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China Corporate and Investment Banking Awards

Best firm for cross-border debt capital markets 2020: Bank of China

Bank of China

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View full 2020 results

As one of the largest and most internationalized Chinese banks, Bank of China (BOC) continued to serve as the bridge for domestic clients venturing offshore, as well as for foreign issuers seeking funding opportunities in mainland China’s Rmb109 trillion ($16 trillion) market.

In the offshore China DCM league table, the BOC group ranked first for the fourth year in a row. During our awards period, between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, BOC’s sprawling team – consisting of its Beijing headquarters, the Hong Kong branch, its wholly owned subsidiary BOC International and Bank of China (Hong Kong) completed 210 offshore deals for Chinese issuers, covering over 40% of all transactions in the market, according to internal data.

Unlike many Chinese firms, which have a niche offshore and only cover parts of the market, BOC has grown to be one of the most well-rounded underwriters covering a full range of products for issuers across the rating spectrum.

BOC has been entrusted by the ministry of finance to lead Chinese sovereign bonds since the country’s return to the offshore market in 2017, including the $6 billion, four-tranche deal and the government’s first euro transaction for 15 years, both of which were issued last November. It also brought to the market a jumbo $3 billion trade for Sinopec despite a weak backdrop caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, achieving both size and price despite the many difficulties.

The bank’s deep roots onshore also mean it has top-notch coverage of financial institutions and high-quality local government financing vehicles, while having good relationships with privately owned clients such as Xiaomi Corp and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. It is more selective in high yield, but does work on deals for household names such as Dalian Wanda Group Co.

One highlight for BOC’s cross-border DCM business is its outstanding track record in bringing foreign issuers onshore. It has been the number one bookrunner in the panda bond market for the last five years.

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