Ride with the tide

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Against a pervasive global economic downturn, the capital market has manifest itself with active transactions in response to ongoing disruptions. This issue explores the certainties among the uncertainties in the market for business leaders and legal counsel to navigate through the stranger tides of 2020.

With the launch of the Star Market in Shanghai last year, the implementation of the newly amended Securities Law this year, and much-awaited registration-based initial public offering (IPO) reforms on Shenzhen’s start-up board, ChiNext, China has embarked on a sweeping capital market overhaul.

coverHong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEx) is also on a wave of reforms. Apart from opening a gateway for companies from emerging and innovative sectors with weighted voting rights structures and assistance for pre-revenue biotechnology companies, its listing reform also enables Chinese companies listed overseas to return to Asia’s capital markets.

Our cover story, Surfing boards, combines the views of senior practitioners from leading domestic and international law firms, and compares the strengths and limitations of these major exchanges.

Another area heavily affected by change is asset management. In April 2018, the Guidelines on Regulating the Asset Management Business of Financial Institutions officially marked commencement of the era of “mega asset management”, with the entire industry under regulation. Since then, institutions have been in transition. The China International Capital Corporation estimates that the size of assets under management will reach RMB139 trillion by 2025, nearly double the RMB72 trillion at the end of 2018.

What has changed, and what does the future hold for the massive asset management industry in China? Beyond the ‘mega’ era looks at asset allocation preferences and key compliance points for asset managers this year, and discusses how technology may empower the industry’s future.

Meanwhile, the types of asset securitization products and transaction structures in the market are evolving with innovation and diversity. The much-anticipated public real estate investment trusts (REITs) are also undergoing pilot testing in the infrastructure sector. We bring together legal experts’ reviews of key regulatory developments in the industry and examine the highlights of the new rules for REITs.

In these trying times, David Liu, one of China’s most prominent banking and finance lawyers, sat down with China Business Law Journal to share his career stories and the artistry of being a top-notch lawyer. A wealth of advice records how Liu views the opportunities and challenges for legal services in a post-pandemic era, and introduces his new book, Breaking the Game, a collection of landmark transactions in his career.

In the face of covid-19 and tracing technology, cybersecurity and privacy rights have never been more important. In Are you being watched? James Nunn-Price and Manish Sehgal from Deloitte look at the risks and challenges for individuals and businesses.