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Humiliation tempered by small successes

In Asian markets in 2002 some leading corporate and sovereign issuers got bloody noses. But smaller deals just kept on coming. Overall volumes were lower, but not disastrously so, and there were impressive increases in some domestic markets.

In Asia the 2002 story was as much about the deals that were either botched or didn't get done as the deals that succeeded. International markets showed little respect for many high-profile corporates or banks that thought they knew best or made clumsy decisions. Some big deals were simply blown out of the water. On the debt side, Hutchison Whampoa failed to access the euro market with its planned e1.5 billion multi-tranche bond issue.

The Philippines once again proved its love of drama and showed itself to be its own worst enemy when attempting to close deals. In mid-November, just after the sovereign announced it was to issue $500 million, four cabinet ministers, including secretary of finance José Camacho offered their resignation, nearly scuppering their own deal. And the National Power Corporation of the Philippines was, if nothing else, highly consistent. It failed to get any deal away. In February, its seven-year $500 million issue was cancelled as investors stayed away in their droves. And its $750 million bond, planned for the last quarter of the year, is also yet to see the light of day.

Though volumes fell in Asia's debt capital markets, they did not do so as dramatically as in Latin America.

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