China Renaissance hires ECM veteran for HK IPO push

The investment bank seeks to bolster its Hong Kong IPO franchise as the city is preparing to allow dual-class shares.

Dennis Leung, a veteran in equity capital markets, has joined China Renaissance as a managing director at its investment banking unit, according to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia this week.

Based in Hong Kong, Leung reports to Jason Lam, head of China Renaissance International, which encompasses the group's Hong Kong and US operations. Leung was most recently managing director of investment banking at Dongxing Securities Hong Kong, a subsidiary of China Orient Asset Management, one of China’s four bad debt banks set up in the 1990s. Prior to that, he worked for ICBC International and Bocom International.

“Given the prospect for reforms to the listing regime, we expect the city (Hong Kong) to become more competitive with New York as a listing destination for China’s new economy companies," Lam said in the memo. "Many companies that had previously considered New York listings have switched and are now planning Hong Kong listings."

"We expect this trend to pick up if the listing reforms are enacted," said Lam, a former technology banker at Credit Suisse and UBS.

NEW RULES

Under looming HKEx rule changes, Hong Kong is set to allow dual-class shares to compete more effectively with New York for blockbuster initial public offerings from China's technology sector, having missed out on the likes of Alibaba, as well as for new economy and biotech listings generally.

The new rules are expected to take place from middle of this year.

As a result, the pipeline of tech listings is building. Chinese companies such as smartphone maker Xiaomi and Tencent-backed video streaming site Douyu are planning to launch share sales in Hong Kong in the next 12 months, bankers familiar with them have said.

Over his 22 years of experience in investment banking, Leung worked on some of the largest listings in Hong Kong, including China Huarong’s $2.3 billion IPO in 2015 and China's largest nuclear power plant operator CGN Power’s $3 billion listing in 2014.

A Hong Kong-based spokesman confirmed the memo's accuracy but declined to provide further details.

Founded in 2004, China Renaissance, known as Huaxing in Mandarin Chinese, is a major player in the country’s technology sector and advised on a number of high-profile deals, including the $2 billion listing of e-commerce giant JD.com in 2014 and the 2015 mega-merger that helped create Didi Chuxing, the Chinese answer to Uber.

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