Air China mandated

The Chinese government selects financial advisors for the restructuring of one of its three key civil aviation groups.
Within the next couple of days, the Chinese government is expected to announce that HSBC and Merrill Lynch have been selected as restructuring advisors to Air China, leaving UBS Warburg with the short straw. The three banks were initially shortlisted back in June from an original group of nine competing investment banks.

From the outset, however, China experts always believed that HSBC was the government's first choice, with Merrill's name starting to circulate in earnest over the past couple of weeks. For HSBC, the mandate delivers the bank its first major PRC restructuring role and the prospect of leading its first pure PRC equity offering since Jiangsu Expressway back in the mid-1990's....

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