By Elzio Barreto
HONG KONG, June 28 Swiss bank UBS extended its
lead in Asia-Pacific stock underwriting during the first half of
the year, as its long history of targeting Southeast Asian
markets helped it capitalise on a surge in deals in the region.
UBS, which has come out on top of Asia-Pacific equity
capital market league tables for seven of the past eight years,
raked in $120.8 million in estimated fees, more than the
combined revenue of the next two banks in the ranking.
Equity capital market deals in Southeast Asia climbed 54
percent to $22.5 billion in the first half of 2013, a quarter of
all Asia-Pacific ex-Japan volumes. Stock offerings in Singapore,
the Philippines and Indonesia more than doubled, preliminary
data from Thomson Reuters shows.
"We had a lot of issuance and there's still a lot of deals
waiting to be done in Southeast Asia," said Damien Brosnan, head
of Asia equity syndicate at UBS AG.
But equity issuance in Hong Kong, which for the last few
years had been a leading city for IPOs, fell 20 percent, hit by
concerns about a weaker Chinese economy.
Rising volatility in global markets has taken a growing
number of victims in Hong Kong's IPO market in recent weeks,
with Nexteer Automotive Group Ltd postponing its up to
$325 million listing on Wednesday. Hopewell Hong Kong Properties
Ltd and auto parts maker Mando China Holdings Ltd
, controlled by South Korea's Mando Corp,
have also delayed their deals.
PRIVATE BANK STRENGTH
UBS has historically maintained a broader equities research
and trading operation in Asia-Pacific thanks to its model of
referring clients from its large private bank, whereas
investment banking rivals like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley
have focused more on the big China IPOs in Hong Kong.
The Swiss bank worked on a string of deals in Thailand and
the Philippines. In the Philippines, it managed to garner 62
percent of equity capital market deals, helped by star banker
Lauro Baja, its head of investment banking there, according to
Thomson Reuters publication IFR.
In estimated fees, Goldman Sachs ranked second,
earning $61.9 million, while Credit Suisse came third
with $56.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters/Freeman
Consulting Co, which is based on actual and projected revenue
Overall stock offerings in Asia Pacific climbed 5 percent to
$86.8 billion, but IPOs in the region tumbled 38 percent to
UBS handled $11.5 billion worth of deals, up 60 percent from
the same period a year earlier while Goldman Sachs was second
with $8.5 billion, a 30 percent rise. Deutsche Bank
was third, managing $4.03 billion in offerings and leaping from
its 8th position a year earlier.
Three of the top five IPOs in Asia Pacific came from
Southeast Asia. They included the $2.1 billion listing of BTS
Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund in
Thailand and Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust,
Singapore's largest ever REIT listing at $2.06 billion.
Convertible bond issuance soared 71.4 percent to $12.6
billion but concerns over U.S. interest rates and wild swings in
U.S. Treasuries were expected to slow issuance in the next few
"The market is going to be adjusting to a new normal in
certain ways," UBS's Brosnan said. "That product (CBs), much
like the debt capital markets, will take a pause until the
interest rate environment is figured out."