Investment banking fees down in Singapore
Activities across M&A, DCM and ECM decline from 2019 levels
21 Sep 2020 | The Asset

Singapore investment banking activities generated US$443.1 million in fees so far this year, down 39.9% compared to the first nine months of last year as overall activity slowed down. According to Refinitiv figures announced on September 18, advisory fees for completed M&A transactions dropped 67.5% to US$84.7 million during the same period. Debt capital markets’ (DCM) underwriting fees declined 39.5% to US$89.3 million, while equity capital markets’ (ECM) underwriting fees fell 20.5% to US$127.5 million. Syndicated lending fees generated US$141.5 million, down16% from a year ago.

Overall, Singapore's announced M&A activity slowed down to US$69.9 billion, a 27.8% decline after a strong first nine months last year. April saw the lowest number of deals announced since June 2013, while May had the lowest monthly total since May 2019. Third-quarter activity grew 38% compared to second quarter this year, but fell 7.5% from the third quarter of last year.

Singapore-targeted M&A activity amounted to US$41.7 billion, up 21% compared to the same period in 2019. Domestic M&A in Singapore hit the highest first nine months period and totaled US$22.6 billion so far this year, up 21.4% from a year ago. This was driven by CapitaLand Mall Trust and CapitaLand Commercial Trust announced a proposed merger valued at almost US$8 billion. This is the largest domestic Singaporean deal currently on record, exceeding CapitaLand’s US$7.9 billion acquisition of Ascendas Pte Limited last year.

Inbound M&A picked up in third quarter, bringing total deal value up 20.5% to US$19.1 billion so far this year. Nippon Paint Holdings of Japan agreed to acquire the entire share capital of Nipsea Pte Limited, a Singapore-based manufacturer of coatings, from Wuthelam Holdings for US$9.9 billion, making it the biggest Singaporean-involvement deal so far this year. Outbound M&A activity plummeted 36.9% from a year ago to US$15.9 billion in deal value, the lowest first nine months period since 2015 based on preliminary data.

Majority of the deal-making activity involving Singapore targeted the real estate sector, capturing a 30.8% market share and totalling US$21.6 billion, down 53.6% from a year ago. Materials followed next with a 20.5% market share, then industrials with a 15.7% market share.

So far this year Credit Suisse leads the league table rankings for any Singapore involvement announced M&A activity, with a 21% market share and US$14.7 billion in related deal value. BofA Securities follows with a 19.3% market share, while Nomura takes the third spot with an 18% market share.

Equity and equity-linked (ECM) issuances by Singaporean companies raised US$4.9 billion so far this year, a 22% decline from the first nine months of 2019. Follow-on offerings fell 23.2% from the comparative period last year, with US$3.1 billion worth of proceeds. Initial public offerings (IPOs) by Singaporean companies raised US$681.1 million, down 67.1% in proceeds year-on-year. Elite Commercial Reit’s US$170.5 million share sale is the largest Singaporean IPO so far this year.

Convertible bond offerings reached US$1.1 billion, a significant increase from last year’s proceeds of US$154.6 million. Industrials accounted for 43.2% of Singapore’s ECM proceeds, driven by capital raisings from Singapore Airlines as the global pandemic led to a decline in travel demand.

DBS Group currently leads Singapore’s ECM underwriting rankings, with a 28.6% market share and US$1.4 billion in related proceeds, followed by Goldman Sachs with a 23.2% market share, and Morgan Stanley with 18.2%.

Primary bond offerings from Singapore-domiciled issuers declined 24.6% compared to a year ago, raising US$19.5 billion so far this year – the lowest first nine months period since 2015 (US$15.2 billion). Singaporean companies from the financial sector captured a 53.4% market share and raised US$10.4 billion during the first nine months of this year, down 30.7% from the same period of 2019. Real estate followed with a 12.4% market share, worth US$2.4 billion, down 33.9% from a year ago.

DBS Group currently leads the Singapore bonds underwriting with US$4.45 billion in related proceeds, capturing a 22.8% market share. United Overseas Bank takes second place with US$1.8 billion in related proceeds or a 9.4% market share.

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