July 15, 2019 / 2:39 PM / 3 months ago

Goldman banker highlights Morgan Stanley's Hong Kong IPO woes

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A senior Goldman Sachs (GS.N) banker has highlighted to colleagues the role played by rival Morgan Stanley (MS.N) in failed Hong Kong IPOs following the collapse on Friday of Budweiser APAC’s $9.8 billion initial public offering, according to an internal email seen by Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: A sign is displayed on the Morgan Stanley building in New York U.S., July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

On Friday AB InBev (ABI.BR) called off the Hong Kong listing of its Asia Pacific brewing business, that was being managed by Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan JPN.M, citing several factors, including prevailing market conditions.

A further 11 banks were listed as global coordinators and bookrunners but Goldman had no role on the deal.

In the internal email sent as the deal was faltering on Friday, the Goldman banker told colleagues they needed to call clients “as soon as possible” to reassure them that a collapsed deal did not mean markets were closed.

“MS is the only bank to have played a lead role on the two largest postponed HK IPOs in past decade,” said the email, sent to investment bankers in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan. “GS has successfully led 26 jumbo Hong Kong IPOs above US$1bn as Sponsor since 2010, more than any other bank on the Street (MS 19, JPM 15),” the email said.

Aside from the AB InBev deal, the Goldman banker’s email was referring to the collapse of the $4.5 billion sought by Chinese-U.S. pork producer WH Group (0288.HK) in April 2014.

That IPO was pulled as investors balked at the valuation the company sought, although Goldman itself was a sponsor on that deal along with Morgan Stanley and five other banks.

Three months later WH Group successfully raised $2.1 billion in an IPO led solely by Morgan Stanley and Bank of China International.

Goldman did not get a role in the relaunched deal even though the bank was an investor in the pork producer, holding 5.2% of the shares through its private equity unit.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Banks fight fiercely for deals and league table credit in equity capital raising, with fees from the business making up about a quarter of the global investment banking fee pool, on average.

Worldwide, Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan typically take the top 3 spots, according to Refinitiv data. In Asia, their fortunes fluctuate more, but Goldman and Morgan Stanley ranked first and second in the table for the past two years.

Reporting by Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; Writing by Jennifer Hughes. Editing by Jane Merriman

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