Leader in Asia deals

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 September, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 September, 1996, 12:00am

The project finance team of ABN-AMRO is a significant force in arranging and underwriting Asia's power and infrastructure projects.

Last year the bank underwrote the financing of more projects in Asia Pacific than any other bank.

ABN-AMRO is the 16th largest bank in the world with total assets worth US$345 billion.

The bank has been involved in project financing worldwide for decades. At present it employs more than 65 project finance specialists located in Amsterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Chicago, Houston, Sydney and Vancouver.

The bank's presence in Asia dates back to the beginning of the last century with the founding of its ancestor bank in Indonesia.

In setting up the project finance team in Asia in the late 80s (Singapore and Hong Kong) ABN-AMRO has brought its global experience to Asia's doorstep.

In every deal the bank brings together experience of individuals to form a deal team specific for a project's requirements.

The bank has advised and arranged the debt for many projects throughout the region based on the deal team concept, including deals in the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

The bank draws on a pool of talent to assemble deal teams quickly to suit a project's specific requirements. Its size and global presence enables ABN-AMRO to assist customers in areas where few banks can compete.

The bank is also able to provide knowledge and contacts in the local environment by using its Asia branch network in 16 countries. The bank can provide multi-sourced export-finance, debt and equity offerings, tax options, leasing, private placements and currency and interest rate management to the project finance structure.

ABN-AMRO can negotiate and structure complex deals to bring a project to a successful close in the shortest possible time.

The project finance team consists of three industry teams dealing with power generation, telecommunications and oil and gas, and chemicals. The bank's long term commitment to project financing and successful track record in both developing independent power projects and arranging large amounts of debt, qualifies ABN-AMRO to advise, structure and underwrite all aspects of power, telecom and oil and gas projects. As lead arranger, ABN-AMRO drives the negotiation process from the project lenders' point of view, usually assuming responsibility for documentation and often modelling as well.

Bill Guilford, a vice president of project finance, said that 'to assure prospective lenders' comfort with a project loan, we have to be able to verify that project contracts properly allocate risks to the parties best able to manage them'. In its role as adviser to a project, the bank begins work with the client at an early stage of project development and takes an active role in structuring project contracts.

As financial adviser ABN-AMRO views a project primarily from the sponsor's perspective and tries to provide the client with the lowest possible cost. Mark Sajer, and Kenneth Fok, the deal team which led ABN-AMRO's efforts for the Tanjung Jati B power project in Indonesia, sponsored by a Hong Kong based developer, said the bank valued its relationships with its customers and was eager to pursue projects in involving major global clients.

The bank is also expanding its ties with large regional corporations, to widen its presence in Asia. Asia's growth has created an unprecedented need for infrastructure development. The large requirements for power in the region requires banks that have the strength, experience and commitment to support such development.