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Over a dozen Chinese-based firms say they have minimal exposure to SVB

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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HONG KONG (Reuters) -Over a dozen Hong Kong-listed companies have stepped forward to say they had little or no exposure to Silicon Valley Bank, the failed U.S. lender which has roiled investors and markets globally.

Startup-focussed SVB Financial Group, which did business as Silicon Valley Bank, collapsed on Friday in the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis. U.S. officials have stepped in to stem financial fallout, saying that all customers will have access to their deposits starting on Monday.

Chinese companies are making efforts to reassure clients and investors as the collapse of the U.S. bank could have a negative psychological impact on China’s markets, since many tech start-ups, especially those with dollar funding, have opened U.S. accounts at SVB.

On Saturday, SVB’s Chinese joint venture with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank said it has a sound corporate structure and an independently operated balance sheet.

Firms scrambled through Sunday to Monday to release statements on the extent of their exposure or to distance themselves from the bank.

China-based drug developer Beigene Ltd said it has uninsured cash deposits held at the bank representing 3.9% of its last reported total cash and cash equivalents. It also said it did not expect the developments to impact its operations.

Mobile advertising platform Mobvista Inc said it has deposit accounts with the bank with a balance of $430,000 and that the accounts represent a minimal portion of cash and cash equivalents.

Six Hong Kong-listed companies, mostly Chinese pharmaceutical firms also over the weekend disclosed cash deposits at Silicon Valley Bank.

Brii Biosciences Limited revealed it had the highest percentage of cash and bank balances at SVB, at less than 9%. It did not provide a monetary figure for the deposits.

“Notwithstanding the closure of SVB, the existing cash and bank balances of the company continue to be sufficient to meet its working capital, capital expenditures and material cash requirements from known contractual obligations for the next three years,” Brii Biosciences said.

Broncus Holding Corporation said it held $11.8 million at SVB, representing around 6.5% of its total cash.

CStone Pharmaceuticals, Noah Holdings Private Wealth and Asset Management Limited and Jacobio Pharmaceuticals Group Co said in different statements they had less than 0.2-0.5% of their total cash at SVB.

CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc said the amount of cash deposited with SVB is “immaterial and is generally within the amount guaranteed by the FDIC accordingly”, without giving any figures.

Ascentage Pharma Group International said in a filing on Sunday is had not had any business dealings with SVB, while tycoon Pan Shiyi, co-founder and former chairman of commercial property developer SOHO China, said on his Weibo account that he had never opened an account or deposited at the bank.

(Reporting by Clare Jim and Bernard Orr; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Lincoln Feast)