Singapore Loan House

IFR Asia Awards 2018
3 min read
Chien Mi Wong

DBS continued to stand out in another challenging year for Singapore’s loan markets, which saw a significant decline in event-driven financings and an increase in club deals.

Despite the hurdles, DBS won repeat and sole mandates from borrowers across industries, as well as stepping up underwriting positions for some of its key clients.

“DBS has leveraged her deep Asian insights to consistently lead and structure a broad range of deals across the region, introducing unprecedented deals and new borrowers to the market and, in some cases, even repositioning ourselves over existing banks as the go-to bank,” said Mildred Chua, head of syndicated finance for Asia at DBS Bank.

In the event-driven arena, DBS was one of the two banks that led a US$303m three-year financing for agri-food producer Japfa. Appointed as a MLAB, facility agent and account bank, DBS structured and underwrote the deal within a tight timeline of three weeks to support the borrower’s strategic acquisition of all remaining stakes from a minority shareholder in the group’s dairy business. Following completion, the deal received over US$200m of liquidity from the market and was subsequently increased from US$280m.

As in previous years, DBS played another pivotal role in structuring onshore-offshore financings. It acted as MLABU on a comprehensive financing package – comprising S$350.36m (US$255.5m) and US$257m three-year offshore facilities and Rmb764m (US$110m) three-year onshore facilities – to support a Chinese consortium’s acquisition of 20 retail malls in China from CapitaLand in August. Despite the structural complexity, the offshore facilities were 1.8x oversubscribed.

Moreover, DBS coordinated and structured debt facilities to support Sasseur REIT’s IPO on the SGX in March. Considered to be the first outlet mall REIT to list in Asia, the IPO comprised four properties located in China with a total appraised value of Rmb7.3bn as of September 30 2017. DBS successfully led the end-to-end process of the transaction – which comprises a S$125m three-year offshore facility and a Rmb1.96bn three-year onshore piece.

Bringing debut borrowers to the syndicated loan market is also one of DBS’s forte. In May, the lender arranged a S$500m financing package for oil and gas company Rotary Engineering’s take-private exercise, providing the borrower with certainty of funding during a volatile period. The bank was also sole financial adviser in respect to the delisting and exit offer from the SGX, providing a holistic solution to the client.

Aside from the event-driven deals, DBS was the top financier for global and Asian commodity firms, having been involved as bookrunner on a majority of the transactions during the review period. The borrowings included Trafigura’s US$1.945bn-equivalent loan in September, which saw 16 banks participate, and Wilmar International’s US$1.8bn refinancing in July, which attracted 24 lenders.

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