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Betting on bonds: what’s your view on who should win?
Polls open for nominations on several categories for the Triple A Sustainable Capital Markets Regional Awards 2020
23 Feb 2021 | The Asset

Take yourselves back to around this time in 2020. Covid-19 was only getting started. Asia’s G3 bond market looked like it was about to take a nosedive. Scary times. Hence, as The Asset's board of editors prepares for the Triple A Sustainable Capital Markets Regional Awards virtual awards ceremony, who would have imagined by the close of 2020 this market has gone, well, viral!

Pardon the pun. But it was a record-breaking year: US$373.32 billion of G3 bond market in Asia, outside of Japan and Australasia. It was 6.6% higher than what was also a record sum achieved in 2019. No wonder, when speaking to the arranging banks, in the face of the toll the real economy has taken as a result of the pandemic, the little cheer from last year’s market outperformance has been how many of these deals are linked to the response to the health emergency.

The Asset's Oscar-style announcement on the 18th of March 2021 starting at 5pm Hong Kong time of who comes out on top – not in terms of volume – but in terms of all-round performance will pit the Triple A Best Bond Adviser mainstays including Citi, DBS, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered, with the rising houses such as Barclays and Credit Suisse.

In 2020, Citi is strong in winning sovereign and financial institution mandates. DBS pops up in several ESG-related deals. Deutsche Bank is a high-yield specialist. 2019 winner HSBC is active in perpetuals – a theme of the year. Standard Chartered is notable for debut issuances. Meanwhile, Barclays is returning strongly with a variety of deals, notably in India. Credit Suisse has a particularly successful year in the Philippines.

If you were to choose who should win, which one deserves The Asset Triple A Best Bond Adviser for 2020?

In the high-yield bond market, for The Asset Triple A Best Emerging Bond Market Adviser, volume fell 15.2% in 2020 to US$70.18 billion from US$82.73 billion a year earlier, as the health crisis challenged less-rated issuers. Issuances out of China stepped back from US$52.19 billion in 2019 to US$43.31 billion during the same period.

Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and UBS are the nominees. Credit Suisse’s edge is the frontier markets. Deutsche Bank is traditionally a strong player in the high-yield space and notable especially in non-Chinese property deals. HSBC has now built up a credible business. Meanwhile, UBS stands out for China property issuers.

Who should get this recognition as the Triple A Best Emerging Markets Bond Adviser?

The increased volatility with Covid-19 has placed additional emphasis on the importance of liability management.

Some issuers such as Serba Dinamik executed a cash tender to reduce the cost of debt, arranged by HSBC in October 2020. Kaisa Group, a Chinese property developer, executed its liability management deal with Credit Suisse in November 2020. UBS advised Road King Infrastructure for its exercise in August 2020. Also in the same month, Deutsche Bank worked on the Yuzhou Group Holdings exercise aimed at improving its offshore debt structure.

Who is the year’s The Asset Triple A Best Liability Management Adviser?

Share your views. Better yet, join us on the 18th of March 2021 at 5pm Hong Kong time to find out who will be the winners. Please reach out to us at events@theasset.com

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