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Strength to strength: Goldman Sachs top APAC 2Q ECM bank, gains ground on Citi in 1H table

Biblical wisdom teaches that with enough faith and conviction, it is possible to go “from strength to strength”.

Goldman Sachs will be hoping it can build on APAC momentum after leaping two spots from 1Q to the top of the region’s equity-capital-market league table in second quarter of 2024.

The Wall Street stalwart arranged USD 4.68bn worth of deals on an apportioned basis in 2Q, Dealogic data show. That represented a 60% increase from USD 2.92bn the bank booked in the prior quarter and was 3.6x the USD 1.29bn it booked in 2Q23.

Goldman overtook Citi, the first quarter’s top bank, though by a narrow margin. Citi handled USD 4.4bn worth of deals, down from USD 5.04bn in the first quarter, but it more than doubled the USD 2.0bn in the same period in 2023.

Morgan Stanley was third in 2Q with USD 4.05bn worth of deals, improving from USD 3.33bn in the previous quarter, or nearly doubling the year-earlier quarter’s USD 2.19bn.

The region witnessed a fierce comeback of equity-linked bond deals in the second quarter, most notably mega prints from debut, investment-grade, US-listed Chinese issuers.

Equity-linked bonds accounted for more than half of Asia Pacific’s 10 largest ECM deals in the second quarter. Competition was particularly fiery for top half deals – Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd‘s [NYSE:BABA] [HKG:9988] USD 5bn convertible bond print, the region’s largest ECM offering in the quarter, involved five banks. JD.com‘s [NASDAQ:JD, HKG:9618] USD 2bn note had four banks running the show. That bit into the volume managed by each bank on an apportioned basis.

Goldman Sachs, nonetheless, managed to get involved in less crowded deals that were characteristic of many of the deals at the bottom half of the top 10’s list.

For example, Goldman Sachs jointly arranged Trip.com Group‘s [NASDAQ:TCOM; HKEX:9961] USD 1.5bn equity-linked note with JPMorgan, and a USD 942m block in Australian engineering firm Worley‘s [ASX:WOR] with Citi, among others.

Asia Pacific’s Top 10 ECM deals in 2Q24 (by deal world region)

Pricing Date Company Deal Value USD (m) Deal Sub Type Exchange Nationality Bookrunner Parent
23-May-24 Alibaba Group Holding Ltd 5,000 CONV – Debt United States Citi; JPMorgan; Morgan Stanley; Barclays; HSBC
21-May-24 JD.com Inc 2,000 CONV – Debt Hong Kong (China); United States BofA Securities; Goldman Sachs; Haitong Securities Co Ltd; UBS
18-Jun-24 Gold Pole Capital Co Ltd 2,000 CONV – Debt Hong Kong (China) Morgan Stanley; CITIC Securities; UBS
19-Jun-24 Indus Towers Ltd 1,809 FO – Accelerated Bookbuild India Morgan Stanley; BofA Securities; Jefferies LLC; BNP Paribas
22-Apr-24 Vodafone Idea Ltd 1,511 FO – Fully Marketed India Axis Bank; Jefferies LLC; State Bank of India
4-Jun-24 Trip.com Group Ltd 1,500 CONV – Debt United States JPMorgan; Goldman Sachs
20-May-24 Renesas Electronics Corp 1,353 FO – Accelerated Bookbuild Japan BofA Securities
29-Apr-24 Worley Ltd 942 FO – Accelerated Bookbuild Australia Goldman Sachs; Citi
4-Jun-24 Xero Investments Ltd 925 CONV – Debt Australia Goldman Sachs; Morgan Stanley
8-Apr-24 Rohm Co Ltd 675 CONV – Debt Japan Goldman Sachs; Nomura
8-Apr-24 Rohm Co Ltd 675 CONV – Debt Japan Goldman Sachs; Nomura

Half way point

As of the end of 1H, Citi was the top ECM bank of 2024, managing USD 9.44bn worth of deals, followed by Goldman Sachs’s USD 7.6bn, Morgan Stanley’s USD 7.38bn, while Bank of America is well worthy of an honourable mention by helping print USD 6.35bn worth of deals, Dealogic data show.

Block graph showing top 1H24 bookrunners in Asia (ex China) by deal volume, including follow-ons, IPOs and convertibles

As reported earlier by ION Analytics, India was the only market in APAC with sizeable initial public offerings so far in 2024. Hence there’s little surprise that of the region’s 10 most active IPO banks in the second quarter, four were Indian. ICICI Bank and Axis Bank closed the quarter being the second and third IPO banks, managing USD 360m and USD 265m worth of offerings, respectively.

They trailed Morgan Stanley, which helped manage USD 418m worth of deals, including a USD 441m US IPO of Zeekr [NYSE:ZK], a Chinese electric vehicle maker.

Citi topped the chart for follow-ons in 2Q, managing USD 3.24bn worth of deals.

Bank of America finished the quarter as the runner-up, managing USD 3.17bn worth of deals, among them were INR 153bn (EUR 1.7bn) block in Indus Towers [BOM:534816] sold by UK-based telco Vodafone Plc [LON:VOD] and a USD 1.35bn block in Renesas Electronics Corp [TYO:6723] offered by Denso Corp [TYO:6902].

The third most active bank for follow-ons was Goldman Sachs, which managed USD 3.17bn worth of deals.

In the equity-linked bond market, Morgan Stanley topped the chart by managing USD 2.17bn worth of paper, narrowly beating Goldman Sachs, which handled USD 2.05bn worth of deals, while JPMorgan came in No.3, arranging issuance of USD 1.75bn, according to Dealogic data.

With the region’s IPO market – especially those in Northeast Asia – looking set to gradually crawl out of inertia, with a relatively decent pipeline in sight, new listings might start to sway league table rankings more forcefully.