The week before last when Serena Williams beat her sister Venus to win the US Open crown in women's tennis, one question popped in the minds of tennis buffs: Will the Williams' sisters dominate women's tennis the way Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd did in the 1980s?
A similar question could be popping in the minds of participants of Asian syndicated loans market, given the roaring success registered by Cofco Capital Corporation's loan deal last week. Launched into general syndication in mid-August, the three-year letter of credit (L/C) facility was closed last week following heavy oversubscription. The deal was upsized to $150 million from an original size of $100 million.
Participants might wonder whether future Cofco deals will continue to meet with the kind of success it has achieved in its last four loan transactions, with 10 or more banks participating in each of them. The latest deal saw participation from as many as 22 banks, the highest number in the borrower's last five transactions, demonstrating the confidence banks have in the Cofco name.
According to one banker close to the deal, one of the main reasons for the success of the deal could be that foreign banks are likely to see fewer foreign currency deals from PRC companies in the rest of the year following the directives issued by the country's regulators to state-owned enterprises to curtail their foreign currency borrowings. The banker also added that state-owned enterprises are being encouraged to borrow in domestic currency.
Where foreign currency borrowings are absolutely necessary, state-owned enterprises are being instructed to borrow on-shore. One observer remarked that state-owned enterprises are likely to pre-pay their foreign currency liabilities going forward by borrowing in local currency.
Signing of the loan is scheduled for September 20, which incidentally marks the 50th anniversary of the Cofco Group. The final allocations for the current transaction are as follows:
Cofco Capital Corporation US$150 million three-year Direct-Pay Letter of Credit facility
Rabobank Hong Kong Branch
ING Bank N.V., Hong Kong Branch
|Standard Chartered Bank|
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A., Hong Kong Branch
|Commerz (East Asia) Limited|
Hang Seng Bank Limited, Shanghai Branch
MeesPierson N.V. Shanghai Branch (a member of Fortis Bank Group)
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, Tianjin Branch
Bank One, N.A.
CrTdit Industriel et Commercial, Singapore Branch
KBC Bank N.V., Shanghai Branch
Maybank Shanghai Branch
NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, Singapore Branch
SANPAOLO IMI S.p.A., Hong Kong Branch
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd., Hong Kong Branch
UFJ Bank Limited
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Beijing Branch
Baden-Wnrttembergische Bank AG, Hong Kong Branch
Banca di Roma S.p.A. - Shanghai Branch
Banca Nazionale del Lavoro S.p.A., Hong Kong Branch
Bank of Communications, New York Branch