The top five banks for CEEMEA bonds last year, when new issues of $2bn and above were excluded, are the same as if you include the jumbos, according to Dealogic data.
The order changes very slightly, but nobody who would otherwise have been excluded makes the cut. Indeed, the gap scarcely narrows. The volume issued by 2018’s top bank is 3.2 times that of the sixth place bank when jumbos are included, and 2.8 times when they are excluded.
In short, the banks doing the work on run of the mill $500m-$1bn deals are the same ones bringing the big $12bn beasts.
Even when you break it down further by geography, there are minimal changes in the top five. In the CEE region, there is also no difference between the two league tables of all deals and smaller deals. For Russia and ex-CIS bonds, the only bank that appears in the top five list that does not appear in the top five league table of sub-$2bn bonds is UBS.
In Africa, there are some changes to the top five for sub-$2bn deals, but it is irrelevant, as last year there was a larger number of bonds of over $2bn. As such, a table of all deals is much more representative of the whole market than some dealers would have you believe.
The Middle East is perhaps the most obvious area in which jumbo deals can have some effect on the rankings, as would be expected given the huge volumes that the likes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia have printed.
But in 2018, four of the top five banks — Standard Chartered, HSBC, Citi, and JP Morgan— remain unchanged no matter whether you include jumbos or not. Deutsche Bankenters the top five if deals larger than $2bn are included and disappears to be replaced by Bank of America if they are not.
It seems clear that the skew that the jumbo deals are supposed to introduce is nowhere near as large as those lower down the league tables would like the market to believe.
There are lies, damned lies and statistics. But the banks that sit at the top of the league tables are those that are doing the largest part of the business in each region — no matter the size of the deal.