Bruised and battered

Hong KongÆs banks are being boxed silly by top local corporations.

Tightening spreads, lower fees and fewer covenants are among the more savage uppercuts bankers are taking on the chin, reports Steven Irvine.

At the recent signing of a syndicated loan in Hong Kong, one of the bankers was heard to quip Ah, a Dunhill pen. Well, at least this should improve our profitability on the deal.

In case you havent heard, this is not a good time to be a commercial banker in Hong Kong. Spreads on local syndicated loans have been narrowing dramatically. Meanwhile, an excess of liquidity in the system promises little respite.

If, however, you are a top-rated Hong Kong corporate, then in the words of Harold Macmillan, youve...

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