December 06, 2016
As Asia’s restructuring market continues to evolve, more than 400 bankers, financiers and corporate leaders gathered in Hong Kong for a conference highlighting the unprecedented challenges and opportunities facing both inbound and outbound investments across the region. Hosted by Latham & Watkins in conjunction with the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) and the Financial Times, the daylong conference — entitled “Debt Restructurings in Asia: Why the Next Wave Will Be Different” — featured insights from Latham partners from across Asia and around the globe as well as industry experts. Much of the discussion focused on how regulatory developments and an impending flood of maturities may significantly transform the finance landscape in Asia.
"The increasing clout of the regional banks and new opportunities for borrowers to tap the international debt markets will fundamentally change how financing in Asia is done,” said panelist Howard Lam, a partner in Latham & Watkins’ Hong Kong office and Chair of the Hong Kong Finance Department. “In China, we are seeing supply-side economic reforms addressing overcapacity in certain sectors, as well as changing sources of liquidity, which means that we are likely to see an increase in restructurings and opportunities for special situation investors to participate in this market.”
Fellow panelist Josef Athanas, a restructuring partner in Latham’s Hong Kong office, added: “International bondholders and Asia-based companies alike recognize that a unique business and investment opportunity has arrived. There was strong interest among attendees, as well as a degree of anxiety — which I think is well-founded — about how to navigate a market environment in which change is the only constant.”
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