Temasek Financial (I) US$1.7 billion dual tranche bonds due 2023 and 2042
Bookrunners: Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, UBS
Singapore itself may not be a bond issuer in the international currency markets, but Temasek has become a welcome de facto stand-in.
The state investment company holds stakes in some of the city state’s most important companies, including DBS, Singapore Telecom and CapitaLand, and is run by Ho Ching, wife of Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien-Loong. Investors consider it a proxy for the sovereign, and there tends to be strong demand for its bonds whenever its conducts a deal.
That proved to be the case in 2012, when Temasek decided to raise US$1.7 billion through a dual-tranche deal. Fund managers piled into the bond offering, and the bookrunners ended up with US$7.6 billion in registered orders, with the 10-year tranche ending up 3.2 times oversubscribed and the 30-year portion an even more impressive 7.8 times over-allocated.
The ‘AAA’-rated credit gained such strong support for its bonds that it priced the two tranches at 100 basis points (bp) and 95bp over underlying US Treasuries, respectively. In other words it has an inverted yield curve relative to the US government, indicating the faith that investors have in the stability of Singapore in the years to come.
This demand even spilled over to its outstanding bonds, with the yield on Temasek’s outstanding 2019 bonds narrowing from 90bp over Treasuries just before the announcement of the new issue to 70bp over when the transaction was officially announced. The sovereign investment company’s existing secondary bond curve had tightened to trade at the curve of its new bonds.
To top it all off the timing of the deal was smart too. It took place just days after yields on 30-year US Treasuries dropped to historic lows.
It was a noteworthy fund-raising exercise by an astute issuer that took maximum advantage of market conditions, while leaving other Singapore borrowers with an effective sovereign-linked yield curve to use to price their own transactions.