Will Hong Kong bankers flock like birds?

The first new LBO transaction in Hong Kong was launched this week - but will the returns prove attractive enough?

Plain vanilla blue chip loans have been the staple diet of Hong Kong bankers ever since the Asian financial crisis, with few willing to move down the credit curve and raise loans for the lesser lights. This school of thought has shifted significantly over the past two years, with 2003 seeing a glut of mid-cap and structured transactions hitting the market.

According to Dealogic figures, Standard Chartered and DBS Bank lead the way, raising HK$2.69 billion $342 million and HK$1.57 billion $201 million respectively. BNP trails in fourth place with HK$1.4 billion from six deals - and has bagged the mandate for the first HK dollar LBO to emerge this...

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