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Asia CommentTaipan

Perks in the loan business?

Business handshake in the office

Despite the often dry nature of the loan business in Asia, there can be some hidden perks from deals

Not many people working in Asia's loan markets would call their world of finance very exciting. Deals can take months to execute and close, while traditional refinancing still remains the bread and butter of the market.

Yet, sometimes, loan deals can be surprisingly fruitful.

One of my friends, a loans banker, told me about a deal he was recently syndicating to the market.

It was a traditional corporate loan, from a Chinese pharmaceutical company. At first glance, it was nothing special, but if you dug deeper, you would see that the firm has been focusing on growing its plastic surgery business and has acquired a few international plastic surgery companies over the years.

That, apparently, attracted many loans bankers.

Instead of asking about the company’s financial performance, industry outlook or details about the loan’s structure, my friend received a lot of calls from bankers asking if he could offer referrals to plastic surgeons, or if the client would bewilling to throw in a discount on a surgery.

His answers were all no, of course, but the deal proved to be extremely successful, maybe partly because of all these people hoping for freebies. Which got me thinking: if only I had worked on some deals for whisky makers. That would have made my day.

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