The renminbi’s global march entered a new phase in 2014 after some volatile trading squeezed out currency speculators, but HSBC’s dominance remained intact throughout the year.
HSBC executed more landmark transactions across products, sectors and geographies than any other bank in the offshore renminbi market. It registered up a market share of over 25%, having led 93 of the 249 issues, excluding CDs, during IFR’s review period and handled around 1.58 times the volume of its closest competitor.
The bank also pioneered new initiatives and was involved in the most ground-breaking transactions, helping issuers tap new pools of renminbi liquidity.
The highest-profile Dim Sum in 2014 was the Rmb3bn (US$490m) three-year bond from the United Kingdom, which made it the first foreign country to issue offshore renminbi bonds and helped accelerate activity in the currency in Europe.
A few weeks later, HSBC helped the Canadian Province of British Columbia secure improved terms on its second Dim Sum bond, increasing the size to Rmb3bn and the tenor to two years.
Notably, 56% of the BC bonds went to investors outside Asia, while the participation of central banks and official investors advanced to 54%. Both were highs in the history of the offshore renminbi market.
HSBC led flagship deals in all the rising offshore renminbi hubs, with landmark deals like the Rmb2bn issue of Bank of China, Paris branch, the Rmb1.25bn Swiss-listed issue CCB Asia, the Rmb4bn Singapore- and Taiwan-listed issue of ICBC and the Rmb1.5bn MyClear-listed issue of Cagamas.
Those deals not only set records in many jurisdictions, but also created benchmarks for the wider industry to follow.
HSBC remained the bookrunner of choice for international borrowers during IFR’s review period, with repeat mandates from New Zealand’s Fonterra, global consumer giant Unilever and seasoned supranational issuers IFC, Asian Development Bank and Central American Bank of Economic Integration.
Another achievement was the first Green bond in renminbi, with an issue from International Finance Corp.
While investment-grade issues dominated in 2014, HSBC showed off its structuring capabilities, too, with a sizable haul of high-yield and bank capital mandates.
On the high-yield front, HSBC led 10 of 18 issues for total volume of Rmb22bn.
Among the high-yield deals, HSBC demonstrated its structuring capabilities in designing a unique security package for two fundraisings for Lai Sun Group companies eSun Holdings in June and Lai Sun Garment in July for a joint project in Hengqin, adjacent to Macau.
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