HSBC maintained its leading position in a difficult year for the Hong Kong loan market, standing by its clients in Covid-affected sectors and playing a proactive role in green and sustainability initiatives.
In June, with the aviation and travel industry crippled by global lockdowns, HSBC was the coordinator and the sole Equator Principles adviser on a HK$35bn (US$4.5bn) five-year syndicated financing package for Airport Authority Hong Kong.
The transaction was upsized from an original HK$20bn after an overwhelming response from 21 lenders comprising a diversified mix of China, Hong Kong, regional and international banks.
HSBC was also the sole sustainability coordinator and joint bookrunner on a HK$7.5bn four-year sustainability-linked loan for Langham Hospitality Investments in November 2019. The first sustainability-linked loan in Asia’s hospitality sector garnered strong support from the market with a total of 11 lenders joining.
Other notable green and sustainable financings include a HK$1.9bn energy transition export credit facility for Castle Peak Power and a HK$1.3bn sustainability-linked loan for Hong Kong Telecommunications.
“HSBC provided leadership across the green loan and sustainable financing space,” said James Horsburgh, head of leveraged & acquisition finance for Asia Pacific at HSBC. “We have built up an impressive track record in recent years and continued the momentum in 2020 being mandated as green structuring bank and finance advisor for a wide range of borrowers.”
On the event-driven side, HSBC was one of the two leads on a HK$2.3bn three-year debut facility for China’s biggest liquid laundry detergent maker, Blue Moon Group Holdings, in November, ahead of its Hong Kong IPO. Acting as sole financial adviser, HSBC provided a HK$1.6bn 364-day senior unsecured bridge facility to back Lai Sun Development’s general offer for Lai Fung Holdings in February.
HSBC also committed to a wide range of financings from the real estate sector, despite tightening bank appetite for Chinese real estate borrowers. It was the sole coordinator on a US$1.1bn loan for Yanlord Land Group, which was widely syndicated with 21 banks joining, a joint coordinator and bookrunner on a US$1.5bn dual-tranche loan for Country Garden Holdings, which received overwhelming support from 16 lenders and was upsized from US$1bn, as well as the coordinator on a HK$4.5bn five-year refinancing for Shimao Property Holdings.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, despite the volatility and headwinds, we have continued to underwrite and provide financing solutions for our clients, by leveraging our strong investor relationships and identifying new pockets of liquidity,” said Ashish Sharma, head of loan syndications for Asia Pacific at HSBC.
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