Emerging markets bond awards
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Emerging Markets

Emerging markets bond awards

For CEEMEA bonds, 2015 was largely a disappointing year. Political issues affected many of the region’s biggest bond issuers, while falling oil prices made bond issuance difficult for several others and the threat of a hiccup from US Federal Reserve rate rises loomed ever large. There were brief windows of opportunity, but to use those windows last year’s borrowers in the CEEMEA region — and their lead managers — needed to be nimbler, more decisive and smarter than usual to get successful deals away.

The GlobalCapital editorial team has picked what we believe to be the standout trades from the 12 months. We have strived to select those trades that will be remembered for their best use of the demand available to them as well as having made a longer lasting impact last year, such as the re-opening of a market.

The winners are presented here.

CEEMEA Deal of the Year CEEMEA Sovereign Deal of the Year

Kazakhstan 

$2.5bn 5.125% 2025 and $1.5bn 6.5% 2045

Citi, JP Morgan 

In a volatile year when bankers advised issuers to come to market sooner rather than later, Kazakhstan managed to cover its entire refinancing needs for 2015 in one fell swoop. The sovereign launched the largest CEEMEA bond of the year in July — a $4bn haul that drew around $9.5bn of orders. The well timed deal hit a window of calm amid concerns over Greece and in advance of the summer break. Despite some debate over the new issue premium, even rival bankers agreed the issuer had done well to lock in $4bn of funding early, an argument bolstered by the awful market conditions for CEEMEA in September. Timing, size and foresight makes it a worthy winner. 

CEEMEA Financial Institution Deal of the Year

National Bank of Abu Dhabi

$750m 5.25% perpetual

Citi, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Société Générale

National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s perpetual bond set a record for the lowest coupon ever on a CEEMEA perp. The bank launched the deal in June, into a primary market where western European banks were struggling. Credit Suisse pulled a 10 year deal due to volatility on the day NBAD priced. A strong regional bid helped the NBAD deal, although international accounts took around two thirds of the bonds. NBAD has a strong record for pricing deals that perform in the secondary market, which has been an issue for Middle Eastern perpetuals. This was no exception, trading up in the secondary market after pricing at a level that rival bankers deemed fair.

CEEMEA Corporate Deal of the Year

Norilsk Nickel

$1bn 6.625% October 2022

Barclays, Citi, ING, Société Générale, UniCredit

Norilsk Nickel launched its standout deal in early October, beating Gazprom by just a few days to sell the first proper benchmark international bond from a Russian company since 2013. The trade was timed astutely to take advantage of a safe haven bid for Russian assets among CEEMEA investors, after much of the region suffered a violent selloff in late September. This flight to safety and the general pent-up CEEMEA demand were both reflected in the $4bn book Norilsk Nickel built for its $500m note, which some envious rival bankers wished they could have been on. 

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