Best Bank for Infrastructure/Project Finance in the Region 2019
Many international banks start pitches for awards by extolling their unrivalled understanding of local markets. HSBC is one of the few that lives up to the boast. Across south Asia, it had a leading role in a slew of BRI deals. In Sri Lanka, it acted as sole mandated lead arranger, lender and agent on a $72 million, Sinosure-supported facility to finance the upgrading of hospitals in Sri Lanka.
The buyer credit facility was signed by the ministry of health and the international division of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation in March 2019. It marks the third Sinosure-backed facility arranged by HSBC with the Sri Lankan government in as many years.
HSBC was also involved in several Sino-Indian deals, again underscoring the slow filtration of the BRI into India’s commercial and financial spheres. HSBC provided ICBC Leasing, a division of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with a $240 million portfolio financing facility, to support the leasing of six Boeing 737 aircraft to two low-cost Indian carriers, SpiceJet and Air India Express. The British lender also acted as sole financial adviser to Xtep’s $260 million acquisition of K-Swiss owner E-Land Footwear USA Holdings in May 2019.
The Hong Kong-listed brand owns more than 6,200 stores, and is one of the fastest-growing vendors of sportswear in India.
The bank’s clout across the region was underscored when one of China’s largest investment holding groups, SDIC, bought a 28% stake in Arab Potash, the world’s eighth-largest potash producer, in July 2018 from Canadian fertilizer company Nutrien. HSBC was sole financial adviser to SDIC Mining Corporation, a subsidiary of the group, working with China’s commerce ministry and India’s competition commission to secure approval and ensure the deal went ahead without a hitch.