Category

Japan

Brief Japan: Nexon Sale: Kakao Is Emerging as the Leading Horse and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. Nexon Sale: Kakao Is Emerging as the Leading Horse
  2. 🇰🇷 🇯🇵 That Was The Week That Was North Asia – 10-16th June 2019 @Smartkarma

1. Nexon Sale: Kakao Is Emerging as the Leading Horse

Yeah, Nexon event is very quiet. Even we didn’t have rumor report from local media lately since the main bid closing. So, we are hearing all kinds of worrying voices that the deal may be falling apart. Then, MK, one of Korea’s top tier economic daily, put out a follow-up report on this event late today. MK quoted someone familiar with the matter, possibly a banker working on this deal or a Nexon insider, but MK doesn’t specify the identity further. This “someone” told MK that the deal is still very much alive. Just, it now seems that KKR and Bain are no longer in the race. According to MK (well actually this “someone”), it is now a three-horse race between Kakao, Netmarble and MBK. Is this a surprise? Of course, it is not. What’s really bothering me is why this “someone inside” has always been leaking inside info and mood to local media, mainly MK and HK. Is Nexon doing it on purpose to buttress the share price so that they can keep having the upper hand in the deal talking? Well, it may be, or I don’t know for sure. Alright, let’s put this intention thing aside for now, and let’s first take a look at what this “someone” told MK.

BTW, this is the link of this latest MK report. (Title is quite provocative…)

2. 🇰🇷 🇯🇵 That Was The Week That Was North Asia – 10-16th June 2019 @Smartkarma

2019 06 12 19 11 00

TW3 NORTH ASIA 10-16TH JUNE

Smartkarma’s North Asian Insight providers were overwhelmingly bullish this week. In the Event-Driven space, Sanghyun Park provided an update on the Nexon Sale, and Michael Causton gave an excellent overview of the M&A permutations for Japan’s listed Drugstore companies. Douglas Kim reviews SKC’s purchase of KCFT and suggests that the SK Group appears intent on making more big M&A deals where it wants to have a leading presence – in this case in vertically integrating the lithium-ion batteries/components/materials.  Also in Korea, KCGI’s move on Hanjin Kal is running into funding problems, while a 3% stake has recently by purchased by Goldman Sachs, with the rumoured end-buyer being Delta Airlines.  

Only one IPO was commented on – Oshadhi Kumarasiri casts a dubious eye over the upcoming Shin-nihon-seiyaku Co Ltd (4931 JP) deal and suggests that management maybe selling out ahead of the peaking of the company main, and so-far only brand, Perfect One.

Bullish Equity Bottom-Up comments were published on Nissan (7201 JP), Renesas Electronics (6723 JP), Rakuten (4755 JP), Hitachi (6501 JP), Modec(6269 JP), Nintendo (7974 JP), and Life (8194 JP). Only ZOZO (3092 JP) saw (another) bearish call.

Bullish Thematic & Strategy Insights were released on Japanese Telcos from Kirk Boodry – highlighting another regulatory-driven boost for Rakuten, while Sanghyun Park delved into the murky world of high-speed trading (HST) in Korea where Citadel and Merrill Lynch have made some controversial moves. In Japan, HST has recently been regulated with all operators required to establish an onshore entity or appoint a local agent and meet stringent reporting requirements governing their trading activities. Perhaps Korea should follow this example? Lastly, this author updated his Relative Price Score data, although these Insights are not summarised below.  


EVENT DRIVEN: BULLISH

Nexon Sale: Current Status Checkup

Drug-Fuelled Marriages and Macho Shachos in Japan

Korea M&A Spotlight: SKC Acquires KCFT for $1 Billion

EVENT DRIVEN: BEARISH

Hanjin Kal Special Situation: KCGI’s Takeover Is Tougher than Previously Appeared

IPOs & PLACEMENTS: BEARISH

Shinnihonseiyaku IPO: Perfect One, Not So Perfect Afterall

EQUITY BOTTOM UP: BULLISH

Nissan: Chances of the Alliance Surviving Have Dimmed Greatly

Renesas: Factory Automation and Aircon Inventory Adjustments to Take Time

Rakuten Pay Winning the Japanese Cashless War?

Hitachi Ltd. (6501 JP): Share Price Up on Restructuring News

MODEC: On Track to Win Roughly Half of Its Bids

Switch Production to Move From China; Nintendo Plunges After Dull E3 Presentation

Life Corp Ties with Amazon Japan

EQUITY BOTTOM UP: BEARISH

Zozo: The Underlying Operating Metrics Worry Us

THEMATIC & STRATEGY: BULLISH

Japan Telcos – Lower Cap for Early Cancellation: Positive for Rakuten

Algorithm Trading on KOSDAQ: Citadel Fund Case Checkup

THEMATIC & STRATEGY: BEARISH

🇯🇵 Japan • June Relative Price Scores: Market, Sectors & Peer Groups – More of The Same

🇯🇵 Japan • Relative Price Scores – Overbought & Oversold Companies – June 2019

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Brief Japan: NTT DoCoMo: Slow Take-Up for New Pricing Plans and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. NTT DoCoMo: Slow Take-Up for New Pricing Plans
  2. The Role of Election Polls, Credit Ratings, & KOSPI on Pressuring Moon Jae-In to Change His Mind
  3. Nexon Sale: MBK Behind Scene Stories
  4. Are Risky Assets Overvalued?
  5. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling

1. NTT DoCoMo: Slow Take-Up for New Pricing Plans

Dcm%20arpu%20change

NTT Docomo Inc (9437 JP) says that initial take up for its new pricing plans has been slower than expectations, driven by the end of handset bundling and anticipation of Rakuten Mobile market entry later this year.  After a little more than a month, around 3mn subscribers had opted in, which is less than then 5mn that switched in the month following DoCoMo’s last major pricing change in 2014.  No early guidance changes are expected but this issue likely will attract a lot of attention at Q1 results later this month. 

2. The Role of Election Polls, Credit Ratings, & KOSPI on Pressuring Moon Jae-In to Change His Mind

Polls

In this report, we provide a detailed analysis of the key factors/events that could cause Moon Jae-In to change his mind to become more friendly with Japan instead of maintaining his hostile position.

MAIN THESIS – Moon Jae-In is not likely to change his current hostile position towards Japan if the election polls, stock market, sovereign credit ratings do not change materially from where they are today. 

If the stock market drops a lot more, the global credit rating agencies such as Moody’s and S&P lower their sovereign credit rating of South Korea, and the major election polls significantly lower the chances of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea winning in the next National Assembly Election to its chief rival – the conservative Liberty Korea Party, then the chief members of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea could eventually pressure President Moon to change his mind so that that he starts to engage in more friendly policies towards Japan, flies over to Japan, shakes hands with Abe, and makes pleas to finally resolve this serious economic and political crisis between the two powers in East Asia. 

3. Nexon Sale: MBK Behind Scene Stories

MBK was one of the three leading horses in the Nexon sale race. It was the only FI in this group. You know this is MBK, the king of deals. It’s hard to believe, but even this MBK didn’t know KJJ’s cancellation until the last minute. One local news outlet “Chosun” put out a report that gives us a rare detailed picture of what had been going at MBK until the last minute regarding this deal. I found what’s contained in this report very informative and interesting for Nexon investors even after the deal got wrapped up in an unexpected way.

In this post, I summarize some of the key happenings at MBK regarding the Nexon deal. I need to make this very clear that this post is mainly based on this Chosun report, but it also includes what I heard and found from other sources, mainly local stock investment online communities.

Here is the link of the Chosun report if you want to read the original.

4. Are Risky Assets Overvalued?

Fredgraph

US stocks are significantly overvalued and we should expect lower than average returns going forward, unless there is going to be a substantial increase in earnings growth.

In the credit space, corporate bonds are expensive, and leveraged loans unattractive.

As risky assets become less attractive and expensive, that leaves investors mostly with Government Bonds.

5. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling

Asia%20exports%201

Whisper it quietly but not all Asian exporters are struggling. In the first six months of 2019 the dollar value of exports from Korea dropped 8.5% YoY. Taiwanese exports were down 3.6% YoY . Meanwhile, Chinese exports, the country at the heart of the trade war, were down just 0.1% YoY.  

Get Straight to the Source on Smartkarma

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Brief Japan: The Role of Election Polls, Credit Ratings, & KOSPI on Pressuring Moon Jae-In to Change His Mind and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. The Role of Election Polls, Credit Ratings, & KOSPI on Pressuring Moon Jae-In to Change His Mind
  2. Nexon Sale: MBK Behind Scene Stories
  3. Are Risky Assets Overvalued?
  4. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling
  5. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect

1. The Role of Election Polls, Credit Ratings, & KOSPI on Pressuring Moon Jae-In to Change His Mind

Kimdaejung

In this report, we provide a detailed analysis of the key factors/events that could cause Moon Jae-In to change his mind to become more friendly with Japan instead of maintaining his hostile position.

MAIN THESIS – Moon Jae-In is not likely to change his current hostile position towards Japan if the election polls, stock market, sovereign credit ratings do not change materially from where they are today. 

If the stock market drops a lot more, the global credit rating agencies such as Moody’s and S&P lower their sovereign credit rating of South Korea, and the major election polls significantly lower the chances of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea winning in the next National Assembly Election to its chief rival – the conservative Liberty Korea Party, then the chief members of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea could eventually pressure President Moon to change his mind so that that he starts to engage in more friendly policies towards Japan, flies over to Japan, shakes hands with Abe, and makes pleas to finally resolve this serious economic and political crisis between the two powers in East Asia. 

2. Nexon Sale: MBK Behind Scene Stories

MBK was one of the three leading horses in the Nexon sale race. It was the only FI in this group. You know this is MBK, the king of deals. It’s hard to believe, but even this MBK didn’t know KJJ’s cancellation until the last minute. One local news outlet “Chosun” put out a report that gives us a rare detailed picture of what had been going at MBK until the last minute regarding this deal. I found what’s contained in this report very informative and interesting for Nexon investors even after the deal got wrapped up in an unexpected way.

In this post, I summarize some of the key happenings at MBK regarding the Nexon deal. I need to make this very clear that this post is mainly based on this Chosun report, but it also includes what I heard and found from other sources, mainly local stock investment online communities.

Here is the link of the Chosun report if you want to read the original.

3. Are Risky Assets Overvalued?

Cape to long term average log cape to average chartbuilder 2

US stocks are significantly overvalued and we should expect lower than average returns going forward, unless there is going to be a substantial increase in earnings growth.

In the credit space, corporate bonds are expensive, and leveraged loans unattractive.

As risky assets become less attractive and expensive, that leaves investors mostly with Government Bonds.

4. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling

Asia%20exports%201

Whisper it quietly but not all Asian exporters are struggling. In the first six months of 2019 the dollar value of exports from Korea dropped 8.5% YoY. Taiwanese exports were down 3.6% YoY . Meanwhile, Chinese exports, the country at the heart of the trade war, were down just 0.1% YoY.  

5. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect

Screen%20shot%202019 07 13%20at%201.57.41%20pm

The announcement of the cancellation of the IPO, will impact some of the listed names across Asia-Pac, apart from the more obvious impact on the parent, Anheuser Busch Inbev Sa/Nv (ABI BB). Not to mention, souring of sentiment for some of the bigger deals in the pipeline.

I’ve covered the IPO over the past few months and taken a quick look at some of the M&A prospects across Asia. In this insight, I’ll talk about some of the follow-on effects from the IPO cancellation, starting with the not so obvious and ending with the obvious.


Links to my earlier insights:

Get Straight to the Source on Smartkarma

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Brief Japan: Nexon Sale: MBK Behind Scene Stories and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. Nexon Sale: MBK Behind Scene Stories
  2. Are Risky Assets Overvalued?
  3. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling
  4. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect
  5. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air

1. Nexon Sale: MBK Behind Scene Stories

MBK was one of the three leading horses in the Nexon sale race. It was the only FI in this group. You know this is MBK, the king of deals. It’s hard to believe, but even this MBK didn’t know KJJ’s cancellation until the last minute. One local news outlet “Chosun” put out a report that gives us a rare detailed picture of what had been going at MBK until the last minute regarding this deal. I found what’s contained in this report very informative and interesting for Nexon investors even after the deal got wrapped up in an unexpected way.

In this post, I summarize some of the key happenings at MBK regarding the Nexon deal. I need to make this very clear that this post is mainly based on this Chosun report, but it also includes what I heard and found from other sources, mainly local stock investment online communities.

Here is the link of the Chosun report if you want to read the original.

2. Are Risky Assets Overvalued?

Cape to long term average log cape to average chartbuilder 2

US stocks are significantly overvalued and we should expect lower than average returns going forward, unless there is going to be a substantial increase in earnings growth.

In the credit space, corporate bonds are expensive, and leveraged loans unattractive.

As risky assets become less attractive and expensive, that leaves investors mostly with Government Bonds.

3. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling

Asia%20exports%201

Whisper it quietly but not all Asian exporters are struggling. In the first six months of 2019 the dollar value of exports from Korea dropped 8.5% YoY. Taiwanese exports were down 3.6% YoY . Meanwhile, Chinese exports, the country at the heart of the trade war, were down just 0.1% YoY.  

4. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect

Japan

The announcement of the cancellation of the IPO, will impact some of the listed names across Asia-Pac, apart from the more obvious impact on the parent, Anheuser Busch Inbev Sa/Nv (ABI BB). Not to mention, souring of sentiment for some of the bigger deals in the pipeline.

I’ve covered the IPO over the past few months and taken a quick look at some of the M&A prospects across Asia. In this insight, I’ll talk about some of the follow-on effects from the IPO cancellation, starting with the not so obvious and ending with the obvious.


Links to my earlier insights:

5. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air

2019 07 14 06 45 29

Source: Japan Analytics

MOVING AVERAGE BREAKOUT – Japanese equities have now risen by 5.1% since the low of 4th June and, since July 1st, the Total Market Value has exceeded the 50-Day Moving Average for the first time since 26th April. Over the last two weeks, the Total Market Value has gained 1.7% in both Yen and US dollar times. For the previous twelve months, the equity market has moved in line with the US dollar/Japanese Yen exchange rate. It remains to be seen how the ‘gap’ that has opened up in the last month will be closed. Any further strength in the Yen from current levels will likely see the market slip below the 50-Day Moving Average again.

Source: Japan Analytics

VALUE TRADED RATIO – The Value Traded Ratio (Value Traded/Total Market Value) has seen two new eighteen-month lows. If the three days around Christmas are excluded, the current apathy towards Japanese equities is the most extreme since 2012 and is confirmed by recent BAML investor surveys. In the past, such periods of inactivity (marked”▲”above)  have preceded changes in market direction, more often upwards rather than downwards and suggest the current rally has more ‘legs’. 

Source: Japan Analytics

TORAKU INDEX – Conversely, the Toraku advance/decline index is suggesting a degree of caution having breached the 120 ‘overbought’ line for only the third time in eighteen months. Combining this analysis with the Value Traded Ratio, there is scope for a short-term upward move akin to that of October 2018 to be followed by a sharper downward trend into the autumn.  

Source: Japan Analytics

VOLUME SCORE TIMELINE – The lull in market turnover is confirmed in the greener ‘bias’ in our Sector volume timeline. The Retail and Restaurant Sectors are hot as we are in the middle of the quarterly results announcements for February/May/August/November year-end companies. REITs remain the ‘go-to’ defensive Sector while the Information Technology and Internet Sectors are the ‘tema-du-jour‘ – to mix language metaphors. The ‘untouchables’ are Metals, Banks, UtilitiesTransportation,  and Multi-Industry.

Source: Japan Analytics

3-MONTH SECTOR CONTRIBUTION – Over the last three months, a long Telcos/short Autos strategy would have yielded 82 basis points of performance. The Retail Sector has responded well to the results released so far led by drugstores Welcia (3141 JP) and Tsuruha (3391 JP), Fast Retailing (9983 JP), and Lawson (2651 JP). Electrical Equipment has suffered from weakness in component stocks Alps Alpine (6770 JP) (-38% over one year), Murata (6981 JP) (see Scott Foster‘s (Buy on Decline for the Long Term), and Taiyo Yuden (6976 JP), while SMC (6273 JP), Fanuc (6954 JP), and Komatsu (6301 JP) have weighed on the Machinery Sector.

Source: Japan Analytics

SECTOR SCORE MATRIX – Arranging our cap-weighted Sector Relative Price Scores and Results & Revisions Scores in a four-quadrant matrix whose extremes are Contrarian Sell, Contrarian Buy, Unrequited Growth, and Ex-Growth suggest profit-taking in Information Technology (OBIC (4684 JP), Other Commerical Products (Hoya Corp (7741 JP), and Commercial Services (Recruit 6098 JP). We are not contrarian enough to fall into the banking ‘trap’, however, the Metals Sector may offer some ‘crumbs’ of comfort for those in need of a deep value ‘fix’ (Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (5401 JP)

In the DETAIL section below, we will review Sector performance, scores and valuation in more detail, as well as Company Results & Revisions and individual stock performance over the previous two weeks, as well as adding some brief comments on Welcia (3141 JP), Daiseki (9793 JP), Yaskawa Electric (6506 JP), Pola Orbis (4927 JP), Sekisui House (1928 JP), Keyence (6861 JP), Japan Post Insurance (7181 JP), and Obic (4684 JP).

Get Straight to the Source on Smartkarma

Smartkarma supports the world’s leading investors with high-quality, timely, and actionable Insights. Subscribe now for unlimited access, or request a demo below.



Brief Japan: Are Risky Assets Overvalued? and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. Are Risky Assets Overvalued?
  2. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling
  3. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect
  4. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air
  5. Last Week in Event SPACE: Chiyoda, Bandai, Unizo, Ascendas, Villa World, Avon, SIE Engineering

1. Are Risky Assets Overvalued?

Fredgraph

US stocks are significantly overvalued and we should expect lower than average returns going forward, unless there is going to be a substantial increase in earnings growth.

In the credit space, corporate bonds are expensive, and leveraged loans unattractive.

As risky assets become less attractive and expensive, that leaves investors mostly with Government Bonds.

2. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling

Asia%20exports%201

Whisper it quietly but not all Asian exporters are struggling. In the first six months of 2019 the dollar value of exports from Korea dropped 8.5% YoY. Taiwanese exports were down 3.6% YoY . Meanwhile, Chinese exports, the country at the heart of the trade war, were down just 0.1% YoY.  

3. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect

Thaibev

The announcement of the cancellation of the IPO, will impact some of the listed names across Asia-Pac, apart from the more obvious impact on the parent, Anheuser Busch Inbev Sa/Nv (ABI BB). Not to mention, souring of sentiment for some of the bigger deals in the pipeline.

I’ve covered the IPO over the past few months and taken a quick look at some of the M&A prospects across Asia. In this insight, I’ll talk about some of the follow-on effects from the IPO cancellation, starting with the not so obvious and ending with the obvious.


Links to my earlier insights:

4. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air

2019 07 14 06 28 16

Source: Japan Analytics

MOVING AVERAGE BREAKOUT – Japanese equities have now risen by 5.1% since the low of 4th June and, since July 1st, the Total Market Value has exceeded the 50-Day Moving Average for the first time since 26th April. Over the last two weeks, the Total Market Value has gained 1.7% in both Yen and US dollar times. For the previous twelve months, the equity market has moved in line with the US dollar/Japanese Yen exchange rate. It remains to be seen how the ‘gap’ that has opened up in the last month will be closed. Any further strength in the Yen from current levels will likely see the market slip below the 50-Day Moving Average again.

Source: Japan Analytics

VALUE TRADED RATIO – The Value Traded Ratio (Value Traded/Total Market Value) has seen two new eighteen-month lows. If the three days around Christmas are excluded, the current apathy towards Japanese equities is the most extreme since 2012 and is confirmed by recent BAML investor surveys. In the past, such periods of inactivity (marked”▲”above)  have preceded changes in market direction, more often upwards rather than downwards and suggest the current rally has more ‘legs’. 

Source: Japan Analytics

TORAKU INDEX – Conversely, the Toraku advance/decline index is suggesting a degree of caution having breached the 120 ‘overbought’ line for only the third time in eighteen months. Combining this analysis with the Value Traded Ratio, there is scope for a short-term upward move akin to that of October 2018 to be followed by a sharper downward trend into the autumn.  

Source: Japan Analytics

VOLUME SCORE TIMELINE – The lull in market turnover is confirmed in the greener ‘bias’ in our Sector volume timeline. The Retail and Restaurant Sectors are hot as we are in the middle of the quarterly results announcements for February/May/August/November year-end companies. REITs remain the ‘go-to’ defensive Sector while the Information Technology and Internet Sectors are the ‘tema-du-jour‘ – to mix language metaphors. The ‘untouchables’ are Metals, Banks, UtilitiesTransportation,  and Multi-Industry.

Source: Japan Analytics

3-MONTH SECTOR CONTRIBUTION – Over the last three months, a long Telcos/short Autos strategy would have yielded 82 basis points of performance. The Retail Sector has responded well to the results released so far led by drugstores Welcia (3141 JP) and Tsuruha (3391 JP), Fast Retailing (9983 JP), and Lawson (2651 JP). Electrical Equipment has suffered from weakness in component stocks Alps Alpine (6770 JP) (-38% over one year), Murata (6981 JP) (see Scott Foster‘s (Buy on Decline for the Long Term), and Taiyo Yuden (6976 JP), while SMC (6273 JP), Fanuc (6954 JP), and Komatsu (6301 JP) have weighed on the Machinery Sector.

Source: Japan Analytics

SECTOR SCORE MATRIX – Arranging our cap-weighted Sector Relative Price Scores and Results & Revisions Scores in a four-quadrant matrix whose extremes are Contrarian Sell, Contrarian Buy, Unrequited Growth, and Ex-Growth suggest profit-taking in Information Technology (OBIC (4684 JP), Other Commerical Products (Hoya Corp (7741 JP), and Commercial Services (Recruit 6098 JP). We are not contrarian enough to fall into the banking ‘trap’, however, the Metals Sector may offer some ‘crumbs’ of comfort for those in need of a deep value ‘fix’ (Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (5401 JP)

In the DETAIL section below, we will review Sector performance, scores and valuation in more detail, as well as Company Results & Revisions and individual stock performance over the previous two weeks, as well as adding some brief comments on Welcia (3141 JP), Daiseki (9793 JP), Yaskawa Electric (6506 JP), Pola Orbis (4927 JP), Sekisui House (1928 JP), Keyence (6861 JP), Japan Post Insurance (7181 JP), and Obic (4684 JP).

5. Last Week in Event SPACE: Chiyoda, Bandai, Unizo, Ascendas, Villa World, Avon, SIE Engineering

Spin2

Last Week in Event SPACE …

(This insight covers specific insights & comments involving Stubs, Pairs, Arbitrage, share Classification and Events – or SPACE – in the past week)

EVENTS

Chiyoda Corp (6366 JP)  (Mkt Cap: $729mn; Liquidity: $15mn)

Travis Lundy calculated the total shares to be sold at 48-50m accounting for 20% of outstanding and 30% of float in Chiyoda’s upcoming removal from the Nikkei (and now confirmed – see Travis insight below) and Topix indexes, and referenced the exclusion trades resulted in Toshiba Corp (6502 JP) falling 24% and Sharp Corp (6753 JP) falling 31%. But Mio Kato, CFA feels that the company’s situation could skew the timing compared to what would be “normal”.

  • Mio believes that it may be more interesting to look for a reversion trade in the event that the stock price declines significantly into the exclusion. He feels that the fall may not be quite as steep as that for Toshiba or Sharp. In both Toshiba and Sharp’s cases there was still significant uncertainty surrounding the names as Toshiba had not completed or even announced its capital raise at the time and the sale of its memory subsidiary was still being hotly contested; while in Sharp’s case Hon Hai was playing hardball on deal terms.
  • In contrast, Chiyoda has already secured funding from a very stable and large partner and appears to have kitchen-sinked a lot of assumptions and faces a very bright operational outlook – its problems stem from poor risk management, which Mitsubishi is meant to solve, and not operations. 
  • In addition, due to Chiyoda’s previous operational struggles and write-downs there is already a very significant short base. This could distort the usual timing of the fall in the stock price and the fact that the stock has recovered to just 3.5% below the level prior to more widespread reporting of the exclusion points to this eventuality. It does seem likely that the size of the required sell could push Chiyoda’s price down at some point – Mio argues this could happen much closer to the actual event than usual. If borrow is difficult to come by, there could be money to be made on the other side around the turn of the month.

(link to Mio’s insight: Chiyoda: Risks to the Index Kick-Out Trade and Potential Volatility at Earnings the Next Day)


Bandai Namco Holdings (7832 JP)  (Mkt Cap: $12.6bn; Liquidity: $28mn)

The Nikkei Inc announced its “Changes to the Nikkei Indices” this week  which became inevitable when the Tokyo Stock Exchange announced on the 28th of June that Chiyoda Corp (6366 JP)s yuho (Annual Securities Report) had the company at a negative net worth, requiring a reassignment to the Second Section of the TSE. Nikkei 225 Methodology requires that members be TSE-1 listed. The Announcement surprised people. As expected, Chiyoda is Out – but Bandai is In.  Chiyoda closed down 2.6% on 2mm shares, and Bandai closed limit up +19.3% on 300k shares allocated at the limit on the close.

  • There are still something like 50 million shares of Chiyoda to sell. The significant shorts – which are likely well in excess of the 23+ million shares shown and reported – are likely sourcing a lot of their borrow from the shareholders (passive funds) who have to sell. Those shareholders will have to recall their borrow. Earnings come out the day after the exclusion. I would not want to be short that earnings number. Plus read Mio’s insight above.
  • There should be 27mm shares to buy in Bandai which is about 20% of float. However, if only half the foreigners and only half the individual holders would be willing to sell on a large jump in price in the next few weeks, then the net available to sell is probably closer to 80mm shares and 27mm to buy would be one-third. It’s a lot. Once it gets purchased by Nikkei 225 funds, it won’t come out anytime soon. This stock is likely to get squeezed.
  • Dmg Mori Co Ltd (6141 JP) was flagged by many as a good bet to replace Chiyoda. Since then, roughly 14 million shares of excess volume have traded. If half of that is a real displacement of holdings based on this event, 7mm shares would need to be sold. That is 3% of shares out and 4-5% of float. It is among the larger excess positioning situations in the last five years in the stock. DMG closed -10% on 7.3mm shares in response to the index changes.

(link to Travis’s insight: Nikkei 225 – Bandai Namco IN, Chiyoda OUT)


Kcc Corp (002380 KS)  (Mkt Cap: $2.2bn; Liquidity: $6mn)

KCC will split itself into two companies in the form of an equity spinoff with KCC the surviving company and KCG the new company. KCC will mainly comprise the B2B business (silicone, paint and varnish); KCG will get the B2C business such as glass and interior. An EGM will be held on Nov 13 and shareholder approval can be obtained with 2/3 of attending votes and 1/3 of shares out. Both companies will be listed – KCC on Jan 21 next year, but KCG’s listing date hasn’t been fixed.

  • Typically, demergers serve to streamline a business.  However, the major shareholder retains 40%, which Sanghyun Park considers to be weak. He believes the major shareholder intends to further solidify this controlling stake via a tender, possibly a month after the Jan 21 listing. 

(link to Sanghyun’s insight: KCC Corp Equity Spinoff: Summary & Mispricing Checkup)


R* Shares CPSE ETF (CPSEBE IN) 

The ETF is based on the Nifty CPSE index and currently includes 11 listed Central Public Sector Enterprises, declining to 10 after Rural Electrification (RECL IN) was kicked out this past Friday. The sixth tranche of the ETF is expected to open on July 18 to anchor investors and on July 19 to non-anchor investors. The new units are expected to start trading on July 29. The discount on the ETF will be 3%, opening up arbitrage opportunities to investors.

  • The CPSE ETF does not trade big volumes on a regular day. However, there is a huge volume surge following fund offerings as many investors look to flip their allocation back into the market and lock in a profit. The anchor portion was oversubscribed almost 6 times in the last tranche issued in March this year, though the number may be smaller this time with the tighter discount being offered.
  • The ETF will need to buy around 63m shares of Indian Oil Corp (IOCL IN) in the market on July 19. Brian Freitas estimates this number since the Government of India can only sell around 64m shares to the ETF as this will take their stake in the company down to 51.5%, the lowest percentage for the stock to remain in the Nifty CPSE index. Given the stock trades around 13m shares a day on average, he sees 4x of excess volume and expect the stock to rally in the lead up to July 19 and see buying over the day on July 19.

links to Brian’s insights:
The CPSE ETF Arb Is Back, but Tighter!
India – NIFTY CPSE Index Review.

M&A – ASIA-PAC

Unizo Holdings (3258 JP) (Mkt Cap: $913mn; Liquidity: $4mn)

Japan’s premier discount travel agency H I S Co Ltd (9603 JP) on Wednesday announced it would launch a Partial Tender Offer (commencing this past Friday) to purchase a 40+% stake in real estate and hotel business Unizo to raise its stake from ~4.8% to 45.0%. The Tender Offer price is at a 56% premium to the last trade and is at an 18-month high. But, this is a hostile tender.

  • A hostile tender offer by one company upon another conducted without warning, or with warning but without approval, is reasonably rare. In Japan, it is even rarer. This is, however, the second in six months – the first being Itochu Corp (8001 JP)‘s tender offer for shares of Descente Ltd (8114 JP).  HIS has decided to buy 40% of a company it hadn’t talked to. At a 50+% premium. And given this one has hostility AND a longer end date, there is more trading and event optionality than normal.
  • Unizo has several possible responses it could give. The right thing to do would be to establish an independent committee immediately. A rights offering might kill the deal. But it would be fair to investors. A White Knight is not unthinkable. Travis expects the odds are pretty good that Unizo does not have a great defense here. That means the Tender likely goes through.
  • Unless corporate and financial cross-holders tender, the pro-ration could end up being very high.  If crossholders tender, pro-ration goes way down and one is better off just selling everything in the market for a small loss. Travis is bullish that the tender goes through and bullish the profit opportunity. He thinks for the astute arbitrageur, there is a lot of room to play around the ranges here.

(link to Travis’s insight: HIS Hostile Tender for Unizo – Fun Ahead!)


Villa World Ltd (VLW AU)  (Mkt Cap: $203mn; Liquidity: $1mn)

VLW and AVID have (finally) entered into a Scheme Implementation Agreement at A$2.345/share yesterday, which is a 17.8% premium to the unaffected price of $1.99 on 14 March, and an A$0.115 bump over the initial pitch in March. Any final or special dividend paid on or prior to the implementation of the Scheme will reduce the Offer Price. The key nagging issue is Ho Bee Land Ltd (HOBEE SP).

  • Ho Bee, VLW’s largest shareholder and JV partner, responded to AVID’s proposal by buying 2.2mn shares (~1.8% of shares out) at an average of A$2.04/share – and a high of A$2.18/share – lifting its stake to 9.41% on the same day as the initial Offer. Ho Bee further bumped its stake to 10.45% on the 25 March at an average price of A$2.21; and finally, to 11.62% on the 15 April at an average of $2.17. Its overall average in-price is A$1.98/share.
  • Would Ho Bee go to such extreme just to extract another 5% from the Offer? Maybe, but it is a little weird. Ho Bee did not buy over $2.23/share.
  • On balance, this deal should get up. Pricing appears fair with respect to peers. Ho Bee receives a decent premium to its overall average position. This is also not a material holding for Ho Bee – the 11.62% stake is equivalent to ~2% of its market cap – while it remains directly invested in the Melbourne JV.  With a late November/ early December completion, this is trading very tight to terms at 0.6% gross.

(link to my insight: Villa World Greenlights AVID’s Offer)


Ascendas Hospitality Trust (ASCHT SP) (Mkt Cap: $844mn; Liquidity: $3mn)

On 3 July, Ascott Residence Trust (ART SP) and ASCHT jointly announced a proposed combination, which would result in the combined entity becoming the largest hospitality trust in the Asia Pacific region, one of the top ten globally, with an asset value of S$7.6bn. It would – using data from the end of June – become the 7th largest trust on the SGX.

  • The deal is for Ascott to acquire ASCHT through a Scheme of Arrangement whereby ASCHT unitholders will receive what was – at the announcement – S$1.0868 per ASCHT Stapled Unit. The exact terms are S$0.0543 in cash and 0.7942 Ascott Reit-BT Stapled Units. That is a ratio of 0.836 but if you do the arithmetic, it comes out as a NAV-flat transaction. Neither ASCHT nor ART shareholders “overly benefit” at the expense of the other, but they both benefit from scale lowering future costs.
  • The deal is another REIT consolidation to create a LARGER NewREIT. It was also totally obvious, after the Ascendas-Singbridge deal was signed earlier this year, that within the Capitaland group (which meant Temasek was going to own 51% of Capitaland when completed), this was going to happen (even though the deal meant there were no chained transactions for the REITs). It makes one wonder if there is a deal for Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (AREIT SP) to come. 
  • The deal (at the time of the insight) showed a 4.5% spread being long ASCHT and short Ascott, which is slightly wide for a deal of ~five months. However, there is some uncertainty in the distributions. If you own Ascott and are in a position to switch out of Ascott into AREIT, Travis would do so. If you own ASCHT and you like the risk of owning the REIT, you own the right one. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Ascott & Ascendas Hospitality Merger – Not Unexpected and Should Be Easy)


Dalian Port (Pda) Co Ltd H (2880 HK)  (Mkt Cap: $3bn; Liquidity: $1mn)

Back on the 4 June, Dalian Port (Pda) announced a possible Mandatory General Offer (MGO) at $1.0127/share, a 0.27% premium to last close. The MGO would be triggered following the rearrangement of various companies under the PRC government, collectively holding 68.37% into Dalian Port (Pda), with the long-term objective of merging the ports in Liaoning province under a single platform. The shareholding structure is a spider’s web and understanding the share transfers is probably best done by studying the diagrams in the document and the insight.

  • The integration/consolidation process is complicated with local, provincial and central government holdings in port ownership. Further, local governments, which often trumpet their success in tandem with the performance of its port, may be less willing to forego such economic benefits by giving up absolute control.
  • China Merchant Holdings already has effective control of Dalian Port (Pda) – (47.31%) direct and 21.05% via Team Able/China Merchants Port (144 HK). The equity transfers forming part of the restructuring are being hived out from one SASAC entity into another SASAC-controlled entity. This should all go through and the unconditional MGO will be triggered, and potentially wrap up in October, provided the ETA completes on the long stop date.
  • Dalian Port (Pda) is trading in line with listed Hong Kong ports. You have a (likely) hard floor at $1.01, with expectations of further group restructuring, as the three Liaoning ports are integrated. However, HK port companies are down ~7.% in the past year, similar to Chinese-listed port companies.  The sentiment is decidedly downbeat as the trade war creates a less profitable business environment.

(link to my insight: Dalian Port – Rearranging The Deck Chairs)


Health Management Intl (HMI SP) (Mkt Cap: $844mn; Liquidity: $3mn)

The previous Friday, listed regional (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia) private healthcare provider HMI announced an Implementation Agreement for a privatisation by way of Scheme of Arrangement whereby private equity fund EQT would acquire HMI for S$0.73/share in cash or one share of the Acquirer. That price is a 25-30% premium to the 1, 3, 6, and 12-month VWAPs prior to the announcement and a 14% premium to the last “undisturbed” trading day.

  • It is not overly generous. The premium is small, and the forecast Next 12 Month EV/EBITDA multiple at 17+x is OK but compared to the other private hospital operators out there in Asia it is not overwhelmingly high-priced. It seems a bit of a stretch to see someone come over the top when this has been negotiated. However, if one asked me whether the likelihood of bump or deal failure is more likely, Travis would tilt towards bump, but it would be just a kiss.
  • It takes 75% of the 39% not owned by NSI and “concert parties” to get this done, but the 2018 Annual Report showed that 89.75% of the shareholders (i.e. 83.2% or so of the possible Scheme Shareholders) owned more than 1,000,000 shares. The top 40 shareholders determine the outcome of this deal as long as the rest generally are split 51/49 or better. It is difficult to see this one getting knocked down.
  • Travis expects the timeline of this deal is about 4 months plus perhaps a week. That means at S$0.72 the gross spread at 1.39% gets you an annualised spread of about 4.15%. At S$0.715, the gross spread is 2.10% (before comms, etc) so 4 months is 6+% annualised.  The trade here is to get queue priority at S$0.715. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Health Management Int’l Privatisation – Easy Peasy)


Briefly …

Harbin Electric Co Ltd H (1133 HK) this week announced there will be no further extension of its Offer which closes on the 19 July. By my estimate, tendered shares total 71.86%. The tendering condition is 90%.

M&A – UK

Telford Homes (TEF LN) (Mkt Cap: $335mn; Liquidity: $1mn)

On July 3rd, US-based commercial real estate services company, CBRE Group Inc A (CBG US)announced that they had reached an agreement with the board of London-based residential real estate developer, Telford, to acquire 100% of its shares by way of a Scheme of Arrangement at a price of GBP3.50/ share. The offer values the target at a market cap of GBP 265mn. 

  • While the Offer Price translates to premia of 11.1%, 14.3%, and 21.3% to the undisturbed price, 1-month VWAP and 3-month VWAP respectively, it remains 3.4% lower than the 1-year VWAP of Telford shares. Furthermore, the offer price also translates to discounts of 28.8% and 38.8% to the stock’s 1-year and 2-year highs respectively.
  • The company appears to have confidence its current build-plan and will come through on budget and so after a couple of project delays at the end of this past year, earnings will rebound and march higher. The few analysts who cover the stock are less bullish this year, but it appears they expect the company to meet its 2020 targets a year or two later. 8x EPS and 1.0x book seem quite low. It is below the mean of the selected comps.
  •  If Travis had to bet right now, it’s 50/50 it does not get done. Brexit worries could get this over the line but he expects there are some unhappy shareholders. He is not sure there is enough time to get a competitor in there to see the price lifted.  The deal timeline is very short. The indicative timeline suggests the Target Scheme Meeting could be in just four weeks. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Telford Homes Takeout – A Disappointing End?)

M&A – US

Avon Products (AVP US) (Mkt Cap: $1.8bn; Liquidity: $41mn)

On May 22, 2019, Avon announced that it had entered into a merger agreement to be acquired in an all-stock transaction by Brazilian Holding Company Natura & Co (NATUR3 BZ).  Natura will exchange 0.30 of its shares for each AVP share on a fixed exchange ratio basis, currently valuing AVP at ~US$2 bn. The merger agreement deadline is set for July 22, 2020. On completion of the merger, NATU3 shareholders will own 76% of the combination with AVP shareholders owning 24%. The transaction catapults NATU3 to becoming the world’s sixth largest consumer goods company.

  • Natura is paying ~10x consensus 2019 EBITDA for standalone AVP which is reasonable in comparison to prevailing peer group multiples averaging 17x and compares with Natura’s own standalone valuation multiple of ~14x.
  • The transaction could attract particular scrutiny from the antitrust authorities in Brazil, which represents the single largest market for both Natura and AVP. According to data from Euromonitor, Natura maintains a commanding lead in Brazil’s direct sales market for cosmetics with an estimated 31% market share followed by a ~ 16% share for AVP. That being said, the direct sales market is based around independent consultants/reps, many of whom already offer both Natura and Avon products in Brazil. 
  • The double-digits merger spread that prevails (14% at the time of the insight) could offer a lucrative opportunity for arbs. The complicating factor is that Natura is listed on the Brazilian Stock exchange (B3) and denominated in an historically volatile currency, the Brazilian Real, while AVP shares trade on the NYSE in US$. As some AVP shareholders may not want to own or are restricted from owning shares that trade on a non-US exchange, Natura will offer AVP shareholders the option to receive Natura shares in the form of Level-II ADRs to be traded on the NYSE or shares listed on B3. Natura does not currently have an ADR in issue.

(link to Robert Sassoon‘s insight: MergerTalk: Natura & Co/Avon Products -“Ding Dong, The Avon Spread Calling”)

STUBBS/HOLDCOS

Singapore Airlines (SIA SP) / Sia Engineering (SIE SP) 

SIE gained 15% the previous week, rekindling privatisation talks by SIA.  Despite the share price increase, SIE trades around November 2009 levels. SIE is not aware of any reasons for the jump. The stub is not terribly exciting with SIE accounting for 18% and 22% of NAV and market cap, and barely makes the grade with SIE trading ~US$1mn/day.

  • Last year’s privatisation of HAECO (44 HK) at $72/share (63.2% premium to last close) by Swire Pacific Ltd Cl A (19 HK) – which held 74.9% prior to the Offer – is not lost on investors. The takeover PER was 35x vs. 19x currently for SIE. Peer comps trade at 24x. SIE only appears fairly valued on an EV/EBITDA metric on account of the earnings from associated companies and JVs.
  • SIE is a maintenance, repair & overhaul company providing aircraft & component overhaul, fleet management and line maintenance services. The company also has material stakes in associated companies and JVs which contribute 71% of the Group’s profits in FY19, up from 58% in FY18.
  • The outcome, should an Offer be pitched, would cost SIA ~S$700mn to take out the shares it does not own. Not chump change, and it might have a slightly negative impact on SIA as it removes one layer of transparency. But given the stub weakness, the focus would be on the SIE arbitrage. I would not want to be short SIE here.

(link to my insight: StubWorld: Just Rumours (For Now) As SIA Engineering Pops)

SHARE CLASSIFICATIONS

My share class monitor provides a snapshot of the premium/discounts for 322 share classifications –  ADRs, Korean prefs, dual class, Thai (F/L) & A/Hs – around the region.

(link to my insight: Share Classifications: A Year In Review)

OTHER M&A UPDATES

CCASS

My ongoing series flags large moves (~10%) in CCASS holdings over the past week or so, moves which are often outside normal market transactions.  These may be indicative of share pledges – like Madison Holdings Group Ltd (8057 HK) on the 5 July.  Or potential takeovers. Or simply help understand volume swings. 

Often these moves can easily be explained – the placement of new shares, rights issue, movements subsequent to a takeover, amongst others. For those mentioned below, I could not find an obvious reason for the CCASS move.   

Name

% chg

Into

Out of

ISP Global (8487 HK)
50.50%
Bluemont
Outside CCASS
Camsing (2662 HK)
Great Roc
Founder
18.20%
Kingston
Citi
Source: HKEx

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Brief Japan: This Week in Blockchain & Cryptos: Visa, Ubisoft, GM, Target, FB & Apple Reveal Blockchain Plans and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. This Week in Blockchain & Cryptos: Visa, Ubisoft, GM, Target, FB & Apple Reveal Blockchain Plans
  2. Nexon Sale: Kakao Is Emerging as the Leading Horse
  3. 🇰🇷 🇯🇵 That Was The Week That Was North Asia – 10-16th June 2019 @Smartkarma
  4. 🇯🇵 Japan • Relative Price Scores – Overbought & Oversold Companies – June 2019

1. This Week in Blockchain & Cryptos: Visa, Ubisoft, GM, Target, FB & Apple Reveal Blockchain Plans

N transactions

2. Nexon Sale: Kakao Is Emerging as the Leading Horse

Yeah, Nexon event is very quiet. Even we didn’t have rumor report from local media lately since the main bid closing. So, we are hearing all kinds of worrying voices that the deal may be falling apart. Then, MK, one of Korea’s top tier economic daily, put out a follow-up report on this event late today. MK quoted someone familiar with the matter, possibly a banker working on this deal or a Nexon insider, but MK doesn’t specify the identity further. This “someone” told MK that the deal is still very much alive. Just, it now seems that KKR and Bain are no longer in the race. According to MK (well actually this “someone”), it is now a three-horse race between Kakao, Netmarble and MBK. Is this a surprise? Of course, it is not. What’s really bothering me is why this “someone inside” has always been leaking inside info and mood to local media, mainly MK and HK. Is Nexon doing it on purpose to buttress the share price so that they can keep having the upper hand in the deal talking? Well, it may be, or I don’t know for sure. Alright, let’s put this intention thing aside for now, and let’s first take a look at what this “someone” told MK.

BTW, this is the link of this latest MK report. (Title is quite provocative…)

3. 🇰🇷 🇯🇵 That Was The Week That Was North Asia – 10-16th June 2019 @Smartkarma

2019 06 12 19 11 00

TW3 NORTH ASIA 10-16TH JUNE

Smartkarma’s North Asian Insight providers were overwhelmingly bullish this week. In the Event-Driven space, Sanghyun Park provided an update on the Nexon Sale, and Michael Causton gave an excellent overview of the M&A permutations for Japan’s listed Drugstore companies. Douglas Kim reviews SKC’s purchase of KCFT and suggests that the SK Group appears intent on making more big M&A deals where it wants to have a leading presence – in this case in vertically integrating the lithium-ion batteries/components/materials.  Also in Korea, KCGI’s move on Hanjin Kal is running into funding problems, while a 3% stake has recently by purchased by Goldman Sachs, with the rumoured end-buyer being Delta Airlines.  

Only one IPO was commented on – Oshadhi Kumarasiri casts a dubious eye over the upcoming Shin-nihon-seiyaku Co Ltd (4931 JP) deal and suggests that management maybe selling out ahead of the peaking of the company main, and so-far only brand, Perfect One.

Bullish Equity Bottom-Up comments were published on Nissan (7201 JP), Renesas Electronics (6723 JP), Rakuten (4755 JP), Hitachi (6501 JP), Modec(6269 JP), Nintendo (7974 JP), and Life (8194 JP). Only ZOZO (3092 JP) saw (another) bearish call.

Bullish Thematic & Strategy Insights were released on Japanese Telcos from Kirk Boodry – highlighting another regulatory-driven boost for Rakuten, while Sanghyun Park delved into the murky world of high-speed trading (HST) in Korea where Citadel and Merrill Lynch have made some controversial moves. In Japan, HST has recently been regulated with all operators required to establish an onshore entity or appoint a local agent and meet stringent reporting requirements governing their trading activities. Perhaps Korea should follow this example? Lastly, this author updated his Relative Price Score data, although these Insights are not summarised below.  


EVENT DRIVEN: BULLISH

Nexon Sale: Current Status Checkup

Drug-Fuelled Marriages and Macho Shachos in Japan

Korea M&A Spotlight: SKC Acquires KCFT for $1 Billion

EVENT DRIVEN: BEARISH

Hanjin Kal Special Situation: KCGI’s Takeover Is Tougher than Previously Appeared

IPOs & PLACEMENTS: BEARISH

Shinnihonseiyaku IPO: Perfect One, Not So Perfect Afterall

EQUITY BOTTOM UP: BULLISH

Nissan: Chances of the Alliance Surviving Have Dimmed Greatly

Renesas: Factory Automation and Aircon Inventory Adjustments to Take Time

Rakuten Pay Winning the Japanese Cashless War?

Hitachi Ltd. (6501 JP): Share Price Up on Restructuring News

MODEC: On Track to Win Roughly Half of Its Bids

Switch Production to Move From China; Nintendo Plunges After Dull E3 Presentation

Life Corp Ties with Amazon Japan

EQUITY BOTTOM UP: BEARISH

Zozo: The Underlying Operating Metrics Worry Us

THEMATIC & STRATEGY: BULLISH

Japan Telcos – Lower Cap for Early Cancellation: Positive for Rakuten

Algorithm Trading on KOSDAQ: Citadel Fund Case Checkup

THEMATIC & STRATEGY: BEARISH

🇯🇵 Japan • June Relative Price Scores: Market, Sectors & Peer Groups – More of The Same

🇯🇵 Japan • Relative Price Scores – Overbought & Oversold Companies – June 2019

4. 🇯🇵 Japan • Relative Price Scores – Overbought & Oversold Companies – June 2019

2019 06 15 14 21 56

• RELATIVE PRICE SCORE • 

Source: Japan Analytics

INTRODUCTION – The Relative Price Score (RPS) is a measure of stock price performance relative to TOPIX calculated by comparing the current deviation with the mean absolute deviation of monthly and daily relative share prices. As all companies are thus on a comparable scale, ‘Overbought’ and ‘Oversold’ outliers and changes in scoring can reveal short-term and longer-term trading opportunities. Company outlier thresholds are set at +4 & -2 and equate to the top and bottom first-to-second percentiles of historical observations from which mean reversion takes a matter of months. RPS outliers with a Score of greater than 10.0 are rare outside of the 2000 tech ‘bubble’. Goldwin (8111 JP) has the distinction of being one of only two large-cap RPS ‘ten-baggers’ since that time.

This insight updates our list of Overbought and Oversold companies, reviews the best and worst performing companies in terms of RPS over the last three months and adds some specific comments on stocks on each category.

Source: Japan Analytics

STATISTICS – Currently, of the 3,832 listed companies for which daily RPS data is available, 94 companies are ‘Overbought’, and 131 are ‘Oversold’ – 2.5% and 3.4%, respectively of the total. For the 758 companies with a market capitalisation of over ¥100b, there are 50 ‘Overbought’ and 18 ‘Oversold’ companies, 6.6% and 5.0%, respectively. As noted the companion Insight, 🇯🇵 Japan • June Relative Price Scores: Market, Sectors & Peer Groups – More of The Same, these numbers and percentages are unusual and were last seen in the Japanese market in 2000. 


• RELATIVE PRICE SCORE TOPS •

Source: Japan Analytics

RPS ‘TOPS’ – In the last two years, 444 companies have achieved an RPS of ‘4’ or more and the average Overbought ‘persistence’ is 43 days. 1.4% of the total of 1.29 million traded stock days were by companies with an RPS of over 4. For companies with a market capitalisation higher than ¥100b, the numbers are 96 companies and 75 days – demonstrating the superior persistence of large capitalisation companies in this regard. Some examples of RPS mean reversion in the last three months have been Descente (8114 JP)Alfresa (2784 JP), FamilyMart Uny (8028 JP), Kikkoman (2801 JP), Kobayashi Pharmaceutical (4967 JP), and Eiken Chemical (4549 JP).  

Source: Japan Analytics

RPS ‘BOTTOMS’ – 372 companies have seen their RPS fall to ‘-2’ or below in the last two years, and the average Oversold ‘persistence’ is 61 days. 1.5% of the total of 1.29 million traded stock days were by companies with an RPS of less than -2.  For larger capitalisation companies, the numbers are 85 companies and 89 days. A recent example of positive RPS mean reversion is K&O Energy (1663 JP).

Source: Japan Analytics

In the DETAIL section below, we list the current very overbought (RPS>5), too late to buy (RPS >4<5) and oversold (RPS <-2) stocks as well as the most substantial three-month positive and negative changes in RPS.

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Brief Japan: Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling
  2. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect
  3. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air
  4. Last Week in Event SPACE: Chiyoda, Bandai, Unizo, Ascendas, Villa World, Avon, SIE Engineering
  5. The Political Crisis Between Japan & South Korea (Lessons from the Joseon White Porcelains & Cobalt)

1. Taking Off: Vietnamese Exports Are Rocking and Rolling

Asia%20exports%201

Whisper it quietly but not all Asian exporters are struggling. In the first six months of 2019 the dollar value of exports from Korea dropped 8.5% YoY. Taiwanese exports were down 3.6% YoY . Meanwhile, Chinese exports, the country at the heart of the trade war, were down just 0.1% YoY.  

2. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect

Screen%20shot%202019 07 13%20at%201.50.43%20pm

The announcement of the cancellation of the IPO, will impact some of the listed names across Asia-Pac, apart from the more obvious impact on the parent, Anheuser Busch Inbev Sa/Nv (ABI BB). Not to mention, souring of sentiment for some of the bigger deals in the pipeline.

I’ve covered the IPO over the past few months and taken a quick look at some of the M&A prospects across Asia. In this insight, I’ll talk about some of the follow-on effects from the IPO cancellation, starting with the not so obvious and ending with the obvious.


Links to my earlier insights:

3. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air

2019 07 14 08 49 56

Source: Japan Analytics

MOVING AVERAGE BREAKOUT – Japanese equities have now risen by 5.1% since the low of 4th June and, since July 1st, the Total Market Value has exceeded the 50-Day Moving Average for the first time since 26th April. Over the last two weeks, the Total Market Value has gained 1.7% in both Yen and US dollar times. For the previous twelve months, the equity market has moved in line with the US dollar/Japanese Yen exchange rate. It remains to be seen how the ‘gap’ that has opened up in the last month will be closed. Any further strength in the Yen from current levels will likely see the market slip below the 50-Day Moving Average again.

Source: Japan Analytics

VALUE TRADED RATIO – The Value Traded Ratio (Value Traded/Total Market Value) has seen two new eighteen-month lows. If the three days around Christmas are excluded, the current apathy towards Japanese equities is the most extreme since 2012 and is confirmed by recent BAML investor surveys. In the past, such periods of inactivity (marked”▲”above)  have preceded changes in market direction, more often upwards rather than downwards and suggest the current rally has more ‘legs’. 

Source: Japan Analytics

TORAKU INDEX – Conversely, the Toraku advance/decline index is suggesting a degree of caution having breached the 120 ‘overbought’ line for only the third time in eighteen months. Combining this analysis with the Value Traded Ratio, there is scope for a short-term upward move akin to that of October 2018 to be followed by a sharper downward trend into the autumn.  

Source: Japan Analytics

VOLUME SCORE TIMELINE – The lull in market turnover is confirmed in the greener ‘bias’ in our Sector volume timeline. The Retail and Restaurant Sectors are hot as we are in the middle of the quarterly results announcements for February/May/August/November year-end companies. REITs remain the ‘go-to’ defensive Sector while the Information Technology and Internet Sectors are the ‘tema-du-jour‘ – to mix language metaphors. The ‘untouchables’ are Metals, Banks, UtilitiesTransportation,  and Multi-Industry.

Source: Japan Analytics

3-MONTH SECTOR CONTRIBUTION – Over the last three months, a long Telcos/short Autos strategy would have yielded 82 basis points of performance. The Retail Sector has responded well to the results released so far led by drugstores Welcia (3141 JP) and Tsuruha (3391 JP), Fast Retailing (9983 JP), and Lawson (2651 JP). Electrical Equipment has suffered from weakness in component stocks Alps Alpine (6770 JP) (-38% over one year), Murata (6981 JP) (see Scott Foster‘s (Buy on Decline for the Long Term), and Taiyo Yuden (6976 JP), while SMC (6273 JP), Fanuc (6954 JP), and Komatsu (6301 JP) have weighed on the Machinery Sector.

Source: Japan Analytics

SECTOR SCORE MATRIX – Arranging our cap-weighted Sector Relative Price Scores and Results & Revisions Scores in a four-quadrant matrix whose extremes are Contrarian Sell, Contrarian Buy, Unrequited Growth, and Ex-Growth suggest profit-taking in Information Technology (OBIC (4684 JP), Other Commerical Products (Hoya Corp (7741 JP), and Commercial Services (Recruit 6098 JP). We are not contrarian enough to fall into the banking ‘trap’, however, the Metals Sector may offer some ‘crumbs’ of comfort for those in need of a deep value ‘fix’ (Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (5401 JP)

In the DETAIL section below, we will review Sector performance, scores and valuation in more detail, as well as Company Results & Revisions and individual stock performance over the previous two weeks, as well as adding some brief comments on Welcia (3141 JP), Daiseki (9793 JP), Yaskawa Electric (6506 JP), Pola Orbis (4927 JP), Sekisui House (1928 JP), Keyence (6861 JP), Japan Post Insurance (7181 JP), and Obic (4684 JP).

4. Last Week in Event SPACE: Chiyoda, Bandai, Unizo, Ascendas, Villa World, Avon, SIE Engineering

Spin2

Last Week in Event SPACE …

(This insight covers specific insights & comments involving Stubs, Pairs, Arbitrage, share Classification and Events – or SPACE – in the past week)

EVENTS

Chiyoda Corp (6366 JP)  (Mkt Cap: $729mn; Liquidity: $15mn)

Travis Lundy calculated the total shares to be sold at 48-50m accounting for 20% of outstanding and 30% of float in Chiyoda’s upcoming removal from the Nikkei (and now confirmed – see Travis insight below) and Topix indexes, and referenced the exclusion trades resulted in Toshiba Corp (6502 JP) falling 24% and Sharp Corp (6753 JP) falling 31%. But Mio Kato, CFA feels that the company’s situation could skew the timing compared to what would be “normal”.

  • Mio believes that it may be more interesting to look for a reversion trade in the event that the stock price declines significantly into the exclusion. He feels that the fall may not be quite as steep as that for Toshiba or Sharp. In both Toshiba and Sharp’s cases there was still significant uncertainty surrounding the names as Toshiba had not completed or even announced its capital raise at the time and the sale of its memory subsidiary was still being hotly contested; while in Sharp’s case Hon Hai was playing hardball on deal terms.
  • In contrast, Chiyoda has already secured funding from a very stable and large partner and appears to have kitchen-sinked a lot of assumptions and faces a very bright operational outlook – its problems stem from poor risk management, which Mitsubishi is meant to solve, and not operations. 
  • In addition, due to Chiyoda’s previous operational struggles and write-downs there is already a very significant short base. This could distort the usual timing of the fall in the stock price and the fact that the stock has recovered to just 3.5% below the level prior to more widespread reporting of the exclusion points to this eventuality. It does seem likely that the size of the required sell could push Chiyoda’s price down at some point – Mio argues this could happen much closer to the actual event than usual. If borrow is difficult to come by, there could be money to be made on the other side around the turn of the month.

(link to Mio’s insight: Chiyoda: Risks to the Index Kick-Out Trade and Potential Volatility at Earnings the Next Day)


Bandai Namco Holdings (7832 JP)  (Mkt Cap: $12.6bn; Liquidity: $28mn)

The Nikkei Inc announced its “Changes to the Nikkei Indices” this week  which became inevitable when the Tokyo Stock Exchange announced on the 28th of June that Chiyoda Corp (6366 JP)s yuho (Annual Securities Report) had the company at a negative net worth, requiring a reassignment to the Second Section of the TSE. Nikkei 225 Methodology requires that members be TSE-1 listed. The Announcement surprised people. As expected, Chiyoda is Out – but Bandai is In.  Chiyoda closed down 2.6% on 2mm shares, and Bandai closed limit up +19.3% on 300k shares allocated at the limit on the close.

  • There are still something like 50 million shares of Chiyoda to sell. The significant shorts – which are likely well in excess of the 23+ million shares shown and reported – are likely sourcing a lot of their borrow from the shareholders (passive funds) who have to sell. Those shareholders will have to recall their borrow. Earnings come out the day after the exclusion. I would not want to be short that earnings number. Plus read Mio’s insight above.
  • There should be 27mm shares to buy in Bandai which is about 20% of float. However, if only half the foreigners and only half the individual holders would be willing to sell on a large jump in price in the next few weeks, then the net available to sell is probably closer to 80mm shares and 27mm to buy would be one-third. It’s a lot. Once it gets purchased by Nikkei 225 funds, it won’t come out anytime soon. This stock is likely to get squeezed.
  • Dmg Mori Co Ltd (6141 JP) was flagged by many as a good bet to replace Chiyoda. Since then, roughly 14 million shares of excess volume have traded. If half of that is a real displacement of holdings based on this event, 7mm shares would need to be sold. That is 3% of shares out and 4-5% of float. It is among the larger excess positioning situations in the last five years in the stock. DMG closed -10% on 7.3mm shares in response to the index changes.

(link to Travis’s insight: Nikkei 225 – Bandai Namco IN, Chiyoda OUT)


Kcc Corp (002380 KS)  (Mkt Cap: $2.2bn; Liquidity: $6mn)

KCC will split itself into two companies in the form of an equity spinoff with KCC the surviving company and KCG the new company. KCC will mainly comprise the B2B business (silicone, paint and varnish); KCG will get the B2C business such as glass and interior. An EGM will be held on Nov 13 and shareholder approval can be obtained with 2/3 of attending votes and 1/3 of shares out. Both companies will be listed – KCC on Jan 21 next year, but KCG’s listing date hasn’t been fixed.

  • Typically, demergers serve to streamline a business.  However, the major shareholder retains 40%, which Sanghyun Park considers to be weak. He believes the major shareholder intends to further solidify this controlling stake via a tender, possibly a month after the Jan 21 listing. 

(link to Sanghyun’s insight: KCC Corp Equity Spinoff: Summary & Mispricing Checkup)


R* Shares CPSE ETF (CPSEBE IN) 

The ETF is based on the Nifty CPSE index and currently includes 11 listed Central Public Sector Enterprises, declining to 10 after Rural Electrification (RECL IN) was kicked out this past Friday. The sixth tranche of the ETF is expected to open on July 18 to anchor investors and on July 19 to non-anchor investors. The new units are expected to start trading on July 29. The discount on the ETF will be 3%, opening up arbitrage opportunities to investors.

  • The CPSE ETF does not trade big volumes on a regular day. However, there is a huge volume surge following fund offerings as many investors look to flip their allocation back into the market and lock in a profit. The anchor portion was oversubscribed almost 6 times in the last tranche issued in March this year, though the number may be smaller this time with the tighter discount being offered.
  • The ETF will need to buy around 63m shares of Indian Oil Corp (IOCL IN) in the market on July 19. Brian Freitas estimates this number since the Government of India can only sell around 64m shares to the ETF as this will take their stake in the company down to 51.5%, the lowest percentage for the stock to remain in the Nifty CPSE index. Given the stock trades around 13m shares a day on average, he sees 4x of excess volume and expect the stock to rally in the lead up to July 19 and see buying over the day on July 19.

links to Brian’s insights:
The CPSE ETF Arb Is Back, but Tighter!
India – NIFTY CPSE Index Review.

M&A – ASIA-PAC

Unizo Holdings (3258 JP) (Mkt Cap: $913mn; Liquidity: $4mn)

Japan’s premier discount travel agency H I S Co Ltd (9603 JP) on Wednesday announced it would launch a Partial Tender Offer (commencing this past Friday) to purchase a 40+% stake in real estate and hotel business Unizo to raise its stake from ~4.8% to 45.0%. The Tender Offer price is at a 56% premium to the last trade and is at an 18-month high. But, this is a hostile tender.

  • A hostile tender offer by one company upon another conducted without warning, or with warning but without approval, is reasonably rare. In Japan, it is even rarer. This is, however, the second in six months – the first being Itochu Corp (8001 JP)‘s tender offer for shares of Descente Ltd (8114 JP).  HIS has decided to buy 40% of a company it hadn’t talked to. At a 50+% premium. And given this one has hostility AND a longer end date, there is more trading and event optionality than normal.
  • Unizo has several possible responses it could give. The right thing to do would be to establish an independent committee immediately. A rights offering might kill the deal. But it would be fair to investors. A White Knight is not unthinkable. Travis expects the odds are pretty good that Unizo does not have a great defense here. That means the Tender likely goes through.
  • Unless corporate and financial cross-holders tender, the pro-ration could end up being very high.  If crossholders tender, pro-ration goes way down and one is better off just selling everything in the market for a small loss. Travis is bullish that the tender goes through and bullish the profit opportunity. He thinks for the astute arbitrageur, there is a lot of room to play around the ranges here.

(link to Travis’s insight: HIS Hostile Tender for Unizo – Fun Ahead!)


Villa World Ltd (VLW AU)  (Mkt Cap: $203mn; Liquidity: $1mn)

VLW and AVID have (finally) entered into a Scheme Implementation Agreement at A$2.345/share yesterday, which is a 17.8% premium to the unaffected price of $1.99 on 14 March, and an A$0.115 bump over the initial pitch in March. Any final or special dividend paid on or prior to the implementation of the Scheme will reduce the Offer Price. The key nagging issue is Ho Bee Land Ltd (HOBEE SP).

  • Ho Bee, VLW’s largest shareholder and JV partner, responded to AVID’s proposal by buying 2.2mn shares (~1.8% of shares out) at an average of A$2.04/share – and a high of A$2.18/share – lifting its stake to 9.41% on the same day as the initial Offer. Ho Bee further bumped its stake to 10.45% on the 25 March at an average price of A$2.21; and finally, to 11.62% on the 15 April at an average of $2.17. Its overall average in-price is A$1.98/share.
  • Would Ho Bee go to such extreme just to extract another 5% from the Offer? Maybe, but it is a little weird. Ho Bee did not buy over $2.23/share.
  • On balance, this deal should get up. Pricing appears fair with respect to peers. Ho Bee receives a decent premium to its overall average position. This is also not a material holding for Ho Bee – the 11.62% stake is equivalent to ~2% of its market cap – while it remains directly invested in the Melbourne JV.  With a late November/ early December completion, this is trading very tight to terms at 0.6% gross.

(link to my insight: Villa World Greenlights AVID’s Offer)


Ascendas Hospitality Trust (ASCHT SP) (Mkt Cap: $844mn; Liquidity: $3mn)

On 3 July, Ascott Residence Trust (ART SP) and ASCHT jointly announced a proposed combination, which would result in the combined entity becoming the largest hospitality trust in the Asia Pacific region, one of the top ten globally, with an asset value of S$7.6bn. It would – using data from the end of June – become the 7th largest trust on the SGX.

  • The deal is for Ascott to acquire ASCHT through a Scheme of Arrangement whereby ASCHT unitholders will receive what was – at the announcement – S$1.0868 per ASCHT Stapled Unit. The exact terms are S$0.0543 in cash and 0.7942 Ascott Reit-BT Stapled Units. That is a ratio of 0.836 but if you do the arithmetic, it comes out as a NAV-flat transaction. Neither ASCHT nor ART shareholders “overly benefit” at the expense of the other, but they both benefit from scale lowering future costs.
  • The deal is another REIT consolidation to create a LARGER NewREIT. It was also totally obvious, after the Ascendas-Singbridge deal was signed earlier this year, that within the Capitaland group (which meant Temasek was going to own 51% of Capitaland when completed), this was going to happen (even though the deal meant there were no chained transactions for the REITs). It makes one wonder if there is a deal for Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (AREIT SP) to come. 
  • The deal (at the time of the insight) showed a 4.5% spread being long ASCHT and short Ascott, which is slightly wide for a deal of ~five months. However, there is some uncertainty in the distributions. If you own Ascott and are in a position to switch out of Ascott into AREIT, Travis would do so. If you own ASCHT and you like the risk of owning the REIT, you own the right one. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Ascott & Ascendas Hospitality Merger – Not Unexpected and Should Be Easy)


Dalian Port (Pda) Co Ltd H (2880 HK)  (Mkt Cap: $3bn; Liquidity: $1mn)

Back on the 4 June, Dalian Port (Pda) announced a possible Mandatory General Offer (MGO) at $1.0127/share, a 0.27% premium to last close. The MGO would be triggered following the rearrangement of various companies under the PRC government, collectively holding 68.37% into Dalian Port (Pda), with the long-term objective of merging the ports in Liaoning province under a single platform. The shareholding structure is a spider’s web and understanding the share transfers is probably best done by studying the diagrams in the document and the insight.

  • The integration/consolidation process is complicated with local, provincial and central government holdings in port ownership. Further, local governments, which often trumpet their success in tandem with the performance of its port, may be less willing to forego such economic benefits by giving up absolute control.
  • China Merchant Holdings already has effective control of Dalian Port (Pda) – (47.31%) direct and 21.05% via Team Able/China Merchants Port (144 HK). The equity transfers forming part of the restructuring are being hived out from one SASAC entity into another SASAC-controlled entity. This should all go through and the unconditional MGO will be triggered, and potentially wrap up in October, provided the ETA completes on the long stop date.
  • Dalian Port (Pda) is trading in line with listed Hong Kong ports. You have a (likely) hard floor at $1.01, with expectations of further group restructuring, as the three Liaoning ports are integrated. However, HK port companies are down ~7.% in the past year, similar to Chinese-listed port companies.  The sentiment is decidedly downbeat as the trade war creates a less profitable business environment.

(link to my insight: Dalian Port – Rearranging The Deck Chairs)


Health Management Intl (HMI SP) (Mkt Cap: $844mn; Liquidity: $3mn)

The previous Friday, listed regional (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia) private healthcare provider HMI announced an Implementation Agreement for a privatisation by way of Scheme of Arrangement whereby private equity fund EQT would acquire HMI for S$0.73/share in cash or one share of the Acquirer. That price is a 25-30% premium to the 1, 3, 6, and 12-month VWAPs prior to the announcement and a 14% premium to the last “undisturbed” trading day.

  • It is not overly generous. The premium is small, and the forecast Next 12 Month EV/EBITDA multiple at 17+x is OK but compared to the other private hospital operators out there in Asia it is not overwhelmingly high-priced. It seems a bit of a stretch to see someone come over the top when this has been negotiated. However, if one asked me whether the likelihood of bump or deal failure is more likely, Travis would tilt towards bump, but it would be just a kiss.
  • It takes 75% of the 39% not owned by NSI and “concert parties” to get this done, but the 2018 Annual Report showed that 89.75% of the shareholders (i.e. 83.2% or so of the possible Scheme Shareholders) owned more than 1,000,000 shares. The top 40 shareholders determine the outcome of this deal as long as the rest generally are split 51/49 or better. It is difficult to see this one getting knocked down.
  • Travis expects the timeline of this deal is about 4 months plus perhaps a week. That means at S$0.72 the gross spread at 1.39% gets you an annualised spread of about 4.15%. At S$0.715, the gross spread is 2.10% (before comms, etc) so 4 months is 6+% annualised.  The trade here is to get queue priority at S$0.715. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Health Management Int’l Privatisation – Easy Peasy)


Briefly …

Harbin Electric Co Ltd H (1133 HK) this week announced there will be no further extension of its Offer which closes on the 19 July. By my estimate, tendered shares total 71.86%. The tendering condition is 90%.

M&A – UK

Telford Homes (TEF LN) (Mkt Cap: $335mn; Liquidity: $1mn)

On July 3rd, US-based commercial real estate services company, CBRE Group Inc A (CBG US)announced that they had reached an agreement with the board of London-based residential real estate developer, Telford, to acquire 100% of its shares by way of a Scheme of Arrangement at a price of GBP3.50/ share. The offer values the target at a market cap of GBP 265mn. 

  • While the Offer Price translates to premia of 11.1%, 14.3%, and 21.3% to the undisturbed price, 1-month VWAP and 3-month VWAP respectively, it remains 3.4% lower than the 1-year VWAP of Telford shares. Furthermore, the offer price also translates to discounts of 28.8% and 38.8% to the stock’s 1-year and 2-year highs respectively.
  • The company appears to have confidence its current build-plan and will come through on budget and so after a couple of project delays at the end of this past year, earnings will rebound and march higher. The few analysts who cover the stock are less bullish this year, but it appears they expect the company to meet its 2020 targets a year or two later. 8x EPS and 1.0x book seem quite low. It is below the mean of the selected comps.
  •  If Travis had to bet right now, it’s 50/50 it does not get done. Brexit worries could get this over the line but he expects there are some unhappy shareholders. He is not sure there is enough time to get a competitor in there to see the price lifted.  The deal timeline is very short. The indicative timeline suggests the Target Scheme Meeting could be in just four weeks. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Telford Homes Takeout – A Disappointing End?)

M&A – US

Avon Products (AVP US) (Mkt Cap: $1.8bn; Liquidity: $41mn)

On May 22, 2019, Avon announced that it had entered into a merger agreement to be acquired in an all-stock transaction by Brazilian Holding Company Natura & Co (NATUR3 BZ).  Natura will exchange 0.30 of its shares for each AVP share on a fixed exchange ratio basis, currently valuing AVP at ~US$2 bn. The merger agreement deadline is set for July 22, 2020. On completion of the merger, NATU3 shareholders will own 76% of the combination with AVP shareholders owning 24%. The transaction catapults NATU3 to becoming the world’s sixth largest consumer goods company.

  • Natura is paying ~10x consensus 2019 EBITDA for standalone AVP which is reasonable in comparison to prevailing peer group multiples averaging 17x and compares with Natura’s own standalone valuation multiple of ~14x.
  • The transaction could attract particular scrutiny from the antitrust authorities in Brazil, which represents the single largest market for both Natura and AVP. According to data from Euromonitor, Natura maintains a commanding lead in Brazil’s direct sales market for cosmetics with an estimated 31% market share followed by a ~ 16% share for AVP. That being said, the direct sales market is based around independent consultants/reps, many of whom already offer both Natura and Avon products in Brazil. 
  • The double-digits merger spread that prevails (14% at the time of the insight) could offer a lucrative opportunity for arbs. The complicating factor is that Natura is listed on the Brazilian Stock exchange (B3) and denominated in an historically volatile currency, the Brazilian Real, while AVP shares trade on the NYSE in US$. As some AVP shareholders may not want to own or are restricted from owning shares that trade on a non-US exchange, Natura will offer AVP shareholders the option to receive Natura shares in the form of Level-II ADRs to be traded on the NYSE or shares listed on B3. Natura does not currently have an ADR in issue.

(link to Robert Sassoon‘s insight: MergerTalk: Natura & Co/Avon Products -“Ding Dong, The Avon Spread Calling”)

STUBBS/HOLDCOS

Singapore Airlines (SIA SP) / Sia Engineering (SIE SP) 

SIE gained 15% the previous week, rekindling privatisation talks by SIA.  Despite the share price increase, SIE trades around November 2009 levels. SIE is not aware of any reasons for the jump. The stub is not terribly exciting with SIE accounting for 18% and 22% of NAV and market cap, and barely makes the grade with SIE trading ~US$1mn/day.

  • Last year’s privatisation of HAECO (44 HK) at $72/share (63.2% premium to last close) by Swire Pacific Ltd Cl A (19 HK) – which held 74.9% prior to the Offer – is not lost on investors. The takeover PER was 35x vs. 19x currently for SIE. Peer comps trade at 24x. SIE only appears fairly valued on an EV/EBITDA metric on account of the earnings from associated companies and JVs.
  • SIE is a maintenance, repair & overhaul company providing aircraft & component overhaul, fleet management and line maintenance services. The company also has material stakes in associated companies and JVs which contribute 71% of the Group’s profits in FY19, up from 58% in FY18.
  • The outcome, should an Offer be pitched, would cost SIA ~S$700mn to take out the shares it does not own. Not chump change, and it might have a slightly negative impact on SIA as it removes one layer of transparency. But given the stub weakness, the focus would be on the SIE arbitrage. I would not want to be short SIE here.

(link to my insight: StubWorld: Just Rumours (For Now) As SIA Engineering Pops)

SHARE CLASSIFICATIONS

My share class monitor provides a snapshot of the premium/discounts for 322 share classifications –  ADRs, Korean prefs, dual class, Thai (F/L) & A/Hs – around the region.

(link to my insight: Share Classifications: A Year In Review)

OTHER M&A UPDATES

CCASS

My ongoing series flags large moves (~10%) in CCASS holdings over the past week or so, moves which are often outside normal market transactions.  These may be indicative of share pledges – like Madison Holdings Group Ltd (8057 HK) on the 5 July.  Or potential takeovers. Or simply help understand volume swings. 

Often these moves can easily be explained – the placement of new shares, rights issue, movements subsequent to a takeover, amongst others. For those mentioned below, I could not find an obvious reason for the CCASS move.   

Name

% chg

Into

Out of

ISP Global (8487 HK)
50.50%
Bluemont
Outside CCASS
Camsing (2662 HK)
Great Roc
Founder
18.20%
Kingston
Citi
Source: HKEx

5. The Political Crisis Between Japan & South Korea (Lessons from the Joseon White Porcelains & Cobalt)

Mingdynasty

It has been more than 20 years that I’ve been covering the Korean markets and never has the political climate between Japan and South Korea been this terrible to the extent that the Japanese government has imposed the first round of significant economic sanctions on South Korea. 

In our view, there will likely be no major positive news next week that could dramatically result in the reconciliation between Japan and South Korea. Rather, we believe this heated political battle between Japan and South Korea appears to be just starting and that the Japanese government could impose the SECOND ROUND of economic sanctions on South Korea some time in August/September. 

While all these economic sanctions and restrictions of key chemical/semiconductor materials are occurring, the story of theJoseon white porcelains” came to my mind. All in all, the current restrictions of key chemical materials from Japan such as fluorine-containing polyimide, resists, and etching gas are reminiscent of the trade restrictions on imported items such as cobalt during the Joseon dynasty hundreds of years ago.  They are also a keen reminder that in order for Korea to have a vibrant, flourishing economy, excellent political relationships with its close, powerful neighbors including China and Japan is a must. 

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Brief Japan: Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect
  2. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air
  3. Last Week in Event SPACE: Chiyoda, Bandai, Unizo, Ascendas, Villa World, Avon, SIE Engineering
  4. The Political Crisis Between Japan & South Korea (Lessons from the Joseon White Porcelains & Cobalt)
  5. Yaskawa: Poor 1Q Should Correct Expectations and Share Price But Start Searching for an Entry Point

1. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC IPO (Cancelled) – Quick Trades on the Not so Subtle Butterfly Effect

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The announcement of the cancellation of the IPO, will impact some of the listed names across Asia-Pac, apart from the more obvious impact on the parent, Anheuser Busch Inbev Sa/Nv (ABI BB). Not to mention, souring of sentiment for some of the bigger deals in the pipeline.

I’ve covered the IPO over the past few months and taken a quick look at some of the M&A prospects across Asia. In this insight, I’ll talk about some of the follow-on effects from the IPO cancellation, starting with the not so obvious and ending with the obvious.


Links to my earlier insights:

2. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air

2019 07 14 08 54 17

Source: Japan Analytics

MOVING AVERAGE BREAKOUT – Japanese equities have now risen by 5.1% since the low of 4th June and, since July 1st, the Total Market Value has exceeded the 50-Day Moving Average for the first time since 26th April. Over the last two weeks, the Total Market Value has gained 1.7% in both Yen and US dollar times. For the previous twelve months, the equity market has moved in line with the US dollar/Japanese Yen exchange rate. It remains to be seen how the ‘gap’ that has opened up in the last month will be closed. Any further strength in the Yen from current levels will likely see the market slip below the 50-Day Moving Average again.

Source: Japan Analytics

VALUE TRADED RATIO – The Value Traded Ratio (Value Traded/Total Market Value) has seen two new eighteen-month lows. If the three days around Christmas are excluded, the current apathy towards Japanese equities is the most extreme since 2012 and is confirmed by recent BAML investor surveys. In the past, such periods of inactivity (marked”▲”above)  have preceded changes in market direction, more often upwards rather than downwards and suggest the current rally has more ‘legs’. 

Source: Japan Analytics

TORAKU INDEX – Conversely, the Toraku advance/decline index is suggesting a degree of caution having breached the 120 ‘overbought’ line for only the third time in eighteen months. Combining this analysis with the Value Traded Ratio, there is scope for a short-term upward move akin to that of October 2018 to be followed by a sharper downward trend into the autumn.  

Source: Japan Analytics

VOLUME SCORE TIMELINE – The lull in market turnover is confirmed in the greener ‘bias’ in our Sector volume timeline. The Retail and Restaurant Sectors are hot as we are in the middle of the quarterly results announcements for February/May/August/November year-end companies. REITs remain the ‘go-to’ defensive Sector while the Information Technology and Internet Sectors are the ‘tema-du-jour‘ – to mix language metaphors. The ‘untouchables’ are Metals, Banks, UtilitiesTransportation,  and Multi-Industry.

Source: Japan Analytics

3-MONTH SECTOR CONTRIBUTION – Over the last three months, a long Telcos/short Autos strategy would have yielded 82 basis points of performance. The Retail Sector has responded well to the results released so far led by drugstores Welcia (3141 JP) and Tsuruha (3391 JP), Fast Retailing (9983 JP), and Lawson (2651 JP). Electrical Equipment has suffered from weakness in component stocks Alps Alpine (6770 JP) (-38% over one year), Murata (6981 JP) (see Scott Foster‘s (Buy on Decline for the Long Term), and Taiyo Yuden (6976 JP), while SMC (6273 JP), Fanuc (6954 JP), and Komatsu (6301 JP) have weighed on the Machinery Sector.

Source: Japan Analytics

SECTOR SCORE MATRIX – Arranging our cap-weighted Sector Relative Price Scores and Results & Revisions Scores in a four-quadrant matrix whose extremes are Contrarian Sell, Contrarian Buy, Unrequited Growth, and Ex-Growth suggest profit-taking in Information Technology (OBIC (4684 JP), Other Commerical Products (Hoya Corp (7741 JP), and Commercial Services (Recruit 6098 JP). We are not contrarian enough to fall into the banking ‘trap’, however, the Metals Sector may offer some ‘crumbs’ of comfort for those in need of a deep value ‘fix’ (Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (5401 JP)

In the DETAIL section below, we will review Sector performance, scores and valuation in more detail, as well as Company Results & Revisions and individual stock performance over the previous two weeks, as well as adding some brief comments on Welcia (3141 JP), Daiseki (9793 JP), Yaskawa Electric (6506 JP), Pola Orbis (4927 JP), Sekisui House (1928 JP), Keyence (6861 JP), Japan Post Insurance (7181 JP), and Obic (4684 JP).

3. Last Week in Event SPACE: Chiyoda, Bandai, Unizo, Ascendas, Villa World, Avon, SIE Engineering

Spin2

Last Week in Event SPACE …

(This insight covers specific insights & comments involving Stubs, Pairs, Arbitrage, share Classification and Events – or SPACE – in the past week)

EVENTS

Chiyoda Corp (6366 JP)  (Mkt Cap: $729mn; Liquidity: $15mn)

Travis Lundy calculated the total shares to be sold at 48-50m accounting for 20% of outstanding and 30% of float in Chiyoda’s upcoming removal from the Nikkei (and now confirmed – see Travis insight below) and Topix indexes, and referenced the exclusion trades resulted in Toshiba Corp (6502 JP) falling 24% and Sharp Corp (6753 JP) falling 31%. But Mio Kato, CFA feels that the company’s situation could skew the timing compared to what would be “normal”.

  • Mio believes that it may be more interesting to look for a reversion trade in the event that the stock price declines significantly into the exclusion. He feels that the fall may not be quite as steep as that for Toshiba or Sharp. In both Toshiba and Sharp’s cases there was still significant uncertainty surrounding the names as Toshiba had not completed or even announced its capital raise at the time and the sale of its memory subsidiary was still being hotly contested; while in Sharp’s case Hon Hai was playing hardball on deal terms.
  • In contrast, Chiyoda has already secured funding from a very stable and large partner and appears to have kitchen-sinked a lot of assumptions and faces a very bright operational outlook – its problems stem from poor risk management, which Mitsubishi is meant to solve, and not operations. 
  • In addition, due to Chiyoda’s previous operational struggles and write-downs there is already a very significant short base. This could distort the usual timing of the fall in the stock price and the fact that the stock has recovered to just 3.5% below the level prior to more widespread reporting of the exclusion points to this eventuality. It does seem likely that the size of the required sell could push Chiyoda’s price down at some point – Mio argues this could happen much closer to the actual event than usual. If borrow is difficult to come by, there could be money to be made on the other side around the turn of the month.

(link to Mio’s insight: Chiyoda: Risks to the Index Kick-Out Trade and Potential Volatility at Earnings the Next Day)


Bandai Namco Holdings (7832 JP)  (Mkt Cap: $12.6bn; Liquidity: $28mn)

The Nikkei Inc announced its “Changes to the Nikkei Indices” this week  which became inevitable when the Tokyo Stock Exchange announced on the 28th of June that Chiyoda Corp (6366 JP)s yuho (Annual Securities Report) had the company at a negative net worth, requiring a reassignment to the Second Section of the TSE. Nikkei 225 Methodology requires that members be TSE-1 listed. The Announcement surprised people. As expected, Chiyoda is Out – but Bandai is In.  Chiyoda closed down 2.6% on 2mm shares, and Bandai closed limit up +19.3% on 300k shares allocated at the limit on the close.

  • There are still something like 50 million shares of Chiyoda to sell. The significant shorts – which are likely well in excess of the 23+ million shares shown and reported – are likely sourcing a lot of their borrow from the shareholders (passive funds) who have to sell. Those shareholders will have to recall their borrow. Earnings come out the day after the exclusion. I would not want to be short that earnings number. Plus read Mio’s insight above.
  • There should be 27mm shares to buy in Bandai which is about 20% of float. However, if only half the foreigners and only half the individual holders would be willing to sell on a large jump in price in the next few weeks, then the net available to sell is probably closer to 80mm shares and 27mm to buy would be one-third. It’s a lot. Once it gets purchased by Nikkei 225 funds, it won’t come out anytime soon. This stock is likely to get squeezed.
  • Dmg Mori Co Ltd (6141 JP) was flagged by many as a good bet to replace Chiyoda. Since then, roughly 14 million shares of excess volume have traded. If half of that is a real displacement of holdings based on this event, 7mm shares would need to be sold. That is 3% of shares out and 4-5% of float. It is among the larger excess positioning situations in the last five years in the stock. DMG closed -10% on 7.3mm shares in response to the index changes.

(link to Travis’s insight: Nikkei 225 – Bandai Namco IN, Chiyoda OUT)


Kcc Corp (002380 KS)  (Mkt Cap: $2.2bn; Liquidity: $6mn)

KCC will split itself into two companies in the form of an equity spinoff with KCC the surviving company and KCG the new company. KCC will mainly comprise the B2B business (silicone, paint and varnish); KCG will get the B2C business such as glass and interior. An EGM will be held on Nov 13 and shareholder approval can be obtained with 2/3 of attending votes and 1/3 of shares out. Both companies will be listed – KCC on Jan 21 next year, but KCG’s listing date hasn’t been fixed.

  • Typically, demergers serve to streamline a business.  However, the major shareholder retains 40%, which Sanghyun Park considers to be weak. He believes the major shareholder intends to further solidify this controlling stake via a tender, possibly a month after the Jan 21 listing. 

(link to Sanghyun’s insight: KCC Corp Equity Spinoff: Summary & Mispricing Checkup)


R* Shares CPSE ETF (CPSEBE IN) 

The ETF is based on the Nifty CPSE index and currently includes 11 listed Central Public Sector Enterprises, declining to 10 after Rural Electrification (RECL IN) was kicked out this past Friday. The sixth tranche of the ETF is expected to open on July 18 to anchor investors and on July 19 to non-anchor investors. The new units are expected to start trading on July 29. The discount on the ETF will be 3%, opening up arbitrage opportunities to investors.

  • The CPSE ETF does not trade big volumes on a regular day. However, there is a huge volume surge following fund offerings as many investors look to flip their allocation back into the market and lock in a profit. The anchor portion was oversubscribed almost 6 times in the last tranche issued in March this year, though the number may be smaller this time with the tighter discount being offered.
  • The ETF will need to buy around 63m shares of Indian Oil Corp (IOCL IN) in the market on July 19. Brian Freitas estimates this number since the Government of India can only sell around 64m shares to the ETF as this will take their stake in the company down to 51.5%, the lowest percentage for the stock to remain in the Nifty CPSE index. Given the stock trades around 13m shares a day on average, he sees 4x of excess volume and expect the stock to rally in the lead up to July 19 and see buying over the day on July 19.

links to Brian’s insights:
The CPSE ETF Arb Is Back, but Tighter!
India – NIFTY CPSE Index Review.

M&A – ASIA-PAC

Unizo Holdings (3258 JP) (Mkt Cap: $913mn; Liquidity: $4mn)

Japan’s premier discount travel agency H I S Co Ltd (9603 JP) on Wednesday announced it would launch a Partial Tender Offer (commencing this past Friday) to purchase a 40+% stake in real estate and hotel business Unizo to raise its stake from ~4.8% to 45.0%. The Tender Offer price is at a 56% premium to the last trade and is at an 18-month high. But, this is a hostile tender.

  • A hostile tender offer by one company upon another conducted without warning, or with warning but without approval, is reasonably rare. In Japan, it is even rarer. This is, however, the second in six months – the first being Itochu Corp (8001 JP)‘s tender offer for shares of Descente Ltd (8114 JP).  HIS has decided to buy 40% of a company it hadn’t talked to. At a 50+% premium. And given this one has hostility AND a longer end date, there is more trading and event optionality than normal.
  • Unizo has several possible responses it could give. The right thing to do would be to establish an independent committee immediately. A rights offering might kill the deal. But it would be fair to investors. A White Knight is not unthinkable. Travis expects the odds are pretty good that Unizo does not have a great defense here. That means the Tender likely goes through.
  • Unless corporate and financial cross-holders tender, the pro-ration could end up being very high.  If crossholders tender, pro-ration goes way down and one is better off just selling everything in the market for a small loss. Travis is bullish that the tender goes through and bullish the profit opportunity. He thinks for the astute arbitrageur, there is a lot of room to play around the ranges here.

(link to Travis’s insight: HIS Hostile Tender for Unizo – Fun Ahead!)


Villa World Ltd (VLW AU)  (Mkt Cap: $203mn; Liquidity: $1mn)

VLW and AVID have (finally) entered into a Scheme Implementation Agreement at A$2.345/share yesterday, which is a 17.8% premium to the unaffected price of $1.99 on 14 March, and an A$0.115 bump over the initial pitch in March. Any final or special dividend paid on or prior to the implementation of the Scheme will reduce the Offer Price. The key nagging issue is Ho Bee Land Ltd (HOBEE SP).

  • Ho Bee, VLW’s largest shareholder and JV partner, responded to AVID’s proposal by buying 2.2mn shares (~1.8% of shares out) at an average of A$2.04/share – and a high of A$2.18/share – lifting its stake to 9.41% on the same day as the initial Offer. Ho Bee further bumped its stake to 10.45% on the 25 March at an average price of A$2.21; and finally, to 11.62% on the 15 April at an average of $2.17. Its overall average in-price is A$1.98/share.
  • Would Ho Bee go to such extreme just to extract another 5% from the Offer? Maybe, but it is a little weird. Ho Bee did not buy over $2.23/share.
  • On balance, this deal should get up. Pricing appears fair with respect to peers. Ho Bee receives a decent premium to its overall average position. This is also not a material holding for Ho Bee – the 11.62% stake is equivalent to ~2% of its market cap – while it remains directly invested in the Melbourne JV.  With a late November/ early December completion, this is trading very tight to terms at 0.6% gross.

(link to my insight: Villa World Greenlights AVID’s Offer)


Ascendas Hospitality Trust (ASCHT SP) (Mkt Cap: $844mn; Liquidity: $3mn)

On 3 July, Ascott Residence Trust (ART SP) and ASCHT jointly announced a proposed combination, which would result in the combined entity becoming the largest hospitality trust in the Asia Pacific region, one of the top ten globally, with an asset value of S$7.6bn. It would – using data from the end of June – become the 7th largest trust on the SGX.

  • The deal is for Ascott to acquire ASCHT through a Scheme of Arrangement whereby ASCHT unitholders will receive what was – at the announcement – S$1.0868 per ASCHT Stapled Unit. The exact terms are S$0.0543 in cash and 0.7942 Ascott Reit-BT Stapled Units. That is a ratio of 0.836 but if you do the arithmetic, it comes out as a NAV-flat transaction. Neither ASCHT nor ART shareholders “overly benefit” at the expense of the other, but they both benefit from scale lowering future costs.
  • The deal is another REIT consolidation to create a LARGER NewREIT. It was also totally obvious, after the Ascendas-Singbridge deal was signed earlier this year, that within the Capitaland group (which meant Temasek was going to own 51% of Capitaland when completed), this was going to happen (even though the deal meant there were no chained transactions for the REITs). It makes one wonder if there is a deal for Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (AREIT SP) to come. 
  • The deal (at the time of the insight) showed a 4.5% spread being long ASCHT and short Ascott, which is slightly wide for a deal of ~five months. However, there is some uncertainty in the distributions. If you own Ascott and are in a position to switch out of Ascott into AREIT, Travis would do so. If you own ASCHT and you like the risk of owning the REIT, you own the right one. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Ascott & Ascendas Hospitality Merger – Not Unexpected and Should Be Easy)


Dalian Port (Pda) Co Ltd H (2880 HK)  (Mkt Cap: $3bn; Liquidity: $1mn)

Back on the 4 June, Dalian Port (Pda) announced a possible Mandatory General Offer (MGO) at $1.0127/share, a 0.27% premium to last close. The MGO would be triggered following the rearrangement of various companies under the PRC government, collectively holding 68.37% into Dalian Port (Pda), with the long-term objective of merging the ports in Liaoning province under a single platform. The shareholding structure is a spider’s web and understanding the share transfers is probably best done by studying the diagrams in the document and the insight.

  • The integration/consolidation process is complicated with local, provincial and central government holdings in port ownership. Further, local governments, which often trumpet their success in tandem with the performance of its port, may be less willing to forego such economic benefits by giving up absolute control.
  • China Merchant Holdings already has effective control of Dalian Port (Pda) – (47.31%) direct and 21.05% via Team Able/China Merchants Port (144 HK). The equity transfers forming part of the restructuring are being hived out from one SASAC entity into another SASAC-controlled entity. This should all go through and the unconditional MGO will be triggered, and potentially wrap up in October, provided the ETA completes on the long stop date.
  • Dalian Port (Pda) is trading in line with listed Hong Kong ports. You have a (likely) hard floor at $1.01, with expectations of further group restructuring, as the three Liaoning ports are integrated. However, HK port companies are down ~7.% in the past year, similar to Chinese-listed port companies.  The sentiment is decidedly downbeat as the trade war creates a less profitable business environment.

(link to my insight: Dalian Port – Rearranging The Deck Chairs)


Health Management Intl (HMI SP) (Mkt Cap: $844mn; Liquidity: $3mn)

The previous Friday, listed regional (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia) private healthcare provider HMI announced an Implementation Agreement for a privatisation by way of Scheme of Arrangement whereby private equity fund EQT would acquire HMI for S$0.73/share in cash or one share of the Acquirer. That price is a 25-30% premium to the 1, 3, 6, and 12-month VWAPs prior to the announcement and a 14% premium to the last “undisturbed” trading day.

  • It is not overly generous. The premium is small, and the forecast Next 12 Month EV/EBITDA multiple at 17+x is OK but compared to the other private hospital operators out there in Asia it is not overwhelmingly high-priced. It seems a bit of a stretch to see someone come over the top when this has been negotiated. However, if one asked me whether the likelihood of bump or deal failure is more likely, Travis would tilt towards bump, but it would be just a kiss.
  • It takes 75% of the 39% not owned by NSI and “concert parties” to get this done, but the 2018 Annual Report showed that 89.75% of the shareholders (i.e. 83.2% or so of the possible Scheme Shareholders) owned more than 1,000,000 shares. The top 40 shareholders determine the outcome of this deal as long as the rest generally are split 51/49 or better. It is difficult to see this one getting knocked down.
  • Travis expects the timeline of this deal is about 4 months plus perhaps a week. That means at S$0.72 the gross spread at 1.39% gets you an annualised spread of about 4.15%. At S$0.715, the gross spread is 2.10% (before comms, etc) so 4 months is 6+% annualised.  The trade here is to get queue priority at S$0.715. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Health Management Int’l Privatisation – Easy Peasy)


Briefly …

Harbin Electric Co Ltd H (1133 HK) this week announced there will be no further extension of its Offer which closes on the 19 July. By my estimate, tendered shares total 71.86%. The tendering condition is 90%.

M&A – UK

Telford Homes (TEF LN) (Mkt Cap: $335mn; Liquidity: $1mn)

On July 3rd, US-based commercial real estate services company, CBRE Group Inc A (CBG US)announced that they had reached an agreement with the board of London-based residential real estate developer, Telford, to acquire 100% of its shares by way of a Scheme of Arrangement at a price of GBP3.50/ share. The offer values the target at a market cap of GBP 265mn. 

  • While the Offer Price translates to premia of 11.1%, 14.3%, and 21.3% to the undisturbed price, 1-month VWAP and 3-month VWAP respectively, it remains 3.4% lower than the 1-year VWAP of Telford shares. Furthermore, the offer price also translates to discounts of 28.8% and 38.8% to the stock’s 1-year and 2-year highs respectively.
  • The company appears to have confidence its current build-plan and will come through on budget and so after a couple of project delays at the end of this past year, earnings will rebound and march higher. The few analysts who cover the stock are less bullish this year, but it appears they expect the company to meet its 2020 targets a year or two later. 8x EPS and 1.0x book seem quite low. It is below the mean of the selected comps.
  •  If Travis had to bet right now, it’s 50/50 it does not get done. Brexit worries could get this over the line but he expects there are some unhappy shareholders. He is not sure there is enough time to get a competitor in there to see the price lifted.  The deal timeline is very short. The indicative timeline suggests the Target Scheme Meeting could be in just four weeks. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Telford Homes Takeout – A Disappointing End?)

M&A – US

Avon Products (AVP US) (Mkt Cap: $1.8bn; Liquidity: $41mn)

On May 22, 2019, Avon announced that it had entered into a merger agreement to be acquired in an all-stock transaction by Brazilian Holding Company Natura & Co (NATUR3 BZ).  Natura will exchange 0.30 of its shares for each AVP share on a fixed exchange ratio basis, currently valuing AVP at ~US$2 bn. The merger agreement deadline is set for July 22, 2020. On completion of the merger, NATU3 shareholders will own 76% of the combination with AVP shareholders owning 24%. The transaction catapults NATU3 to becoming the world’s sixth largest consumer goods company.

  • Natura is paying ~10x consensus 2019 EBITDA for standalone AVP which is reasonable in comparison to prevailing peer group multiples averaging 17x and compares with Natura’s own standalone valuation multiple of ~14x.
  • The transaction could attract particular scrutiny from the antitrust authorities in Brazil, which represents the single largest market for both Natura and AVP. According to data from Euromonitor, Natura maintains a commanding lead in Brazil’s direct sales market for cosmetics with an estimated 31% market share followed by a ~ 16% share for AVP. That being said, the direct sales market is based around independent consultants/reps, many of whom already offer both Natura and Avon products in Brazil. 
  • The double-digits merger spread that prevails (14% at the time of the insight) could offer a lucrative opportunity for arbs. The complicating factor is that Natura is listed on the Brazilian Stock exchange (B3) and denominated in an historically volatile currency, the Brazilian Real, while AVP shares trade on the NYSE in US$. As some AVP shareholders may not want to own or are restricted from owning shares that trade on a non-US exchange, Natura will offer AVP shareholders the option to receive Natura shares in the form of Level-II ADRs to be traded on the NYSE or shares listed on B3. Natura does not currently have an ADR in issue.

(link to Robert Sassoon‘s insight: MergerTalk: Natura & Co/Avon Products -“Ding Dong, The Avon Spread Calling”)

STUBBS/HOLDCOS

Singapore Airlines (SIA SP) / Sia Engineering (SIE SP) 

SIE gained 15% the previous week, rekindling privatisation talks by SIA.  Despite the share price increase, SIE trades around November 2009 levels. SIE is not aware of any reasons for the jump. The stub is not terribly exciting with SIE accounting for 18% and 22% of NAV and market cap, and barely makes the grade with SIE trading ~US$1mn/day.

  • Last year’s privatisation of HAECO (44 HK) at $72/share (63.2% premium to last close) by Swire Pacific Ltd Cl A (19 HK) – which held 74.9% prior to the Offer – is not lost on investors. The takeover PER was 35x vs. 19x currently for SIE. Peer comps trade at 24x. SIE only appears fairly valued on an EV/EBITDA metric on account of the earnings from associated companies and JVs.
  • SIE is a maintenance, repair & overhaul company providing aircraft & component overhaul, fleet management and line maintenance services. The company also has material stakes in associated companies and JVs which contribute 71% of the Group’s profits in FY19, up from 58% in FY18.
  • The outcome, should an Offer be pitched, would cost SIA ~S$700mn to take out the shares it does not own. Not chump change, and it might have a slightly negative impact on SIA as it removes one layer of transparency. But given the stub weakness, the focus would be on the SIE arbitrage. I would not want to be short SIE here.

(link to my insight: StubWorld: Just Rumours (For Now) As SIA Engineering Pops)

SHARE CLASSIFICATIONS

My share class monitor provides a snapshot of the premium/discounts for 322 share classifications –  ADRs, Korean prefs, dual class, Thai (F/L) & A/Hs – around the region.

(link to my insight: Share Classifications: A Year In Review)

OTHER M&A UPDATES

CCASS

My ongoing series flags large moves (~10%) in CCASS holdings over the past week or so, moves which are often outside normal market transactions.  These may be indicative of share pledges – like Madison Holdings Group Ltd (8057 HK) on the 5 July.  Or potential takeovers. Or simply help understand volume swings. 

Often these moves can easily be explained – the placement of new shares, rights issue, movements subsequent to a takeover, amongst others. For those mentioned below, I could not find an obvious reason for the CCASS move.   

Name

% chg

Into

Out of

ISP Global (8487 HK)
50.50%
Bluemont
Outside CCASS
Camsing (2662 HK)
Great Roc
Founder
18.20%
Kingston
Citi
Source: HKEx

4. The Political Crisis Between Japan & South Korea (Lessons from the Joseon White Porcelains & Cobalt)

Mingdynasty

It has been more than 20 years that I’ve been covering the Korean markets and never has the political climate between Japan and South Korea been this terrible to the extent that the Japanese government has imposed the first round of significant economic sanctions on South Korea. 

In our view, there will likely be no major positive news next week that could dramatically result in the reconciliation between Japan and South Korea. Rather, we believe this heated political battle between Japan and South Korea appears to be just starting and that the Japanese government could impose the SECOND ROUND of economic sanctions on South Korea some time in August/September. 

While all these economic sanctions and restrictions of key chemical/semiconductor materials are occurring, the story of theJoseon white porcelains” came to my mind. All in all, the current restrictions of key chemical materials from Japan such as fluorine-containing polyimide, resists, and etching gas are reminiscent of the trade restrictions on imported items such as cobalt during the Joseon dynasty hundreds of years ago.  They are also a keen reminder that in order for Korea to have a vibrant, flourishing economy, excellent political relationships with its close, powerful neighbors including China and Japan is a must. 

5. Yaskawa: Poor 1Q Should Correct Expectations and Share Price But Start Searching for an Entry Point

Motion%20control%20op

Yaskawa Electric (6506 JP) reported 1Q earnings today, kicking off the season for the factory automation space in rather dour fashion with revenue down 16.2% YoY and OP down 58.2% YoY. Revenue was ¥107.4bn, 10% below consensus and we estimate about 4-5% below the company’s own plan, while OP was ¥7.2bn, about 30% below consensus.

The results look rather dire and are likely to pour cold water on hopes for a quick rebound for the sector. We are turning more constructive on the name but are increasingly concerned for peer Harmonic Drive Systems (6324 JP). We discuss the details below.

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Brief Japan: Nexon Sale: Kakao Is Emerging as the Leading Horse and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. Nexon Sale: Kakao Is Emerging as the Leading Horse
  2. 🇰🇷 🇯🇵 That Was The Week That Was North Asia – 10-16th June 2019 @Smartkarma
  3. 🇯🇵 Japan • Relative Price Scores – Overbought & Oversold Companies – June 2019

1. Nexon Sale: Kakao Is Emerging as the Leading Horse

Yeah, Nexon event is very quiet. Even we didn’t have rumor report from local media lately since the main bid closing. So, we are hearing all kinds of worrying voices that the deal may be falling apart. Then, MK, one of Korea’s top tier economic daily, put out a follow-up report on this event late today. MK quoted someone familiar with the matter, possibly a banker working on this deal or a Nexon insider, but MK doesn’t specify the identity further. This “someone” told MK that the deal is still very much alive. Just, it now seems that KKR and Bain are no longer in the race. According to MK (well actually this “someone”), it is now a three-horse race between Kakao, Netmarble and MBK. Is this a surprise? Of course, it is not. What’s really bothering me is why this “someone inside” has always been leaking inside info and mood to local media, mainly MK and HK. Is Nexon doing it on purpose to buttress the share price so that they can keep having the upper hand in the deal talking? Well, it may be, or I don’t know for sure. Alright, let’s put this intention thing aside for now, and let’s first take a look at what this “someone” told MK.

BTW, this is the link of this latest MK report. (Title is quite provocative…)

2. 🇰🇷 🇯🇵 That Was The Week That Was North Asia – 10-16th June 2019 @Smartkarma

2019 06 12 19 11 00

TW3 NORTH ASIA 10-16TH JUNE

Smartkarma’s North Asian Insight providers were overwhelmingly bullish this week. In the Event-Driven space, Sanghyun Park provided an update on the Nexon Sale, and Michael Causton gave an excellent overview of the M&A permutations for Japan’s listed Drugstore companies. Douglas Kim reviews SKC’s purchase of KCFT and suggests that the SK Group appears intent on making more big M&A deals where it wants to have a leading presence – in this case in vertically integrating the lithium-ion batteries/components/materials.  Also in Korea, KCGI’s move on Hanjin Kal is running into funding problems, while a 3% stake has recently by purchased by Goldman Sachs, with the rumoured end-buyer being Delta Airlines.  

Only one IPO was commented on – Oshadhi Kumarasiri casts a dubious eye over the upcoming Shin-nihon-seiyaku Co Ltd (4931 JP) deal and suggests that management maybe selling out ahead of the peaking of the company main, and so-far only brand, Perfect One.

Bullish Equity Bottom-Up comments were published on Nissan (7201 JP), Renesas Electronics (6723 JP), Rakuten (4755 JP), Hitachi (6501 JP), Modec(6269 JP), Nintendo (7974 JP), and Life (8194 JP). Only ZOZO (3092 JP) saw (another) bearish call.

Bullish Thematic & Strategy Insights were released on Japanese Telcos from Kirk Boodry – highlighting another regulatory-driven boost for Rakuten, while Sanghyun Park delved into the murky world of high-speed trading (HST) in Korea where Citadel and Merrill Lynch have made some controversial moves. In Japan, HST has recently been regulated with all operators required to establish an onshore entity or appoint a local agent and meet stringent reporting requirements governing their trading activities. Perhaps Korea should follow this example? Lastly, this author updated his Relative Price Score data, although these Insights are not summarised below.  


EVENT DRIVEN: BULLISH

Nexon Sale: Current Status Checkup

Drug-Fuelled Marriages and Macho Shachos in Japan

Korea M&A Spotlight: SKC Acquires KCFT for $1 Billion

EVENT DRIVEN: BEARISH

Hanjin Kal Special Situation: KCGI’s Takeover Is Tougher than Previously Appeared

IPOs & PLACEMENTS: BEARISH

Shinnihonseiyaku IPO: Perfect One, Not So Perfect Afterall

EQUITY BOTTOM UP: BULLISH

Nissan: Chances of the Alliance Surviving Have Dimmed Greatly

Renesas: Factory Automation and Aircon Inventory Adjustments to Take Time

Rakuten Pay Winning the Japanese Cashless War?

Hitachi Ltd. (6501 JP): Share Price Up on Restructuring News

MODEC: On Track to Win Roughly Half of Its Bids

Switch Production to Move From China; Nintendo Plunges After Dull E3 Presentation

Life Corp Ties with Amazon Japan

EQUITY BOTTOM UP: BEARISH

Zozo: The Underlying Operating Metrics Worry Us

THEMATIC & STRATEGY: BULLISH

Japan Telcos – Lower Cap for Early Cancellation: Positive for Rakuten

Algorithm Trading on KOSDAQ: Citadel Fund Case Checkup

THEMATIC & STRATEGY: BEARISH

🇯🇵 Japan • June Relative Price Scores: Market, Sectors & Peer Groups – More of The Same

🇯🇵 Japan • Relative Price Scores – Overbought & Oversold Companies – June 2019

3. 🇯🇵 Japan • Relative Price Scores – Overbought & Oversold Companies – June 2019

2019 06 15 14 21 56

• RELATIVE PRICE SCORE • 

Source: Japan Analytics

INTRODUCTION – The Relative Price Score (RPS) is a measure of stock price performance relative to TOPIX calculated by comparing the current deviation with the mean absolute deviation of monthly and daily relative share prices. As all companies are thus on a comparable scale, ‘Overbought’ and ‘Oversold’ outliers and changes in scoring can reveal short-term and longer-term trading opportunities. Company outlier thresholds are set at +4 & -2 and equate to the top and bottom first-to-second percentiles of historical observations from which mean reversion takes a matter of months. RPS outliers with a Score of greater than 10.0 are rare outside of the 2000 tech ‘bubble’. Goldwin (8111 JP) has the distinction of being one of only two large-cap RPS ‘ten-baggers’ since that time.

This insight updates our list of Overbought and Oversold companies, reviews the best and worst performing companies in terms of RPS over the last three months and adds some specific comments on stocks on each category.

Source: Japan Analytics

STATISTICS – Currently, of the 3,832 listed companies for which daily RPS data is available, 94 companies are ‘Overbought’, and 131 are ‘Oversold’ – 2.5% and 3.4%, respectively of the total. For the 758 companies with a market capitalisation of over ¥100b, there are 50 ‘Overbought’ and 18 ‘Oversold’ companies, 6.6% and 5.0%, respectively. As noted the companion Insight, 🇯🇵 Japan • June Relative Price Scores: Market, Sectors & Peer Groups – More of The Same, these numbers and percentages are unusual and were last seen in the Japanese market in 2000. 


• RELATIVE PRICE SCORE TOPS •

Source: Japan Analytics

RPS ‘TOPS’ – In the last two years, 444 companies have achieved an RPS of ‘4’ or more and the average Overbought ‘persistence’ is 43 days. 1.4% of the total of 1.29 million traded stock days were by companies with an RPS of over 4. For companies with a market capitalisation higher than ¥100b, the numbers are 96 companies and 75 days – demonstrating the superior persistence of large capitalisation companies in this regard. Some examples of RPS mean reversion in the last three months have been Descente (8114 JP)Alfresa (2784 JP), FamilyMart Uny (8028 JP), Kikkoman (2801 JP), Kobayashi Pharmaceutical (4967 JP), and Eiken Chemical (4549 JP).  

Source: Japan Analytics

RPS ‘BOTTOMS’ – 372 companies have seen their RPS fall to ‘-2’ or below in the last two years, and the average Oversold ‘persistence’ is 61 days. 1.5% of the total of 1.29 million traded stock days were by companies with an RPS of less than -2.  For larger capitalisation companies, the numbers are 85 companies and 89 days. A recent example of positive RPS mean reversion is K&O Energy (1663 JP).

Source: Japan Analytics

In the DETAIL section below, we list the current very overbought (RPS>5), too late to buy (RPS >4<5) and oversold (RPS <-2) stocks as well as the most substantial three-month positive and negative changes in RPS.

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Brief Japan: 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air and more

By | Daily Briefs, Japan

In this briefing:

  1. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air
  2. Last Week in Event SPACE: Chiyoda, Bandai, Unizo, Ascendas, Villa World, Avon, SIE Engineering
  3. The Political Crisis Between Japan & South Korea (Lessons from the Joseon White Porcelains & Cobalt)
  4. Yaskawa: Poor 1Q Should Correct Expectations and Share Price But Start Searching for an Entry Point
  5. Samsung Situation: Stella Chemifa Dilemma & Recent Price Movement

1. 🇯🇵 JAPAN • Market Update – Levitating on Thin Air

2019 07 14 11 03 53

Source: Japan Analytics

MOVING AVERAGE BREAKOUT – Japanese equities have now risen by 5.1% since the low of 4th June and, since July 1st, the Total Market Value has exceeded the 50-Day Moving Average for the first time since 26th April. Over the last two weeks, the Total Market Value has gained 1.7% in both Yen and US dollar times. For the previous twelve months, the equity market has moved in line with the US dollar/Japanese Yen exchange rate. It remains to be seen how the ‘gap’ that has opened up in the last month will be closed. Any further strength in the Yen from current levels will likely see the market slip below the 50-Day Moving Average again.

Source: Japan Analytics

VALUE TRADED RATIO – The Value Traded Ratio (Value Traded/Total Market Value) has seen two new eighteen-month lows. If the three days around Christmas are excluded, the current apathy towards Japanese equities is the most extreme since 2012 and is confirmed by recent BAML investor surveys. In the past, such periods of inactivity (marked”▲”above)  have preceded changes in market direction, more often upwards rather than downwards and suggest the current rally has more ‘legs’. 

Source: Japan Analytics

TORAKU INDEX – Conversely, the Toraku advance/decline index is suggesting a degree of caution having breached the 120 ‘overbought’ line for only the third time in eighteen months. Combining this analysis with the Value Traded Ratio, there is scope for a short-term upward move akin to that of October 2018 to be followed by a sharper downward trend into the autumn.  

Source: Japan Analytics

VOLUME SCORE TIMELINE – The lull in market turnover is confirmed in the greener ‘bias’ in our Sector volume timeline. The Retail and Restaurant Sectors are hot as we are in the middle of the quarterly results announcements for February/May/August/November year-end companies. REITs remain the ‘go-to’ defensive Sector while the Information Technology and Internet Sectors are the ‘tema-du-jour‘ – to mix language metaphors. The ‘untouchables’ are Metals, Banks, UtilitiesTransportation,  and Multi-Industry.

Source: Japan Analytics

3-MONTH SECTOR CONTRIBUTION – Over the last three months, a long Telcos/short Autos strategy would have yielded 82 basis points of performance. The Retail Sector has responded well to the results released so far led by drugstores Welcia (3141 JP) and Tsuruha (3391 JP), Fast Retailing (9983 JP), and Lawson (2651 JP). Electrical Equipment has suffered from weakness in component stocks Alps Alpine (6770 JP) (-38% over one year), Murata (6981 JP) (see Scott Foster‘s (Buy on Decline for the Long Term), and Taiyo Yuden (6976 JP), while SMC (6273 JP), Fanuc (6954 JP), and Komatsu (6301 JP) have weighed on the Machinery Sector.

Source: Japan Analytics

SECTOR SCORE MATRIX – Arranging our cap-weighted Sector Relative Price Scores and Results & Revisions Scores in a four-quadrant matrix whose extremes are Contrarian Sell, Contrarian Buy, Unrequited Growth, and Ex-Growth suggest profit-taking in Information Technology (OBIC (4684 JP), Other Commerical Products (Hoya Corp (7741 JP), and Commercial Services (Recruit 6098 JP). We are not contrarian enough to fall into the banking ‘trap’, however, the Metals Sector may offer some ‘crumbs’ of comfort for those in need of a deep value ‘fix’ (Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (5401 JP)

In the DETAIL section below, we will review Sector performance, scores and valuation in more detail, as well as Company Results & Revisions and individual stock performance over the previous two weeks, as well as adding some brief comments on Welcia (3141 JP), Daiseki (9793 JP), Yaskawa Electric (6506 JP), Pola Orbis (4927 JP), Sekisui House (1928 JP), Keyence (6861 JP), Japan Post Insurance (7181 JP), and Obic (4684 JP).

2. Last Week in Event SPACE: Chiyoda, Bandai, Unizo, Ascendas, Villa World, Avon, SIE Engineering

Lennon

Last Week in Event SPACE …

(This insight covers specific insights & comments involving Stubs, Pairs, Arbitrage, share Classification and Events – or SPACE – in the past week)

EVENTS

Chiyoda Corp (6366 JP)  (Mkt Cap: $729mn; Liquidity: $15mn)

Travis Lundy calculated the total shares to be sold at 48-50m accounting for 20% of outstanding and 30% of float in Chiyoda’s upcoming removal from the Nikkei (and now confirmed – see Travis insight below) and Topix indexes, and referenced the exclusion trades resulted in Toshiba Corp (6502 JP) falling 24% and Sharp Corp (6753 JP) falling 31%. But Mio Kato, CFA feels that the company’s situation could skew the timing compared to what would be “normal”.

  • Mio believes that it may be more interesting to look for a reversion trade in the event that the stock price declines significantly into the exclusion. He feels that the fall may not be quite as steep as that for Toshiba or Sharp. In both Toshiba and Sharp’s cases there was still significant uncertainty surrounding the names as Toshiba had not completed or even announced its capital raise at the time and the sale of its memory subsidiary was still being hotly contested; while in Sharp’s case Hon Hai was playing hardball on deal terms.
  • In contrast, Chiyoda has already secured funding from a very stable and large partner and appears to have kitchen-sinked a lot of assumptions and faces a very bright operational outlook – its problems stem from poor risk management, which Mitsubishi is meant to solve, and not operations. 
  • In addition, due to Chiyoda’s previous operational struggles and write-downs there is already a very significant short base. This could distort the usual timing of the fall in the stock price and the fact that the stock has recovered to just 3.5% below the level prior to more widespread reporting of the exclusion points to this eventuality. It does seem likely that the size of the required sell could push Chiyoda’s price down at some point – Mio argues this could happen much closer to the actual event than usual. If borrow is difficult to come by, there could be money to be made on the other side around the turn of the month.

(link to Mio’s insight: Chiyoda: Risks to the Index Kick-Out Trade and Potential Volatility at Earnings the Next Day)


Bandai Namco Holdings (7832 JP)  (Mkt Cap: $12.6bn; Liquidity: $28mn)

The Nikkei Inc announced its “Changes to the Nikkei Indices” this week  which became inevitable when the Tokyo Stock Exchange announced on the 28th of June that Chiyoda Corp (6366 JP)s yuho (Annual Securities Report) had the company at a negative net worth, requiring a reassignment to the Second Section of the TSE. Nikkei 225 Methodology requires that members be TSE-1 listed. The Announcement surprised people. As expected, Chiyoda is Out – but Bandai is In.  Chiyoda closed down 2.6% on 2mm shares, and Bandai closed limit up +19.3% on 300k shares allocated at the limit on the close.

  • There are still something like 50 million shares of Chiyoda to sell. The significant shorts – which are likely well in excess of the 23+ million shares shown and reported – are likely sourcing a lot of their borrow from the shareholders (passive funds) who have to sell. Those shareholders will have to recall their borrow. Earnings come out the day after the exclusion. I would not want to be short that earnings number. Plus read Mio’s insight above.
  • There should be 27mm shares to buy in Bandai which is about 20% of float. However, if only half the foreigners and only half the individual holders would be willing to sell on a large jump in price in the next few weeks, then the net available to sell is probably closer to 80mm shares and 27mm to buy would be one-third. It’s a lot. Once it gets purchased by Nikkei 225 funds, it won’t come out anytime soon. This stock is likely to get squeezed.
  • Dmg Mori Co Ltd (6141 JP) was flagged by many as a good bet to replace Chiyoda. Since then, roughly 14 million shares of excess volume have traded. If half of that is a real displacement of holdings based on this event, 7mm shares would need to be sold. That is 3% of shares out and 4-5% of float. It is among the larger excess positioning situations in the last five years in the stock. DMG closed -10% on 7.3mm shares in response to the index changes.

(link to Travis’s insight: Nikkei 225 – Bandai Namco IN, Chiyoda OUT)


Kcc Corp (002380 KS)  (Mkt Cap: $2.2bn; Liquidity: $6mn)

KCC will split itself into two companies in the form of an equity spinoff with KCC the surviving company and KCG the new company. KCC will mainly comprise the B2B business (silicone, paint and varnish); KCG will get the B2C business such as glass and interior. An EGM will be held on Nov 13 and shareholder approval can be obtained with 2/3 of attending votes and 1/3 of shares out. Both companies will be listed – KCC on Jan 21 next year, but KCG’s listing date hasn’t been fixed.

  • Typically, demergers serve to streamline a business.  However, the major shareholder retains 40%, which Sanghyun Park considers to be weak. He believes the major shareholder intends to further solidify this controlling stake via a tender, possibly a month after the Jan 21 listing. 

(link to Sanghyun’s insight: KCC Corp Equity Spinoff: Summary & Mispricing Checkup)


R* Shares CPSE ETF (CPSEBE IN) 

The ETF is based on the Nifty CPSE index and currently includes 11 listed Central Public Sector Enterprises, declining to 10 after Rural Electrification (RECL IN) was kicked out this past Friday. The sixth tranche of the ETF is expected to open on July 18 to anchor investors and on July 19 to non-anchor investors. The new units are expected to start trading on July 29. The discount on the ETF will be 3%, opening up arbitrage opportunities to investors.

  • The CPSE ETF does not trade big volumes on a regular day. However, there is a huge volume surge following fund offerings as many investors look to flip their allocation back into the market and lock in a profit. The anchor portion was oversubscribed almost 6 times in the last tranche issued in March this year, though the number may be smaller this time with the tighter discount being offered.
  • The ETF will need to buy around 63m shares of Indian Oil Corp (IOCL IN) in the market on July 19. Brian Freitas estimates this number since the Government of India can only sell around 64m shares to the ETF as this will take their stake in the company down to 51.5%, the lowest percentage for the stock to remain in the Nifty CPSE index. Given the stock trades around 13m shares a day on average, he sees 4x of excess volume and expect the stock to rally in the lead up to July 19 and see buying over the day on July 19.

links to Brian’s insights:
The CPSE ETF Arb Is Back, but Tighter!
India – NIFTY CPSE Index Review.

M&A – ASIA-PAC

Unizo Holdings (3258 JP) (Mkt Cap: $913mn; Liquidity: $4mn)

Japan’s premier discount travel agency H I S Co Ltd (9603 JP) on Wednesday announced it would launch a Partial Tender Offer (commencing this past Friday) to purchase a 40+% stake in real estate and hotel business Unizo to raise its stake from ~4.8% to 45.0%. The Tender Offer price is at a 56% premium to the last trade and is at an 18-month high. But, this is a hostile tender.

  • A hostile tender offer by one company upon another conducted without warning, or with warning but without approval, is reasonably rare. In Japan, it is even rarer. This is, however, the second in six months – the first being Itochu Corp (8001 JP)‘s tender offer for shares of Descente Ltd (8114 JP).  HIS has decided to buy 40% of a company it hadn’t talked to. At a 50+% premium. And given this one has hostility AND a longer end date, there is more trading and event optionality than normal.
  • Unizo has several possible responses it could give. The right thing to do would be to establish an independent committee immediately. A rights offering might kill the deal. But it would be fair to investors. A White Knight is not unthinkable. Travis expects the odds are pretty good that Unizo does not have a great defense here. That means the Tender likely goes through.
  • Unless corporate and financial cross-holders tender, the pro-ration could end up being very high.  If crossholders tender, pro-ration goes way down and one is better off just selling everything in the market for a small loss. Travis is bullish that the tender goes through and bullish the profit opportunity. He thinks for the astute arbitrageur, there is a lot of room to play around the ranges here.

(link to Travis’s insight: HIS Hostile Tender for Unizo – Fun Ahead!)


Villa World Ltd (VLW AU)  (Mkt Cap: $203mn; Liquidity: $1mn)

VLW and AVID have (finally) entered into a Scheme Implementation Agreement at A$2.345/share yesterday, which is a 17.8% premium to the unaffected price of $1.99 on 14 March, and an A$0.115 bump over the initial pitch in March. Any final or special dividend paid on or prior to the implementation of the Scheme will reduce the Offer Price. The key nagging issue is Ho Bee Land Ltd (HOBEE SP).

  • Ho Bee, VLW’s largest shareholder and JV partner, responded to AVID’s proposal by buying 2.2mn shares (~1.8% of shares out) at an average of A$2.04/share – and a high of A$2.18/share – lifting its stake to 9.41% on the same day as the initial Offer. Ho Bee further bumped its stake to 10.45% on the 25 March at an average price of A$2.21; and finally, to 11.62% on the 15 April at an average of $2.17. Its overall average in-price is A$1.98/share.
  • Would Ho Bee go to such extreme just to extract another 5% from the Offer? Maybe, but it is a little weird. Ho Bee did not buy over $2.23/share.
  • On balance, this deal should get up. Pricing appears fair with respect to peers. Ho Bee receives a decent premium to its overall average position. This is also not a material holding for Ho Bee – the 11.62% stake is equivalent to ~2% of its market cap – while it remains directly invested in the Melbourne JV.  With a late November/ early December completion, this is trading very tight to terms at 0.6% gross.

(link to my insight: Villa World Greenlights AVID’s Offer)


Ascendas Hospitality Trust (ASCHT SP) (Mkt Cap: $844mn; Liquidity: $3mn)

On 3 July, Ascott Residence Trust (ART SP) and ASCHT jointly announced a proposed combination, which would result in the combined entity becoming the largest hospitality trust in the Asia Pacific region, one of the top ten globally, with an asset value of S$7.6bn. It would – using data from the end of June – become the 7th largest trust on the SGX.

  • The deal is for Ascott to acquire ASCHT through a Scheme of Arrangement whereby ASCHT unitholders will receive what was – at the announcement – S$1.0868 per ASCHT Stapled Unit. The exact terms are S$0.0543 in cash and 0.7942 Ascott Reit-BT Stapled Units. That is a ratio of 0.836 but if you do the arithmetic, it comes out as a NAV-flat transaction. Neither ASCHT nor ART shareholders “overly benefit” at the expense of the other, but they both benefit from scale lowering future costs.
  • The deal is another REIT consolidation to create a LARGER NewREIT. It was also totally obvious, after the Ascendas-Singbridge deal was signed earlier this year, that within the Capitaland group (which meant Temasek was going to own 51% of Capitaland when completed), this was going to happen (even though the deal meant there were no chained transactions for the REITs). It makes one wonder if there is a deal for Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (AREIT SP) to come. 
  • The deal (at the time of the insight) showed a 4.5% spread being long ASCHT and short Ascott, which is slightly wide for a deal of ~five months. However, there is some uncertainty in the distributions. If you own Ascott and are in a position to switch out of Ascott into AREIT, Travis would do so. If you own ASCHT and you like the risk of owning the REIT, you own the right one. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Ascott & Ascendas Hospitality Merger – Not Unexpected and Should Be Easy)


Dalian Port (Pda) Co Ltd H (2880 HK)  (Mkt Cap: $3bn; Liquidity: $1mn)

Back on the 4 June, Dalian Port (Pda) announced a possible Mandatory General Offer (MGO) at $1.0127/share, a 0.27% premium to last close. The MGO would be triggered following the rearrangement of various companies under the PRC government, collectively holding 68.37% into Dalian Port (Pda), with the long-term objective of merging the ports in Liaoning province under a single platform. The shareholding structure is a spider’s web and understanding the share transfers is probably best done by studying the diagrams in the document and the insight.

  • The integration/consolidation process is complicated with local, provincial and central government holdings in port ownership. Further, local governments, which often trumpet their success in tandem with the performance of its port, may be less willing to forego such economic benefits by giving up absolute control.
  • China Merchant Holdings already has effective control of Dalian Port (Pda) – (47.31%) direct and 21.05% via Team Able/China Merchants Port (144 HK). The equity transfers forming part of the restructuring are being hived out from one SASAC entity into another SASAC-controlled entity. This should all go through and the unconditional MGO will be triggered, and potentially wrap up in October, provided the ETA completes on the long stop date.
  • Dalian Port (Pda) is trading in line with listed Hong Kong ports. You have a (likely) hard floor at $1.01, with expectations of further group restructuring, as the three Liaoning ports are integrated. However, HK port companies are down ~7.% in the past year, similar to Chinese-listed port companies.  The sentiment is decidedly downbeat as the trade war creates a less profitable business environment.

(link to my insight: Dalian Port – Rearranging The Deck Chairs)


Health Management Intl (HMI SP) (Mkt Cap: $844mn; Liquidity: $3mn)

The previous Friday, listed regional (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia) private healthcare provider HMI announced an Implementation Agreement for a privatisation by way of Scheme of Arrangement whereby private equity fund EQT would acquire HMI for S$0.73/share in cash or one share of the Acquirer. That price is a 25-30% premium to the 1, 3, 6, and 12-month VWAPs prior to the announcement and a 14% premium to the last “undisturbed” trading day.

  • It is not overly generous. The premium is small, and the forecast Next 12 Month EV/EBITDA multiple at 17+x is OK but compared to the other private hospital operators out there in Asia it is not overwhelmingly high-priced. It seems a bit of a stretch to see someone come over the top when this has been negotiated. However, if one asked me whether the likelihood of bump or deal failure is more likely, Travis would tilt towards bump, but it would be just a kiss.
  • It takes 75% of the 39% not owned by NSI and “concert parties” to get this done, but the 2018 Annual Report showed that 89.75% of the shareholders (i.e. 83.2% or so of the possible Scheme Shareholders) owned more than 1,000,000 shares. The top 40 shareholders determine the outcome of this deal as long as the rest generally are split 51/49 or better. It is difficult to see this one getting knocked down.
  • Travis expects the timeline of this deal is about 4 months plus perhaps a week. That means at S$0.72 the gross spread at 1.39% gets you an annualised spread of about 4.15%. At S$0.715, the gross spread is 2.10% (before comms, etc) so 4 months is 6+% annualised.  The trade here is to get queue priority at S$0.715. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Health Management Int’l Privatisation – Easy Peasy)


Briefly …

Harbin Electric Co Ltd H (1133 HK) this week announced there will be no further extension of its Offer which closes on the 19 July. By my estimate, tendered shares total 71.86%. The tendering condition is 90%.

M&A – UK

Telford Homes (TEF LN) (Mkt Cap: $335mn; Liquidity: $1mn)

On July 3rd, US-based commercial real estate services company, CBRE Group Inc A (CBG US)announced that they had reached an agreement with the board of London-based residential real estate developer, Telford, to acquire 100% of its shares by way of a Scheme of Arrangement at a price of GBP3.50/ share. The offer values the target at a market cap of GBP 265mn. 

  • While the Offer Price translates to premia of 11.1%, 14.3%, and 21.3% to the undisturbed price, 1-month VWAP and 3-month VWAP respectively, it remains 3.4% lower than the 1-year VWAP of Telford shares. Furthermore, the offer price also translates to discounts of 28.8% and 38.8% to the stock’s 1-year and 2-year highs respectively.
  • The company appears to have confidence its current build-plan and will come through on budget and so after a couple of project delays at the end of this past year, earnings will rebound and march higher. The few analysts who cover the stock are less bullish this year, but it appears they expect the company to meet its 2020 targets a year or two later. 8x EPS and 1.0x book seem quite low. It is below the mean of the selected comps.
  •  If Travis had to bet right now, it’s 50/50 it does not get done. Brexit worries could get this over the line but he expects there are some unhappy shareholders. He is not sure there is enough time to get a competitor in there to see the price lifted.  The deal timeline is very short. The indicative timeline suggests the Target Scheme Meeting could be in just four weeks. 

(link to Travis’s insight: Telford Homes Takeout – A Disappointing End?)

M&A – US

Avon Products (AVP US) (Mkt Cap: $1.8bn; Liquidity: $41mn)

On May 22, 2019, Avon announced that it had entered into a merger agreement to be acquired in an all-stock transaction by Brazilian Holding Company Natura & Co (NATUR3 BZ).  Natura will exchange 0.30 of its shares for each AVP share on a fixed exchange ratio basis, currently valuing AVP at ~US$2 bn. The merger agreement deadline is set for July 22, 2020. On completion of the merger, NATU3 shareholders will own 76% of the combination with AVP shareholders owning 24%. The transaction catapults NATU3 to becoming the world’s sixth largest consumer goods company.

  • Natura is paying ~10x consensus 2019 EBITDA for standalone AVP which is reasonable in comparison to prevailing peer group multiples averaging 17x and compares with Natura’s own standalone valuation multiple of ~14x.
  • The transaction could attract particular scrutiny from the antitrust authorities in Brazil, which represents the single largest market for both Natura and AVP. According to data from Euromonitor, Natura maintains a commanding lead in Brazil’s direct sales market for cosmetics with an estimated 31% market share followed by a ~ 16% share for AVP. That being said, the direct sales market is based around independent consultants/reps, many of whom already offer both Natura and Avon products in Brazil. 
  • The double-digits merger spread that prevails (14% at the time of the insight) could offer a lucrative opportunity for arbs. The complicating factor is that Natura is listed on the Brazilian Stock exchange (B3) and denominated in an historically volatile currency, the Brazilian Real, while AVP shares trade on the NYSE in US$. As some AVP shareholders may not want to own or are restricted from owning shares that trade on a non-US exchange, Natura will offer AVP shareholders the option to receive Natura shares in the form of Level-II ADRs to be traded on the NYSE or shares listed on B3. Natura does not currently have an ADR in issue.

(link to Robert Sassoon‘s insight: MergerTalk: Natura & Co/Avon Products -“Ding Dong, The Avon Spread Calling”)

STUBBS/HOLDCOS

Singapore Airlines (SIA SP) / Sia Engineering (SIE SP) 

SIE gained 15% the previous week, rekindling privatisation talks by SIA.  Despite the share price increase, SIE trades around November 2009 levels. SIE is not aware of any reasons for the jump. The stub is not terribly exciting with SIE accounting for 18% and 22% of NAV and market cap, and barely makes the grade with SIE trading ~US$1mn/day.

  • Last year’s privatisation of HAECO (44 HK) at $72/share (63.2% premium to last close) by Swire Pacific Ltd Cl A (19 HK) – which held 74.9% prior to the Offer – is not lost on investors. The takeover PER was 35x vs. 19x currently for SIE. Peer comps trade at 24x. SIE only appears fairly valued on an EV/EBITDA metric on account of the earnings from associated companies and JVs.
  • SIE is a maintenance, repair & overhaul company providing aircraft & component overhaul, fleet management and line maintenance services. The company also has material stakes in associated companies and JVs which contribute 71% of the Group’s profits in FY19, up from 58% in FY18.
  • The outcome, should an Offer be pitched, would cost SIA ~S$700mn to take out the shares it does not own. Not chump change, and it might have a slightly negative impact on SIA as it removes one layer of transparency. But given the stub weakness, the focus would be on the SIE arbitrage. I would not want to be short SIE here.

(link to my insight: StubWorld: Just Rumours (For Now) As SIA Engineering Pops)

SHARE CLASSIFICATIONS

My share class monitor provides a snapshot of the premium/discounts for 322 share classifications –  ADRs, Korean prefs, dual class, Thai (F/L) & A/Hs – around the region.

(link to my insight: Share Classifications: A Year In Review)

OTHER M&A UPDATES

CCASS

My ongoing series flags large moves (~10%) in CCASS holdings over the past week or so, moves which are often outside normal market transactions.  These may be indicative of share pledges – like Madison Holdings Group Ltd (8057 HK) on the 5 July.  Or potential takeovers. Or simply help understand volume swings. 

Often these moves can easily be explained – the placement of new shares, rights issue, movements subsequent to a takeover, amongst others. For those mentioned below, I could not find an obvious reason for the CCASS move.   

Name

% chg

Into

Out of

ISP Global (8487 HK)
50.50%
Bluemont
Outside CCASS
Camsing (2662 HK)
Great Roc
Founder
18.20%
Kingston
Citi
Source: HKEx

3. The Political Crisis Between Japan & South Korea (Lessons from the Joseon White Porcelains & Cobalt)

Joseonwhite

It has been more than 20 years that I’ve been covering the Korean markets and never has the political climate between Japan and South Korea been this terrible to the extent that the Japanese government has imposed the first round of significant economic sanctions on South Korea. 

In our view, there will likely be no major positive news next week that could dramatically result in the reconciliation between Japan and South Korea. Rather, we believe this heated political battle between Japan and South Korea appears to be just starting and that the Japanese government could impose the SECOND ROUND of economic sanctions on South Korea some time in August/September. 

While all these economic sanctions and restrictions of key chemical/semiconductor materials are occurring, the story of theJoseon white porcelains” came to my mind. All in all, the current restrictions of key chemical materials from Japan such as fluorine-containing polyimide, resists, and etching gas are reminiscent of the trade restrictions on imported items such as cobalt during the Joseon dynasty hundreds of years ago.  They are also a keen reminder that in order for Korea to have a vibrant, flourishing economy, excellent political relationships with its close, powerful neighbors including China and Japan is a must. 

4. Yaskawa: Poor 1Q Should Correct Expectations and Share Price But Start Searching for an Entry Point

Motion%20control%20scatter%20plot

Yaskawa Electric (6506 JP) reported 1Q earnings today, kicking off the season for the factory automation space in rather dour fashion with revenue down 16.2% YoY and OP down 58.2% YoY. Revenue was ¥107.4bn, 10% below consensus and we estimate about 4-5% below the company’s own plan, while OP was ¥7.2bn, about 30% below consensus.

The results look rather dire and are likely to pour cold water on hopes for a quick rebound for the sector. We are turning more constructive on the name but are increasingly concerned for peer Harmonic Drive Systems (6324 JP). We discuss the details below.

5. Samsung Situation: Stella Chemifa Dilemma & Recent Price Movement

5

Samsung LJY is still in Japan. What is he still doing there? Apparently, he is trying to secure etching gas as much as possible. Now, it’s all about etching gas. In this post, I will do some checkups on LJY’s current Japan trip and the recent price movement on Samsung.

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