LARGER MULTIPLES: EXTRA
000'$ IN ASIA
Swee moved ten years ago to Hong Kong
from Singapore. I think we get along because Canadians and Singaporeans
are similar in their approach to celebrating East meet West. In
Canada we are able to retain our cultural identity without compromising being a
Canadian. I am proudly Chinese Canadian, able to maintain my Chinese
cultural heritage while defining myself individually as a Canadian.
Although not yet in senior management at
a high-profile private equity player in Asia, she was the person who was getting things done. Her
cheery letter recently, "I have sold my house in Singapore and Daniel
[her husband] and I made a cool $ 2 million profit after 3 years. We are
going to throw that back into a new and bigger place in Singapore. Thank
heavens for great Daddies like mine. He really did a great job on this
deal for me and I hope Daniel will be generous with his appreciation".
In North America, this type of a capital gain would be unheard of for working
professionals. Yet in Asia, multiples in this range are frequent.
She's moved on to bridging the East meets West as communications manager for
Nike (Asia) and the Marketing Manager for the South China
Morning Post and now she lives in Shanghai working with a large media group
playing an important role bridging cultures and adept at business as
well. I am proud to have her as my longtime friend who I have
learned Life with..
In Asia, a case of business as usual, but
with larger multiples and more '000's. By now even the novice dealer will
note that one just has to add a few 000's at the end of each unit when dealing
with Chinese. Status for Asians is reflected in big numbers and things
done generally in a big way. The concept of largesse is what the westerner
should be thinking of in their dealings with Chinese. The term 'billion'
is used possibly more frequently because of the currency. However, Chinese
have a historical record of firsts.
In 1992 I was invited by a Shipping
Tycoon to join at the launch of "The New Valor", his newest ship
at the Fukuoka shipyards with guest including Hong Kong's top government
Chan and her Caltex executive husband Archie, and Jeannie and Dick Perelman
from Bermuda. When my host mentioned launch, he didn't mention that it was
a VLCC (very large cargo container) the length of four foot ball fields!
Representatives from Marubeni, Orix and China's premier shipping companies COSCO
were in attendance. Example yet again of larger multiples in Asia.
Businesses and politics in Asia consistently compete yet join forces to achieve
"Tallest-Biggest". Thus unit sizes of billions, hundreds
of millions etc. I learned long ago in business that the only difference
is the number of '000's in the transaction. It takes just as much effort
to do a big deal as a small one. The only difference is the size of the
stakes. I still remember the launch of the VLCC for one of the guests
arriving with 9 pieces of luggage full of haute couture. Bigger
stage; larger numbers. When I was with
the Pacific Century Group, we could entertain aboard Concordia, Hong
Kong's only 88 foot double cigarette power boat. I did hear that
they had to send a hydrofoil pilot overseas to train him how to operate the boat
since no one in Hong Kong has ever had ever owned or operated such a powerful
machine. One of Asia's legacies to my personal history was learning to do
business in larger multiples. -
This article about the breakup of China's post office
also illustrates the point of "Larger Multiples" when dealing with
Beijing will accelerate plans to
reorganize the State Post Bureau, which involve splitting off its banking
component to create the nation's fifth- biggest lender by deposits, the China
Banking Regulatory Commission said.
Vice chairman Cai Esheng urged policy banks such as
State Development Bank, China Export and Import Bank and Agricultural
Development Bank to expand lending to farmers to support Beijing's aim of
developing rural areas.
The regulator plans to form four supervisory
departments this year to overlook the policy-related banks, the postal
institution and asset management companies.
Under the reorganization approved by the Cabinet last
July, the new State Post Bureau will become a regulatory body while its previous
businesses, including mail services and the deposit and savings units, will be
split into five parts and transferred to a new company.
The new China Post Savings Bank will hold 1.23
trillion yuan (HK$1.19 trillion) of deposits - 10 percent of the country's
household savings - and continue to offer financial services through 36,000
outlets after the breakup of the postal bureau. - BLOOMBERG
27 March 2006