Who sets the bar in North Asia transaction banking?
In 2016, you can say that the renminbi cross-borde...
In an exciting Oscar-style ceremony, The Asset honoured several financial institutions at The Asset Regional Awards gala dinner on 28 February 2017 for their roles in key deals in 2016.
Best bank and best corporate and institutional bank: Citi
Chris Laskowski, head of corporate & investment banking at Citi
Citi reported positive revenue growth last year with global consumer banking in Asia notching US$5.1 billion in revenues, while the institutional clients group in Asia posted another US$5.4 billion in revenues. For the first nine months of 2016, seven markets generated over US$500 million in revenues for Citi. The US bank continued to grow in Asia with assets in the region rising 6% year-on-year to US$325 billion. It opened a new office in Hong Kong One Bay East, launched voice biometrics across Asia, Prestige credit card in China, and Simplicity+ in Indonesia.
In terms of corporate and institutional banking, Citi is consistent in arranging marquee transactions across equity/equity-linked, debt capital markets, and M&A. It was the sole international global coordinator for Samsung Biologics’ US$2 billion IPO, which was voted as Triple A Best IPO. The bank also helped arrange several bond deals that defined the G3 bond market, including the CNH tranche in Bank of China’s green bond amounting to 1.5 billion yuan. Citi was also a trusted financial adviser and represented clients in deals such as China outbound acquisitions and divestments from multinationals. It also advised on the largest ever transport transactions in Southeast Asia involving CMA CGM/Neptune Orient Lines
Best M&A house: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Stephen Gore, head of Asia Pacific M&A, and head of Asia Pacific Financial Sponsors Group, BofAML
In Asian M&A, Bank of America Merrill Lynch was particularly active in China outbound M&A activity. During the review period the firm was involved in key China related deals including Qingdao Haier’s US$5.4 billion acquisition of GE Appliances and Tencent’s US$8.6 billion acquisition of Supercell. In the case of the Tencent deal it was represented the largest Chinese outbound deal in the technology space. The bank was also involved in Southeast Asian deals such as the US$866 million privatization of SMRT Corporation.
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Best loan house: ANZ
Despite its size relative to its peers ANZ was involved in a number of defining deals including the US$3.5 billion term loan facility for Tencent Holdings in their first non-recourse acquisition transaction. Another interesting deal for the bank was its US$250 million loan for TML Holdings where ANZ was able to provide a significant cost saving proposal to the borrower through a bond buyback, supported by a fully underwritten loan proposal.
Best renminbi bond house: Bank of China
Samson Lee, head of DCM, BoC International
Bank of China has been particularly active in renminbi bond deals. During the review period, the bank was involved in Bank of China’s (Luxembourg) US$2.8 billion multicurrency (including a yuan tranche) green bond and Veolia 1 billion yuan bond. In the case of Veolia deal, it was the first time when a French corporate tapped the onshore Chinese market for renminbi financing to support its China operations.
Bank of China was also involved in offshore deals such as Chinese Ministry of Finance’s 3 billion yuan bond, the sovereign’s first ever international renminbi bond outside China.
Best equity house: Credit Suisse
Kelvin Teo, Director, equity capital markets, Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse, was very active in 2016 having been also involved in the Samsung Biologics IPO. Elsewhere in North Asia, Credit Suisse assisted China Logistics Property Holdings with its US$458 million IPO. The house also did some non-IPO deals including Telekomunikasi Indonesia’s US$250 million block trade. The trade represented the largest-ever treasury share placement in Indonesia to date.
Best reit house and best brokerage house: DBS and DBS Vickers
Art Karoonyavanich, chief executive officer, DBS Asia Capital
DBS had a number of Reit successes in 2016. The house played a role in the Fraser Logistics & Industrial Trust’s IPO last year, and in addition took the Manulife US Reit public on the SGX, which generated US$493 million from investors, supported by a number of cornerstone investors including DBS’ private bank unit. Aside from IPOs, DBS assisted Mapletree Commercial Trust with its S$1 billion follow-on offering. Funds raised by Mapletree Commerical Trust will be used for financing the first phase development of Mapletree’s business city project.
DBS Vickers Securities also had a strong year and further enhanced its regional footprint spanning from Korea to Indonesia. The firm boasts a strong team in Hong Kong and Singapore. DBS Vickers also offers a wide range of products such as high frequency trading and margin financing for its clients. The sales and trading of DBS Vickers Securities is supported by a proactive research team that provides insights into not only major Asian large corporates and but also selected mid-cap players as well.
Best equity-linked house and best emerging market bond house: Deutsche Bank
(L) Keyvan Zolfaghari, co-head of capital markets solutions, Asia Pacific, equity capital markets and (R) Tim Chow, director, head of north Asia debt origination, Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank during the review period was part of key equity-linked deals. The German bank, despite the troubles back in Frankfurt, was able to execute Softbank Group into Alibaba’s US$6.6 billion EB, which was the largest-ever equity-linked transaction globally. The house, moreover, did a sole global coordinator deal for Hunan Valin into FMG’s (Fortescue Metals Group) US$355 million EB. It was a challenging deal as it involved a non-central Chinese SOE issuing into a Singapore-incorporated holding company.
Deutsche Bank was also involved in several interesting emerging market bond transactions, acting as the sole global coordinator, left lead bookrunner, and rating adviser in the US$1.2 billion dual tranche senior secured note for Studio City Company. The largest high yield offering ever from North Asia, the deal was positioned as a Reg S/144A trade to capture the strong technical bid for high yield supply in Asia, and the demand for gaming assets across the US accounts.
Best debt house, best bond house, best Asian currency bond house and best liability management house: HSBC
(L) Phil Lipton, MD & head of loan syndications, Asia Pacific, Alexi Chan global co-head, debt capital markets, Mark Long co-head of infrastructure and real estate group, Asia Pacific and (R) Isaac Leung, analyst, financing solutions group at HSBC
The depth and breadth of HSBC’s debt capital markets franchise spans across several jurisdictions in Asia. It maintained the league table leadership again in G3 bond issuances in 2016, arranging bank capital, green bonds, and corporate hybrids as well as undertaking liability management exercises for clients.
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 yuan. 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 yuan. The bank was also involved in a number of significant loan transactions in the region, providing acquisition financing for ChemChina, Tencent Holdings, and Berli Jucker.
HSBC in addition was at the forefront of liability management (LM) exercises in 2016, undertaking diverse transaction formats for issuers, including tender and exchange offers, one-day switches, and consent solicitations. In the first Indonesian LM transaction post the US presidential election in November, the bank was a joint solicitation agent on a consent solicitation for Gajah Tunggal’s US$500 million bond due 2018. The bank’s other notable LM exercises in 2016 include deals for RoP, ICTSI, Sritex, China South City Holdings, and the Kingdom of Thailand’s 218.7 billion baht bond exchange.
Best leveraged/acquisition finance house and best securitization house: Standard Chartered
(L) David Yim head of debt capital markets and (R) Alec Yang, executive director, capital markets solutions, Standard Chartered
The ability to support cross-border acquisitions is also a core strength and differentiating factor for Standard Chartered as the best leveraged/acquisition finance house. It acted as the mandated lead arranger for the 6.4 billion euro term facilities to Pirelli to take out the acquisition facilities for the privatization of Pirelli by ChemChina-led consortium in 2015. In the domestic front, the bank also led some of the large structured/acquisition financings, such as the 3.2 billion euro, one-year bridge facility to fund Berli Jucker’s acquisition of a majority stake in Big C Supercenter, in which it acted as mandated lead arranger.
Another market leader in the securitization market in Asia is Standard Chartered, which completed 20 transactions in 2016, with nearly US$4 billion worth of assets securitized in the region. It has an extensive span of activities in key markets, including China, Korea, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore. It closed three loan repackage note transactions for financial leasing and securities companies during the year amounting up to US$970 million.
2 Mar 2017