takes on HK
UK activist hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), famous for its successful campaign against Deutsche Börse, shook up Hong Kong’s collegiate corporate world with announcements that it had built up stakes in two of the territory’s corporate elite.
Almost immediately after the Hong Kong government had breathed a collective sigh of relief following the difficult but ultimately successful IPO of Link Reit, in late November 2005, Link discovered that TCI had built up a stake of 17.95%. While TCI’s intentions are unclear, its presence on the register did the share price no end of good: Link units jumped to a premium of 40% to the initial offering price.
In December 2005, TCI also filed disclosures that, together with a related fund, it had built up a stake of 14.85% in Hong Kong property developer New World Development controlled by local tycoon Cheng Yu-tung. NWD has historically traded at steep discounts to its net asset value and while Cheng’s 35.26% interest renders an aggressive bid nigh on impossible, TCI’s presence on the share register is likely to precipitate management action to improve shareholder returns; and not before time.