Australia/New Zealand Equity House

IFR Asia Awards 2018
3 min read
Candy Chan

UBS used its strong local franchise and full-service equities offering to full effect in 2018, raising more for its Australian clients than any of its peers.

UBS topped the Australia/New Zealand equity and equity-linked league table for IFR’s review period. The Swiss bank raised a total of A$8.38bn (US$6.08bn) for its clients through 30 transactions with a market share of more than 25%, way ahead of 14% for its closest competitor, according to Refinitiv data.

“In terms of the quality of the issues we have done as well as the sizes, there are no other banks in the market that could come close,” said Andrew Stevens, co-head of equity capital markets at UBS.

Indeed, UBS led the four biggest merger and acquisition-driven equity raisings, the big theme in Australia equity capital markets in 2018, during the awards period.

Highlights included the two-time fundraisings of a combined A$6.7bn for Transurban Group, in which UBS was one of the three leads for the share sales.

The Australian toll-road operator raised A$1.9bn from an entitlement offer in December 2017 and completed an A$4.2bn entitlement offer and A$600m placement in August to fund an acquisition of a controlling stake in a Sydney toll road.

The bank also worked on Australian gas and oil producer Woodside Petroleum’s A$2.5bn entitlement offer to fund the purchase of ExxonMobil’s stake in the Scarborough gas field.

In demonstrating its execution capabilities, UBS has shown it can help its clients overcome market turbulence with its insights in timing, structuring the transaction and observing the broader environment. The fact that the bank is the largest equities broker in the country also provides support to the ECM operation.

“The strengths of our franchise from advisory to ECM to equities show that we can really excel. A more volatile market is actually where we have been standing out,” Stevens said.

The A$2.9bn rights issue from engineering service WorleyParsons fully demonstrated UBS’s ability to underwrite major financings even in a bad market. The deal launched just three days before October 25, the day the benchmark ASX 200 index hit a one-year low as investors turned cautious amid a global market sell-off.

The Australian IPO market had another very quiet year, with many proposed listings pulled or postponed, but UBS still had a hand in the three biggest IPOs during the review period.

The bank led Australian refinery and fuel supply network Viva Energy’s A$2.65bn float, Australia’s biggest IPO in four years, the A$744m listing of US coking coal miner Coronado Global Resources and the A$264m IPO of Australian wealth management platform Netwealth.

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