Hong Kong's best international bank 2018: Citi
It’s easy to forget how long Citi has been in Asia and how deep its roots go. Its direct forerunner, The National City Bank of New York, opened its inaugural Hong Kong office in 1902.
An important client in its early years was the Fung family, co-founders of Li & Fung, now a global logistics giant. In 2017, Citi led a $1.1 billion divestment of three of the firm’s divisions, to a consortium comprising Fung Group and Beijing-based Hony Capital.
Another core customer, CK Hutchison, has been busy over the last year as well, leaning on the US banking group’s advice and capital reserves to issue a $2.2 billion bond.
Elsewhere, a 200-plus team of dedicated professionals, led by Christopher Laskowski, head of Hong Kong corporate and investment banking, and Weber Lo, country officer and chief executive, Hong Kong and Macau, have helped mainland property group Evergrande complete a $2.3 billion convertible bond, the largest Asia ex-Japan issuance since 2001. They also completed a slew of big IPOs, including two in November 2017, when car retailer Yixin Group raised $868 million and garment maker Crystal International raised $512 million. A $670 million issue by fixed-line telecoms operator WTT HK, also in November, marked the largest-ever bond market debut by a Hong Kong-based high-yield corporate. Over the 12 months to the end of March 2018, Citi ranked second in debt capital markets bookrunning, third in equity and equity-linked sales, and fifth in M&A.
Its chief executive is Angel Ng. Much has changed over the last century, but Citi’s importance to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong’s importance to Citi has not.