The week in IR: Chinese tech companies delay IPOs, and putting a cost on investment research

Apr 26, 2019
This week’s investor relations-related stories from around the web

The specter of the US-China trade dispute hanging heavily over the capital markets in China led the Financial Times to focus on how Chinese tech companies have decided to delay their IPOs and even accept lower valuations as a result of the uncertainty created by the ongoing trade dispute, as well as a waning in investor enthusiasm. The FT highlighted that the amount of private equity invested in Chinese tech in the year to date has fallen to $6.3 bn – down from $16.3 bn in the same period last year, according to data from Refinitiv.

The much-discussed issue of investment research has been given a quantifiable number – of sorts – with costs ranging from $1,600 to an eye-watering $1 mn per client, according to a survey by US consulting firm Integrity Research Associates, reported Bloomberg. Not surprisingly, the biggest trend is in Europe where, as a result of Mifid II, there has been growing pressure on the sums European research providers charge clients.

Not for the first time, ETF issuers are said to be getting on aboard the SRI train, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Putting developments into a global perspective, there are now about 182 ETFs that incorporate ESG into their investment strategies, with approximately $20.7 bn in assets under management, according to data from FactSet, cited the WSJ. A third of these ESG funds were launched in 2018 or 2019.

Following investor pressure, Norwegian oil and gas group Equinor is to review its climate targets and objectives next year and measure its investments against UN-backed goals, according to Reuters. The company revealed the move comes after talks with a group of more than 320 investors with more than $33 tn in assets, led by UBS Asset Management and HSBC Global Asset Management.

As the world of streaming becomes increasingly competitive, the FT reported that streaming behemoth Netflix is selling $2 bn of debt to boost its spending on new TV shows to see off strong competition from traditional broadcasters and digital rivals. According to the report, the company is offering $750 mn of bonds to investors, with the remaining debt being sold in euros.

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