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CNBC Transcript: Nicholas Johnson, Head of Equity Capital Market for Asia Pacific, J.P. Morgan


Following is the transcript of a CNBC interview with Nicholas Johnson, Head of Equity Capital Market for Asia Pacific of J.P. Morgan. The interview was broadcast on CNBC on 24 April 2017 at 12:40PM SG/HK Time, during CNBC's "Hong Kong versus Singapore" theme week.

All references must be sourced to a "CNBC Interview".

Interviewed by Pauline Cho, Anchor, CNBC.

Pauline Cho: Nicholas welcome. Thanks so much for being with us. Now, Hong Kong has the crown of the world's largest IPO market at least in the first quarter of this year. What does Hong Kong have to do to get that title back.

Nicholas Johnson: Look, I think the reality is that Hong Kong is a unique place certainly where where east, east meets west in relation to both issuer and investor…investor activities where we get the opportunity to marry Western capital with Chinese opportunities. We talk about losing the halo in the first, the first quarter. I think the reality is there's a lot of very exciting large scale opportunities which will be coming to the market in the second half of the year which is going to promote a resurgence in both issuance and volumes that we'll see go through the new issuance market.

Pauline: But with that resurgence on your optimism about some of these big opportunities, there's the issue of dual class shares because Hong Kong lost out to New York with the Alibaba IPO because of that specific situation. With the issue of dual class shares, does Hong Kong need to get over that? And where do you stand on that issue?

Nicholas: I think the reality is that dual class shares are important very much for technologies and the subsets of the, of the FinTech…FinTech companies. I think that we are going to be seeing a, again, a number of companies come to the market this year particularly from that FinTech space that aren't going to be deterred because of results of the…of the dual class…dual class option. There are still many good reasons to be listed in Hong Kong including the proximity to the marketplace, the depth of capital we see, a greater understanding of the market in which these…these companies operate in. So I think clearly on the margin. It would…it would probably help some of the technology companies if there was an ability to have a dual class. But I don't see it as being detrimental to the market for us.

Pauline: Nicholas, what are some of those big scale opportunities that are coming down the pipeline? Can you name specific companies that you're watching?

Nicholas: I think it's always difficult to be very specific for us at this stage but I think if we focus on these sectors that are going to be of great interest. As I said, it's going to be technology, it's going to be particularly the FinTech space that I think we're going to see a growing Life Science and Health Care listings come into the market. But I said all of those going places where JP Morgan is going to be very active. I think you'll see a lot of investor interest in those spaces and I think it helps promote Hong Kong in terms of keeping us at the forefront of providing capital for these emerging…emerging companies.