BEA (China) bond sale draws 6.3b yuan orders

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 12:00am

Bank of East Asia (China), the mainland unit of Hong Kong's fifth-largest lender, said it had received about 6.3 billion yuan (HK$7.15 billion) in orders after its first yuan bond sale was completed in the city.

Although the issue was oversubscribed, the response was not overwhelming, bankers said, largely because new rules on sales practices had lengthened the time it takes to complete a transaction to about one hour.

The aggregate subscriptions from retail and institutional investors were 110 per cent higher than its target of 3 billion yuan and 58 per cent higher than its total issue size of 4 billion yuan.

The bank said about 2.8 billion yuan or 70 per cent of the total bond issue was allocated to retail investors, with the remaining 1.2 billion yuan for institutional investors.

More than 24,000 applications came from retail subscribers, and they will be allotted the amounts they applied for.

The oversubscription was lower than in previous yuan bond sales, as was the number of subscribers to the retail tranche, a veteran banker said.

'However, the result is not too bad, given the lengthy sales process, which might take more than one hour to complete a deal,' the banker said.

The yuan bond sale by Bank of East Asia (China) was the first under a new rule, which took effect this month, that requires banks to make more detailed risk presentations to customers and record sales activities. This is to avoid a repeat of the controversy over the sales of Lehman Brothers-linked minibonds.

Separately, the government-run Hong Kong Mortgage Corp plans to raise about US$500 million by selling a senior unsecured bond.

The five-year bond, which will carry a fixed coupon rate, is the first US dollar public bond launched by HKMC in the market rather than through a private placement.

Standard & Poor's assigned an AA-plus rating for the proposed debt, while Moody's Investors Services assigned an Aaa rating, its highest, to the bond.

Taking time

The bond sale was the first under new rules that lengthened sales process

Portion of the total bond issue allocated to retail investors: 70%