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Blackstone’s collapsed deal shows ‘everything is political’ in China



California News Times

From his New York office at 8:30 a.m. last Thursday, Stephen Schwartzmann, global chief executive of $ 648 billion private equity giant Blackstone, is a fan chair of Beijing’s chief financial regulator. You have connected to a video call with Shin Hai.

The timing for the “China-US Financial Roundtable,” an annual meeting between a handful of Wall Street veterans selected to speak to a small group of senior Chinese officials, was awkward.

The world is not only obsessed with the looming risks of default by Evergrande real estate developers, but less than a week later, Blackstone’s biggest bet on the Chinese real estate market, which is part of the driving force behind the growth plan of Asia, has been thwarted by regulators in Beijing without Attention.

Buyout group forced to stop negotiating $ 3 billion Buy property developer Soho China. After that.

“Steve is a very diplomatic man and has had a lot of success in China doing the right thing and saying,” one person explained over the phone.

The same person said it was a mistake to “touch the table” and that Schwartzman did not mention Soho China when he gave another briefing over the phone. Blackstone denied that the “regular meetings” had nothing to do with the transaction.

But the deal that fell apart remains an elephant in the room, and the latest episode leaving the industry for private capital is the trillions of dollars Globally reassessing how to bet on the world’s second largest economy.

Blackstone canceled Soho China’s offer in an attempt to flee to the United States through Beijing trying to cash in on its owners Zhang Xin and Ban Xinling © Anthony Kwan / Bloomberg

He also points out that even highly connected people can find it difficult to deal with China’s political whims.

“We were one of the most influential American traders in China and we were unable to secure a seemingly conscientious real estate acquisition approval,” said Schwartzmann, the principal investment of Hong Kong private equity firm Kaiyuan. Capital. The official, Block Silvers, said.

Blackstone isn’t the only one facing obstacles. The foreign listing of a Chinese company, the main investor on Wall Street, has been derailed following a disastrous IPO of the Ride Hailing app. Didi, The Evergrande dollar bond market.

“Now, foreign private equity funds are likely to take a closer look at China,” Silvers said.

The collapse in transactions has had a “shrinking effect” on rivals who plan large-scale cross-border transactions of assets deemed “strategic” for the Chinese economy, addressing some of China’s most important transactions. But a senior Hong Kong mergers and acquisitions attorney said. Some people try to guess which industry the government will look at next and steer it clear.

The decision by the National Immigration Administration to suspend the acquisition of Blackstone has sparked much speculation about the motives of Chinese authorities.

A Wall Street bank executive who advised on the transaction said no one around him had been officially informed. Nothing indicated the risk of monopoly. “

“We know that big individual names are being targeted. The government says you’re exhausted, living in New York, and moving your fortune overseas. There is no way.

Beijing Soho Mall
Beijing’s Soho Mall, founded by billionaire couple Ban Xin and iconic Chinese real estate industry icon Zhang Xin © Sheldon Cooper / SOPA Images / Getty

The deal with Blackstone has seriously plunged the couple behind Soho China, which owns more than 60% of the stake through companies controlled by Zhang, and is a corporate mogul as Beijing distributes its wealth. I ordered.

The case, said the CEO of the Hong Kong $ 10 billion private equity firm, said the case “means that many are” deeply concerned about the regulatory approval process. “For those who are trying to buy something practical in China from a non-frank seller, the idea is not to waste your time. “

According to bankers, some Chinese entrepreneurs have already been freed from crackdowns and widespread regulatory restrictions on foreign listings and are starting to rethink their listing or selling plans.

The head of mergers and acquisitions of a major Hong Kong bank said: de. “

Blackstone’s failed deal follows closer scrutiny of foreign investment as it targets what Chinese authorities recognize as a monopoly business practice.

The crackdown on technology, education, games, and cosmetic surgery under President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” movement, as well as restrictions on overseas listings, have worried foreign investors in a hurry to sell them. Chinese stocks. I did.

In August, the owners of a Chinese tutoring company suffered billions of dollars in losses when regulators effectively shut down profitable industries. A company’s stock has lost 90% of its value while private funders try to regain capital.

“Is China a Scary Place to Invest? Yes, ”said a senior negotiator at a large global private equity firm. “Anyone who allocates money in China asks, can you buy one that has a point of contact with the government? ”

“It’s bad because the government is willing to get involved if it’s tech, consumer, or data related. Right now we’re doing a lot less and China is me. It will be a smaller part of our portfolio. ”

Private equity groups have agreed to trade for $ 26 billion in silver in China since the start of this year, well above $ 10 billion in 2019 in total.

A vertical bar chart showing private equity transactions targeting China from 2016 to 2021 (year to date).  The transaction amount is several billion dollars, the number of transactions is

According to figures from Dealogic, an $ 11.3 billion transaction involving a China-based company has been closed, but has yet to be finalized. This includes the merger of the Chinese operations of Canadian chain Tim Hortons with an American company Spac, backed by private equity firm Ascend Capital Partners.

But as new regulatory measures are announced every month, foreign investors are watching more than ever for signs that Beijing is opposing other sectors such as tutoring and online gaming.

A bar chart of year-over-year (%) growth in the value of M&A deals by target country in 2021 shows China being left behind by the global takeover boom.

In June, Hong Kong private equity firm Primavera Capital Group acquired Reckitt Benkeiser’s infant formula business Mead Johnson for $ 2.2 billion.

However, “the transaction was completed on schedule,” said the head of mergers and acquisitions of a European bank in Hong Kong. “Anyone who wants to buy or sell a business in the field needs to rethink. China is watching closely what increases the cost of raising children. “

Real estate developers were already affected by tighter regulations before the Soho disaster in China, as Beijing pledged to end a cycle of increasingly affordable housing from around 2017.

Nevertheless, global investors are increasing their bets on commercial and rental real estate in China. Last year, Blackstone acquired a controlling stake in a large logistics park in the Greater Bay Area for $ 1.1 billion and bought Westlink, an office and retail complex on the outskirts of Shanghai, for $ 1. , $ 25 billion.

A senior partner of another US-based private equity firm with offices in China said China was “too important to leave.”

The secret is to find an agreement that is not politically sensitive.

“I think it doesn’t matter if foreign capital doesn’t help or hinder the people of the country,” another private equity maker said, adding that “we are not close to those who earn. a lot of money”. In a way that is seen to benefit “the people”.

Senior officials at Wall Street banks in Asia have warned that investing in China always comes with regulatory risk. “Regulators don’t always interpret and apply rules the same way.”

“But everything that has happened in the past six months will now tell ordinary investors that everything is political.”

Collapsed Blackstone Agreement Shows “Everything is Political” in China Source Link The Collapsed Blackstone Agreement Shows “Everything is Political” in China

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Ministers resist pressure from doctors to impose Covid restrictions in England



California News Times

British ministers continued to resist pressure on Britain to impose new Covid restrictions on Thursday after the doctors’ union claimed the government had been “intentionally overlooked” for refusing to switch to Plan B.

Health Minister Edward Argar said the UK NHS was facing “unbearable pressure” despite increasing hospitalizations and more than 40,000 new cases of Covid per day. He said he didn’t think so.

However, NHS bosses must immediately implement Plan B, including forced masks in some settings, ‘work from home’ advice and Covid passports for admission to clubs and large-scale events. It indicates that there is.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, president of the British Medical Association, said doctors “can say it is time” and that the level of cases in the UK is “unprecedented in similar European countries”.

“We took off the brakes, making it look like the pandemic was behind us and life was back to normal,” Nagpol said.

He says: “It is the willful neglect of the Westminster government to take no further action to reduce the spread of infection. Nagpol recorded the same number of weekly Covid deaths as in March when the country was stranded. He added.

Argar told the BBC that the vaccine rollout has helped manage hospitalizations, but if the NHS comes under increased pressure from Covid and other winter infections, Plan B may need to be activated. I admitted it.

“We know how these numbers are growing rapidly, so we look at the daylight hourly. But at this point, we have the capacity to manage. There is, ”he said.

Arger declined to say whether government advisers (including Supreme Science Advisor Sir Patrick Valence) had urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose further restrictions. Valencia urged the government to “work hard and get out early” last month if the incident started to escalate.

Meanwhile, Matthew Taylor, CEO of the NHS Confederation, which represents medical institutions, said on Wednesday:

Arger denied that the government was refraining from invoking Plan B as Tory lawmakers opposed the new restrictions.

Few Conservative lawmakers wore masks in the crowded House of Commons on Wednesday. On the same day, Health Minister Sajid Javid urged the public to wear masks in overcrowded situations and to hold more meetings outside.

Johnson bragged this month that his Tory meeting in Manchester was “the traditional Tory cheek by Jowler”. There was little evidence of facial coverage.

“For months we have brought one of the most open economies and societies,” he said in a speech. “On July 19, we decided to open everything
British theaters, all concert halls, nightclubs. “

He joked that Level-up Minister Michael Gove had been sent on “our sweatiest Night Boyte to show everyone can dance safely.” ..

The surge in cases this week has forced Javid to deliver a very different message, saying MPs should ‘lead by example’ when it comes to wearing face masks in certain indoor environments. I admitted.

Javid’s press conference on Covid on Wednesday was the first press conference to take place in Downing Street in more than five weeks. Ministers are now urging people to take booster shots, and Javid warns the recent “freedom” is on the line unless the public takes precautions.

Ministers resist pressure from doctors to impose Covid restrictions in England Source link Ministers resist pressure from doctors to impose Covid restrictions in England

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India surpasses 1 billion vaccines after stuttering start to campaign



California News Times

India received its 1 billionth vaccine against Covid on Thursday. It is a milestone that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government hopes will help put aside the tragic memories of this year’s devastating second wave.

About 22% of Indians are fully vaccinated and 53% have been vaccinated at least once. Highly exposed Infected with a virus, infection and disease have spread.

“History of the Indian script” Modi Tweeter.. “We are witnessing the victory of Indian science, business and the collective spirit of 1.3 billion Indians.”

India reports an average of around 15,400 newly confirmed infections per day, starting with around 400,000 in early May. Wave 2 Overflowing with hospitals, many people could not get medical attention.

Fear that India will be affected Third wave Since March 2020, many primary school children have been banned and are gradually returning to class.

“It’s a great achievement,” said Brian Wahl, epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, based in New Delhi. “Given the current high levels of exposure and vaccination, the possibility of a third wave, equal to or greater than the second wave, is minimal in my mind.”

Members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party called India’s vaccine rollout a tribute to Modi’s leadership, which has surpassed all other democracies in the world. Under fire at the start of the year for its management of the pandemic.

Shashi Tharoor, top leader of the opposition parliamentary party, called the step “a matter of pride for all Indians” but said the government’s mistakes could not be ruled out.

“After serious mismanagement of the second wave of Covid and the failure of the vaccination order that could have prevented it, the government has now partially redeemed itself,” he said. Tweeter.. “He is responsible for the previous failures. “

The vaccine rollout in India, despite being home to the Serum Institute of India, one of the world’s leading jab makers, began to stagnate in January, hampered by public reluctance and limited supply. However, as highly infectious delta mutants have spread, the demand for vaccination has increased.

In response to public anger, the government restricted vaccine exports and left behind a Covax program backed by the World Health Organization, which ordered the Serum Institute to provide vaccines to other countries in development. It is a larch.

“It was a necessary decision,” said Lina Mengany, head of the access campaign for Doctors Without Borders in South Asia. “There was a delta wave.”

But the ban damaged India’s reputation as a reliable supplier It sparked discussions about the need to diversify supply chains to reduce risk. “India’s role as a pharmacy in developing countries has long-term implications,” says Mengany.

Kobi Shield, Serum Institute The Oxford / AstraZeneca version of the vaccine accounts for approximately 88 percent of all vaccines administered in India. Covacin, a single vaccine not approved by the WHO, accounts for 11 percent of the total. A small number of Russian Sputnik vaccines were also administered. Vaccination in India is highly dependent on individuals and private employers, Jab ..

India has not started vaccinating people under the age of 18 who make up 40% of the population. The moving average of daily 7-day immunizations on October 18 fell from 8.2 million 10 days ago, demand has also declined, and many Indians are receiving the second vaccine needed for full protection. I’m afraid I can’t do it.

“When the waves hit people were eager to get the vaccine, and now that the waves have receded people have just resumed their lives and forgot that they also had to take a second dose. “Menghaney said.

India has reported 34 million Covid infections and more than 450,000 Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic. However, independent epidemiologists say the actual spread of the virus and the actual number of deaths far exceed official statistics.

India Surpasses 1 Billion Vaccines After Start of Stuttering Campaign Source Link India Surpasses 1 Billion Vaccines After Start of Stuttering Campaign

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Pros and cons of playing casino slots



California News Times

The online gambling market currently offers hundreds of online casinos where you can find countless slot machine games. This means that you will have the opportunity to choose from some of the best suppliers in the world. Therefore, playing slots online should have many advantages. But are there also downsides? We’re going to go over the pros and cons of playing slots online, so read on for more details.

Regulated market

If you know where to look, you’ll have no problem finding a perfectly regulated market to play some of the best casino slots. Once you start researching the best online gaming platforms, you will find that top search results present the best options. This is because these sites have undergone all the necessary checks, thus ranking high and creating a regulated and secure online gambling environment.

To make sure you’re on the right track, you can check the site’s seal of approval yourself. Just search for the name of the regulatory jurisdiction, like United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, Gibraltar, Curaçao, etc.

Easy to learn

Even if you’ve never had the chance to play casino games before, slots shouldn’t be a problem. These games are incredibly easy to learn, which means you don’t need any prior knowledge to start playing.

Plus, they’re purely luck-based, so you won’t have to rely on strategy to win. All you have to do is spin the reels and hope for the best.

So, once you get familiar with ICE36 Slots, you will notice how easy these games are to master. But remember to be smart with your options and not to put all of your eggs in one basket.


Slot machines are a group of casino games that do not require high investments, making them suitable for all budgets. Players can make deposits as low as a few dollars or up to a few thousand – it all depends on their budget.

With this in mind, slot machines also offer a wide range of stakes. High players can make high bets, while newcomers can even place 10 cents. This is a great advantage for both regular and occasional casino players. For example, starting with smaller bets allows players to get into the game before investing a lot of money. The range of the game leaves enough room for the player to place further bets or try out new casino games, which creates an entertaining gaming environment.

Bonuses and rewards

It’s no surprise that most online casinos regularly offer bonuses and rewards to new and existing users. It’s an effective way to attract players and retain regulars, which you won’t find in land-based casinos. You can read more about it here.

Welcome bonuses are the most common form of casino bonus, especially for unregistered users. By signing up, most players receive a strong incentive to keep playing. The majority of these bonuses are related to slot machine games as they are the most popular category in online casinos. So, if you are determined to take advantage of any promotion, slots are a great place to start.

Pro tip: Always read the terms and conditions before accepting a bonus. Most wagering requirements state that slots count 100% to meet rolling requirements, but it won’t hurt to see for yourself.

Quick to play

While playing slots doesn’t have many drawbacks, we have to stress how quickly slot machine spins usually end. As a result, most players won’t spend hours spinning the reels on their favorite slot machine – these games are usually over within minutes. Therefore, if playing for hours is more your thing, slot machines are not the right choice for you.

Lack of personal interaction

While some players can make friends by playing slots online, it will not be the same as playing poker online. It might not be a big factor for everyone, but it’s worth mentioning as some gamers might seek out this social factor with online gaming. Keep this in mind once you start your online gambling adventure.

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