HSBC’s history in China and southeast Asia stretches back to the latter part of the 19th Century. And while experience doesn’t count for everything, it counts for quite a bit in this case. No lender has surely been more effective at finding, funding and facilitating belt-and-road deals in southeast Asia.
HSBC’s deal list over the last 12 months alone would be enough to keep most institutions busy for years. Standout deals for the lender, which has dedicated China desks in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, include sole financial adviser to Zhejiang Geely, during the Chinese carmaker’s September 2017 purchase of a 49.9% stake in Malaysia’s Proton Holdings, and a 51% stake in the venerable UK car marque Lotus.
HSBC provided bridge funding to expedite the transaction and was also joint lead underwriter on Maybank’s Rmb1 billion ($145 million) three-year onshore debt sale in July 2017, marking the Malaysian lender’s inaugural panda print.
The latter deal was doubly important in this context, in that it was the first panda bond to be fully marketed as a BRI bond, with the proceeds earmarked for projects along the New Silk Road. In October 2017, HSBC became the first foreign bank to be awarded a licence to act as a joint lead underwriter for panda bonds issued by offshore corporates in China’s interbank bond market.
And in June 2017, HSBC acted as lead arranger, sole lender and facility agent for a $29 million Sinosure facility to support the expansion plans of Indonesian paper-and-packing firm PT Fajar Surya Wisesa.