Even as lending activity took a hit in Taiwan in 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank stood out from the pack notching up sole mandates and leading widely syndicated loans.
In a year that saw intense competition among arrangers, Taipei Fubon won three sole mandates and led some of Taiwan’s largest and highest-profile ESG loans and financings.
The bank was the coordinator and sole mandated lead arranger and bookrunner of an amendment and extension for a NT$31.02bn (US$1.12bn) seven-year loan for cable TV operator Taiwan Broadband Communications in December. The borrowing attracted 17 banks, including two new lenders.
It was also one of the MLABs on Taiwan’s largest solar project financing – a NT$15.6bn loan for sponsor Chailease Finance in October – and one of two original MLABs on a NT$21bn-equivalent three-year loan in September for World Peace Industrial, the largest syndicated loan for a semiconductor distributor on the island. Both borrowings were well received.
As sole bookrunner on a NT$1.6bn five-year green loan closed in September for YFY Packaging, a subsidiary of Taiwanese paper maker YFY, Taipei Fubon also showed its ESG credentials. The borrowing marked the first syndicated green financing in Taiwan complying with the Green Loan Principles issued by the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association.
“We continue to bring new products to the Taiwan market. For instance, in the ESG financing space, we were the first Taiwanese bank providing a sustainability-linked loan in Taiwan and we solely arranged the first syndicated green loan in Taiwan,” said Sheila Chuang, managing director at Taipei Fubon.
As 2021 drew to a close, Taipei Fubon underwrote, along with five others, a debut green loan of up to US$500m for Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup and its subsidiary Vinfast Trading and Production.
While the overall market in Taiwan shrank 6% in 2021, Taipei Fubon bucked the trend and doubled its loan volumes for a 6.5% market share, according to Refinitiv LPC data.
Outside Taiwan, Taipei Fubon had an impressive showing in China and Vietnam. Two transactions in China stood out – a US$600m-equivalent three-year loan in April for department store operator Golden Eagle Retail and a US$660m four-year loan for real estate developer Sino Horizon Holdings in October. Taipei Fubon was the only foreign bank among the five leads for the former borrowing and one of two MLABs on the latter.
In Vietnam, it was the only Taiwanese lender among four MLABs on a US$1bn one-year financing for Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) in November, the largest syndicated loan for any borrower from Vietnam. The borrowing followed three months after VietinBank closed a US$790m dual-tranche loan with 31 banks, including Taipei Fubon as one of 10 leads.
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