ICBC Leasing lands $1.3b bond

The aircraft leasing unit of ICBC targets international expansion in the face of slowing growth at home.

ICBC Leasing, the aircraft leasing unit of China's largest lender ICBC, returned to the international bond markets on Thursday with a US dollar-denominated bond, raising $1.3 billion through a three-tranche offering.

The sale comes shortly after its major rivals BOC Aviation and China Aircraft Leasing Group completed their fundraising exercise in the dollar market. The former sold a $750 million 3.875% 2026 bond in mid-April, while the latter issued a $300 million 5.9% three-year note in late April.

Rated A2/A/A, ICBC Leasing priced the 144A/Reg S transaction during New York hours after generating a final order book of $3 billion before final guidance. This was evenly split between the three-year, five-year and 10-year tranche, with interest slightly towards the short-dated notes, according to syndicate bankers.

Pricing of each of the three tranches were at the tight end of guidance.

The company, which has 269 aircraft, initially marketed the three-year and five-year notes at 170bp and 180bp over Treasuries, before tightening it to 157.5bp and 170bp respective.

Final pricing of the 2019 $500 million transaction was fixed at 157bp and the 2021 $500 million note was priced at $170bp, according to a term sheet seen by FinanceAsia.

For the 10-year year note, the group priced the $300 million bond at 200bp over Treasuries after being marketed at 210bp over Treasuries.

The company plans to use the new proceeds from the debt sale to fund its overseas operations and other corporate purposes.

The new transaction had exactly the same structure as a previous outing in November, incorporating a keepwell and liquidity support deed from ICBC Leasing to the issuer ICBCIL Finance.

The company tapped the international market twice last year, raising a total of $2.5 billion. It raised $1 billion through a dual-tranche offering in March last year before returning to the market with a three-part transaction in November, raising $1.5 billion for the wholly-owned subsidiary of ICBC.

Joint global coordinators of the transaction were ICBC, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and ANZ, while Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Well Fargo joined as joint bookrunners.

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