The record largest corporate bond offering in the domestic debt market is also reaping what may be a record number of awards. San Miguel Brewery Inc.’s (SMB) P38.8 billion bond offering is being hailed by international financial and capital markets publications for being the best deal of 2009 in both the domestic and regional markets.
International Financing Review (IFR), a leading global source of capital markets intelligence, is set to award the deal “IFR Global Emerging Asia Bond of the Year” in ceremonies at the Grosvenor House in London this month.
The Asset, also a major resource for the financial services industry in Asia, is meanwhile set to award the Philippine brewer “Best Local Currency Bond 2009” and “Best Deal in the Philippines 2009” in ceremonies in Hong Kong.
Institutional investments magazine Alpha Southeast Asia, on the other hand, has informed the firm that it will name the deal “Best Debut Bond of the Year for Southeast Asia” in its awards show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this month. In February, IFR’s Asian edition, IFR Asia, recognized as one of the most authoritative in the region, is set to name it “IFR Asia Domestic Bond of 2009” and “Philippine Capital Market Bond Deal of 2009” in ceremonies in Hong Kong. Renowned financial and investment intelligence provider Asia Money, meanwhile is also set to name the deal as “Best Domestic Currency Bond of 2009” in a Hong Kong function.
Credit Magazine, on the other hand, has named the bond as “Non-Core Currency Deal of Year 2009”. “We feel very proud that some of the world’s most respected financial publications have recognized our bond offering last year,” says Ferdinand K. Constantino, chief financial officer of SMB Inc.’s mother unit, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and CFO of the beer firm at the time of the offer.
“We are also proud that the issue performed as strongly as it did. Given all the initiatives we’ve put in place through the years, we are now in a stronger position strategically, operationally, and financially and that’s exactly why investors snapped up the bond issue,” he added.
In an article, IFR Asia cited the offering as the biggest single corporate bond in the domestic debt market in the Philippines which “opened the floodgates to large issues that followed in its wake.” It said that SMB had achieved an “unimaginable feat” of raising P38.8 billion at a time when credit markets were in freeze mode because of the global financial crisis.
There was also lingering doubts on whether the peso bond market could absorb such a large amount, considering the largest deals up until then had been around P 10 billion for financial institutions and P 5 billion for corporate borrowers. But joint leads Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and HSBC were convinced that the peso bond market was deep enough. The outcome, according to the publication, proved SMB’s credentials and set a new benchmark in terms of size and capacity in the peso bond market. It also underscored that Philippine borrowers did not need to venture overseas to raise large funds.