HSBC once again proved adept at guiding borrowers through a volatile market, especially amid trade war tensions. The bank used its combined capital markets capabilities to help clients choose between global bonds and syndicated loans and won leading roles on major financings.
One of the highlights of 2019 was HSBC’s involvement as joint global coordinator, mandated lead arranger and bookrunner in the €4.56bn (US$5.03bn) triple-tranche takeout of a jumbo €10.4bn 18-month bridge facility – which HSBC jointly underwrote and coordinated in August – for Hong Kong-listed CK Hutchison Holdings.
This transaction, which supported the company’s reorganisation of its global telco assets, was a cross-border deal that incorporated both loans and bonds and was executed within a tight timeframe to take advantage of favourable market conditions.
“We have successfully delivered financing solutions for our clients across the entire spectrum of capital structure, credit strength, borrower and deal sizes,” said Ashish Sharma, head of loan syndications for Asia Pacific at HSBC. “In 2019, we have further differentiated ourselves with the strength of our financing ideas and distribution footprint, leading to successful execution of several marquee deals.”
On the event-driven side, HSBC was the sole lender on a US$500m-equivalent bridge to Maxim’s Caterers, supporting its acquisition of a 64% stake in Starbucks Thailand in June, and, acting as MLA, HSBC provided a HK$1.65bn (US$210m) 364-day bridge facility to support NWS Holdings’ 100% acquisition of FTLife Insurance in December 2018.
Real-estate financings still dominated proceedings in the city, and HSBC advised many clients on the best approach to the market, including some behind-the-scenes work on club-style transactions.
Notable loans include a HK$2.81bn senior secured loan for real estate focused private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners’ acquisition of an office tower in Hong Kong; a mammoth HK$20bn five-year borrowing for Sun Hung Kai Properties; a HK$12bn four-year facility for Hong Kong-listed Link REIT; and a HK$5bn five-year loan for Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.
Amendments and extensions were aplenty this year as well. Acting as coordinator, HSBC completed an A&E exercise for AIA Group in September, when a US$1.75bn five-year revolving credit facility was extended to June 2024 from November 2020. The bank also helped PE firm Permira close a HK$3.44bn A&E of the senior loan raised in 2017 to back its leveraged buyout of Tricor Holdings.
HSBC ended the review period as a lead on the up to US$675m-equivalent loan for Health and Happiness (H&H) International Holdings, complementing a US$300 five-year non-call two bond it completed back in October.