A strong performance across the Caribbean means that Citi wins the award for best overall investment bank in the region. The bank was involved in some of the largest Caribbean deals in 2009 and the breadth and innovation of its work has been impressive.
Its standout transaction was the debt exchange for Jamaica, which involved $8 billion of the islands domestic debt stock. Three-hundred-and-fifty different fixed, variable and dollar-indexed bonds, which had interest payments as high as 24%, and an average of 18%, were exchanged for 25 new bonds. The exchange, which had a 97% participation rate, meant that average maturities were extended while the average interest rate was slashed to 12%.
In the Bahamas, Citi acted as project finance adviser, lead arranger and overall book runner in the financing of the $265 million Nassau airport development, the largest debt financing for the longest project to date in the country. It also acted in an advisory role in the sale of the Bahamian governments stake in the largest domestic telecom provider BTC. In the Dominican Republic Citi arranged the first long-term loan in Japanese yen for a five-year tenor with a cross-currency swap converting the yen payments into US dollars. The bank also introduced short-term Japanese yen financing for select corporates in Jamaica. To hedge the yen exposure, each of the loans was accompanied by a yen/dollar forward to cover the period of the trade loan drawdown.