With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Catching up with friends on the latest gossip is always good fun — but only if you are meeting at a respectable place.

  • By Taipan
  • 10 Jan 2019
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I’m not that much of a pretentious guy — at least, not anymore. Sure, I do enjoy fine wine and food, and I’d rather sip overpriced whisky at Captain’s Bar at the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel than slum it in some local watering hole. But I do try accommodating others, especially if they are footing the tab.

If the catch-up is over lunch at a local Hong Kong street food shop, or late-night drinks behind closed curtains in Wanchai’s famous Lockhart Road, I’m all game. Even so, I do like to maintain some standards.

However, one chap took things a bit too far recently. A rather senior loans banker at a Chinese firm was keen to have afternoon tea — giving him the perfect excuse to leave the office early on a particularly quiet day on the desk.

I was thinking tea at the famous Peninsula Hotel, or even Four Seasons. But he had other ideas, asking me to meet him at quite a vague address, without telling me where we were heading.

Suspecting nothing, I played along, only to find myself absolutely out of my element. Why? Because the guy took me to Café de Coral, a local fast food restaurant chain — think McDonald’s but with a Chinese twist.

The place was anything but cosy. We shared a table with two loud-speaking strangers slurping their meals, while the tea set was unimpressive. The only “good” thing was the bill, which barely set my friend back a couple of hundred Hong Kong dollars.

He placated me afterwards by saying that variety is the spice of life. That's true, but only if the spice is bearable.

  • By Taipan
  • 10 Jan 2019

Panda Bonds Top Arrangers

Rank Arranger Share % by Volume
1 China Merchants Securities Co 26.40
2 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) 20.00
3 China Securities 13.33
4 Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) 12.00
5 Bank of China (BOC) 11.33

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Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 CITIC Securities 6,126.98 28 9.16%
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3 Morgan Stanley 4,329.51 27 6.48%
4 China International Capital Corp Ltd 3,921.06 17 5.86%
5 UBS 3,727.37 21 5.58%

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Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 HSBC 12,570.23 112 8.45%
2 JPMorgan 9,000.86 54 6.05%
3 Citi 8,900.47 66 5.98%
4 Credit Suisse 5,860.46 43 3.94%
5 Standard Chartered Bank 5,747.27 53 3.86%

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