China equity house

IFR Asia Awards 2014
3 min read
Fiona Lau

With domestic markets still in a state of flux and the pipeline for public sector offerings shrinking, Credit Suisse’s ability to market China’s emerging private-sector champions to international investors saw it stand out from the competition.

Chinese technology companies were especially active in 2014, and Credit Suisse’s sector expertise came to the fore as internet stocks emerged as the leading drivers of Chinese equity capital markets.

Credit Suisse added to its reputation as a technology sector powerhouse with a key role on the record-breaking Alibaba Group IPO, and led many other US equity offerings for companies in the sector.

“Credit Suisse has always been strong in the tech sector, and that competitive strength has put us in a very favourable position for this wave of tech fundraising,” said Mervyn Chow, head of global markets solutions group in Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse.

The US$25bn New York Stock Exchange listing of Alibaba, the world’s largest IPO, was an unqualified success, and Credit Suisse was one of the only two banks involved in drafting the IPO prospectus, having started working on the deal years earlier.

The bank has led seven offshore M&A and financing transactions for Alibaba since 2012, and its role as the sole arranger of the directed share programme, and one of the two agents responsible for releasing lock-up contracts, underlined the strength of its leading relationship with the group.

While five other banks can claim bookrunner status on that deal, Credit Suisse stood out in 2014 for the depth of its China coverage, bringing 11 other tech IPOs in the year, including the US$280m NYSE IPO of Beijing-based online cosmetics retailer Jumei International and the US$328m Nasdaq IPO of Weibo, the biggest Twitter-like microblogging service in the PRC.

The bank was also exceptionally strong in the equity-linked segment. It was one of the two bookrunners for the US$1.03bn convertible bond of software developer Qihoo 360 Technology in August, the largest such offering from an Asian issuer in four years.

While dominating US-listed fundraisings, Credit Suisse also proved it could play in the Asian equity markets, with several sizable Hong Kong IPOs of Chinese SOEs under its belt during the review period.

It was joint sponsor on the US$2.8bn listing of China Cinda Asset Management, the joint bookrunner of the US$1.3bn IPO of China CNR Corp and the joint global co-ordinator of the US$1.1bn float of Harbin Bank.

Credit Suisse’s leading role on every big tech deal put the bank in second spot on IFR’s China equity and equity-linked league table in the 12 months through mid-November. The bank raised US$9.08bn for Chinese issuers through 42 deals.

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