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Asian market revival: Chiefs catch a wave of cautious optimism

Investment banking chiefs are joining the increasing chorus of optimistic voices in Asia, as the enthusiastic response to Chinese cement maker BBMG’s debut share offering on July 23 preceded an expected wave of IPOs.

Vik Malhotra, co-head of investment banking Asia at Credit Suisse, spoke to Euromoney over a crackly line from Mumbai. "Activity in our industry is very robust," he says, "and it’s across the product spectrum. You saw lots of activity in Australia at the start of the year, then in China and Korea, and India has become extremely active more recently."

"It is somewhat worrying
when economists and stock markets are drawing
different conclusions from the same set of facts"

Matt Hanning, UBS

Malhotra says clients are taking a balanced approach to capital-raising, and that has been reflected in the structures they are using. He says: "Convertible bonds, for example, during the boom years tended to carry a 0% coupon and a high premium, whereas now the coupons are tending to be non-zero and premiums more moderate. Issuers are being more prudent." When asked about threats that might dampen his positive view, Malhotra is hard pressed to name any.

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