Country Awards for Achievement Day 2 -- Best Domestic Bond House

Country Awards for Achievement Day 2 -- Best Domestic Bond House

Best Hong Kong dollar bond house


Something of a no-brainer, this one. In many respects, HSBC is the Hong Kong dollar bond market. In fact, no other bank even comes close to HSBC in this market. In the first quarter league table published by Basis Points, it had a 55% market share. Since June last year, it has led 133 bond deals amounting to HK$49.6 billion, with 21% representing supranational issuance, 13% corporates and 45% financial institutions. About 68% of issuance has been launched at tenors between 3 and 7 years.  In March this year, it launched the HKMC’s HK$5 billion fixed rate issue, the largest fixed rate deal to date and the largest deal ever done in a local currency bond market. As joint arranger of Swire Pacific’s MTN programme, it then led three HK dollar deals in six weeks worth HK$2.2 billion. Indeed, of nine MTN programmes set up in Hong Kong, HSBC arranged four of them. Its penetration is further illustrated by the statistic that of the top 10 issuers of HK dollar bonds since 1990, HSBC has acted as bookrunner for eight of them.


Best Indian rupee bond house

ICICI Securities

According to the PRIME database, ICICI Securities ranked first for debt placements in the first half of this year, building on its commanding position last year. A leading primary dealer in the Indian government securities market, it has also been responsible for some of the more innovative transactions – witness its private placement of Rs1 billion of mortgage-backed securities for National Housing Board (a first), and revolving debenture facility for Larsen & Toubro.  It has also participated in some of the larger transactions such as the Rs11 billion deal for Power Finance Corp, the Rs4 billion issue for GE Capital and the Rs5 billion issue for the National Highway Authority of India (the first tax exempt bond of its kind). It also achieved the lowest yield for a corporate issuer seen in May when it brought a 5-year bookbuilt issue for Bharat Petrochemicals at 9.95%. Overall, another excellent year of achievement.


Best Indonesian Rupiah bond house


Danareksa has a dominant position in the Indonesian bond market, having led deals for top local firms such as Indosat, Sampoerna, Indofood and Semen Gresik. It is the largest debt trader in Indonesia with a 16% market share. Additionally, it is seeking to improve the quality and professionalism of the debt market. As part of that process, it has formed a seven-strong credit research team, which it hopes also gives investors greater confidence when subscribing to debt issues.


Best Japanese yen bond house


Nomura has traditionally dominated the Japanese Samurai market, although the advent of competition from Nikko Salomon Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch, has made life more difficult. It is still the case, however, that Nomura leads the pack. Between June last year and the June 11 cut-off point for these awards, it led Y498 billion worth of issue (based on using equal apportionment). In the first half of this year, it had a 10.64% market share which continues to see it topping the table. Notable transactions over the past year include issues for Turkey, China, IBM, POSCO, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and the World Bank. In fact it has done repeat transactions for Turkey and Brazil in this time period.


Best Korean won bond house

Samsung Securities

In Korea, Samsung Securities epitomises professionalism in the local market. Since June last year, it has underwritten W7.8 trillion in corporate bonds, asset-backed securities and collateralized bond obligations, giving it a 12.1% market share. In a sign of the changes that corporate Korea has undergone, Samsung Securities has underwritten issue for members of rival chaebol, for example LG Telecom, LG Construction and Hyundai Heavy. It has executed 52 deals since June including W1.7 trillion worth of credit card receivable asset- back securities, leveraging off the success of the Samsung group’s market leading credit card business. In its efforts to create transparency in the local market, it was one of the first firms to create a local bond index.


Best Malaysian ringgit bond house


CIMB truly dominates the Malaysian bond market. In fact, Rating Agency Malaysia estimates it has a 58% market share.  It originated 19 bonds between June 2000 and June 2001 and has launched the largest non-government guaranteed Islamic bond for SPLASH. Moreover, it was entrusted with infrastructure entity, BPIMB’s massive bond operations, a M$5 billion note programme. And while there are a number of foreign houses operating aggressively in the Malaysian market (Deutsche, HSBC and Citi) all of them are keen to work with CIMB as they respect its professionalism and recognize that its ability to originate deals is difficult to beat.


Best Philippines peso bond house


While the Philippines does not have the most developed domestic bond market in Asia, HSBC can argue that it has done a lot to try and change that. Its highly successful 25-year fixed rate bond for the Republic of the Philippines was increased from Ps2 billion to Ps5.28 billion. This not only created the longest tenor in the domestic bond market, it also created longest-dated sovereign bond in Asia ex-Japan. On the corporate front, it launched a Ps1.2 billion multi-tranche deal for PLDT, split into a 3-, 5-, and 10-year tranche – selling the latter to mostly insurance companies. In February this year it launched a Ps1 billion multi-tranche issue for Globe Telecom that represented the first time a corporate borrower simultaneously issued fixed and floating rate notes.


Best New Taiwanese dollar bond house

Grand Cathay

Grand Cathay is consistently at the top of the New Taiwan dollar bond league table. It has underwritten some of the more high profile supranational issues too. In the past year, it has launched deals for the EBRD (NT$6 billion), the EIB (NT$7 billion), and two for the Inter-American Development Bank, worth a combined NT$11 billion. It thus has a 70% market share for supranational issues. Thanks to new regulations favouring convertible bonds, it made a concerted push into this market, launching deals for Acer Sertek, Compeq Manufacturing and Everlight Electronics. It also got involved in raising hybrid bank capital for local institutions. It designed a 6-year preference structure whose yield was distributed as a tax-deductible dividend. This ensured investors could access good after-tax returns at a time when corporate bond yields were at all-time lows. Notable among these issues was NT$10 billion issue for Chinatrust.


Best Singapore dollar bond house


DBS has built a dominant position in the ever-expanding Singapore dollar bond market. In 2001, it helped SingTel with its acquisition of Optus in Australia by leading a five-year, S$1 billion issue. Another megadeal was one it did for itself to help finance the Dao Heng Bank acquisition. This saw DBS upsize a S$600 million non-cumulative preference share deal to S$1.1 billion. Meanwhile another landmark was the largest ever asset securitization, the S$984 million issue for Tincel which was based on receivables from the Raffles City Complex. In much the same way that HSBC has built and dominated the HK$ bond market, DBS is doing likewise in Singapore. An outstanding year.


Best Thai baht bond house

Thai Farmers

In a yet-to-be-published local debt market poll carried out by FinanceAsia, Thai Farmers was voted the top domestic house in Thailand. In many respects, that’s because the bank has sought to recruit a professional syndicate desk and set up its bond division along the lines of best international practice. As if to prove as much, it worked with HSBC on FinanceAsia’s local currency bond deal of the year last June, the Bt5 billion ($125 million) split 3 and 5-year bond for the Export Import Bank of Thailand. This deal was created to help the bank refinance offshore debt, and consequently the baht raised was immediately swapped into US dollars at a price that saw it get dollar funds at Libor minus 70bp. The bank also structured a Bt1.8 billion hybrid debt capital instrument for Industrial Finance Corporation of Thailand; this was the first hybrid debt capital instrument in Thailand. And its volume of issuance – Bt53.6 billion since last June – speaks for the fact that Thai Farmers excels not just in sophistication but also in the amount of business it is doing for its clients.



Banks were asked to submit league tables; lists of deals; explanations of why transactions have been especially significant; details of research, sales and trading expertise; and any information that shows a commitment to improving that country’s bond market.

FinanceAsia took all of the above into consideration, choosing the most dominant player in the market, and in cases where two or more players were more or less equally dominant in their league table positions, evaluated the quality and innovativeness of their deals.


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