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China Corporate and Investment Banking Awards

Best for cross-border debt capital markets 2021

China International Capital Corp

Wang Sheng, CICC.jpg
Wang Sheng, CICC

In 2020, China International Capital Corp reported an impressive 40% year-on-year jump in investment banking revenues to Rmb5.96 billion ($921 million).

A lot of the credit for CICC’s performance is due to its global reach, as well as its business model.

The firm, with Wang Sheng as head of the investment banking department, has fully integrated its domestic and cross-border teams to ensure that the businesses run seamlessly, both onshore and offshore. With a presence across mainland China, as well as in Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, London, San Francisco and – since 2018 – in Frankfurt, CICC is best-positioned to meet the financing needs of Chinese companies both domestically and overseas.

It helps that CICC is well-rounded across different business lines. The firm is a top-three equities underwriter in China; its ECM volume rose nearly 17% year on year, while the number of deals jumped 44% during Asiamoney’s awards period of July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, Wind data shows.

It led several landmark transactions including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp’s Rmb53.2 billion IPO, which was the largest listing in the A-share market in almost a decade at the time of launch, as well as Agricultural Bank of China’s Rmb100 billion follow-on, another record deal onshore.

CICC was the leading bookrunner for Chinese IPOs in Hong Kong and the US, completing 55 listings during the awards period. With a volume of $7.8 billion, the firm had an 8.5% market share.

It sponsored some of the largest Hong Kong deals, for Blue Moon Group Holdings, GDS Holdings, Hangzhou Tigermed Consulting Co and Nongfu Spring Co. It helped 13 companies, including Li Auto, to go public in the US, and also led China Yangtze Power Co’s and SDIC Power Holdings Co’s offerings of global depositary receipts.

In the equity-linked market, CICC worked on convertible bond offerings for US-listed Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Nio, and for Hong Kong-listed property management firm Country Garden Services Holdings Co.

CICC is a powerhouse in DCM, and helped about 380 Chinese corporations to raise a total of Rmb776 billion in the domestic debt market during the awards period. The deals ranged from senior to subordinated bonds, vanilla to structured deals, and public to private placements. CICC was financial adviser on two of the first nine public infrastructure real estate investment trusts ever sold in China – by GLP Warehouse Logistics and Zhejiang Expressway – and was a market-maker for eight of the nine deals.

The firm showed robust growth in offshore DCM, making it Asiamoney’s choice for the best for cross-border DCM award this year.

Data supplied by the firm shows it has worked on nearly 200 offshore bonds, leading the market with a deal size of $118 billion during the awards period. It climbed 14 places in Bloomberg’s offshore China bonds league table to rank third among all Chinese and international firms.

Over the past year, CICC was tapped by frequent bond issuers, including the Chinese Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Alibaba Group Holding. It also took debut names, such as Guoren Property & Casualty Insurance Co and Haidilao International Holding, to the market, raising funds in G3 currencies and offshore renminbi.

CICC’s close ties with the sovereign helped it to win some important deals.

The firm was mandated by the MoF for four consecutive years, since the sovereign restarted bond issuance in 2017; CICC appeared on all seven tranches of the MoF’s two 2020 deals, the only Chinese securities house to do so.

As the only Chinese bookrunner on Alibaba’s $5 billion SEC-registered multi-tranche transaction, CICC brought in large Asian orders to help the e-commerce company price with double-digit negative new issue premiums across all tenors including a 20-year sustainability tranche – the first sustainability bond from a Chinese technology company.

The firm excels in M&A, having advised on 126 deals involving Chinese companies announced and completed during Asiamoney’s awards period. With a total deal value of well over $200 billion, CICC topped Dealogic’s M&A league table as a financial adviser, with a 28.4% market share.

Given such a strong franchise, it is no surprise that CICC is also Asiamoney’s winner of the best for cross-border M&A award.

With one of the largest M&A teams on the street, CICC leads its peers across a broad range of areas, including those deals where listed companies are taken private and restructured.

It spearheaded the taking private of H-share listed Haier Electronics by Haier Smart Home, as well as Shandong Gold Mining Co’s efforts in taking Hengxing Gold Holding private from Hong Kong, following an acquisition. As the go-to adviser for multinational corporations in China, CICC helped Carlsberg Group consolidate all its core businesses onshore into an A-share listed company.

CICC is second to none when it comes to both inbound and outbound M&A. It was the sole financial adviser for Guangzhou-based Luxvisions Innovation Technology’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Hong Kong-listed Cowell e Holdings, a South Korean company engaged in the camera modules business.

CICC also advised an investor consortium, led by Chinese private equity firm Primavera Capital Management, in the purchase from Australia-listed Seek of a 76.5% stake in Zhaopin (Beijing), the domestic entity of online recruitment platform Zhaopin.com. The deal was valued at $1.75 billion.

It advised UK consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group in its acquisition of Lanzhou Scisky Healthcare Science & Technology Co, and on US home appliances firm Whirlpool Corp’s sale of a controlling stake in its onshore listed entity.

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