Being first isn’t always a sign of being the best

As a banker, it is always ideal to be the first in whatever we do.

  • By Taipan
  • 08 Aug 2019
Email a colleague
Request a PDF

First IPO for a Chinese company in New York? Check. First bank capital bond for an Asian bank? Double check. Being able to throw the word “first” into an announcement is always eye catching, and proves to be a wonderful selling point when you’re talking up your deal and bragging to colleagues, journalists or to Tai Tai about just how skilled a banker you are.

Fortunately, I came of age in a time when firsts were easy enough to find in Asia. Back then, the Asian market was just opening up, providing me ample opportunity to stamp my name on historic firsts. But today’s bankers are less lucky.

It’s become apparent to me recently that these young chaps are desperate to prove that they’re the first in anything possible. Sadly, that means digging deep for any reason to call a deal a “landmark”.

The other day, I stumbled across a news story about “the world’s first mini-hydro sukuk”. While sukuk, or Islamic financing, has been used to finance hydro projects in the past, it apparently has never been used to finance a “mini” project. I’ll let you know when I figure out what the parameters of that are!

I know it’s hard to swallow being second in timing, size, structure or what-have-you, but I think highlighting “mini” projects may be a sign that things need to change. What’s next? The world’s first micro-green dollar bond sold in the month of August? I shudder at the thought.

  • By Taipan
  • 08 Aug 2019

Panda Bonds Top Arrangers

Rank Arranger Share % by Volume
1 Bank of China (BOC) 27.09
2 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) 12.86
3 China Merchants Bank Co 11.85
4 China Merchants Securities Co 9.09
5 Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) 5.51

Bookrunners of Asia-Pac (ex-Japan) ECM

Rank Lead Manager Amount $b No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 CITIC Securities 15.74 76 7.79%
2 Goldman Sachs 14.46 60 7.16%
3 China International Capital Corp Ltd 14.21 72 7.03%
4 UBS 12.70 89 6.28%
5 Morgan Stanley 11.11 66 5.50%

Bookrunners of Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) G3 DCM

Rank Lead Manager Amount $b No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 HSBC 32.35 286 8.25%
2 Citi 25.59 178 6.53%
3 JPMorgan 18.14 134 4.63%
4 Standard Chartered Bank 18.08 182 4.61%
5 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 15.32 112 3.91%

Asian polls & awards

  • Finance Minister of the Year, CEE

    Djamshid Kuchkarov, Uzbekistan

  • GlobalCapital China Capital Market Awards 2019: open for submissions

    GlobalCapital China is pleased to invite you to participate in the GlobalCapital China Capital Market Awards 2019. Inaugurated last year under the GlobalRMB banner, the awards celebrate the accomplishments of the leading players in the renminbi debt capital markets, onshore and offshore, as well as key service providers.

  • Last chance! GlobalCapital Asia Capital Market Awards 2019

    GlobalCapital Asia is pleased to invite pitches for our annual capital markets and investment banking awards, which reward the most impressive transactions and investment banks of 2019.

  • GlobalCapital reveals SRI Award nominations

    GlobalCapital has published the nominations for its Sustainable and Responsible Capital Markets Awards. The winners will be announced on September 17, at our Awards Ceremony in Amsterdam.

  • GlobalCapital SRI Awards: poll extended

    In response to requests from market participants, GlobalCapital has extended the closing date of its poll to determine the 2019 winners of its Sustainable and Responsible Capital Markets Awards. Market participants can now vote until July 26.