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Chinese courier ZTO sued for 'untrue statements' in $1.4 bln U.S. IPO

Chinese courier ZTO Express and the underwriters of its New York stock market listing have been sued by a U.S. pension fund that alleges the firm exaggerated its profit margins to lure investors into its $1.4 billion initial public offering. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, which spearheaded ZTO's IPO, are named in the class-action suit filed in Alabama state court by the city of Birmingham's pension fund which says that they failed to do adequate due diligence.

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Bank of America picks Dublin as EU base after Brexit

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Factbox: Impact on banks from Britain's vote to leave the EU

Financial services firms need a regulated subsidiary in an EU country to offer products across the bloc which could prompt some to move jobs out of Britain if it loses access to the European single market. The association expects 3,000 to 5,000 new jobs in Frankfurt over the next two years as a result of Brexit, its head Stefan Winter of UBS told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in June. Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) said in August its businesses and results could be adversely affected and it may have to incur additional costs if Brexit limited the ability of its UK entities to conduct business in the EU.
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Edited Transcript of MS earnings conference call or presentation 19-Jul-17 12:30pm GMT

Q2 2017 Morgan Stanley Earnings Call
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Factbox: Impact on banks from Britain's vote to leave the EU
[Reuters]
ReutersJuly 20, 2017

(Reuters) - Global banks have said they could move thousands of jobs out of Britain to prepare for Brexit, the country's planned exit from the European Union.

Financial services firms need a regulated subsidiary in an EU country to offer products across the bloc which could prompt some to move jobs out of Britain if it loses access to the European single market.

Following are related stories about top banks (in alphabetical order):


ASSOCIATION OF FOREIGN BANKS IN GERMANY

The association expects 3,000 to 5,000 new jobs in Frankfurt over the next two years as a result of Brexit, its head Stefan Winter of UBS told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in June. He said he expected 12 to 14 major banks to significantly expand their Frankfurt sites or build new ones.


BANK OF AMERICA CORP

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) said in August its businesses and results could be adversely affected and it may have to incur additional costs if Brexit limited the ability of its UK entities to conduct business in the EU.

Dublin is Bank of America's default option for a new base within the EU, but other centers are on the table and no decision has yet been made, an executive said in Germany on March 14.


BARCLAYS

Barclays is talking with Irish regulators about extending its activities in Dublin in preparation for when Britain leaves the European Union, the British bank said.

The firm already has a licensed bank in the Irish capital and is looking to expand that so it can act as its EU subsidiary.

Banks in Britain will start shifting some operations to continental Europe reasonably soon to avoid disrupting links with customers after Brexit, Barclays (BARC.L) Chief Executive Jes Staley said.

He added that obtaining a license to trade on the continent and changing financial contracts to another jurisdiction took a year to 18 months.

Staley previously told BBC Radio that Barclays would keep the bulk of its activities in Britain after Brexit and any changes to how the bank operates would be small and manageable.


BNP PARIBAS

BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) may move up to 300 London investment bank staff due to Brexit, depending on how clients adapt and on the French bank's efforts to win new UK business, a source said.

The firm had 3,123 staff in its corporate and institutional bank in Britain at end-2016, down from 3,294 a year earlier, internal documents seen by Reuters showed.


CITIGROUP

U.S. bank Citigroup (C.N) said that it may need to create 150 new jobs in the European Union to deal with the impact of Britain leaving the bloc, as it confirmed it would headquarter its EU trading operations in Frankfurt.

Citi, which has a large banking unit in Dublin, had earlier said it would choose Frankfurt to become its hub for sales and trading in the EU and move "a couple of hundred" jobs outside of London after Brexit.

Separately, the bank's European chief said the U.S. bank would make a decision on its Brexit contingency plans in the first half of the year and choose from a number of potential EU countries to relocate some investment banking business.


CREDIT AGRICOLE

Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), France's third-biggest listed bank, could relocate about 100 employees from its London hub to France out of 1,000 based there in the case of a "hard" Brexit, its chief executive said.


CREDIT SUISSE

Credit Suisse's (CSGN.S) Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said in September his bank was relatively well placed to deal with the impact of Brexit and that only around 15-20 percent of volumes in the investment bank would be impacted.


DAIWA SECURITIES GROUP

Japan's No. 2 brokerage Daiwa Securities Group <8601.T> said it will set up a subsidiary in Frankfurt, making it one of the first banks to publicly chose Germany to keep a foothold in the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc.

The group has said it would still keep staff in London even after Brexit. It has 450 staff working in the EU now, mostly in the British capital.

The German city is Daiwa's favored destination, as London-based staff can easily be transferred to its investment banking branch in Frankfurt, Chief Executive Seiji Nakata had previously said.


DEUTSCHE BANK

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) warned on April 26 up to 4,000 UK jobs could be moved to Frankfurt and other locations in the EU as a result of Brexit - the highest potential move of any bank.

European supervisors want Deutsche Bank to prepare a fallback plan, laying out how it could shift the clearing of trades from London, one person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.


EUROCLEAR

Settlement bank Euroclear is looking at the option of setting up a branch or subsidiary to provide a route between its UK and Irish markets following Brexit, the head of its UK and Irish operation said.


GOLDMAN SACHS

U.S. bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N) is considering moving up to 1,000 staff from London to Frankfurt because of concerns over Brexit, Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper reported in January, citing financial sources.

Goldman Sachs will begin moving hundreds of people out of London before any Brexit deal is struck as part of its contingency plans, the Wall Street firm's Europe CEO said in March.

Three people familiar with the matter told Reuters in November that Goldman Sachs was considering shifting some of its assets and operations from London to Frankfurt.


HSBC

HSBC (HSBA.L) sees the chances of a hard Brexit receding after Britain's shock election result, which could result in fewer jobs moving out of London, its investment bank chief said.

Stuart Gulliver, CEO of HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, had said previously the firm would relocate staff responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading revenue, or around 1,000 people, to Paris.

Chairman Douglas Flint has told lawmakers that banks without operations elsewhere in the EU will likely trigger migration plans immediately after EU divorce talks begin, estimating "tens of thousands" of jobs are linked to EU "passporting" rights.


INVESTEC

Investec (INVP.L) (INLJ.J) is considering converting its London bank's Dublin branch into a subsidiary to ensure it has continued access to the European single market after Britain leaves the EU, Chief Executive Stephen Koseff told British newspaper The Telegraph on May 18.

However, the Anglo-South African lender and asset manager was in no rush to secure the license needed for such a subsidiary and would see only a small part of its business affected by Brexit, the paper quoted Koseff as saying. (http://bit.ly/2qywZzY)


JPMORGAN

JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) said in July that the bank would probably use Frankfurt as the legal domicile of its European operations after Brexit, though jobs could be put elsewhere as well.

The U.S. bank has also agreed to buy a Dublin building with room for 1,000 staff in the first sign of a financial services company expanding significantly in Ireland since the government began a major campaign to attract firms after Brexit.

However, the bank, which currently employs around 500 people in Dublin, did not say how many jobs would be created or whether any positions would be moved from the United Kingdom.

Daniel Pinto, head of investment banking at the Wall Street firm, had told Bloomberg on May 3 that the firm planned to move hundreds of London-based bankers to expanded offices in Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg.

CEO Jamie Dimon had previously said the bank was not planning to move many jobs out of Britain in the next two years.

Before the vote, Dimon said the bank would be forced to move 4,000 of its 16,000 staff currently based in Britain if the country loses access to the single market.


JULIUS BAER

Britain's planned departure from the European Union opens the door for a UK-Swiss deal covering financial services, said Boris Collardi, chief executive at Julius Baer, Switzerland's third-biggest private bank.


LLOYDS BANKING GROUP

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), Britain's largest mortgage lender and the only major British retail bank without a subsidiary in another EU country, is close to selecting Berlin as a European base to secure market access to the EU after Britain withdraws.


MORGAN STANLEY

Morgan Stanley (MS.N) has chosen Frankfurt to be a new base for its European Union operations as Britain prepares to leave the bloc, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Morgan Stanley is planning to use its Frankfurt subsidiary as the center for its EU trading operations. "That means 200 new people will be coming to Frankfurt," the source said.

Morgan Stanley has identified many of the roles that will need to be moved from Britain after Brexit, sources involved in the processes had previously told Reuters.

The U.S. bank, which bases the bulk of its European staff in Britain, will have to move up to 1,000 jobs in sales and trading, risk management, legal and compliance, as well as slimming the back office in favor of locations overseas, one source told Reuters.

Morgan Stanley may initially shift 300 staff from Britain following its EU exit, and is scouting for office space in Frankfurt and Dublin, Bloomberg News reported in February.

The bank plans to double the number of bankers it has in Frankfurt to 400, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported in June.


NOMURA

Nomura Holdings Inc <8604.T> is applying for a license to operate a new entity in Frankfurt, as Japan's largest brokerage gears up for Britain's planned exit from the European Union in 2019.


NORTHERN TRUST

Asset management company Northern Trust (NTRS.O) will set up a European Union banking base in Luxembourg following Britain's decision to leave the bloc, LuxembourgforFinance, the body promoting the Grand Duchy as a financial center, said.


SOCIETE GENERALE

Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) could move 400 corporate and investment banking jobs from London as part of its Brexit plans, with most of them going to Paris, Chief Executive Frederic Oudea said in July.

Oudea said the possible move of jobs after Brexit would affect 300-400 investment banking jobs out of 2,000 it has overall for that business in London.


STANDARD CHARTERED

Standard Chartered (STAN.L) is in talks with regulators about making Frankfurt its European base to secure market access to the European Union when Britain leaves the bloc.


SUMITOMO MITSUI FINANCIAL

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc <8316.T> said its core banking unit, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC), has decided to set up a subsidiary in Frankfurt as it prepares for Britain's exit from the European Union in 2019.


UBS

UBS (UBSG.S) is weighing up whether to move banking jobs in London to Frankfurt, Madrid or Amsterdam to cope with Britain's planned departure from the European Union, Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said in an interview with CNBC in July.

The bank has estimated that it would need to "move 1,500 people" from London to the EU in order to retain full passporting rights, according to chairman Axel Weber. That would be more than a quarter of its current 5,500 staff in London.

The world's biggest wealth manager has also set up a bank in Frankfurt to consolidate most of its European wealth management operations, after the Brexit vote dashed London's chances of being the host city.

(Compiled by Noor Zainab Hussain and Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Jane Merriman)
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/factbox-impact-banks-britains-vote-143951882.html

 
Chinese courier ZTO sued for 'untrue statements' in $1.4 bln U.S. IPO
[Reuters]
ReutersJuly 21, 2017

(Adds Breakingviews link)

SHANGHAI, July 21 (Reuters) - Chinese courier ZTO Express and the underwriters of its New York stock market listing have been sued by a U.S. pension fund that alleges the firm exaggerated its profit margins to lure investors into its $1.4 billion initial public offering.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, which spearheaded ZTO's IPO, are named in the class-action suit filed in Alabama state court by the city of Birmingham's pension fund which says that they failed to do adequate due diligence.

ZTO's listing was the largest U.S. listing in 2016 and was the biggest by a Chinese company since the $25 billion IPO of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in 2014.

Shares of Shanghai-based ZTO closed on Thursday at $15.68, about 20 percent below its IPO price of $19.50.

"We believe the claims are without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously," a ZTO spokeswoman said in an e-mail to Reuters on Friday.

In the lawsuit dated May 16, the Birmingham Retirement and Relief System said ZTO had issued "untrue statements" and omitted "crucial realities" in its registration statement. It also said ZTO inflated profit margins by keeping certain low-margin segments of its business out of its financial statements.

"ZTO used a system of 'network partners' to handle lower-margin pickup and delivery services, while maintaining ownership of core hub operations. By keeping the 'network partners' businesses off its own books, the company was able to exaggerate its profit margins to investors," it said.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Goldman did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

In ZTO's pre-IPO filings to the stock exchange it said it had achieved operating profit margins of 15.4 percent and 25.1 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

In unaudited results for the quarter ended March published on May 17, ZTO posted a 48 percent jump in net income from a year ago and a 34 percent spike in revenue.

The lawsuit also names the ZTO IPO's smaller underwriters China Renaissance Securities, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan. All the underwriters declined comment.

Individual defendants, including ZTO's chief executive officer and chief financial officer, were also named.

The lawsuit against ZTO comes at a time when Alibaba-backed Chinese logistics company, Best Inc, is preparing to raise up to $750 million from an IPO in the United States.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Greg L. Davis, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the city of Birmingham pension fund, for comment outside usual office hours.

According to an annual financial report published on the city of Birmingham website, the Birmingham Retirement and Relief System had assets of $1.05 billion at the end of June 2015.

The case is City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System v. ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc., 01-cv-2017-902004.00, Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham).

(Reporting by Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI; Additional reporting by Julie Zhu and Elzio Barreto in HONG KONG; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Mark Potter)
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chinese-courier-zto-sued-untrue-064720341.html

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