| Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore's bond issuance fell 24.4% to US$11.1b

Guess which bank led the list.

According to a Thomson Reuters Data Release, primary bond offerings from Singapore-domiciled issuers reached US$11.1 billion so far this year, a 24.4% decline after witnessing a record start during the first six months of 2012, as local companies tap both domestic and foreign bond markets to raise funds. 

Total proceeds during the second quarter of 2013 slowed down 53.0% to US$3.6 billion compared to the first quarter of 2013 (US$7.6 billion).

Singaporean borrowers tapped the US-dollar bond market with at least nine new issues worth US$3.8 billion in proceeds, a 27.9% decline over the first half of 2012.

DBS Group Holdings currently leads the Singaporean-issued bonds underwriting this year, with related proceeds of US$1.9 billion from 22 new issues, down 43.2% from the first half of last year. DBS captured 17.1% of the market share followed by HSBC Holdings with 11.8% worth US$1.3 billion.

According to estimates from Thomson Reuters/ Freeman Consulting Co., DBS booked an estimated US$7.4 million in fee revenues, a 42.1% decrease from the first half-period last year, and accounted for 13.0% of Singapore’s bond fee pool. Underwriting fees from bond issuance by Singaporean companies grew 8.8% to US$56.7 million compared to the same period last year.

The Financials Captures 29% Year-to-Date
Total proceeds from the Financials industry accounted for majority of the proceeds with 27.8% market share worth US$3.1 billion, a 57.0% decline from the first half of 2012. Government & Agencies followed second with 19.6%. Meanwhile, High Tech sector, which has not issued any deal since 1H 2011, witnessed two new primary offerings so far this year worth US$1.3 billion led by Flextronics International which tapped the offshore bond market with a US$1.0 billion bond issuance.

SGD-Denominated Bonds Slows Down After a Record Start in 2012
Singapore-dollar bond market slowed down as proceeds fell to 39.4% to S$8.8 billion (US$7.1 billion) so far this year after coming off from a record start during the first half of 2012. This is the lowest first-half level since 2009 when volume reached S$5.7 billion (US$3.9 billion).

Foreign issuers tapping the Singapore-dollar bond market raised S$2.7 billion (US$2.2 billion) thus far, down 48.8% over the first half of last year despite the 12.5% increase in number of issues. Tata Communications through its subsidiaries accounted for 14.8% of the SGD issuance from foreign borrowers with US$325.8 million.

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific’s collective local currency bond volume amounted to US$323.8 billion, where Singapore dollar bonds accounted for 2.2% of the market share. Southeast Asia’s aggregate local currency bond offerings saw at least 209 new issues worth US$24.6 billion to date, a 29.9% decline from the first half of 2012 (US$35.4 billion). 

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