Singapore loan house

IFR Asia Awards 2014
3 min read

DBS held on to its leadership position in Singapore loans in 2014 on a variety of borrowings involving the commodities sector, as well as a sprinkling of event-driven financings and debut facilities.

It was the top bookrunner during IFR’s review period with a 16% share of the US$22bn market, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data. The achievement had the help of the smooth interplay of its loan and bond operations in a year when the capital markets provided strong competition.

DBS, the largest bank in South-East Asia in asset terms, struck homeruns with loans backing shareholder recapitalisations and jumbo deals. At the start of the review period, the bank successfully syndicated a S$1.15bn (US$884m) recapitalisation loan for Universal Group Holdings, attracting eight other lenders when it closed in December 2013.

DBS followed up with another recapitalisation in September, when it closed a S$1.62bn sole-underwritten financing for Central Boulevard Development, the operator of the Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 – now DBS’s head office. In August, the bank was global co-ordinator and original mandated lead arranger and bookrunner on a S$5.1bn amendment-and-extension facility for casino resort operator Marina Bay Sands.

The bank’s full debt capabilities were evident in event-driven financings, such as Gallant Venture’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Jakarta-listed Indomobil Sukses Internasional and Amtek Engineering’s acquisition of Interplex Industries in the US. In both cases, DBS underwrote acquisition loans refinanced in the bond market.

In August, DBS jointly funded bridge and take-out facilities totalling US$288m backing Halcyon Agri Corp’s acquisition of Indonesia’s Lee Rubber, as well as a S$125m bond.

DBS also scored with a joint lead and underwriter role on a US$845m Term loan B facility backing KKR’s leveraged buyout of packaging company Goodpack, Asia’s first TLB outside Australia.

The bank was also first among peers in lending to commodity trading companies, with active bookrunner roles on nine of the 12 deals signed in the review period.

DBS rallied lenders to deals for troubled commodities firms including oil trading company Gunvor, which tried to shrug off its Russian roots as sanctions loomed with a change of ownership and Mercuria, which had US$44m worth of alumina stuck in China’s Qingdao port. Both loans were oversubscribed and increased.

It also introduced first-time borrowers to the region, as sole Asian bookrunner and Asian roadshow co-ordinator on the US$435m three-year unsecured revolver for Ireland-based commercial aircraft-leasing firm AWAS Aviation Capital. It also held an inaugural Asian non-deal roadshow for New York-listed aircraft leasing company Aircastle in April.

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