|Bid||5,271.00 x 0|
|Ask||5,275.00 x 0|
|Day's range||5,228.00 - 5,293.00|
|52-week range||4,023.00 - 5,309.00|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||0.19|
|PE ratio (TTM)||15.87|
|Earnings date||5 Nov. 2019 - 8 Nov. 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||108.00 (2.05%)|
|1y target est||6,030.80|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Hong Kong’s IPO market is unexpectedly coming back to life. It may be a brief revival.Companies from Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s Asian unit to Megvii Technology Ltd. aim to raise more than $10 billion selling shares before the year is out. It’s a turnaround that appeared improbable as recently as mid-August, when the Hang Seng Index erased its gain for the year amid anti-government protests and concerns over weakening global growth.Hong Kong’s benchmark stocks gauge has bounced 8% since Aug. 13, among the best-performing indexes worldwide in that period, as traders bet that China’s government will try to buoy investor spirits in the run-up to Oct. 1, when the country celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. That’s created a window of opportunity for companies that previously struggled to generate enough investor interest.Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd. is the prime example. The unit of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, pulled what would have been the world’s biggest initial public offering in mid-July after failing to draw sufficient demand for the $9.8 billion sale. The company is back with a pared-down $5 billion offering and aims to list by the end of September, Carol Zhong, Julia Fioretti, Jinshan Hong and Crystal Tse of Bloomberg News reported last week, citing people familiar with the matter.The brewer is seeking to list minus its Australian operations, which the company agreed to sell to Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. for $11.3 billion soon after withdrawing its IPO in July. That hived off a slower-growing part of its operations, which may help attract investors who balked at Budweiser Brewing’s valuation last time around.Other than a rising stock market, a simple technical reason may account for the brewer’s haste to try again. A company that seeks to list within six months of its first application doesn’t need to prepare a new set of accounts, meaning Budweiser Brewing can just strip the Australian operations from its financials when pitching to investors this time around.Others lining up at the IPO well include Megvii, a Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup that’s seeking $1 billion; consumer lender Home Credit NV, which is targeting as much as $1.5 billion; Chinese sportswear retailer Topsports International Holdings Ltd., which aims to raise about $1 billion; and ESR Cayman Ltd., a logistics real estate developer backed by Warburg Pincus that earlier shelved a $1.2 billion deal. The first to list of the current crop may be biotechnology firm Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc., which has already started taking orders for a $477 million sale.The biggest flotation of all may come in October, when New York-traded Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will seek to raise as much as $15 billion in a secondary listing, Reuters reported last month.The resurgence in the IPO market is a tonic for Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., which has faced skepticism over its $36.6 billion bid for London Stock Exchange Group Plc and whose shares have dropped 16% from this year’s high. Hong Kong has slipped in the pecking order of global stock exchanges after topping the rankings in 2018. Companies raised $10.8 billion in IPOs this year through Sept. 13, less than half of the total in the same period last year.The question is whether there will be enough investor demand to soak up all the stock that an eager and growing group of listing candidates is waiting to thrust on buyers. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s economy is deteriorating and the protests haven’t gone away. Companies must also consider whether China’s feelgood efforts will extend beyond Oct. 1.Time may be of the essence for this crowd. To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The escalating feud between South Korea and Japan is heightening concerns about the fallout for global supply chains, financial markets and economic growth.What started as a dispute over colonial-era grievances has snowballed over the past two months, with relations deteriorating to the lowest point in decades on Thursday after South Korea withdrew from a key intelligence-sharing pact. The won weakened on the news, while Japanese defense stocks rose.“This seems to be a signal that the Korea-Japan conflict will continue,” said Joonwon Yoon, a fund manager at HDC Asset Management in Seoul. “It only adds more uncertainties to the market.”Here’s how the spat is impacting businesses, investors and the outlook for growth in two of Asia’s biggest economies:CompaniesThe global tech industry is watching the dispute closely after Japan restricted exports of materials vital to South Korean manufacturers of semiconductors and computer displays -- a move that could upset supply chains for everything from Apple iPhones to Dell laptops. Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest chipmaker, is trying to diversify its suppliers, but investors are wary: The stock has slumped about 6% since the start of July.For Japanese companies, boycotts by South Korean consumers pose a growing threat. Sales of Japanese cars in South Korea plunged 32% in July from the prior month; beer sales from brands like Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. reportedly declined 40%; and Fast Retailing Co. said its Uniqlo stores in South Korea are taking a hit. The number of South Koreans visiting Japan slumped 7.6% in July, an ominous sign for travel agencies and duty-free store operators.Beneficiaries of the spat include South Korea’s Soulbrain Co., which makes one of the materials impacted by Japan’s export restrictions. Shares have surged more than 50% since early July on expectations the company will win more orders from Samsung and SK Hynix Inc., another big Korean chipmaker. Shares of Japanese defense companies including Ishikawa Seisakusho Ltd. and Hosoya Pyro-Engineering Co. surged more than 10% in intraday trading on Friday.MarketsThe spat adds to a long list of headwinds facing South Korea’s stock market, from the U.S.-China trade war to simmering concerns about global economic growth. The nation’s benchmark Kospi index has dropped about 8% since tensions began escalating in early July, one of the biggest declines worldwide, and the won has weakened about 4% against the dollar.Japanese markets have held up somewhat better, with the Topix losing about 5%. The yen, seen as a haven currency during times of global market turbulence, has gained about 2% versus the greenback.Some investors see opportunities in the volatility. NH-Amundi Asset Management, which manages about 40 trillion won ($33 billion), has launched a Korean equity fund that invests in local suppliers that may benefit from Japan’s export restrictions.EconomyThe impact on growth has been limited so far, but the potential for disruption is significant. Japan and South Korea are each other’s third-biggest trading partners, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The spat won’t have an immediate impact on the countries’ sovereign credit ratings, but over time it could weaken their economic growth potential and that of the world by undermining support for multilateral trading frameworks, S&P Global Ratings said this month. The Bank of Korea cut interest rates last month and has said it will consider responding with more monetary stimulus to ease the impact of trade tensions. Forecasters surveyed by Bloomberg expect the nation’s economic growth to slow to just 2% this year, the weakest pace since the global financial crisis in 2009.Even that may prove optimistic. Given that the stern stance from both sides has fueled public support for President Moon Jae-in in Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan, the conflict is unlikely to end anytime soon.\--With assistance from Sohee Kim.To contact the reporters on this story: Kana Nishizawa in Tokyo at email@example.com;Heejin Kim in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kazunori Takada at email@example.com, Michael PattersonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. is already getting a headache from its $11 billion Australian foray.Japan’s biggest brewer, seeking to escape a slow-growing, aging market at home, is buying the Australian assets of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, which owns iconic but low-priced beers such as Victoria Bitter. To do so, Asahi will double its debt load and issue about 10% more in new shares. That’s becoming a hangover for investors, who lopped $2 billion from the brewer’s market value on Monday.The deal is the latest in an overseas buying spree by Asahi, which picked up Fuller, Smith & Turner Plc’s brewing business for $330 million earlier this year and made a $11 billion push into Europe two years ago. The Japanese brewer, along with Kirin Holdings Co. and Sapporo Holdings Ltd., has seen domestic beer shipments decline for 14 straight years as fewer people reach legal drinking age. To stay ahead of rivals, Asahi now appears to be more willing to weigh down its balance sheet.“The question is whether Asahi can effectively manage the business, while improving profits and cash flows,” said Toshiyasu Ohashi, chief credit analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc., who added that Asahi’s credit profile will be hurt as debt grows faster than cash flow. “Can they generate synergies, and can they improve their financials after the deal?”Shares of Asahi dropped 8.9% in Tokyo trading on Monday, the biggest decline since 2011. The stock was up 18% this year before the deal with AB InBev was announced on Friday.Asahi said it’s securing a 1.2 trillion yen ($11.1 billion) bridge loan and selling 200 billion yen worth of shares to pay for AB InBev’s Melbourne-based Carlton & United Breweries. The Japanese brewer is already on the hook for about 1 trillion yen in interest-bearing debt. The company is betting that cash from the Australian business will help pay down debt. The purchase may lift Asahi’s per-share earnings by as much as 20%, according to SMBC Nikko Securities.There are already early signs of concern over Asahi’s creditworthiness. Moody’s Japan placed the company’s ratings on review for downgrade on Monday, saying the deal will “significantly raise Asahi’s financial leverage.” Rating & Investment Information Inc. said it would place the brewer on its rating monitor with a view to downgrading.A representative for Tokyo-based Asahi declined to comment on Monday.The timing of Asahi’s 200 billion yen share sale isn’t ideal, either. That figure represents about a fifth of total equity issued in Japan this year. Companies have issued 1.1 trillion yen of stock so far, down 43% from the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Asahi has been here before. In 2016, it agreed to buy European beers including Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell in two transactions from AB InBev for about $11 billion. Since then, the Japanese brewer’s shares have climbed more than 30%, making it easier for Chief Executive Officer Akiyoshi Koji to justify the latest deal to shareholders.What Bloomberg Opinion Says“Asahi is paying a hefty price, almost 15 times the business’s $760 million of Ebitda in 2018. By comparison, Asahi, Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. and Sapporo Holdings Ltd. trade on an average of about 11 times.”Andrea Felsted, consumer and retail columnistClick here to read the pieceAsahi said the Carlton purchase would give it greater access to distribution across the Australian market, letting it cross-sell its own brands, including Super Dry and Peroni. “Australia is an attractive market enjoying sustainable economic growth,” the brewer said in a statement.Tomonobu Tsunoyama, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo, agreed. “It’s a mature market, but in terms of making money from premium brands, Australia is very similar to eastern Europe,” he said.Even so, total beer consumption in Australia has more than halved in the past four decades, to 84 liters per person a year, while lower-alcohol brews make up one fifth of the total. With total alcohol consumption declining, InBev had been pushing weaker ales on Australians.“The Australian market is very high margin, but very slow growth,” said Duncan Fox, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.Carlton’s portfolio of beers, which account for almost half the Australian market, has something for almost any palate. The collection is built on the 165-year-old Victoria Bitter, still portrayed as the brew of choice for hot and thirsty Aussie laborers, but also includes foreign brands such as Stella Artois and Beck’s. InBev has in recent years added craft beers including 4 Pines, which is made in the Sydney beachside suburb of Manly.Although Carlton fits with Asahi’s long-term strategy, it’s unlikely to deliver benefits beyond the continent, according to Naomi Takagi, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities.“The deal is unlikely to lead to expansion in other countries and thus synergies look thin,” Takagi wrote in a research note.(Updates shares, Australian market figures.)\--With assistance from Shiho Takezawa, Angus Whitley and Takashi Nakamichi.To contact the reporter on this story: Kantaro Komiya in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at email@example.com, Reed Stevenson, Jeff SutherlandFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Public backlash in South Korea against Japanese products has dented some sales of beer and tour packages, and analysts say the boycott could spread to luxury cars and retailers as a trade spat between the two countries shows no sign of abating.Sales of Japanese beer at South Korea’s convenience store chain CU have dropped 40% this month compared with June, JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said, citing unidentified industry sources. If the report is true, Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., which is the most popular foreign beer in Korea, may lose about 30 billion ($25 million) to 50 billion won revenue this year in Korea, said Park Sang-Jun, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co. in Seoul. Japanese beer makers have a market share of about 6% in South Korea, he said.While Fast Retailing Co. doesn’t have a large exposure to Korea through its Uniqlo stores, the clothing chain may see a decline in annual sales growth, said Na Eun-Chae, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities. Some traders are betting that some low-end domestic apparel makers such as Shinsung Tongsang Co. will benefit, she said.Japanese luxury cars may also take a hit, said Kwon Soon-Woo, an analyst at SK Securities. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have a combined market share of about 19% of the foreign car market in South Korea, according to data from Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association.On the flip side, anti-Japan sentiment is already hurting some Korean travel companies. Hana Tour Service Inc., a travel agency, saw sales of tour programs to Japan fall 30% in the second week of July compared with a year earlier, according to spokeswoman Song Won-Sun. Shares of Hana Tour fell 13% in July, while low-cost carrier Jejuair Co. plunged 19%.Read here: How Korean instagrammers boycott of Japanese travelTomoichiro Kubota, an analyst at Matsui Securities in Tokyo, said that while the impact on Japanese exporters of consumer goods appears to be limited, “there is a possibility of greater overall impact,” should relations between the two nations deteriorate.Asahi also fell on the news it is paying $11.3 billion to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s Australian operations, in a deal that some analysts said was pricey. Fast Retailing fell 0.1%, while Toyota lost 0.3% and Honda declined 0.4%.Japanese consumer stocks were also under pressure on expectations Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will push ahead with a plan to raise the sales tax in October after his coalition secured a simple majority at yesterday’s upper house election.\--With assistance from Min Jeong Lee.To contact the reporter on this story: Heejin Kim in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lianting Tu at email@example.com, Naoto Hosoda, Teo Chian WeiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Foster’s: Australian for debt reduction. That may not be the advertising strapline owner Anheuser-Busch InBev NV would choose for the lager, but it should be. On Friday, it agreed to sell Carlton & United Breweries, the maker of Foster’s and Victoria Bitter, to Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. for $11.3 billion.The sale proves that AB InBev has other ways to make a dent in its more than $100 billion of borrowings after it embarrassingly pulled the initial public offering of its Asian arm last week. Shares of the Leuven, Belgium-based brewer rose 5% on Friday.Asahi is paying a hefty price, almost 15 times the business’s $760 million of Ebitda in 2018. By comparison, Asahi, Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. and Sapporo Holdings Ltd. trade on an average of about 11 times. While the brewery is highly profitable, it is growing at a slower rate than AB’s other operations in the region.The IPO would have raised up to $10 billion. So the sale effectively does the same job in terms of cutting borrowings. According to analysts at Jefferies, net debt should fall to $87 billion at the year-end. That would equate to 3.9 times Ebitda, allowing AB InBev to meet a key debt-reduction target a year early.There will of course be the loss of earnings, but in the context of the AB InBev’s $22.1 billion of Ebitda in 2018, that should be easily managed. Duncan Fox, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, says the proceeds could quickly be reinvested in businesses in faster-growing Asian markets such as China or India. That might offset the progress on deleveraging, but would be no bad thing.By shedding the Australian business and adding faster growing units, AB InBev could make its Asian division more attractive to investors. They balked at the valuation – about $60 billion – last time.On Friday, the group said that the IPO was still a possibility. But it’s hard to see why investors would be willing to pay a higher price if it came back to the market in its current form.Rejigging the Asian operation – by, for instance, offloading the Korean and Japanese units – would make it more focused on China and other faster-growing markets. That might persuade investors to ascribe a higher value to the unit next time round.In AB InBev’s case, spilling some of the Amber Nectar isn’t such a bad thing.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. BoycottJapan is trending in South Korea.Angered by Japan’s move to restrict exports of vital manufacturing materials to the country, South Koreans have taken to Instagram and other social-media platforms to show their support for boycotts of Japanese travel and consumer products.More than 2,400 public posts with hashtag BoycottJapan have been shared on Instagram since the measures were imposed Thursday, with some including a picture using Japan’s red rising sun icon as “O” in the word “No.”“NO, Boycott Japan: Don’t go, don’t buy,” it says.While support for any boycott so far appears limited, the push highlights the growing risk of open economic warfare between the two U.S. allies. Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government announced the restrictions on sales to South Korea of materials necessary to produce vital components in high-tech manufacturing. South Korea is Japan’s third-largest export market, worth 5.79 trillion yen ($53.5 billion) in trade last year.The latest flare-up amid decades of ill-will over Japan’s past aggression came when South Korean courts seized assets belonging to Japanese companies they held liable for cases of forced labor during the 1910-1945 period of colonization. Although Abe has denied that the export controls are retaliation, the spat has fanned nationalistic sentiments in both countries.In recent days, South Korean internet users have been sharing cancellation confirmations for flights to Tokyo, Osaka and other popular travel destinations. South Koreans make up 13% of spending by foreign tourists in Japan, according to the Japan Tourism Agency, or 584.2 billion yen in 2018.They’ve also circulated lists of “Korean alternative” products to replace Japanese goods. Koreans are being encouraged to shop at SPAO, Samsung C&T Corp.’s 8 Seconds or Top 10, instead of Fast Retailing Co.’s Uniqlo. They’re also urging people to consider Able C&C Co.’s Missha’s beauty products instead those by Shiseido Co., as well as beer from Hite Jinro Co. but not Asahi Group Holdings Ltd.Fast Retailing gets about 6.7% of its sales from South Korea, while a South Korean joint venture between Asahi and Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. earned less than 1% of its revenue there, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“We are paying attention to the development of any boycott,” said Kei Sakurai, a spokesman for Asahi.Je Hyun-jung, director of the Center for Trade Studies & Cooperation at Korea International Trade Association, said that while there’s no ban that would impact most consumer products, the uncertainty could disrupt supply chains and increase the costs of doing business.“This is something that should be resolved politically, not have a damaging impact on the industry,” Je said.Meanwhile, an umbrella association of South Korean mom-and-pop stores announced has announced its participation in the boycott.The Korean Supermarkets Alliance, an organization representing more than 23,000 stores, said it would temporarily halt sales of Japanese products, including beers by Asahi and Kirin Holdings Co., and Japan Tobacco Inc.’s Mild Seven cigarettes. “We will fight Japan’s attitude toward its wartime history and retaliatory measures,” association President Lim Won-bae said in a statement.(Updates with Asahi’s comment in 10th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Hongcheol Kim, Min Jeong Lee and Grace Huang.To contact the reporters on this story: Jihye Lee in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.org;Heejin Kim in Seoul at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org, Reed StevensonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is pushing its luck as it prepares to sell shares of its Asian business in what may be the region’s biggest initial public offering this year. At as much as $64 billion, the brewer’s valuation of the operation will certainly test investors’ thirst for a taste of the Chinese brewing market.Carving out Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC Ltd., as the business is known, makes sense. Analysts reckon AB InBev’s market capitalization doesn’t reflect the division’s full value. A listing should attract a dedicated following and, hopefully, a higher valuation from investors. Above all, selling a stake on the stock market would raise cash: the brewer needs to cut net debt – which stands at almost five times Ebitda – following its 2016 takeover of rival SABMiller.It looks likely that BBC APAC would go public with negligible borrowings. Net debt fell from $1.5 billion to $819 million last year. In that case, the valuation at the top end of the mooted range would equate to 22 times the business’s Ebitda for 2019 as estimated by analysts at Jefferies. A strong performance this year, would change matters. But as things stand, the valuation looks punchy.BBC APAC runs at two speeds: A sparkling west Asian side, which includes China, and a less bubbly east Asian business comprising Australia, Japan and South Korea. Each arm contributed roughly equal amounts of Ebitda last year.Valuing the more mature eastern side, whose Ebitda is increasing organically at 3% annually, is relatively easy. Jefferies puts the figure at about 10 times Ebitda, implying a valuation of roughly $15 billion, which feels about right. Asahi Group Holdings, Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. and Sapporo Holdings Ltd. trade on an average of 11 times.The argument will be over the right number for the faster-growing piece. There, organic Ebitda growth was 23% last year. To justify the highest price AB Inbev is putting on the whole business would mean valuing that bit at about $49 billion – or almost 30 times estimated Ebitda.Only a handful of brewers in emerging markets command such a steep valuation – think of India’s United Breweries Ltd. Pricing comparably looks ambitious.The political turmoil in Hong Kong adds uncertainty. That said, Asian IPOs have performed relatively well in 2019, which tends to fuel further demand.The saving grace is that the company will offer singular exposure to the expansion of the Chinese brewing market in a very liquid stock. By the same token, BBC APAC will have both the paper currency and the balance sheet to attempt M&A in the region. Even so, investors should be wary of pricing in those benefits before they have been realized.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.