Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CITIC Pacific: Money's Too Tight to Mention

CITIC Pacific was established in Hong Kong in 1987 as the investment arm of the Chinese state. With its corporate backing and oodles of guanxi, CITIC Pacific was/is China’s overseas corporate crown

Locally, the red capitalist company currently owns, among other things, 17.5% of the airline Cathay Pacific and 10% of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (HACTL).

It also has an interest in two of the three cross-harbour tunnels: Eastern Harbour Crossing (70.8%) and the Western Harbour Tunnel (35%).

And it wholly owns Dah Chong Hong Holdings, a major distributor of motor vehicles, food and consumer products in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore and Canada.

Other interests include power plants, steel plants and iron ore mining in China and Australia.

CITIC Pacific came unstuck because of a bad bet on the Australian dollar.

Now, CITIC Pacific shares have mega crashed: twelve months ago a share cost HK$49.90, in the last two days the price has tanked, now HK$4.91 willl do.

Oh, and the company is in the hole for at least US$2 billion.

According to David Webb, CITIC Pacific bet on the future direction of the Ozzie dollar with "dual currency target redemption forward contracts" and "AUD target redemption forward contracts". See David Webb: time bomb

According to Bloomberg Wall Street Journal, the companies which sold the so-called "accumulator" currency contracts to CITIC Pacific are believed to include HSBC, Citigroup and BNP Paribas: Wall Street Journal

Oh, well, behind every proverbial cloud . . . Hong Kong Should Buy CITIC Pacific Tunnel Stakes: bloomberg

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