One young Chinese company recently decided to celebrate a successful bond issue before they had actually closed it. The team, from a remote part of Northern China, was thrilled to be in Hong Kong on the day of the bond sale. On the morning of its execution things kicked off as usual for the debt bankers. But around noon they were called to a lunch meeting with the company’s founder.
The issuer had booked a private restaurant, set up an entire signing ceremony, hired a photographer and prepared an endless round of toasts.
Pity the poor bankers who had to leave this celebration to head back to the office. But since someone had to make sure that the deal did actually close, they had little choice. My friend signed his name here and there, engaged in a few toasts, and tried not to be superstitious as he rushed back to the office to close the successful deal.
It’s nice to have a change from those demanding clients who bemoan a sensibly-priced deal even after it has closed. But perhaps clients should be wary of counting their chickens before their bankers have managed to add up the order book.