Small may be beautiful for investment banks in China

The future is Red, but not necessarily rosy for the big players, as China gears up to send scores more mid-caps to list in Hong Kong.

CLSA's equities boss Tim Ferdinand is a firm believer that smaller, less extravagant investment banks are well placed to profit from the opportunities available in China, while bulge bracket firms could suffer from a lack of big deals.

In an interview with FinanceAsia, Ferdinand points out that China-related primary issuance deals raised a total of $2.2 billion during 2002, but only three deals raised more than $200 million China Telecom at $1.43 billion, China Oilfield Services at $287 million and battery manufacturer BYD Co at $183 million. In the first two cases, he says, the bulk of the fees had to be shared by three and two bookrunners respectively.

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