Asian local currency bond markets notch another positive year: which banks are driving market development in 2016?

The Asian local currency bond markets registered another rising trend in 2016, underpinned by cheaper borrowing costs and the monetary easing measures adopted by the central banks across the region. Issuance of government bonds fueled the growth in the emerging East Asia markets, though the corporate sector also exhibited positive gains.

Four banks have demonstrated leadership in bringing issuers in the local currency bond markets. CIMB has extended its debt capital markets franchise beyond its home market in Malaysia, establishing a strong presence in the Asean region. It acted as a sole global coordinator for the S$100 million CGIF (Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility) guaranteed fixed rate bond for Fullerton Healthcare Corporation, and was the sole lead arranger and lead manager for the one billion Thai baht deal for Ananda Development PCL, the first perpetual offering in Thailand to be wholly placed to high net worth investors.

Like CIMB, DBS has also built a regional local currency bond footprint beyond its home market in Singapore, as it arranges deals in other currencies across the region, such as in CNY, Hong Kong dollar, Indian rupees, and Indonesian rupiah. It brought foreign issuers into the Hong Kong dollar bond market on a sole basis, such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia (HK$100 million) and KfW (HK$3.875 billion in two deals). It arranged CNY deals for the Singapore branches of China Construction Bank and ICBC, as well as for Chongqing Grain Group Company.

Among the rupiah deals that DBS arranged in 2016 were those for Medco Energi, Indonesia Eximbank, Astra Sedaya, and Indosat, while the rupee deals were for Tata Power and Apollo Tyres, among others

Like in the G3 bond market, HSBC likewise captured a big slice of the local currency bond issuances. It connected foreign issuers into pools of local currency liquidity in Asia, as demonstrated by the sovereign issue from Poland in the Panda bond market amounting to 3 billion renminbi. It was a driver in development of Asian local currency bank capital with deals for UOB amounting to S$750 million; ABN AMRO for S$450 million; in the green bond market with transactions for NTPC of India for 20 billion rupees; and New Development Bank for 3 billion renminbi.

Standard Chartered maintains its relevance in the Asian local currency bond markets with its share of market-defining transactions in 2016. These included the S$500 million first Asian debt capital market issue by Manulife Financial Corporation, which also represented the first Singapore dollar tier 2 offering by a non-domestic insurance company.

The bank was also involved in the first preferred share issuance in the Philippines in 2016, with the 30 billion pesos perpetual preferred share deal for San Miguel Corporation, and in the maiden peso bond offering by SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation amounting to 15 billion pesos.

The winner of the Triple A Best Local Currency Bond House will be revealed on February 28, 2017 during The Asset’s Regional House & Deal Awards Dinner. For more information about the awards ceremony please click here