This year’s Asian Issuers Special Report showcases a group of issuers that each demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing market conditions.
This year’s India report comes at an especially challenging time for the world’s second most populous nation.
After the first half of 2013 broke all manner of records for the volume of debt offerings from Asia – not to mention revenues for underwriters – the inevitable correction in Asian credit was always going to be painful.
Just when investors thought it was safe to go back in the water, Asia’s equity markets have sent them running for the shore once more. The dramatic reversal in risk appetite that followed a US pledge to unwind an unprecedented monetary stimulus has knocked equity indices down by 10%–20% across Asia, putting paid to a host of IPOs across the region.
A sense of enthusiasm is returning to the offshore renminbi markets. Singapore has just introduced renminbi clearing, already resulting in the first foreign-exchange trades to be cleared locally, and DBS and HSBC are now vying to be the first to offer locally settled renminbi bonds to the city state’s investors.
The Asian Development Bank’s return to India brings with it a marked contrast from last year’s annual meeting in Manila. While the Philippines, under a new president with big plans for economic reforms and infrastructure investment, was – and still is – drawing praise from analysts and attracting crowds of enthusiastic investors, the mood in New Delhi is far more circumspect.
South-East Asia’s economies are in full voice once again. GDP numbers are strong and stable, rating agencies are handing out upgrades and international investors are pouring in. It’s no surprise that the region is taking a bigger share of Asian capital market activity.
Breaking records may have almost become passé for Asian bond markets, but the fact that there are expectations that Asian issuance this year may even surpass the blockbuster levels of 2012 means it is going to be an eventful year.