,Hong Kong

Hong Kong's 25 largest law firms 2015

More clients are seeking to access funds through DCM and ECM.

Despite much talk of the Chinese economy cooling down, 2015 has been a strong year for the corporate legal sector in Hong Kong. Phillip John, Norton Rose Fulbright head of
North Asia, notes that they have seen a strong deal flow this year and that their Chinese clients are still very keen on pursuing investment opportunities in international markets.
“We’ve continued to see these clients seeking to access funds through the debt and equity capital markets in Hong Kong. There may be some cooling, we don’t see a material decline in that trend in 2016,” he said. Deacons’ partner Ronny Chow explains that the substantial and rapid growth of Hong Kong’s debt capital market in the past few years can be attributed to the wide range of product offerings, coupled with open access for issuers and investors, both domestic and international, and the increasing significance of offshore RMB bond issuances in Hong Kong.

“In recent years, with the easing of monetary policy in the United States, Europe and Japan, the market has witnessed an increasing number of companies which have entered the debt capital market, including PRC- based companies taking advantage of the lower funding costs relative to the onshore market. Many companies which have traditionally relied on loan financing have become more willing to tap the debt capital market,” says Chow.

Chow adds that while the market has been dominated by US and Hong Kong dollar issues, increasingly bonds denominated in other currencies are being issued, including the Euro, Singapore dollar and RMB. The Hong Kong listed bond market has also grown substantially in recent years. Chow explains that one of the criteria for investment for some investors, such as institutional funds, is to invest in listed securities. Therefore, the listing of debt securities in Hong Kong has helped to broaden the investor base for bond issuances and provided a viable financing option for many issuers.

According to the Hong Kong stock exchange, for the year ended 31 December 2014, there were 281 newly listed debt securities on the Hong Kong stock exchange and the amount raised was approximately HK$961 billion. As at 31 December 2014, there were a total of 640 debt securities listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. According to Chow, the growth in listed debt securities is due to the simplified and streamlined application and approval procedures for listing of debt securities issued to professional investors. He adds that the Hong Kong stock exchange no longer pre-vets the contents of the listing documents, and formal approval by the Listing Committee is no longer required.

“The simplified listing process has brought the Hong Kong stock exchange more in line with the requirements of other stock exchanges in the region and provided an attractive listing venue for debt securities.”

Who made it to HKB’s list?

Hong Kong’s very own Deacons topped this year’s rankings of largest law firms based on total number of legal professionals with 213 headcount. It displaced foreign law firm Mayer Brown which occupied the position from 2013-2015. Its headcount was reduced by 8 to 195. Nevertheless, foreign firms continue to dominate the pack with only 5 local firms making it to the list of the largest 25.

Join Hong Kong Business community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!

The Hong Kong-China stock connect and derivatives markets were also halted.
The market recorded a positive net absorption of 327,700 sq.ft in Q3 2021.
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau laid out plans for the sector under the latest Policy Address.
The total corporate debt issuance tripled from last year.
This is due to its dependence on other industries, as well as global economic activities.
Jobs with a monthly salary ranging from $12,000 to $22,000 are up for grabs.
The reforms will target large multinational enterprise groups.
This represents about seven times the currency in circulation.
A total of 2,051,387 adults is projected to be virtual bank owners in five years.
The firm’s remaining stake is being bought at HK$1.91b.
Specifically, it welcomes the planned establishment of a high-end aviation industrial cluster.
But the number of homes to be built under the project are 'fewer than expected'.
Amongst the projects she laid out was the development of a 'smart port'.
Embattled Chinese developer owes the agencies millions in commissions.