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Southeast Asia: Best International Bank in the Region for BRI 2020

Standard Chartered

It is the depth and the weight of Standard Chartered’s BRI-related deal list over the last year that tips the scales in favour of the emerging market-focused lender.

So many of the deals it does clearly connect the dots all the way back to Beijing. This underlines and reinforces why StanChart continues to play such a big role in each market in which it chooses to allocate its resources.

A good place to start is the RM295 million ($70 million) sukuk it helped Country Garden to issue in March 2020. It also extended RM73 million in bilateral lending to the Guangdong-based property developer, enabling the firm to strengthen its liquidity and cash position at a tricky time for all mainland companies, given the immediate backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chow Wan Thonh, Regional Head, Client Coverage, ASEAN and South Asia, Standard Chartered.jpg
Chow Wan Thonh, Standard Chartered

On the renewables front, StanChart helped Edra Solar, a local division of China General Nuclear Power, issue RM245 million in Islamic medium-term notes in October 2019. It marked the first sukuk sale completed under the aegis of the new Southeast Asia Sustainability SRI framework, with the capital to be used to fund the firm’s upcoming solar projects in Kuala Ketil, in northern Malaysia.

What also makes Standard Chartered really stand out here, under the guidance of Chow Wan Thonh – the bank’s regional head, client coverage, corporate, commercial and institutional banking for Asean and south Asia – is not just the weight of the deal-making, but the deliberate and careful focus on detail.

In late January, as Covid was beginning to emerge from China, Xiamen-based C&D Group set out to purchase a large number of face masks from a Korean supplier, to distribute across southeast Asia. StanChart worked to juggle currencies including dollars and Korean won, to get the shipment settled and delivered on time.

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