HSBC stood head and shoulders above its peers in Hong Kong’s syndicated loans market in 2014, leading borrowings for blue-chip companies and playing prominent roles on jumbo event-driven financings.
It topped the bookrunner league tables in IFR Asia’s review period, notching up US$4.22bn across 31 deals for an 8% share of a well-banked market, showcasing both the bank’s structuring capabilities and the depth of its corporate relationships.
HSBC kicked off the review period with a sole mandate on a HK$10bn (US$1.29bn) dual-tranche acquisition loan for CLP Holdings. HSBC underwrote the whole deal, which was split equally into a 12-month bilateral bridge and a two-year revolving credit, and attracted a dozen lenders when it was signed in January.
The bank was also the sole underwriter on the city’s only leveraged buyout loan – a US$75m financing that funded CVC Capital Partners’ acquisition of a majority stake in The Executive Centre, a provider of premium serviced offices.
HSBC also jointly led a HK$37.5bn three-year term loan backing Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa’s utility company Power Assets Holdings’ spin-off of Hongkong Electric and also lent HK$10bn to finance State Grid Corp of China’s cornerstone investment in HKE’s IPO.
The bank’s ability to play leadership roles on top-heavy club loans showed through in a US$3.2bn dual-tranche facility for Cofco Corp, which funded the acquisition of a 51% stake in Nidera in the largest purchase in the Asia Pacific food sector. With HSBC as sole coordinator, 11 others joined the loan. The bank had a similar role on a HK$3.85bn club facility for K Wah International in September.
HSBC also had sole co-ordinator roles on several major transactions for Chinese securities firms. These included a HK$3.3bn loan for Guotai Junan International Holdings in January, a US$300m financing for ICBC Financial Leasing in April, which was the company’s debut offshore syndicated loan and set a new benchmark for China’s leasing sector, a HK$3.34bn deal for Haitong International Securities Group in May, a US$150m facility for KGI International Holdings in June and a US$150m loan for UniTrust Finance & Leasing Corp launched in October.
Property firms remained important to the Hong Kong market and HSBC was again in the top group for a HK$14bn 5.5-year loan for Sun Hung Kai Properties and HK$13.8bn dual-tranche facility for Henderson Land Development, both of which closed in January. A close relationship with Henderson also helped HSBC play a role behind the scenes on IFC Development’s HK$10bn five-year refinancing, which was doubled from an original size in August.
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