Funding change

The Hong Kong Government has announced that provisions permitting third party funding in arbitrations will come into force from 1 February 2019. It has also published a code of practice for third party funding of arbitration, issued under the Arbitration Ordinance.

APIX next fintech gen

Norton Rose Fulbright is advising the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN), formed by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the ASEAN Bankers Association, on the establishment of a global fintech marketplace and sandboxed platform called API Exchange (APIX), hosted in Singapore.

The platform, launched recently at Singapore’s Fintech festival, will be used by fintech application developers and financial institutions in emerging markets in the ASEAN region and beyond for the trial of new fintech applications and solutions. The Norton team advising AFIN is led by partner Stella Cramer and includes partner Sheela Moorthy and David Olds, of counsel.

IPO for BabyTree

Maples and Calder (Hong Kong) acted as Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands counsel to BabyTree Group in relation to its IPO of 250,323,000 shares, and its listing on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The Issuer is one of the largest maternity and child-focused community platforms in China. The offering raised about HK$1.7 billion.

The Maples team comprised partner Derrick Kan and associate Jackie Yeung. Sidley Austin and Commerce & Finance acted for the Issuer as Hong Kong and US legal advisers and PRC legal advisers, respectively. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Grandall Law Firm acted as Hong Kong and US legal advisers and PRC legal advisers, respectively, to the underwriters.

Baker changes leadership

Baker McKenzie has appointed Wong Ai Ai as Asia-Pacific chair, which she assumes in addition to her continuing role as a member of the firm’s global executive committee, while Michael Wong joins the committee for the first time.

Wong Ai Ai is a principal at Singapore member firm Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, while Michael Wong is a principal in the firm’s Taipei office.

KWM advises Vobile purchase

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) advised Vobile Group on the acquisition of assets from IP-Echelon, an Australian premium provider of data analytics. The KWM team was responsible for preparation and negotiation of relevant transaction documents, as well as due diligence matters in connection with the transaction in respect of both Hong Kong and Australian laws.

The KWM Hong Kong team was led by partner Anthony Wan, with support from associate Albert Wong and registered foreign lawyer Wallace Wong. The Australian team advising the client in respect of Australian law was led by partners Will Heath and Lamb Kai-chen.

ULaw’s first foray in HK

The University of Law, one of the UK’s longest established specialist providers of legal education, will open in Hong Kong by the spring of 2019, Global Legal Post reported. The move will add to the portfolio of eight campuses in the UK, with the Hong Kong campus marking the university’s first international campus.

Acquisition down under

Baker McKenzie advised Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB) on its agreement to acquire Colonial First State Global Asset Management from Commonwealth Bank of Australia for A$4.1 billion (US$2.9 billion).

Lead M&A partners were Ben McLaughlin and Tetsuo Tsujimoto, while lead regulatory partners were Toshio Shimada and Masato Honma.

The rest of the team advising MUTB included Byron Frost, Satoshi Abe, Lawrence Mendes, Rick Troiano, Antony Rumboll, Dan McGuiness, Bill Fuggle, and Melissa Carmody.

Paper maker’s x-border sale

Paul Hastings advised Hansol Paper, the largest paper manufacturer in Korea, on the sale of its European Schades and R+S group companies to US-based Iconex, a market leader in low-cost paper receipt and differentiated label solutions.

The firm’s team was led by Frankfurt partner Regina Engelstädter and Seoul partner Daniel Kim Sae-chin, with support in Frankfurt from corporate associates Sebastian Klein and Sebastian Ens, tax adviser Uwe Halbig, and real estate associate Jan Hueniken; in London from employment partner Suzanne Horne and corporate associate Catherine Kennedy; and in Paris from corporate partner Sébastien Crepy and associate Ted Dimvula, and employment partner Stéphane Henry and associate Alexandre Ruiz.

Baidu issues notes in SGP

Maples and Calder (Hong Kong) acted as Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands counsel to Baidu on its issue of an aggregate of US$600 million notes due 2024, and US$400 million notes due 2028, which closed on 14 November. The notes are listed in Singapore. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Han Kun Law Offices acted as US and PRC legal counsel, respectively, to Baidu. Davis Polk & Wardwell and Jingtian & Gongcheng acted as US and PRC legal counsel, respectively, to the underwriters. The Maples team comprised partner Derrick Kan and associate Mindy Ho.