Hutchison launches refinancing

The ports-to-telecoms conglomerate returns to the Hong Kong loan market via HSBC and Bank of China.

Asia's best-loved company Hutchison Whampoa has launched a HK$12 billion ($1.55 billion) syndicated loan. The facility will be used to refinance an existing HK$12 billion loan which is coming due in November.

The loan is being arranged by HSBC and Bank of China and was put into general syndication last night. It will close in about two weeks. The deal has a split maturity of five and seven years, with HK$8 billion being raised through the five-year and HK$4 billion through the seven.

The all-in pricing on the deal is 48bp for the five-year tranche and 49bp for the seven-year tranche. This is in line with the company's existing borrowings and comparable to similar credits. Earlier this year, Sun Hung Kai Properties raised Hong Kong dollar-denominated debt at 54bp while other, more property-focused companies, have borrowed in the 60bp region.

The deal shows how deep and liquid the Hong Kong loan market is for top borrowers at the moment. Bankers close to the deal predict a smooth syndication.