HKEX to merge clearing houses

Business | Stella Zhai 13 Dec 2019

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (0388) is considering merging its three clearing houses into one to relieve financial pressure on brokers, local media reported citing market sources.

There are three over-the-counter clearinghouses under HKEX - Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company, HKFE Clearing Corporation, SEHK Options Clearing House - for securities, futures, and options respectively.

The primary plan is to merge the futures and options clearinghouses into the securities' clearing house, according to the report.

The Securities and Futures Commission is conducting research to make sure that the adjustments will not affect risk management, the sources said.

A spokesman for the HKEX said the merger was disclosed in its strategic plan released earlier this year, in which it planned to roll out the next generation post-trade platform and consolidate its Hong Kong clearing houses, thereby upgrading its clearing, settlement and depository infrastructure and improving market efficiency.

A spokesman for the SFC declined to comment.

Haier, the world's biggest maker of household appliances, is planning a restructuring that will see main unit Haier Smart Home list in Hong Kong to take another group company valued at US$7.7 billion (HK$60.06 billion) private, two sources said.

Under the deal, Haier Smart Home, formerly known as Qingdao Haier and already listed in Shanghai, will offer minority shareholders in subsidiary Haier Electronics (1169) newly issued Hong Kong stock for their shares, they said.

Meanwhile, Bank of Guizhou opens its books today to raise as much as US$800 million (HK$6.24 billion), according to Reuters IFR. It is aiming to sell shares on the mainboard on December 30.

Four companies will debut today, but only Chen Lin Education (1593) traded higher than its IPO price last night.

Chen Lin rose 0.46 percent to HK$2.21 on the Phillips Securities gray market yesterday. Suoxinda (3680) fell 9.33 percent to HK$1.36, Renrui Human Resources Technology (6919) fell 5.08 percent to HK$25.25, and Maxicity (8216) fell 13.33 percent to HK$0.52.

Meanwhile, shares of two mainland companies ended higher at their market debut. Biotech firm Alphamab Oncology rose 32.4 percent to HK$13.5 with a market turnover of HK$1.5 billion while online game developer XD (2400) rose 6.8 percent to HK$11.86 with a turnover reaching HK$304 million. Speed Apparel meanwhile celebrated its transfer of listing from the GEM to the mainboard.

In other news, Ping An Insurance's (2318) OneConnect Financial Technology, also backed by Softbank, has downsized its planned US IPO by 28 percent to as much as US$260 million.

And fintech firm WeLab said it has raised US$156 million of Series C strategic financing, attracting investors including Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and China Construction Bank (International).

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