The Chinese singularity
How the international bankers own the Chinese.
There is the theory (and that is all it is: Theory) that the universe commenced with the “Big Bang”, created from what we refer to as a “singularity”. Extrapolation of the expansion of the universe backwards in time using general relativity yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past. The earliest phases of the Big Bang are subject to much speculation. In the most common models the universe was filled homogeneously and isotropically with an incredibly high energy density and huge temperatures and pressures and was very rapidly expanding and cooling. Approximately 10−37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the universe grew exponentially.
After the initial expansion, the universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons and electrons. Though simple atomic nuclei formed within the first three minutes after the Big Bang, thousands of years passed before the first electrically neutral atoms formed. The majority of atoms that were produced by the Big Bang are hydrogen, along with helium and traces of lithium. Giant clouds of these primordial elements later coalesced through gravity to form stars and galaxies, and the heavier elements were synthesized either within stars or during supernovae.
“WTF are you talking about Earthling? I thought this was a blog about how we own the chinese? Have you lost it completely? Do you need a doctor son?”
Well no. I don’t. You see there is a fundamental parallel between the theory of the big bang, the expansion of the universe and the chinese situation today. Think about the singularity which commenced the big bang as having (or being) a catalyst for the expansion and think, then, about what is the catalyst for the expansion of a corporation, an economy, nation or empire.
What happens when the big bang results in the universe’s expansion? Well it started off with the creation of the most abundant element – hydrogen. Hydrogen has the atomic number 1 due to the fact it is composed of 1 proton, 1 neutron and 1 electron. But it was also the first element in the universe, which makes sense. Now, as the universe expanded, imagine you were the owner of all the hydrogen from the beginning and every other element formed from the original hydrogen belonged, therefore, to you since it was your original “investment” of that hydrogen which resulted in all other elements. If you removed the hydrogen from the universe, there would be no further manufacture of any other element while the universe would, effectively die.
Now consider the scenario where you do not own hydrogen but you own a significant sum of money. Think, then, of how money is equivalent to the hydrogen. Think of that money being the catalyst, or the singularity, that starts a corporation (or an economy or nation) and it is from that original investment, that the corporation, or economy, then expands.
How do venture capitalist investors own corporations? Do they tend to sit on the board of Executive Directors in the company? No. But what do you consistently hear from the Executive Directos – the CEOs and MDs of such corporations? “Our investors require a certain return from the investment within a certain time” and, for example, where the company (which may have commenced as a Private Limited Company) then progresses toward an IPO (Initial Public Offering of shares), the value on an exchange will, generally, cause an exponential expansion of the corporation’s assets and market value. The original seed money (“hydrogen”) expands in line doesn’t it?
The original investors demand their return (and get it) from the expansion of that company into a public corporation. Now, you can apply precisely the same analogy to the situation which founded the United States of America. It was the British Crown (not the monarch on his own but the Crown in its entirety) which invested, originally, in the establishment of the USA’s 13 colonies. It was the Crown’s money which funded those who made the journey to the new land and set up the corporations which became these colonies under British law.
[A charter is a document that gave colonies the legal rights to exist. A charter is a document, bestowing certain rights on a town, city, university or an institution. Colonial Charters were empowered when the king gave a grant of exclusive powers for the governance of land to proprietors or a settlement company. The charters defined the relationship of the colony to the mother country, free from involvement from the Crown. For the trading companies, charters vested the powers of government in the company in England. The officers would determine the administration, laws, and ordinances for the colony, but only as conforming to the laws of England. Proprietary charters gave governing authority to the proprietor, who determined the form of government, chose the officers, and made laws, subject to the advice and consent of the freemen. All colonial charters guaranteed to the colonists the vague rights and privileges of Englishmen, which would later cause trouble during the revolutionary era. In the second half of the seventeenth century, the Crown looked upon charters as obstacles to colonial control, substituting the royal province for corporations and proprietary governments.
The Massachusetts and Virginia charters were given to business corporations. Regular meetings of company officers and stockholders were the only governmental institutions required. The Virginia charter, issued in 1606, was revoked upon bankruptcy of the sponsoring and organizing Virginia Company of London in 1624. The second Colonial Charter was granted to Massachusetts Bay in 1629, settling at Boston and Salem, a decade after the first “New Englanders” at Plymouth Colony further south towards Cape Cod. In 1684, the Chancery Court in England voided the charter and changed it to a royal colony. Charles II placed Massachusetts under the authority of the unified Dominion of New England in 1685. After William III came to the throne, he issued Massachusetts Bay a new liberal charter in 1691.
Charles II granted Connecticut its charter in 1662 with the right of self-government. When James II ascended the throne in 1685, he tried to revoke the Connecticut charter and sent Sir Edmund Andros to receive it for the Crown. Captain Joseph Wadsworth spirited the precious document out a window and stole the charter and hid it in a hollow oak tree, the “Charter Oak,” until James was overthrown. Connecticut temporarily lost the right of self-government under the unification of the several colonies into the Dominion of New England in 1687, but it was reinstated in 1689. The last charter by Charles II was issued to Rhode Island in 1663. Connecticut and Rhode Island attained colonial charters as already established colonies that allowed them to elect their own governors.
As a result of political upheavals, especially after the three English Civil Wars in the 1640s, and the later “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 with their Roman Catholic—Protestant/Anglican conflicts which also transformed into struggles between the King and Parliament. As these conflicts traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, most colonies eventually surrendered their charters to the Crown by 1763 and became royal colonies as the King and his Ministers asserted more centralized control of their previously neglected and autonomous Thirteen Colonies. By the late 1600s, the colonial Maryland, had its Proprietary Charter to the Lords Baltimore revoked and had become a royal colony with its Governor of Maryland appointed by the Monarch with the advice of his Ministers and the Colonial Offices and Board of Trade of members from Parliament. By 1776, when the Pennsylvania and its lower Delaware Bay counties remained proprietary colonies under a charter originally granted to William Penn and his heirs. The Province of Connecticut and the Province of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations continued as corporation colonies under charters, and Massachusetts was governed as a royal province while operating under a charter after the unifying of the older “Massachusetts Bay” colony at Boston and the “first landing” colony, Plymouth Colony at Plymouth, Massachusetts, with its famous “Mayflower Compact” from 1620. Further south, the Provinces of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia to the undefined border with Spanish Florida, all had their original charters dismissed with different opinions about the role and powers and taxing authority between the Royal Governors and their increasingly restless and defiant colonial Assemblies. The Royal Authority reasserted itself and becoming governed more directly from London with increasing friction as the 18th Century progressed to its revolutionary climax.]
These two flags clearly indicate that the “new land” and the colonies and governments formed within it, were British owned.
Now, come the American Revolution of 1776, the “Treaty of Paris”, signed on september 3rd 1783, stated the following:
Preface. Declares the treaty to be “in the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity,” states the bona fides of the signatories, and declares the intention of both parties to “forget all past misunderstandings and differences” and “secure to both perpetual peace and harmony.”
- Acknowledging the United States (viz. the Colonies) to be free, sovereign and independent states, and that the British Crown and all heirs and successors relinquish claims to the Government, property, and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof;
- Establishing the boundaries between the United States and British North America;
- Granting fishing rights to United States fishermen in the Grand Banks, off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence;
- Recognizing the lawful contracted debts to be paid to creditors on either side;
- The Congress of the Confederation will “earnestly recommend” to state legislatures to recognize the rightful owners of all confiscated lands “provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been confiscated belonging to real British subjects [Loyalists]”;
- United States will prevent future confiscations of the property of Loyalists;
- Prisoners of war on both sides are to be released and all property left by the British army in the United States unmolested (including slaves);
- Great Britain and the United States were each to be given perpetual access to the Mississippi River;
- Territories captured by Americans subsequent to treaty will be returned without compensation;
- Ratification of the treaty was to occur within six months from the signing by the contracting parties.
By February 1796 the treaty, with the exception of an article dealing with West Indian trade, had been ratified by the U.S. and Great Britain. France, then at war with England, interpreted the treaty as a violation of its own commercial treaty of 1778 with the U.S. This resentment led to French maritime attacks on the U.S. and between 1798 and 1800 to an undeclared naval war. Finally, the commissions provided for by the Jay Treaty gave such an impetus to the principle of arbitration that modern international arbitration has been generally dated from the treaty’s ratification.
On November 19, 1794 representatives of the United States and Great Britain signed Jay’s Treaty, which sought to settle outstanding issues between the two countries that had been left unresolved since American independence. The treaty proved unpopular with the American public but did accomplish the goal of maintaining peace between the two nations and preserving U.S. neutrality.
Tensions between the United States and Britain remained high after the Revolutionary War as a result of three key issues. British exports flooded U.S. markets, while American exports were blocked by British trade restrictions and tariffs. The British occupation of northern forts that the British Government had agreed to vacate in the Treaty of Paris (1783) as well as recurrent Native American attacks in these areas also frustrated Americans. Finally, Britain’s impressments of American sailors and seizure of naval and military supplies bound to enemy ports on neutral ships brought the two nations to the brink of war in the late 1700s.
The French Revolution led to war between Britain and France in 1793. Divisions emerged in the United States between those who supported the French, including Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, and those who supported the British, including Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Fearing the repercussions of a war with Britain, President George Washington sided with Hamilton and sent pro-British Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British Government. Jay looked to Hamilton for specific instructions for the treaty. Hamilton recommended an approach that would both stabilize relations with Great Britain and guarantee increased trade between the United States and Great Britain.
Jay’s only significant bargaining chip in the negotiations was the threat that the United States would join the Danish and the Swedish governments in defending their neutral status and resisting British seizure of their goods by force of arms. In an attempt to guarantee good relations with Britain, Hamilton independently informed the British leadership that the United States had no intention of joining in this neutral armament. Hamilton’s actions left Jay with little leverage to force the British to comply with U.S. demands.
The resulting treaty addressed few U.S. interests, and ultimately granted Britain additional rights. The only concessions Jay obtained was a surrender of the northwestern posts (already agreed to in 1783) and a commercial treaty with Great Britain that granted the United States “most favored nation” status, but seriously restricted U.S. commercial access to the British West Indies. All other outstanding issues, including the Canadian-Maine boundary, compensation for pre-revolutionary debts, and British seizures of American ships, were to be resolved by arbitration. Jay even conceded that the British could seize U.S. goods bound for France if they paid for them and could confiscate without payment French goods on American ships.
Jay’s Treaty was immensely unpopular with the American public, but it squeaked through the Senate on a 20 to 10 vote on June 24, 1795. President Washington implemented the treaty in the face of popular disapproval, realizing that it was the price of peace with Great Britain and that it gave the United States valuable time to consolidate and rearm in the event of future conflict.
§2. Viscount WOLMERasked whether it continues to be the policy of His Majesty’s Government to assure their exclusive support to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in loan negotiations with the Government of the Republic of China, and whether this policy is due to a definite agreement with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation; and, if so, what was the date of this agreement and on what date does it expire?
§3. Viscount WOLMERasked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will state what guarantees are, in the opinion of His Majesty’s Government considered adequate for the proper and useful expenditure of the proceeds of loans to the Government of the Republic of China and satisfactory security for the repayment of principal and interest; and whether he is prepared to communicate confidentially to British financial houses of repute, if they so desire, the conditions on which the support of His Majesty’s Government in loan negotiations with the Government of the Republic of China may be obtained?
§Mr. ACLANDI must refer the Noble Lord to the answer returned to the hon. Member for the College Division of Glasgow on the 14th instant. The negotiations between the Chinese Government and the six-Power group being regarded by His Majesty’s Government as merely in abeyance, they are not prepared to give support to any other parties desiring to lend money to the Chinese Government.
§4. Mr. NORMAN CRAIGasked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that by an agreement under seal, dated the 9th March, 1912, and made between the President of the Chinese Republic and the group of international bankers supported by His Majesty’s Government, a firm option was conferred upon 5the bankers to provide the monthly requirements of the Chinese Government for the months of March, April, May, June, and possibly July and August, 1912, and the assurance by the Chinese Government to the bankers, provided their terms were equally advantageous with those otherwise obtainable, of a firm option of undertaking the comprehensive loan for general reorganisation purposes then already proposed; whether he is aware that the note to the Chinese President was signed only by His Majesty’s Government and the Governments of France, the United States of America, and Germany, or the financial groups representing them, respectively, and not by the Governments of Russia, or Japan, or their financial representatives; will he say whether the conversion of the four-Power group into the six-Power group was before or after the 9th March, 1912; and, if before, what was the date of the admission of Russia and Japan?
§Mr. ACLANDThe answer to the first and second parts of the question is in the affirmative. The Russian and Japanese groups entered the international consortium under an agreement signed on 18th June last. This agreement had retrospective effect so far as concerned participation in the advances already made to the Chinese Government.
§5. Mr. NORMAN CRAIGasked whether any agreement was ever made after the 9th March, 1912, between the Chinese Government and the six-Power group, or their financial representatives, in regard to any loan to be made to the Chinese Government; and, if so, at what date?
§Mr. ACLANDA subsequent agreement was made on May 17th by which the Chinese Government formally accepted 6the terms prescribed by the group—at that time a four-Power group—for the supervision of the expenditure of provisional advances. In accordance with the stipulations of this agreement an advance of 3,000,000 taels was made on May 22nd.
§Mr. NORMAN CRAIGCan the hon. Gentleman say whether any agreement has come into existence by which the six-Power group take the place of the four-Power group so as to make that binding on the Chinese?
§6. Mr. NORMAN CRAIGasked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the four-Power group or the six-Power group supplied the monetary requirements of the Chinese Government for the month of June, 1912; and, if not, whether His Majesty’s Government contend that the agreement dated the 9th March, 1912, remained in force as against the Chinese Government, although not complied with by the other parties thereto?
§Mr. ACLANDAdvances were made to the Chinese Government up to the third week in June under an agreement entered into on 9th March, and reaffirmed on 17th May, when regulations governing the supervision of the expenditure were added. Advances were suspended after it was officially reported to the groups by their auditor, appointed under the agreement of 17th May, that it was impossible properly to carry out his duties under the said regulations owing to want of co-operation on the part of the Chinese authorities. Inasmuch as a party to an agreement cannot free himself from it by a failure to observe it, the groups hold that the Chinese are still bound by the terms, of the agreement referred to.
§7. Mr. NORMAN CRAIGasked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the agreement dated 9th March, 1912, and made between the Chinese Government and the group of international bankers supported by His Majesty’s Government, contained any reservation to the effect that the Governments concerned would not support, and that the group of bankers would not undertake, the provision of moneys to the 7Chinese Government unless assured that the proceeds of the loan would be effectively spent?
Bloomberg’s Business week Magazine:
Jennifer Yu Leads Rothschild’s China Push
When Jennifer Yu, Rothschild’s top executive in China, wanted the firm to advise Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely on its bid for Volvo, some colleagues at the bank’s headquarters in Europe were skeptical. A senior banker asked her how a “mouse” like Geely could swallow an “elephant” like Volvo. “There’s a dragon behind this mouse, and it’s China,” Yu recalls answering. She and the team handling Geely won the argument, and Geely won the bidding. It completed the takeover of Volvo from Ford Motor (F) for more than $1.3 billion on Aug. 2.
Rothschild, the more-than-200-year-old family-controlled banking dynasty, is making a big move in China, and Yu is leading the charge. It plans to add 15 merger advisers there by March, giving it 55 in all, more than any foreign investment bank, says Olivier Pecoux, co-chief executive officer of Rothschild. Today, the merger business in China is still relatively small. So far this year, China has accounted for about 9 percent of the $1.1 trillion in deals around the globe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The potential, though, is enormous. China has $2.5 trillion in untapped foreign currency reserves and is mandating that state-owned companies expand abroad to secure natural resources such as oil and metals. “The economic balance of power has already changed, and it is moving to the East,” says Yu, whose title is head of greater China. “There will be an increasing number of Western companies selling assets to China.”
The firm hopes to build on the momentum of the Geely deal, which catapulted it to No. 8 among merger advisers in China so far this year, from 19th in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s nine places higher than Rothschild’s ranking in North America, where it employs 150 bankers. Rothschild this year helped Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) on its joint $3.1 billion bid for Brisbane (Australia)-based Arrow Energy with PetroChina (PTR), (RDSA) China’s biggest offshore energy explorer. Rothschild is advising Beijing-based Citic Securities, the mainland’s largest brokerage by market value, on creating a global equity brokerage with France’s Crédit Agricole. “Clearly, under the leadership of Jennifer, and with the support of the senior management team, we are making meaningful progress in China,” Chairman David de Rothschild writes in an e-mail.
A Shanghai native, Yu, 47, graduated from the Shanghai University of Finance & Economics. Her decision to study in China and work there after graduation gave her time to build connections, or guanxi, with government officials and corporate executives, many of whom were her classmates and friends, she says, declining to identify them.
Yu joined Rothschild in 2003 from BNP Paribas, where she focused on underwriting initial public offerings. She became head of China operations for Rothschild in 2005 and was promoted to her current role three years ago. In a country where the government often plays a key role in mergers and acquisitions—deciding, for example, which companies can bid for overseas assets—Yu’s deep roots and extensive connections make her an effective dealmaker. “She knows what is doable or not in the Chinese environment,” says Pecoux.
Yu’s first major client at Rothschild, Shanghai Automotive Industry, bid for U.K.-based MG Rover, which was ultimately bought by Nanjing Automobile in 2005. Yu told her client not to worry—it would eventually own the Nanjing carmaker because the government would force consolidation in China’s eastern region. Two years later, Shanghai Auto agreed to buy Nanjing’s carmaking business in a government-brokered deal.
One challenge for Rothschild, Yu says, is that the firm doesn’t have an equity underwriting business that could help clients raise money to fund acquisitions. The two leaders in Chinese M&A, according to Bloomberg data, state-backed China International Capital and Zurich-based UBS (UBS), both offer underwriting. Rothschild has been trying to overcome that disadvantage by advising clients on debt structuring and equity raising plans, says Mark Florance, Rothschild’s head of Southeast Asia investment banking and a 22-year veteran of the firm.
The China merger market does not generate big fees right now. Chinese companies pay up to 0.7 percent on deals valued above $500 million, compared with 1.2 percent in Western Europe and 1.5 percent in the U.S., according to New York research firm Freeman & Co. Fees on M&A deals in mainland China through May totaled $181 million, compared with $3.1 billion for Western Europe and $4 billion for the U.S., the data show.
That doesn’t mean the investments Rothschild is making today won’t have a big payoff down the road. “People forget that in the 1980s, the U.S. banks came to Europe and got fewer fees than on Wall Street while building up the necessary infrastructure teams and systems,” says Mark Bentley, a former HSBC (HBC) banker now with SDC Group in London. “Why should China be any different?” To Rothschild, it’s not. And it’s Yu’s ambition to see Rothschild’s reputation become as formidable in China as it is in Europe, where the firm made its name financing the Duke of Wellington’s campaign against Napoleon. “In 10 years’ time, Rothschild in China will become the Rothschild in Europe,” she says.
The bottom line: Rothschild is building up its operations in China and sees the country becoming an increasingly lucrative source of dealmaking fees.
Got that? 🙂
My dear Prime Minister,
My father began his colonization work in Israel 75 years ago. The work which was then begun has been continued to this day. When in 1924 my father set up the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association – P.I.C.A.- he assigned to it the task of colonizing all his landholdings. It fell to me to preside over P.I.C.A. ever since its inception.
In the years that followed, the marshes were drained, the rocky hills and barren wastes were turned into fertile soil. All these lands were then colonized by P.I.C.A. Today there is no cultivable land left to P.I.C.A. for further colonization. The task set to P.I.C.A. has been fulfilled.
As I cast my eyes back over our work, I think that I may fairly say that we have adhered to two principles which well bear restating: The first, that we did our work without regard to political considerations and the second, that we endeavoured to give to Israel and her people all that we could, without seeking anything in return – neither profits, nor gratitude, nor anything else.
The colonizing task of P.I.C.A. having been fulfilled, the question that lay before me was to decide on the future of P.I.C.A. The State of Israel has since been created and the national institutions have emerged to take over the major colonization effort in Israel.
Weighing all the elements, I have reached the conclusion that, with the completion of its task, the right course would be to terminate the activities of P.I.C.A. instead of duplicating the work which is done now, on a far larger scale, by the national institutions.
P.I.C.A. is a private association but all its efforts have been directed to the benefit of the public. For this reason I thought it right to inform you of my decision first. For the same reason, I also propose to transfer now all the remaining P.I.C.A. lands (leased and not leased) to national institutions.
I look upon the termination of P.I.C.A.’s work as a mark of fulfilment, not as a withdrawal. I would like to underline this by a special act of identification with the aspirations of Israel and her people. We intend to provide the sum of IL6 million for the construction of the new Knesseth building in Jerusalem which, I understand, it is proposed to set up. Let the new Knesseth building become a symbol, in the eyes of all men, of the permanence of the State of Israel.
With this done, P.I.C.A. will withdraw from the scene of Israel in the knowledge that the work which was begun 75 years ago is being carried on by the State and the people, supported by world Jewry.
With this letter I meant to inform you of my decision. I do not intend, with this letter, to take leave of you or of Israel. My interest in the development of Israel is abiding, even if P.I.C.A. must cease to operate, I shall remain as close to you all as I have always been, your cares will be my cares and your happiness will be my happiness.
Indeed, I shall want to examine whether I shall be able to make some modest contribution, in the future, towards the advancement of science, art and culture in Israel – all matters which, I know, are near to your heart. However, these are but thoughts for the future. I am not yet fully decided on them but may revert to them as soon as these thoughts become crystallized in my own mind.
The foundations of the State have been well and truly laid. I am confident that, by the grace of the Almighty, the new chapter in the history of our people, which began with the creation of the State, will be glorious and enduring.
James de Rothschild
South China Morning Post:
Jardines returns to banking with Rothschild stake
Deal reunites groups in a relationship that dates back to the days of Empire
Jardine Strategic Holdings will pay US$185 million for a 20 per cent stake in the parent company of NM Rothschild & Sons, in a deal that reunites the hong with its 19th century European peer and marks Jardines’ return to the investment banking sphere after a seven-year absence.
Jardines Strategic is buying the interest in Rothschild Continuation Holdings (RCH) from British insurer Royal & Sun Alliance, which has been a passive investor in the Rothschild family’s investment banking arm since 1980.
It is one of two Singapore-listed holding firms, alongside Jardine Matheson Holdings, through which the Britain-based Keswick family controls an Asian business empire encompassing Hongkong Land Holdings, Mandarin Oriental International, Dairy Farm and Jardine Cycle & Carriage.
Jardine Matheson left a 28-year investment bank venture with Robert Fleming in 1998. Two years later it sold a residual 13 per cent stake in Robert Fleming to Chase Manhattan for a US$1.03 billion gain.
Jardine Strategic will appoint two executives to RCH’s board but will not take an active role in Rothschild’s operations. ‘They will be a shareholder but not involved in management,’ RCH chairman David de Rothschild said, adding: ‘The [Rothschild and Keswick] families have been friendly for many, many years.’
In a statement, Jardine Matheson Group chairman Henry Keswick welcomed the reunion of the two firms, whose relationship dates back to the early 19th century. ‘In making this strategic investment our group is renewing a relationship that began in 1838 when we first acted as agents for Rothschild in China,’ Mr Keswick said.
Andrew Rickards, the head of Asian investment banking for NM Rothschild, and Jardine Matheson company secretary Neil McNamara both pointed to Jardines’ experience and extensive networks in Asia, where NM Rothschild is trying to build up its financial advisory business. ‘Jardines’ biggest impact will be in Asia,’ Mr Rickards said.
According to Bloomberg data, the niche investment bank ranked 16th in M&A advisory work in Asia last year. But its regional client list is growing, most notably in China, where it is advising CNOOC on a US$20 billion spoiler bid for California-based Unocal Corp and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp on its Hong Kong offer.
While Jardines’ focus remains in Hong Kong and southern China, it moved its stock listings to Singapore from Hong Kong before China resumed sovereignty in 1997. The company makes little effort to hide its colonial heritage – the telephone system at its Hong Kong headquarters treats callers to Scottish bagpipe music when they are put on hold.
It also has a politically incorrect mainland past – its involvement in the 19th century opium trade and Mr Keswick has previously criticised the Beijing leadership.
‘There might have been some tensions there but I think it’s past history now,’ Mr Rothschild said.
Jardine Strategic’s shares fell 1.9 per cent to S$10.30 yesterday ($47.87), but remain up more than 25 per cent on the year.