The lunch was co-hosted by John McLean who has been involved in China since the late nineties and has significant experience as a UK Director of a number of Chinese businesses. He is also a Board member of the China-Britain Business Council and Chairman of VSO China. 24 China advisors and key influencers attended what was the first ever gathering of its kind in the City to address the specific issues of lack of institutional appetite, actions the City could take, and what Chinese companies wishing to list in London should do. Some guests gave short speeches which encouraged the debate; these included an analyst viewpoint of recent Asia deals, the LSE’s strategy towards China and institutional attitudes to Chinese business. Our office was transformed into a beautiful Chinese influenced dining space.
- Why is the investment community often reluctant about investing in Chinese business?
- What actions could be taken in London to improve this situation?
- What actions should a Chinese company consider to make a successful London listing?
However, a snapshot analysis has given some interesting insights. The top reason given for the reluctance to invest was poor market performance, with corporate governance issues being a close second. Respondents to the survey thought that the best action London could take to improve the situation was better market/ City education for Chinese businesses, and the top-line action a Chinese company should consider before a London listing is to appoint English speaking Directors to the Board. While it is already a requirement to have at least one English speaking Director, it shows that the Chinese businesses may not be communicating their updates effectively enough.
We thoroughly enjoyed hosting the event and engaging in some challenging and thought provoking discussions; judging by the feedback that we have already received the guests had a great time and learnt a lot too. We look forward to hosting more events similar to this in the future.
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