Scotia Capital, the investment banking arm of Canada's Scotiabank, is revving up its newly-minted credit structuring desk in Asia and recently rolled out a managed collaterized debt obligation deal. "We've had a big corporate banking presence in the region for over 30 years," said Matt Giffen, managing director and Asian head of structured products in Singapore. "This Asian expertise, coupled with our success in doing structured credit deals in the region over the last few years made it clear we needed to build on our partnerships and investor base."
In recent weeks, the firm completed a USD190 million synthetic CDO managed by Singapore-based Lion Capital Management, with the 125 default-swap portfolio containing 15% Asian names at launch. Giffen said Scotia was also a co-investor in the deal. Dubbed True North, the transaction was sold globally and contains three tranches: AAA, AA, and A.
Giffen was previously based in Dublin, where he also included Asia in his coverage and for instance partnered with Macquarie Bank in the last few years for retail CDOs in Australia and New Zealand. At the end of last year, he shifted to the Lion City and put together a team of four and is planning to add two additional staff in the coming months. The desk is looking to structure 5-6 large-size CDO deals a year, for which the bank may also act as a co-investor. Giffen added the firm will continue to look for partnerships in the region as well as work with Scotia's corporate banking branches.
The growing sophistication in the credit space in Asia has been attracting more entrants, such as Swiss Re (DW, 11/4), CIBC World Markets (DW, 1/20) and AIG Financial Markets (DW, 3/17).