Thursday, May 29, 2008

Shuffling the pack at Xinhua

Much discussion yesterday about the significance of Fredy Bush's decision to step aside as CEO of Xinhua Finance in favour of Jae Lie (both pictured here...Fredy's the woman).

According to Reuters, the company will focus on its "aims to divest non-core assets and focus on its main China market as it tries to boost a share price off almost 60 percent this year". It notes that, as well as the CEO change, the company "launched a consent solicitation on $100 million of 10 percent senior guaranteed notes due 2011. The move is aimed at providing it flexibility to dispose of some non-core businesses, including communications and investor relations firm Taylor Rafferty". It quotes new CEO Lie as saying "We're trying to get the bondholders' consent to allow us to possibly divest some of the assets that we have that are tied down to the bond."

Founder Fredy Bush will step up to the role of Vice Chair of Tokyo-listed XFL while retaining the CEO position at NASDAQ-listed subsidiary Xinhua Finance Media which she seems intent on building up into a stand-alone China media business.

According to Barron's, which describes XFL in a somewhat self-serving way ("kinda"...what kinda writing is that?), the market was underwhelmed. It notes that "shares of China’s two answers to Barron’s Online (kinda) are trading in opposite directions today, as Xinhua Finance Media Limited (XFML) falls 11% TO $3.01, one of the biggest decliners on the Nasdaq, and China Finance Online (JRJC) rises almost 16% to $23.80". Click back through the Xinhua labels below if you want to recall the hatchet job that Dow Jones did on Fredy Bush last year.

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