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Most Read: West Japan Railway Co, China Logistics Property Holdings, SK Telecom, Showa Denko K.K. and more

In today’s briefing:

  • JR West (9021 JP) New Issue: Index Implications
  • China Logistics (1589 HK): JD.com’s Offer Comes Up Short
  • Asia Shorts: Alibaba, CMB, Tencent, Anta, Shiseido, Odakyu, Keio, NC Soft, LGD, SK Tel, Evergreen
  • Amazon Global Store Finally Launches in Korea – In Partnership with 11st (SK Telecom)
  • Showa Denko (4004 JP) Offering – Supply, Passive Demand, and Opportunity

JR West (9021 JP) New Issue: Index Implications

By Brian Freitas

On 1 September, West Japan Railway Co (9021 JP) announced an issuance of new shares and a secondary offering of shares amounting to US$2.7bn to fund strategic initiatives of the company and strengthen the financial position of the company.

A maximum of 52.667m shares will be issued and the price of the new issue and secondary placement will be determined between 13-15 September while settlement will take place between 20-23 September.

The current offering only covers 20% of the company’s bonds and loans outstanding and there could be more equity offerings if the COVID19 situation does not ease up significantly in the near future permitting the company to resume normal operations.

West Japan Railway Co (9021 JP) has underperformed its peers over the last 20 months and trades cheaper to the average of its peers.

Following the price drop yesterday and the passive buying that will emerge from the increased number of index shares, the stock could rebound in the near future.

The equity offering will increase the number of issued shares and the free float of the stock and will require MSCI, FTSE and Tokyo Stock Exchange Tokyo Price Index Topix (TPX INDEX) passive trackers to buy stock. This will provide near-term support for the stock with around 30% of the issue being bought up by passive trackers.

West Japan Railway Co (9021 JP) may be the first among its peers to raise additional capital and there could be more offerings from some of the other companies in the same sector.

China Logistics (1589 HK): JD.com’s Offer Comes Up Short

By David Blennerhassett

China Logistics Property Holdings (1589 HK) (CLPH) has announced its chairman, Li Shifa, has entered into an S&P Agreement with JD.com Inc. (9618 HK), to sell his 26.38% stake in CLPH at a price of $4.35/share.

Provided conditions to the S&P are fulfilled, and with JD.com currently holding 10.64%, it would be obligated to make a Mandatory General Offer (MGO) – also at HK$4.35/share.

The key S&P condition is approval from China’s AML (Anti-Monopoly Law) Authority.

The key condition to the MGO becoming unconditional is JD.com holding 50% of the voting rights in CLPH. RRJ Capital, Joy Orient, and Dajia Baoxian have given irrevocables to tender in their 21.94%, 3.3%, and 4.14% respective stakes.

This all looks pretty clean.

The pushback is that when CLPH announced on the 29 December 2020 Li and RRJ Capital were “conducting a preliminary strategic review of their stakes“, indicating a possible change of control for the company, the pre-announcement share price was HK$3.90. Therefore the Offer Price is an 11.5% premium to the undisturbed price. Many investors thought a $4.50+ handle was more in keeping with this space which has been garnering significant attention.

The Offer price will not be increased. 

Still, as one reader put it, they’re just happy to get this slow-burning deal off their books.

More below the fold.

Asia Shorts: Alibaba, CMB, Tencent, Anta, Shiseido, Odakyu, Keio, NC Soft, LGD, SK Tel, Evergreen

By Brian Freitas

The Asia Short Interest weekly looks at moves in market wide short interest and highlights movements in stock specific short interest across Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan using the last available data published by the relevant authorities.

Hong Kong saw shorts rise on Alibaba Group (9988 HK), China Merchants Bank H (3968 HK), JD.com Inc. (9618 HK), Xiaomi Corp (1810 HK) and Kuaishou Technology (1024 HK) while there was short covering on Tencent (700 HK), Ping An Insurance (H) (2318 HK), Anta Sports Products (2020 HK), Shenzhou Intl Group Holdings (2313 HK) and HKEX (388 HK). Shorts increased in the Information Technology, Consumer Discretionary, Health Care and Real Estate sectors while decreasing in the Communication Services and Materials sectors.

In Japan, stocks increased on Shiseido Company (4911 JP), Fast Retailing (9983 JP), Yaskawa Electric (6506 JP), Canon Inc (7751 JP) and Mitsui Osk Lines (9104 JP) while there was short covering on Invesco Office J Reit (3298 JP), Odakyu Electric Railway (9007 JP), Lasertec Corp (6920 JP), JSR Corp (4185 JP), Keio Corp (9008 JP). Shorts increased in most sectors led by the Industrials, Consumer Discretionary, Information Technology, Consumer Staples and Materials stocks.

Amazon Global Store Finally Launches in Korea – In Partnership with 11st (SK Telecom)

By Douglas Kim

On 31 August, Amazon.com Inc (AMZN US) finally launched its ‘Amazon Global Store’ in South Korea in partnership with SK Telecom (017670 KS)‘s e-commerce platform 11th. Amazon and 11th have been working on the details of this new service for many months and it has finally become available for millions of consumers in Korea.

With the launch of Amazon Global Store Korea, this has been the end of a long decade plus journey of when Amazon would enter Korea. For now, Amazon has joined hands with SK Telecom although this partnership could change several years from now when Amazon could decide to operate alone Korea. In the next few months, we see millions of Korean consumers flocking to the Amazon Global Store Korean website (https://www.11st.co.kr/amazon/best). 11st (SK Telecom) will play a pivotal role in this roll-out as a key partner. 

Trading Ideas – In our view, we like a long-short trading idea of long SK Telecom (017670 KS) and short Coupang (CPNG US) at current levels. With the launch of Amazon Global Store in Korea, this will directly threat Coupang and likely to result in lower sales growth for the company for the rest of 2021. We also continue to have a positive view of SK Telecom (017670 KS).

Showa Denko (4004 JP) Offering – Supply, Passive Demand, and Opportunity

By Travis Lundy

When Showa Denko K.K. (4004 JP) presented their H1 results on 10 August 2021, and later held their analyst call, it seemed quite bullish. The company was a year ahead of its internal integration efforts after having purchased Hitachi Chemical (renaming it Showa Denko Materials) in a HUGE debt-financed deal in 2020. The company noted that all businesses were operating well and that residual negative numbers coming from restructuring costs and other weaknesses were simply a matter of time to overcome.

The company showed an OP forecast which even it admitted was light, and for the year the forecast at ¥85bn remains significantly impacted by the amortisation of goodwill due to the purchase of the Hitachi Chemicals business (¥17.6bn this year). This is to say that OP would be 20% higher if Showa Denko had used US-GAAP or IFRS to account for the purchase of Hitachi Chem.

Net Income forecasts out years from now are impacted by this cost to amortise the purchase goodwill. 

The call was interesting in that it talked about efforts to reduce interest-bearing debt, and also talked about aggressive investment measures. That probably should have been a hint. 

The shares fell hard from the 17th to the 20th as crude oil did too. 

And 13 days after the earnings release the company announced an equity sale where they would sell 35.1mm shares (including greenshoe) to investors. That is a big number, at roughly a quarter of the pre-existing share count. 

It is even bigger when you consider shareholder structure. 

Pricing is likely on 6 September. 

Below the fold we look at shareholder structure, offer structure, and index demand.

Before it’s here, it’s on Smartkarma