Thursday, 24 January 2019
Most investment banks spent another year under the hood fine-tuning their strategy and operations in the face of often confounding economic, business and regulatory changes. But one firm, having taken tough decisions to rebuild and remodel early, came into its own in 2014 and realised the gains of its endeavours with some glittering wins. Morgan Stanley is IFR’s 2014 Bank of the Year.
Morgan Stanley issued deals in five currencies, paved the way for other banks and corporates to tap the Taiwanese Formosa market, and enjoyed so much outperformance in spreads that it now trades through Goldman Sachs. For these efforts and for the glowing reports from investors about its deal execution, it is IFR’s Financial Issuer of the Year.
Royal Bank of Canada flexed its muscles as a leader and an innovator in the Canadian debt capital markets in 2014, pioneering the development of a new market for non-viability contingent capital for Canadian banks.
China’s burgeoning securitisation market stepped up a notch in 2014 as six companies won approval to issue securities backed by auto loans, but Volkswagen’s local financing unit went the extra mile to introduce international standards to the domestic arena.
In a year when bank capital securities took centre stage in Asia, the first Additional Tier 1 offering from mainland China proved the most ambitious, and the most significant.
Bullish commodity expectations were dashed as first-quarter exuberance faded fast. A stable model combining derivatives and financing with physical capabilities led to market share gains for one bank, as the integration of a broking business proved to be a game-changer. Societe Generale is IFR’s Commodity Derivatives House of the Year.
Burger King Worldwide got the recipe right by pushing a well-timed and priced leveraged loan backing its C$12.64bn (US$11.06bn) acquisition of Canadian quick-service restaurant chain Tim Hortons through the US leveraged loan market just before a market correction.
In an uncertain year, one bank combined its Asian expertise and global platform to raise funds for top-tier clients. For its continued dominance of market-defining deals, Goldman Sachs is IFR’s Asia-Pacific Equity House of the Year.
In a turbulent year for Thailand, CP Foods managed to bring a new structure to market, achieve aggressive terms and time the offering to perfection, raising US$290.4m from an exchangeable bond just three days before street protests brought issuance to a standstill.
In many ways 2014 was a bumper year for the investment banking industry. Although the year began with a few jitters as the US Federal Reserve changed guard and began to taper its purchases of government and asset-backed securities, asset prices across the markets quickly resumed their upward march of the past five years.
The IFR Americas Awards seek to recognise outstanding capital markets achievement in the US, Canada and Latin America. These Awards will be presented at a special ceremony at the Thomson Reuters Building, Times Square, New York on January 28 2015.
The IFR Asia Awards honour achievement in Asia’s capital markets and are celebrated at the annual IFR Asia Awards Dinner.
This year’s ceremony will be held on February 11 2015 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong. For full details, visit www.ifrasiaawards.com.
Fines for previous misdemeanours reached all-time highs in 2014 as regulators became more assertive in extracting large settlements that, while eye-popping, wouldn’t break the banks. But with the last of the big scandals reaching a close, banks are hoping the era of penalties may be behind them.
Equities sales and trading is yet another area of European banking in the midst of upheaval. Regulators want banks to be more open with the way they price equity services, including research.
Holdout investors in recent years have done better than those that accepted the terms of sovereign debt restructurings. That has prompted renewed efforts to change the system, level the playing field and bind in defiant creditors. But can the reforms actually work?