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MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore YTD bond issuance hits record high at US$34.3b

Mega-deals from the financial services sector including DBS and UOB raised US$23.9b.

Singapore-domiciled firms turning to the debt markets to raise capital pushed primary bond offerings to an all-time high of US$34.4b YTD, according to data from Refinitiv, the financial and risk business arm of Thomson Reuters. 

Also read: US dollar issuances lead Singapore's debt market

The stellar figures are largely due to the financial services sector which snapped up 70% market share and raised US$23.9b in proceeds, a 17.1% YoY increase. 

The blockbuster bond offerings of DBS and UOB which hauled US$1.25m and US$1.2m respectively trailed only behind Temasek which raised US$1.34m to hold the title as the biggest deal so far.

Government and agencies captured 20.1% of market share with US$6.9b in proceeds with the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) two bond offerings which raised US$1.09m and US$914m making it to the top five largest deals. Real estate bond offerings accounted for 4.4% market share.   

"Singapore-issued high yield bond offerings grew 82.3% in proceeds from 2017. Singapore issuers tapped the US-dollar bond market and raised $12.49b (US$9.1b), up 3% in proceeds compared to the same period in 2017,” Refinitiv said in its report. 

In terms of bond underwriting fees which hit US$156m, DBS Group set the market pace with US$6.1b in related proceeds to account for 17.7% of market share. In fact, the fee revenues of DBS Group rose 20.3% YoY to an estimated US$32.8m and captured 21% of the bond fee pool in Singapore.  

Also read: Singapore's equity capital market proceeds crashed 30.1% to $6.73b YTD

On the other hand, proceeds from the Singapore-dollar bond market slowed 14.4% YoY to $20.8b (US$15.4b) YTD. On a QoQ basis, Singapore-dollar bond issuance plummeted 50.8% to $5.9b (US$4.3b) in Q4.

The financial services sector still accounted for the lion's share of the market with US$5.9b in proceeds although the government and agencies sector closely follow with 36.2% market share. 

The LTA's $1.5b bond offering in July was recorded as the biggest SGD bond YTD. The transport regulator also raised an additional $1b SGD bond offering in October which brought LTA’s total SGD bond issuance to $4b across four bond offerings in 2018.

State-owned Housing and Development Board (HDB) was also an active issuer this year with six primary bond offerings in the SGD bond market worth a cumulative total of $3.5b in proceeds for 2018.

In addition, the SGD bond market witnessed issuance from investment grade names such as Shangri-La Hotel’s $825m seven-year bond offering and Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) $600m five-year bond offering during Q4. UBS also tapped the local bond market and raised $700m from its additional Tier 1 capital perpetual bond offering November. 

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