Coach to list in Hong Kong
US handbag maker Coach is to list shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by year end in an attempt to boost its Asia presence, especially in the fast-growing Chinese market, the company said. Coach, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, said no additional shares would be issued and no capital will be raised through the new listing. It did not state when it intends to file a listing application to the Hong Kong Exchange, but said the planned listing will take place before the end of this year, if approval is granted by the territory’s regulators. “Based on this timing, Coach believes it would be the first US domestic issuer to do a secondary listing in Hong Kong,” the firm said.
S&P downgrades Sharp
Standard & Poor’s yesterday downgraded Japanese giant Sharp by one notch, citing competition in the liquid-crystal TV market and the impact of the March 11 earthquake. The agency said its rating on Sharp’s long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt was lowered to “A-” from “A” because of the pressures inflicted on the company by “the severe business environment.”
Google provides cover
Google has set aside US$500 million in anticipation of the results of a US government investigation into the practices of some of its advertisers. Google did not provide further details on the practices in question or what legal consequences the company might face. The provision reduced the company’s net income for the first quarter to US$1.798 billion from US$2.298 billion announced on April 14. Advertising accounted for 97 percent of the company’s US$8.575 billion revenue during the same period.
Jiayuan seeks NASDAQ IPO
China’s top online dating site, Jiayuan (世紀佳緣), was seeking to raise nearly US$78 million with an initial public offering (IPO) on Wall Street yesterday. Jiayuan.com, according to a filing on the NASDAQ Web site, plans to issue 7.1 million shares priced at between US$10 and US$12 each. It will be quoted under the symbol “DATE.” The Beijing-based company claims a total of 40.2 million registered user accounts and 4.7 million active users.
Disney misses target
Walt Disney Co reported a rare revenue miss after a weak box office performance that sent its shares down 3 percent. Strong advertising growth at sports network ESPN and a bounce in theme park attendance after Japan’s earthquake could not completely make up for a 13 percent drop in studio entertainment revenue in the fiscal second quarter. The largest US media conglomerate reported revenue of US$9.08 billion in the quarter that ended on April 2. However, Disney’s studio entertainment sales slid to US$1.34 billion in the quarter, from US$1.54 billion a year earlier.
Brazil okays BP’s blocks
BP says it has gained final regulatory approval in Brazil to buy 10 deep water exploration and production blocks. BP said Wednesday that the purchase had been approved by Brazil’s National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency. BP acquired the assets as part of a US$7 billion deal with Devon Energy, which also included the purchase of rights in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea. BP will be looking for oil in waters up to 2,800m deep off the Brazilian coast.