Wednesday, 16 January 2019
JP Morgan dominates investment banking in a way no other institution has in the modern era. Whatever the measure – wallet share, market share, revenue, profits, share price performance, or sheer presence – JP Morgan is the answer. For the second year running, it is IFR’s Bank of the Year.
Labels are notably tricky to shake off, but in a year when echoes of the eurozone’s peripheral crisis resonated loudly, the Kingdom of Spain successfully managed to reposition itself. For executing one of the biggest European sovereign funding programmes with flair, Spain is IFR’s SSAR Issuer of the Year.
A sharp deterioration in conditions posed a major challenge to borrowers in 2018. Nordea’s funding team had the additional hurdle of a strategic re-domiciliation to Finland, but the bank’s ability to navigate the pitfalls with foresight and flair makes it IFR’s Financial Issuer of the Year.
Bayer’s US$66bn acquisition of Monsanto required an enormous fundraising effort across asset classes. Each slice was market-defining, but the company’s deft strategy meant that each was easily absorbed by an enthusiastic investor base. Bayer is IFR’s Corporate Issuer of the Year.
The loan and bond financing backing the carve-out of Refinitiv not only defined 2018, but seemed to hold the fate of the debt markets in the balance. For a successful conclusion to a dramatic saga, the deal is IFR’s Financing Package of the Year.
US investment-grade bond volumes dropped for the first time in eight years in 2018 after tax reform reduced the need for some companies to borrow. For its strategy of focusing on its M&A strengths to win high-grade market share and for tackling some tough high-yield bond stories, Goldman Sachs is IFR’s US Bond House of the Year.
Consumer appetite for new debt kept US ABS running at a steady pace – at least until the autumn, when a fresh barrage of deals faltered. For helping the market regain momentum just when it needed it most, Barclays is IFR’s North America ABS House of the Year.
In terms of sheer complexity, few transactions can beat Ukrainian mining and steel company Metinvest’s dual-tranche offering in April.
For a consistently strong, versatile and thoughtful approach to the market, which embraced innovation and the uphill task of modernising the syndicated loan market by focusing on green and sustainable lending and digitisation, BNP Paribas is IFR’s EMEA Loan House of the Year.
By doing whatever it takes to get deals done, Morgan Stanley survived a difficult year with a higher success rate than its peers. Giving clients honest advice and finding the right investors, Morgan Stanley shepherded its clients to market, making it IFR’s EMEA Equity House of the Year.
In a year when technology companies dominated equity-linked issuance, most trusted Morgan Stanley to lead their transactions. The bank delivered low-cost funding to issuers and gave investors a balanced way to participate. It is IFR’s Americas Structured Equity House of the Year.
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The IFR Asia Awards honour achievement in Asia’s capital markets. The Awards will be presented at the 2018 IFR Asia Awards Dinner, taking place on February 26 2019 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.
A decade on from the demise of Lehman Brothers – and with a new generation of leaders at the helm – the banking sector has reached a turning point. Legacy issues from the crisis have faded in intensity and, while some potentially formidable challenges lie on the horizon, the industry narrative has at last shifted to thinking about the future.
The sale in June 2018 by the UK government of a 7.7% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland served as a stark reminder about how the fortunes of US and European banks have diverged since the financial crisis.
Over the decades, Japanese banks have been criticised, fairly or unfairly, as having a boom-bust approach to international business. How do the international ambitions of Japan’s major financial groups stack up today amid ongoing monetary stimulus at home and a challenging environment overseas? Is it different this time?
With the US Federal Reserve shrinking its balance sheet and the ECB emerging from quantitative easing, the bond market is likely to present opportunities in corporate debt.
China’s role in the global economy is under intense scrutiny, thanks in no small part to the US president’s Twitter account. But while Donald Trump continues to rail against unfair competition, intellectual property theft and currency manipulation, China’s financial markets are finally opening up.
To focus on simple issuance numbers when it comes to Green finance in 2018 would be to miss the real story.