BNP Paribas to boost Singapore debt coverage

Highly regarded Warren Mar will move to Singapore to become head of DCM.

In a reshuffle of its debt capital markets team, BNP Paribas is signalling that it wants to take its presence in Singapore to the next level.

The French bank will send Warren Mar to Singapore this week to become head of debt capital markets. Mar, who formerly ran the firm's fixed income research operations, will be totally changing his job profile when he moves to the Lion City.

He will put down his pen and begin originating deals. His brief is to up the number of Singapore dollar bonds launched by BNP Paribas in the now booming local market, targeting local issuers such as the Land Transport Authority as well as international issuers that want to issue Sing dollars.

With the recent bumper issuance from local banks OCBC and UOB, many are now saying the Singapore local debt market is coming of age, and with Mar in situ, BNP Paribas will hope to get a bigger piece of the action. Clearly it hopes to follow up on its success in the Hong Kong dollar bond market, where it recently came second to HSBC in an exclusive FinanceAsia Local Currency Bond Poll.

However, Mar will also seek to persuade Singapore companies to issue international bonds too. In Europe it is a leader in lead managing euro-denominated bonds, and earlier this year it scored an Asian success in that currency when it launched a Eu660 million deal for the Peoples Republic of China. However, in Singapore Mar is more likely to find that local players have a preference for issuing US dollars.

Meanwhile his hotseat as head of fixed income research is to be filled by Albert Hoffman.

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