Malaysia bond house

IFR Asia Awards 2014
3 min read
Kit Yin Boey

Although competition was intense in the ringgit bond market in 2014, CIMB managed to keep rivals at bay with innovative and integrated solutions to keep clients knocking on its doors.

CIMB comfortably topped the bookrunner tables for IFR’s review period, with 56 issues under its belt and a 39.4% market share, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

The bank had nine sole mandates during the year under review, a high number in a market with mainly joint lead manager roles, signalling the strength of its debt capital markets franchise.

Far from resting on its achievements, however, CIMB also worked on improving its client offering to combine the project-finance department into the DCM business. With Malaysia well ahead of the curve in channelling infrastructure investments through the capital markets, the move has allowed CIMB to provide a one-stop shop for issuers looking to manage funding or liability-management requirements. The DCM team now covers structured finance, fixed income and the loan syndicate businesses.

CIMB underscored its prowess in distribution and execution in BGSM Management’s M$10bn (US$3bn) Islamic MTN programme and M$5.75bn sukuk in December 2013. As sole adviser, lead arranger and manager on the issuance, CIMB helped the client avoid a rating downgrade through the migration of existing bondholders to a new issue that ringfenced cash flows from the company’s core asset, Maxis.

Also, it offered a wide range of funding products over the year, as well as post-market support and hedging services.

“We have been successful in giving our clients a complementary suite of financing services to meet their funding needs,” said Nor Masliza Sulaiman, senior managing director and head of debt markets.

Such solutions have brought in more business. The bank’s most telling transaction was the Senai-Desaru Expressway debt restructuring, the project’s second in four years. Bondholders pressured CIMB to represent them as adviser and to come out with viable and permanent solutions, even though an existing restructuring agent was already engaged.

CIMB restarted the entire process from scratch, remodelling cash flows and the debt-repayment profile and, at the same time, managing rating agency Marc’s expectations. As a result, Marc gave a BBB– rating to SDE’s new Islamic bonds of up to M$1.89bn, higher than the BB– it assigned to the previous issue.

CIMB also expanded beyond its Kuala Lumpur base in 2014, snaring a handful of mandates in the offshore renminbi and US dollar markets. It is not stopping there as the bank is also becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Thai, Indonesian and Singaporean bond markets.

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