Here are the top 30 deals of 2016 (and two that bombed)

Make hay while the sun shines is an apt description of the capital markets in Asia in 2016. While it was rough for international bankers on the loans side, their bond colleagues are celebrating another stellar year. Equity, on the other hand, has continued to languish at least on the public side. The action, The Asset understands, is more on the private side where the size of placements has matched, if not surpassed typical deals on the public roster.

Mergers and acquisitions have been all about China and its headlong rush to go abroad. Strategic buyers are prominent especially with large trades such as ChemChina’s proposed US$46 billion offer for Syngenta, the outcome of which could foretell whether 2017 will remain as robust as this year. Southeast Asia has had a number of sizeable trades from Western multinationals exiting in favour of large local conglomerates more than delighted to pay a clearing price for strategic purchases.

In the face of such a market environment, which deals are worthy of being named The Asset Triple A best deals in the region? As in the past more than a decade and a half, the board of editors filtered the long list of deals nominated, listened to the back stories of the most consequential deals and came up with the region’s top 30 deals of the year across equity, fixed income and structured finance/advisory.

In equity, Samsung BioLogics raised US$2 billion in the world’s largest healthcare IPO since July 2014. When the standards of arranging IPOs continued to deteriorate especially in markets such as Hong Kong, Samsung BioLogics was a ray of hope with its proper bookbuilding, price guidance and impeccable execution that enabled it to debut 5.9% higher than the offer price notwithstanding coming soon after the unexpected win by Donald Trump. It is the Triple A Best IPO of the year.

Another IPO, the Cemex Philippines US$540 million offering, was named Triple A Best Mid-Cap Equity. This is the largest IPO in the Philippines since 2015 and the third largest ever. The international tranche was multiple times covered, with solid support from long-only institutional and sovereign wealth funds. It also marks an important breakthrough for the Philippines in encouraging multinationals operating in the country to list shares on the exchange.

From Indonesia, the US$250 million placement for Telkom Indonesia wins the Triple A Best Block Trade. It was the first Asian block trade following the Brexit vote in June. It was also the largest ever treasury share placement in Indonesia with the base deal covered within the first 30 minutes and total deal size doubled to US$250 million.

Softbank’s US$6.6 billion mandatory exchangeable trust certificates into Alibaba scoops the Triple A Best Equity-Linked Deal. Years in the making, it was the largest ever equity-linked transaction globally and marks a breakthrough deal for Asia’s capital markets. This is perhaps one of the biggest stories in Asia for capital markets in 2016. For the past 20 years, banks have deviated and tried mandatory products. But it never worked until now. In addition to the mandatory, Softbank concurrently sold US$3.4 billion of common stock to Alibaba and two sovereign wealth funds, raising up to US$10 billion in total proceeds.

In fixed income, Bank of China’s multi-currency green bond was picked as the Triple A Best Bond and Best FIG Green Bond. The transaction comprised of US$2.25 billion, 1.5 billion yuan and €500 million tranches in the largest ever international green bond offering globally. It was a coup for Bank of China and the arrangers to pull out the most breathtaking deal in a year when green was the colour of the year.

The Republic of the Philippines (RoP) once again demonstrated its trait as one of savviest issuers in the region with another highlight deal of the year – the US$2 billion accelerated one-day switch tender offer and new global bond. This is the first emerging market sovereign US dollar long bond – 20 years or more in tenor – offering globally in 2016 and achieved a new record low coupon for a US dollar issuance by the RoP. It is named Triple A Best Sovereign Bond.

Cheung Kong Infrastructure’s US$1.2 billion fixed-for-life perpetual securities wins the Triple A Best Corporate Bond. The structure is consistent with the company’s funding strategy in the hybrid market and provides flexibility across the financing horizon. More importantly, it was the one deal where institutions, desperate for yield, finally caved in and took more of the paper than private banks despite the hybrid structure.

The Triple A Best Bank Capital Bond accolade goes to DBS Group’s US$750 million Basel III-compliant additional tier 1 (AT1) securities. If there is one bank that has blazed the trail for bank capital, DBS is the standout. The deal marks DBS’ first such instrument and achieved the tightest coupon globally for a US dollar perpetual AT1 capital securities.

In terms of M&A and structured finance deals, the Qingdao Haier acquisition of General Electric’s appliances business for US$5.6 billion wins the Triple A Best Cross-Border M&A in what was one of the highest profile outbound transactions undertaken by a Chinese private enterprise. It also stood out as one of the quickest wins in Asian M&A history.

The US$32.7 billion loan for China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) to fund its acquisition of Syngenta was another significant transaction for its sheer size seldom seen in for an Asian client. It was a well-structured deal that garnered strong commitments from both Chinese and international banks. The deal wins the Triple A Best Syndicated Loan.

For the rest of the Best regional deals in equity in 2016, please click here. You can also access here the Best regional fixed income deals and the  Best regional deals for M&A and structured finance



13 Dec 2016



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