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CAPITAL MARKETS

Best corporate borrower – Asia: Hopson Development Holdings

The Chinese property company impressed investors with its deal and its story.

The world’s best borrowers in 2006

Hopson became the first property company to tap the Chinese high-yield sector

The relative lack of depth in Asia’s debt capital markets means that the best borrower in the corporate sector often emerges on the basis of a specific deal rather than a track record of issuance over the 12-month period. So it is with this year’s winner but the award is no less deserved for it. Hopson Development Holdings is a mainland Chinese property development company focused on the residential sector that has quickly gained a reputation in the market for strong management and high standards of corporate governance and transparency. Influential institutional investors – Temasek Holdings and Tiger Global LP are both shareholders – lend credibility to the company’s impressive track record. These attributes all made a major contribution to the success of Hopson’s maiden bond offering, launched in November 2005 with Credit Suisse as sole book runner.

Hopson did not open the high-yield market for Chinese corporations but it was the first domestic property developer to tap the market and it has successfully raised the standards for high-yield issuance from China.