In year a fraught with volatility and uncertainty, several issuers in the 2018 were surveying new markets in Asia to meet their fixed-income fundraising objectives.
Frequent bond issuers in the US dollar or euro markets shifted their attention towards Asian currencies such as the Chinese renminbi, Indian rupee and Malaysian ringgit amongst others in anticipation of securing cheaper funding and diversifying their funding base.
During The Asset's annual review of regional Asian local currency advisers, a number of institutions stood out not only for the variety of Asian local currencies they were able to support but also for their activity in developing the renminbi.
Credit Agricole is a 2018 regional nominee for Best Asian Currency Bond Adviser and Best Renminbi Bond Adviser for its work introducing issuers to new currencies. The bank has a strong Greater China focus, being able to do both renminbi and Hong Kong dollar denominated deals. For example, the bank was able in 2018 to take issuers from Australia, Canada and Europe into the Hong Kong dollar market.
The bank also works closely with multilateral institutions such as IFC and Asian Development Bank in tapping the renminbi market. The bank in 2018 also executed a panda bond deal for Air Liquide representing the longest tenor by a panda bond issuer.
DBS similar to Credit Agricole is a 2018 regional nominee for Best Asian Currency Bond Adviser. A dominant player in the Singapore dollar space, the bank has in recent times pushed its Asian local currency franchise outside its home market to partake in renminbi denominated deals. A key deal for the bank being Temasek Holdings S$500 million retail bond, the first such bond issued under the Monetary Authority of Singapore's bond exempt issuer framework.
Last year's Asian Currency Bond Adviser winner, HSBC, is again nominated in this category and Best Renminbi Bond Adviser for the accessibility it has to a number of local currency markets in Asia, ranging from its strength in Hong Kong dollars to the Malaysian ringgit. One key Asian local currency deal for the bank was its work in HDFC Bank's masala bond offering in March 2018.
The bank has a focus on bringing issuers from different Asian jurisdictions, a focus evident in its renminbi business where HSBC has enabled several issuers to tap renminbi liquidity whether it is a panda bond or formosa bond. Last year the bank assisted Korea Development Bank in its offshore 1.7 billion renminbi bond.
Perennial rival to many banks, Standard Chartered is also part of the regional nominee list for Best Asian Currency Bond Adviser and Best Renminbi Bond adviser. Similar to its regional peers the bank during 2018 was able to offer its clients a number of cross-currency financing solutions working with currencies in Greater China and Southeast Asia. One significant deal for the bank involved its work in Land Transport Authority's S$1.5 billion 40-year fixed rate notes, a rare long tenor issuance.
Within its renminbi franchise Standard Chartered was able to bring issuers to both the panda bond and dim sum bond markets. Its Shui on Land CNH 2.2 billion senior notes deal, for instance, opened the dim sum bond market for high-yield issuers in 2018.
Bank of China is nominated as regionally one of the Best Renminbi Bond Advisers for its prominent position in both onshore and offshore renminbi markets. Over the last 12 months the bank has helped the likes of the Republic of the Philippines with its debut panda bond issuance.
Also competing with Bank of China for the Best Renminbi Bond Adviser is ICBC. Similar to its peers, ICBC has been a proactive member in bringing the renminbi market to foreign issuers. In 2018 a key deal for the bank was the 2 billion yuan panda bond from the Emirate of Sharjah Government, representing the first panda bond issue from the Middle East.
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