Thursday, November 21, 2013

JP Morgan: No Thanks to $2 billion China Deal!

Spotlight too bright for JP Morgan these days

Okay, now the US SEC’s investigation into JP Morgan’s hiring of Chinese princelings to win deals is really starting to take a bite. As reported in this Wall Street Journal article and elsewhere, JPM has resigned from acting as a bookrunning lead manager for a $2 billion offering for China’s well-regarded China Everbright Bank. What?? An investment bank turn down a cherry piece of business in a strong market? NFW. Banks almost never walk away from such promises of money. Unless...

As it turns out, JPM had once hired Tang Xiaoning, son of the chairman of China Everbright Group, a state-backed conglomerate that owns China Everbright Bank as well as a brokerage and insurer. Might Mr. Tang have helped his then-employer win a deal that his Dad had a hand in awarding? No one is commenting for the record. However, relationships such as this are now casting a lengthening shadow for companies caught in the spotlight of regulatory scrutiny.

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