HSBC stood out among competitors with a book of business that ranged from leveraged loans for dividend recapitalisations to green financings for first-time borrowers.
HSBC played a key role in arranging and underwriting the HK$29bn (US$3.69bn) five-year dividend recap and amendment and extension exercise for Belle International Holdings in September, despite not being part of the original acquisition facility in 2017. The new recap and A&E exercise was well-received with 15 other lenders joining in syndication.
The bank led several borrowings in the property sector, including a sole underwrite of a HK$6.6bn three-year non-recourse acquisition term loan in February for Glory United Development, a former subsidiary of Henderson Land Development, as well as a sole mandate on the US$800m-equivalent three-year loan in July for Chinese property developer Greentown China Holdings, which attracted 17 other lenders.
HSBC was also sole coordinator and bookrunner on a US$350m loan for Bank of Communications Macau branch in May, which was a repeat mandate for the bank following a HK$5bn-equivalent three-year term loan for BoCom International Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of Bank of Communications. HSBC was one of four MLABs on the latter loan, which drew in 20 other banks.
“HSBC was the clear market leader in terms of bringing innovative and complex transactions to market that were well received by investors and, in many cases, oversubscribed and upsized,” said Phil Lipton, head of loan syndications for Asia-Pacific.
In green loans, which are gaining traction with borrowers, HSBC was a frontrunner, taking the initiative to help create the Green Loan Principles and helping companies meet their environmental impact and sustainability targets.
The bank was the sole MLAB and green structuring adviser for a HK$1.72bn three-year debut term loan for Hong Kong-listed Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy, which is the largest gas-fired power provider in Beijing. This borrowing too was quite popular with 17 banks joining despite the fact that the loan was changed into a pure Hong Kong dollar facility during syndication from a dual-currency structure at the time of launch.
In addition to the debut loans for BoCom Macau and BJCE, HSBC also brought other new borrowers to the market, jointly leading the increased US$800m three-year bullet loan for CNCB (Hong Kong) Investment, a unit of China Citic Bank. HSBC was one four MLABs on the deal, which was widely syndicated with 20 banks joining.
Another widely syndicated borrowing was a HK$4bn three-year refinancing in July for Citic Capital Holdings, an investment management and advisory unit of Hong Kong-listed Chinese state-owned conglomerate Citic. HSBC was one of six leads on the transaction, which drew in 21 banks in general syndication.