Awards for Excellence 2019: Best investment bank in Singapore
Best investment bank: Citi
Given the moribund nature of Singapore’s equity markets, the most important thing that happened there in the review period was a merger of two listed vehicles: the consolidation of two real estate investment trusts (Reits), ESR-Reit and Viva Industrial Trust, for $1.1 billion.
This was the first Reit merger in Singapore and it is already clear it won’t be the last, with a bigger one among members of the OUE group under way. It was a difficult transaction, with a lot of retail investors to convince, but it will be influential, creating the sort of scale and liquidity that Singapore stocks are going to need in a generally illiquid stock market. Citi was on one side of that deal, Bank of America Merrill Lynch the other, and Citi is the one that rounded it out with the broadest range of other deals during the awards period. (The importance of the deal edges out the two other main competitors for this award, Credit Suisse and DBS.)
Other Citi highlights included advising STE on its acquisition of MRAS from GE for $630 million, the largest aerospace M&A in southeast Asia; equity placements for Mapletree Logistics Trust and Fraser Logistics & Industrial Trust; Reg S bond offerings for Clifford Capital and Temasek – in its first venture in the dollar bond markets since 2012; and, also for Clifford Capital, a $458 million issue of collateralized loan obligation notes securitized by a portfolio of project and infrastructure finance loans.