SinoPac mandates as Cathay Life launches

Taiwanese banks return to the forefront of convertible investors'' attention.

Cathay Financial Holdings launched its highly anticipated convertible yesterday Monday as SinoPac Financial Holdings joined the queue of finance issuers with a prospective $350 million deal via UBS Warburg. The Swiss bank has been awarded sole books over long standing favourite Merrill Lynch, which had been expected to win the transaction after holding a mandate for a GDR issue where UBSW had been joint-lead.

In the meantime, Cathay's smaller than anticipated issue of $700 million has divided convertible specialists. For lead manager Goldman Sachs, which has sole control of the deal with no other syndicate, execution requires a delicate balancing act between a large deal size and aggressive terms on the one side with...

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