Deals of the year: Asia
TO BORROW A popular football term, 2003 was a year of two halves. The Sars epidemic shut down most of Asia's capital markets for much of the first six months. But then despite the vicious effect that the illness had on the region's economy, the speed with which the markets turned around in the second half of the year was impressive.
Equity issuance from key markets, particularly in north Asia, including Korea, Taiwan and China, was exceptionally strong as issuers tapped the markets rapidly when the primary issuance window opened unexpectedly.
Even Japan seemed to emerge from its decade-long economic gloom. It was not just a north Asian story, however. South and south-east Asian markets, particularly Indonesia and India, all provided some significant capital market transactions.
Best Equity deal
China Life Insurance Company
Type of deal: initial public offering
Deal size: US$3 billion
Date: December 2003
Joint bookrunners and sponsors: CICC, CSFB, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank
There were several strong candidates for Asian equity deal of 2003, each of which might have walked off with the accolade had it not been for the appearance of China Life Insurance Company at the very end of the year.