News in brief

news brief

HK’s first FANG+ ETF

Simmons & Simmons advised Samsung Asset Management Hong Kong on the launch of the Samsung NYSE FANG+ exchange-traded fund (ETF) in May. It is the first FANG+ ETF to be listed on the HKEX. The FANG+ index is an equally weighted index designed to track the performance of 10 leading US-listed highly traded tech companies: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Alibaba, Baidu, NVIDIA, Tesla and Twitter. The ETF, which will trade in Hong Kong and US dollars, will correspond to the performance of the NYSE FANG+ Index. Simmons’ Hong Kong-based partner Eva Chan led the team.

SF REIT lists in HK

SF Real Estate Investment Trust, a spin-off of China’s largest courier provider, SF Express, raised HKD2.6 billion (USD334.7 million) through a listing on the HKEX on 17 May, marking the first logistics-focused REIT to list in the city. King & Wood Mallesons and Harneys advised the REIT manager on PRC law, and Cayman Islands and British Virgin Island law, respectively, while Baker McKenzie advised on Hong Kong and US law. Hogan Lovells acted as Hong Kong and US counsel, and Chinese law firm JunHe as PRC counsel, to the sole listing agent and the underwriters, while Allen & Overy advised the trustee.

JD Logistics goes public

JD Logistics, the subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce company, debuted on the HKEX on 28 May, raising HKD24.1 billion (USD3.1 billion). The IPO was priced at HKD40.36 apiece, the lower end of the range, giving it a total market capitalisation of USD35 billion. Chinese firm Shihui Partners and international firm Maples Group acted as PRC and Cayman Islands counsel, respectively, to the issuer, while Skadden acted as Hong Kong and US counsel. For the sponsors and underwriters, Cleary Gottlieb advised on Hong Kong and US law, and Chinese firm Han Kun Law Offices advised on PRC law.

Sidley appoints SG co-leaders

Sidley Austin appointed Cheng Tai-Heng and Charlie Wilson as co-managing partners of the firm’s Singapore office. The duo succeeds Matthew Sheridan, who will continue to serve as a member of the firm’s executive committee. Cheng is the global co-head of the arbitration, trade and advocacy practice, while Wilson is co-leader of Sidley’s M&A and private equity group in Asia.

Energy lawyer joins Shearman

Shearman & Sterling has hired Neil Kingsbury as a specialist counsel in its project development and finance practice in Singapore. He joined from global oil and gas explorer and producer INPEX, where he was a senior legal counsel in Perth (Australia) for almost 10 years. He brings experience in the financing, development, JV and energy and resources projects in the Asia-Pacific.

ESG fund’s Japan launch

Withers advised on the launch of Japan’s first environment, social and governance-focused (ESG) global venture capital fund, MPower Partners Fund. The Withers team comprised Tokyo-based partners Koji Yamamoto, Yoshiyuki Omori, Takeo Mizutani and Eric Roose, and New York-based partners David Guin and Elliot Galler. The USD150 million fund will focus on startups in industries such as healthcare and wellness, fintech, and environment and sustainability.

Firms assist Indian QIP

Indian law firm IndusLaw advised mobile advertising tech company Affle on its recent INR6 billion (USD81.7 million) qualified institutional placement. Another domestic firm, J Sagar Associates, and Singapore-based Duane Morris & Selvam advised the three bookrunners in the deal. IndusLaw’s team comprised partners Vishal Yaduvanshi and Abhiroop Lahiri in New Delhi. JSA’s team included partners Rohitashwa Prasad in Gurugram, and Arka Mookerjee and Siddhartha Desai in Mumbai. Duane Morris & Selvam’s team was led by its Singapore-based partner, Jamie Benson.

Squire adds Perth partner

Squire Patton Boggs in the Western Australian capital city of Perth has hired partner Donna Charlesworth in its global construction and engineering industry group. She joined from Australian firm Clayton Utz, where she was the head of the Perth public sector group since 2018. Charlesworth has experience advising private and government clients on construction, engineering and offtake contracts concerning major projects throughout Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

Cebu Air raises funds

Latham & Watkins represented Philippines carrier Cebu Air in its USD250 million fundraise through a convertible bonds offering to International Finance Corporation (IFC), the IFC Emerging Asia Fund and Indigo Philippines (an affiliate of aviation-focused US private equity firm Indigo Partners). The team representing Cebu Air was led by partners Benjamin Carale in Hong Kong and Marcus Lee in Singapore, and assisted by associate Gwenlynne Lee in Singapore. “Complex cross-border M&A transactions is an area we expect to grow in the coming months, and the Philippines practice remains an important pillar in the firm’s continued expansion across Southeast Asia,” Carale told Asia Business Law Journal.

Korean retailer exits Vietnam

Vietnam firm Indochine Counsel advised carmaker Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco) Group in the acquisition of a 100% stake in South Korea-based retailer E-mart’s Vietnam business. The parties entered into a franchise arrangement, where Thaco will operate all E-mart branded discount stores in the country. The Indochine Counsel team in Ho Chi Minh City was led by managing partner Dang The Duc, with support from associate Dang Hoan My, junior associate Thai Gia Han, and foreign associate Steven Jacob.

Kudun in solar power

Thai firm Kudun and Partners represented renewable energy company B.Grimm Power on its acquisition of Ray Power Supply, a project company that has rights to develop the first ground-mounted solar photovoltaic project in Cambodia. The project has a power purchase agreement for 30MW for 20 years. The transaction was led by partners Kudun Sukhumananda and Chai Lertvittayachaikul, with support from associate Yanin Siriluck in Bangkok.