Cutting edge

Why Asian borrowers are making their mark in Samurai bonds not loans

One of the region's most liquid but conservative markets is showing signs of moving down the credit curve again, although borrowers are still advised to adopt a step-by-step approach to issuance.

The Samurai market is back. But so far, it is proving to be a double-edged sword for Asian issuers, as the bond market breaks all records and the loan market experiences investor fatigue.

A bifurcated market has led to $6.49 billion equivalent of Samurai bond issuance to the end of August according to Dealogic figures. This is higher than the previous record-breaking $4.99 billion during the whole of 1996 in the market’s glory days before the Asian Financial Crisis see table 1.

Only $1.15 billion has been issued, however, in Samurai loans so far this year compared to $3.91 billion for the whole of 2018.

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