South Asia: Best Individual BRI Project or Initiative in the Region 2020
The $72 million Sinosure-supported facility to upgrade hospitals in Sri Lanka
At $72 million, the winning project is definitely not the largest Belt and Road Initiative-related transaction in the region over the last year. But its complexity and its value, which really emerges only with the benefit of hindsight, truly resonate.
When the deal was signed in June 2019, the last thing the world was worrying about was a global pandemic. But the onset of Covid-19 reinforces the value of investing in health-related services during the good times.
The project is simple enough: a central government mandate to finance the upgrade of a select group of hospitals dotted around Sri Lanka. Beyond that, it is classic Belt and Road.
The facility is supported by state-owned Sinosure, China’s main provider of export credit insurance. HSBC, which is the biggest and the best foreign lender operating on the island, acted as sole mandated lead arranger, lender and agent on a dollar deal that included Sri Lanka’s health ministry and CETC International, a division of China Electronics Technology Group.
It marks the third Sinosure-supported facility arranged by HSBC for the Sri Lankan government in as many years, and underlines the UK lender’s capacity to meet the financing requirements of Chinese corporates as they continue to expand along the Belt and Road.