Desperate times call for desperate measures
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Desperate times call for desperate measures

I don’t tend to get too involved in the nuts and bolts of the deals in the market but while scrolling through this esteemed magazine’s website I was struck by the new bond deals from Tower Bersama and Tencent.

This was not because of any particular interest in the trades themselves, which seemed to be fairly run of the mill, but instead because it seems that the super-syndicate is well and truly back. Tower Bersama has 13 banks on its effort, while Tencent has roped in 10 bookrunners.

I remarked on this to a friend recently, lamenting the foolishness of issuers who are still taking a "my syndicate is bigger than your syndicate" approach to funding. But he told me that the inflated bookrunning group was less to do with issuer vanity and more to do with banker desperation.

I barely register these things from the safety of the club, of course, but it turns out that Asia’s bond markets have offered slim pickings until this week. So banks have been quite keen to get their name on a deal even if that means sharing the billing with every other outfit on the Street.

Such has been the dire state of affairs that my chum has even had his juniors ringing up journalists at GlobalCapital Asia to get intel on issuers and competitors, a sad state of affairs all round I think you’ll agree.

Hopefully now things have picked up he’ll regain some composure and self-respect. But in the meantime he has plenty of time to think about his feeble P&L on another 13-strong conference call.