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Best Bank Awards

Singapore's best corporate and investment bank 2020: DBS

DBS

DBS consistently tops the league tables, proving itself over and over to be the leader in Singapore’s corporate and investment banking world.

Led by chief executive Piyush Gupta, DBS was ranked first among debt capital market bookrunners in Singapore during Asiamoney’s awards period, according to Dealogic.

The bank was ranked second for equity capital market transactions, behind Goldman Sachs. It placed sixth for merger and acquisition advisory.

Part of the value in DBS’s investment banking business comes from its breadth. The bank reaches beyond the borders of Singapore, leading trans-national deals in Asia. This is particularly helpful when markets become difficult to navigate, as they did this year.

Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS.jpg
Piyush Gupta, DBS

Despite the challenges 2020 has brought, DBS has remained active. The bank quickly shifted its attention to pockets of liquidity in the local currency bond markets, including Singapore dollars, driving its debt clients to private placements. When companies have been ready to tap the public dollar market, DBS has been there to lead the way. One DCM banker said that DBS is not focused on volume and deal count, but fixated on being active to keep the Asian capital markets open.

Since the pandemic hit, DBS has worked on deals including Wharf REIC’s dual tranche $750 million deal – a market reopener for Hong Kong borrowers – as well as Lenovo Group’s unrated $850 million bond.

The bank’s efforts are clear not just in DCM, but in equities as well. During the review period, DBS led or joint led two initial public offerings, 14 placements, six preferential offerings and three rights issues.

One of its most notable transactions was Singapore Airlines’ S$8.8 billion rights issue, where it was the sole financial adviser and joint lead manager.

The bankers running the deal faced the struggle of selling the uncertain future of an airline during a global pandemic while largely being confined to their own homes. Singapore Airlines needed liquidity because of the impact of the coronavirus on its business. It is little surprise that it called DBS.

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