HONG KONG — The 14th China M&A Annual Conference came to a successful close today in the Conrad Hong Kong, organised by the China Mergers & Acquisitions Association and co-organised by the Asia Mergers & Acquisitions Association, China Everbright Limited, Shang Finance, China Aircraft Leasing Group and the China Museum of Finance.
Held in Hong Kong and themed “M&As Under the Belt and Road Initiative”, the 2017 China M&A Annual Conference brought together leading M&A practitioners to explore industry trends following two key events: the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, and the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and National Financial Work Conference 2017, where General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping laid down the framework for the country’s future development.
Speaking at the event were Lo Man-tuen, Vice-Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and Chairman of Wing Li Group (International) Limited; Wei Lidong, Chairman of China Mergers & Acquisitions Association; Liu Mingkang, former Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission; Antony Leung, Group Chairman and CEO of Nan Fung Group; Wang Wei, Founder and Chairman of China Mergers & Acquisitions Association and Chairman of Asia Mergers & Acquisitions Association; Chen Shuang, Rotating Chairman of China Mergers & Acquisitions Association and Executive Director and CEO of China Everbright Limited; and Professor Ba Shusong, Chief China Economist of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited.
As part of the annual conference’s opening ceremonies, members of the Asia Mergers & Acquisitions Association from 10 countries and regions – including China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Italy, Cambodia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan – released “Manifesto of Support for the Belt and Road Initiative” and committing to create and promote the Belt and Road ecosystem, foster mutual cooperation, and share information, resources and investment opportunities in the spirit of mutual development.
The Conference’s opening ceremonies also included the inauguration of the China Mergers & Acquisitions Association of Hong Kong, established to unite Hong Kong’s industrial and financial M&A sectors and build a high-level communication platform connecting the Hong Kong, mainland China and international markets. Hu Zhanghong, Guest of Honour and Chairman and Chief Executive of China Construction Bank International, was appointed as Chairman. Other Guests of Honour included Liu Mingkang, Lo Man-tuen, Sun Xiangyi, Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR, Antony Leung, Wang Wei, Wei Lidong, Chen Shuang and Professor Ba Shusong.
During the Conference, a number of executives were awarded the first batch of Senior M&A Dealmaker Certificates – the highest honour in the industry – from the China Mergers & Acquisitions Association and the M&A Museum. An improved grading system for assessing junior M&A dealmaker, M&A dealmaker and senior M&A dealmaker aptitude, administered by the Senior Certified M&A Dealmaker Academic Committee, was implemented in December 2016 to enhance the certification process and the overall capabilities of M&A talent from China and around the world. The upgraded system includes a ladder training model to promote best practices and the healthy development of the China’s M&A market. Thus far the committee has received more than 20,000 applications for recognised M&A dealmaker certification, with more than 3,000 of them coming from China and nearly 1,000 coming from South Korea, Japan, the USA and Italy. Liu Mingkang and Wang Wei awarded certificates to senior M&A dealmakers, with Antony Leung serving as representative.
The Conference also featured the 10th China M&A Awards, which provides an international platform for dealmakers in China to promote the regulated development of the Chinese M&A market while helping the country navigate the global M&A environment. Since their establishment, more than 200 organisations and individuals have received awards.
During the awards ceremony, Liu Mingkang received the Lifetime Achievement Award, while the Midea Group was conferred the Excellence in M&A Contribution Award for its successful acquisition of the German company KUKA AG. Excellence awards for M&A Solicitor, M&A Finance, M&A Dealmaking, M&A Management, M&A Promotion, M&A Financing and M&A Dealmaker were also presented during the event. Following two months of review, a panel of judges also honoured 24 M&A case studies out of 69 applications, covering the healthcare, artificial intelligence, equipment manufacturing, biotechnology, chemicals, service and financial sectors in countries and regions including the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Finland and Taiwan. A total of 30 organisations and individuals received awards.
The 10th China M&A Awards also included a ceremony enshrining all previous award winners in the M&A Museum, the first of its kind in the world. To celebrate the occasion, Liu Mingkang donated for auction his painting ‘The Unrivalled Power of East Meeting West’, a work he completed in 2015. Proceeds from the sale were then given to the Museum to create a hall of fame honouring leading figures of the Chinese M&A market, as well as to provide support for the development of the industry in China and promote the charitable nature of the Awards.
The day before the annual conference, the sixth issue of the China Go Abroad Report was jointly released by the China Mergers & Acquisitions Association and EY. The Report taps the resources of the professional organisations within the China Mergers & Acquisitions Association to share valuable insights on overseas investment among Chinese enterprises, helping companies seek common ground and synergistic outcomes for stable global expansion. This year’s edition of the Report revealed that the previously high growth rate of overseas investment by Chinese enterprises was not sustained in the first half of 2017, but it added that Chinese companies are going abroad at a pragmatic pace and that the optimisation of investment structures indicates promising prospects for overseas investment in the long term.
Attendees at the Conference participated in three forums, the Cross-border China M&A Forum, Asia M&A Forum and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area M&A Forum. During the forums speakers shared in-depth insights regarding opportunities and challenges for Chinese companies expanding abroad, opportunities and challenges brought by the Belt and Road Initiative, and the synergic development, M&As and restructuring of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. The event attracted a total of more than 430 leaders in the M&A sector from countries and regions including the USA, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy, Cambodia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Liu Honglu, Advisor of China Mergers & Acquisitions Association;
Hu Zhanghong, Chairman and Chief Executive of China Construction Bank International; Wei Lidong, Chairman of China Mergers & Acquisitions Association;
Sun Xiangyi, Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR;
Antony Leung, Group Chairman and CEO of Nan Fung Group;
Lo Man-tuen, Vice-Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and Chairman of Wing Li Group (International) Limited;
Liu Mingkang, former Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission;
Wang Wei, Founder and Chairman of China Mergers & Acquisitions Association and Chairman of Asia Mergers & Acquisitions Association;
Chen Shuang, Rotating Chairman of China Mergers & Acquisitions Association and Executive Director and CEO of China Everbright Limited;
and Professor Ba Shusong, Chief China Economist of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited; and representative of the Hong Kong business community