Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Dentons Hong Kong LLP announced this month that Nicholas Chua has been added to its team as a new partner, further expanding the law firm’s banking, capital markets and corporate finance capabilities. A spokesperson for the law firm confirmed with FinanceAsia that the appointment took effect at the start of August and that Chua reports to Keith Brandt, managing partner of the Hong Kong office, and Gordon Ng, global co-chair of the capital markets practice.

Prior to joining Dentons, Chua served as in-house legal counsel at several international banks for almost 20 years. His most recent experience was with Malaysia’s CIMB, where he worked as head of legal in Hong Kong and global head of legal for the investment banking division. Having experience working at “the other side of the fence”, Chua “has a strong understanding of legal risk management from the client perspective and the need for practical and commercial solutions,” the Dentons spokesperson told FA.

Chua’s focus covers a wide range of topics, including initial public offerings (IPOs), secondary offerings, convertible and exchangeable bond offerings, private placements, rights issues, block trades, American depositary receipts (ADR) and global deposit receipts (GDR), mergers and acquisitions (M&A), loans and other credit facilities, she explained. Sharing his view of activity over the remainder of 2023, Chua said: “We see the trends in the digital economy continuing to take shape, especially in the fintech and virtual assets space. Some examples of this can already be seen with the introduction of the new listing framework for specialist technology companies in Hong Kong and the virtual asset trading platform licensing regime coming into effect.”

Meanwhile, challenges remain for capital markets in Hong Kong and mainland China, due to ongoing geopolitical tensions and the “slower than expected” post-pandemic recovery of the world’s second-largest economy, he added.

Chua, who was involved in Alibaba Group’s US IPO back in 2014, noted that the Dentons team is closely monitoring the new offshore listing rules for Chinese companies issued by China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) in March.

The Trial Administrative Measures of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies require companies to seek review by the domestic watchdog before they make plans to trade publicly overseas. Chua explained that CSRC approval is now required for Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the trial measures. “Stakeholders, including sponsors acting on Hong Kong IPOs, will be keen to monitor developments in this space, given the requirement [asks sponsors] to provide a broader undertaking to the CSRC as compared to their declaration to be given to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange,” he told FA.

Across the Asia Pacific region, Southeast Asian and Indian markets also bear great opportunity, as these economies show great resilience in the face of uncertainties, Chua said on behalf of the Dentons team.“The Hong Kong delegation’s recent trip to foster collaboration with the Asean bloc shows the potential and possibilities available across the near and longer term,” he said, noting that India has the largest population globally, and aspires to take Japan’s spot to become the third largest economy. In his career to date, Chua has been involved in several landmark IPOs in India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. His clients have included DXN Holdings Berhad, Thai Life Insurance Public Company Limited, and PT Jayamas Medica Industri Tbk, among others.

“In Hong Kong, Dentons will continue to build on the momentum of growth in recent years, with particular focus on its banking and finance and capital markets practices,” the spokesperson said. “With Nicholas’ strong capabilities and experience in these areas, we see this as an excellent fit for Dentons’ growth strategy in Hong Kong and a wider expansion plan in Asean.” 

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