Singapore Loan House

IFR Asia Awards 2017
3 min read
Chien Mi Wong

DBS stood out in a challenging year for Singapore deal flow, leveraging on its deep relationships in Asia’s biggest loan market and showcasing its distribution capabilities.

A slowdown in acquisition financings and an increase in club deals made for a difficult year for Singapore arrangers in 2017, but DBS played a pivotal role in bringing new financing structures to the market, as well as setting new benchmarks for established borrowers.

“With DBS’s deep understanding of the market, DBS is able to provide optimal financing solutions to our clients to achieve a win-win situation for all parties,” said Mildred Chua, managing director of syndicated finance.

The bank was a coordinator for the US$358m-equivalent syndicated onshore and offshore term loan facilities backing Dasin Retail Trust’s IPO on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The first China retail property trust to list on the SGX set a challenging timeline, but DBS managed to close the deal with an oversubscription of around 17% for both the S$430m (US$300m) offshore tranche and a Rmb400m (US$58m) onshore portion.

DBS won more brownie points as one of the original lead banks on the US$4.108bn financing backing the purchase of Global Logistic Properties by a consortium of investors led by Hopu, Hillhouse Capital and SMG Eastern. Valued at approximately US$12bn, the acquisition is set to be the largest private equity buyout in Singapore, and DBS played a key role in ensuring the success of the consortium’s bid by anchoring the fully underwritten facilities.

In the commodities sector – which accounted for a large percentage of deals in Singapore during the year – DBS was the top financier for global and Asian commodity firms having been appointed MLAB in nine of the 13 transactions during IFR’s review period. The highlights included Trafigura’s US$1.99bn refinancing in September, which attracted 27 lenders, and Gunvor Singapore’s US$1.129bn loan in June, which drew participation from 43 banks.

Some of the more challenging deals from the commodities sector include the US$215m inaugural syndicated working capital facility for Hevea Global, the trading arm of rubber producer Halcyon Agri Corp. As sole MLAB and agent, DBS prefunded the financing and was able to increase the transaction – which came with a letter of comfort from Halcyon’s new Chinese parent Sinochem – from an initial launch size of US$120m despite volatile rubber prices and uncertainty around Halcyon Agri’s corporate exercises post its 2016 merger.

DBS once again won the coordinator mandate for electricity producer YTL PowerSeraya’s S$1.995bn unsecured jumbo refinancing after playing a lead role in amendment exercises back in 2013 and 2015. While the refinancing was challenging given concerns around overcapacity and the introduction of a carbon tax that will likely be passed onto end consumers, the deal closed successfully, with three others joining as MLAs.

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