Best Investment Banks 2012: Country Awards

By Michael Shari



BMO Capital Markets

Thanks to its strength in mining and energy, BMO Capital Markets commanded a 20.1% share of Canada’s M&A market last year. That was more than any other bank, comprising 46 deals valued at $33.9 billion. BMO also raised $1.4 billion for its clients in 52 public equity deals last year, according to Dealogic. BMO then led a complex deal on February 16 this year, advising Crescent Point Energy on its purchase of land with oil deposits from PetroBakken Energy.


Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs has distinguished itself from other Wall Street investment banks by making sure corporate clients that want to sell their equity in the US can also access international stock-listing platforms. Stephen Pierce, Goldman’s global head of equity capital markets, builds deals for clients with what he calls “creative global marketing techniques and groundbreaking structural innovation.” In the US alone, Goldman was a bookrunner in 34 deals that raised $5.6 billion in equity and claimed a 14.8% market share, according to Dealogic.



BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas has long been regarded as a platinum brand in financial derivatives for corporate clients who are looking to hedge their bets in equity markets—not just in France but globally. Now the investment bank lords over France’s debt capital markets as well. BNP Paribas ranked first in France’s debt capital market last year, raising $47.2 billion in 211 deals for a 53% share.


Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank ranked first in Germany’s equity capital market last year, raising $550 million in three deals for a 30% market share. Among the largest was a follow-on equity issue in which Deutsche was the lead bookrunner, raising $7.2 billion for Porsche Automobil. Deutsche was also number one in Germany’s debt capital markets, raising $52.5 billion in 224 deals. The bank ranked second in M&A, advising clients on 42 deals in Germany that were valued at $37.1 billion.


Intesa Sanpaolo

Intesa Sanpaolo grows its investment banking business by using what it learns from long-term relationships with its clients to judge their credit-worthiness—and making quick decisions when they want to issue public equity or debt. That’s why Intesa ranked in first place in Italy’s equity capital market, raising $909 million in just three deals last year. The bank also came in first in the country’s debt public market, raising $15.4 billion in 50 deals last year.



Dutch bank ING advised its clients on more M&A deals in the Netherlands than any other bank last year, taking a 29.1% market share, according to Dealogic. The 29 deals ING worked on until they closed had a total face value of $20.7 billion. In the largest of these deals, ING advised a Finnish consortium of investors on their $1.8 billion acquisition of ProSiebenSat.1 Media on April 8, 2011.



Banco de Investimento, or CaixaBI, is the investment banking arm of Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the largest banking group in Portugal. CaixaBI led 25 of the largest debt issues in Portugal last year, raising $6.4 billion and ranking in first place despite an extremely inhospitable debt-raising environment in the peripheral nations of Europe. The bank was also active in M&A in Portugal, closing nine deals that were valued at $8.9 billion and had a 59.7% market share.


VTB Capital

VTB Capital was the biggest lead bookrunner for debt issues in Eastern Europe in 2011, and it ranked first in Russia’s debt capital market, raising $9.9 billion and 61 deals with a 19.6% market share. But it also ranked first in Russia’s M&A field, advising clients on 23 deals that were worth $15.1 billion. And the bank acquitted itself admirably in the equity capital market as a bookrunner on a follow-on issue that raised $787 million on the London Stock Exchange for Polymetal International, the Russian mining company.



When the eurozone crisis left little doubt that Spanish debt would be a hard sell last year, BBVA pressed ahead with a new plan to permanently move its bond sales team from Madrid to London to “maintain a footprint in capital markets,” says Juan Blasco, head of credit markets. As a result, BBVA ranked first in Spain’s debt capital markets last year, raising $24.2 billion in bonds.



Handelsbanken is a powerhouse in Nordic capital markets. Founded in 1871, it was the only major Swedish bank that was not asked by regulators to consider accepting a state guarantee during the Swedish banking crisis of 1990. Last year, the bank ranked in seventh place in the Nordic region’s equity capital markets, where it raised $70 million in two modest deals.


Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse ranked first in Switzerland’s debt capital market, raising $22.6 billion in 98 deals for a 34.2% market share. It also ranked first in M&A, advising clients on 23 transactions valued at $30 billion. “What differentiates us from our competitors is our local execution platform and the continuity of our staff, which gives us the necessary local expertise and inspires trust with our clients,” says Marco Illy, head of investment banking for Switzerland at Credit Suisse.


Oyak Yatirim

Oyak Yatirim was the sole bookrunner for two of the largest IPOs in Turkey last year. On January 21, 2011, Turkish retail company Kiler Alisveris Hizmetleri Gida Sanayi ve Ticaret raised $76 million in its IPO. On May 9, 2011, Turkish real estate company Akfen Gayrimenkul Yatirim Ortakligi raised $80 million in an IPO. Oyak Yatirim ranked second in Turkey’s equity capital market, where those two IPOs alone represented a 22.5% market share.


Barclays Capital

Barclay’s ranked third in the UK’s equity capital market, raising $721 million in a single deal for a 14.6% market share. It ranked first in the debt capital market, raising $43.5 billion and 682 deals. And it ranked third in M&A, advising on 31 transactions worth $67.2 billion. It led the $1.4 billion Justice Holdings IPO last year.




Ever since Macquarie was founded in 1969 in Australia, it has worked closely with gold and coal mining companies. It grew with them as they expanded across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Canada. It reaped the windfall of soaring prices for the commodities its fortunes were tied to. Now it relies on a very strong balance sheet to hold deals together in extraordinary times, explains Tim Bishop, global head of Macquarie Capital.


China International Capital Corp

Even though fears that China’s economy was slowing down drove the A-share market down by 21.7% last year, Chinese corporations that had patiently waited their turn in a long equity-issue pipeline stolidly faced the music. According to CICC, the investment bank raised $8.01 billion in 25 equity deals that represented a 1.1% share of the entire global equity capital market in 2011. “CICC has been tapping into demand from existing clients in the investment banking business,” says Guorong Jiang, co-head of investment banking at CICC, “while capturing a market trend for huge financing demands from medium-and-small-sized enterprises.”



HSBC has moved aggressively to take a 21% share—nearly double that of its closest rival—of Hong Kong’s one-year-old market for corporate bonds issued in renminbi. Household names like McDonald’s and Unilever started issuing so-called Dim Sum bonds, named after the Cantonese appetizer, to raise capital from offshore investors and spend it on business expansion on the mainland. HSBC was the lead bookrunner on 32.9 billion renminbi ($5.2 billion) in Dim Sum bonds. It also brought American and European manufacturers of brand-name consumer goods to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange—the doorstep of a one-million-strong consumer culture.


State Bank of India

India’s leading investment bank, State Bank of India is expanding despite the disappointing 26% fall of India’s Sensex stock market index in 2011. Last year the investment banking arm of State Bank of India started advising Indian corporations that have a lot of cash on their balance sheets on acquisitions in West Europe and North America, says S. Vishvanathan, CEO of SBI CAPS. The investment bank also took first place in syndicated loans, with an 8.3% share of the local market. It acted as a bookrunner in four of India’s seven largest equity deals.


Mandiri Sekuritas

Mandiri Sekuritas is the capital market subsidiary of PT Bank Mandiri (Persero), which was created by the forced merger of four state-owned banks that failed in the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and is now regarded as a model for bank restructuring. Small wonder Mandiri Sekuritas ranked in first place in Indonesia’s equity capital markets last year, taking a 19.2% market share with six deals that raised $433 million. One deal was the IPO of PT Salim Ivomas Pratama Tbk, which produces edible oils.


Daiwa Capital Markets

Daiwa Capital Markets played to global perceptions of the Japanese yen as a safe haven currency—even in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and nuclear reactor leaks last March—when it acted as bookrunner in a 50 billion yen ($617.6 billion) bond issued by Sekisui House in July. The offering was a challenge because it was the first euro-yen convertible bond issued since 2004—and the first convertible of any kind by a Japanese issuer since the earthquake. Daiwa found itself relying heavily on its new convertible bond division, which it had acquired from KBC Group in 2010.


Halyk Finance

Halyk Finance, part of Halyk Bank, has seen its annual underwriting fees triple in dollar terms for the past two years despite risk-averse markets. Last year Halyk was appointed sole lead manager and bookrunner for the upcoming “People’s IPO” of the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Co, which is expected to sell 15% of its equity to local retail investors and pension funds sometime this year. Halyk is also the sole lead manager and bookrunner for the upcoming bond issue of real estate firm Caspi.


Eurasia Capital

Eurasia Capital, Mongolia’s only investment bank, was founded during the global financial crisis in September 2008 in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, and now has a staff of 30 financial professionals. Alisher Ali Djumanov, CEO of Eurasia, says he’s building a franchise in the mining and petroleum industries, which he estimates will need to raise more than $5 billion in capital from 2012 to 2015. Last year Eurasia helped companies and investment funds operating in Mongolia, Russia, Canada and Hong Kong raise more than $150 million in equity on the local stock market.


Standard Chartered

To great effect, Standard Chartered uses Singapore as a regional Asian hub to underwrite equity deals that tell a compelling story about countries that are difficult to invest in. Last year one theme that worked was shopping malls that cater to a fast-growing consumer class in large emerging markets like China, India and Indonesia. In May last year, Standard Chartered was a bookrunner in an IPO that raised $608 million for Perennial China Retail Trust, which builds malls in China.


Samsung Securities

Samsung Securities, a subsidiary of the Samsung industrial conglomerate, is Korea’s largest brokerage. The firm is ranked eighth in Korea’s equity capital market with a 2% market share and fourth in debt capital markets with a 5.2% market share. Its sell-side brokerage is respected for its research, and now the firm appears to be focusing exclusively on the domestic market.


Fubon Financial

Fubon Financial has long done well in its home market by focusing almost entirely on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. To hear Stephen Chan, executive vice president of Fubon, tell it, the investment bank can’t compete with its rivals in Hong Kong or mainland China. To engage with clients off the island, Fubon has been underwriting Taiwan depositary receipts of foreign stocks on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.




Last year Citigroup’s investment bank in Argentina executed 23 deals with a total value of more than $8.2 billion. By far, the largest of these was the IPO of Arcos Dorados, the world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee by number of restaurants, on the New York Stock Exchange in April 2011. As joint bookrunner, Citi used its global distribution network to help raise $ 1.3 billion for the Latin American franchise. Arcos came back for a second helping in October even though emerging markets had already tapered off.


Bradesco BBI

Bradesco BBI, the capital market arm of Banco Bradesco of Brazil, is not looking beyond its national borders this year. “We have been focusing mostly on Brazil,” says Renato Ejnisman, director of Bradesco BBI. That’s why he has been hiring investment bankers from rivals like Morgan Stanley, Barclays, UBS and Credit Suisse this year. Bradesco BBI is regularly a bookrunner in some of the biggest Brazilian deals. For example, it was a bookrunner in a $2.5 billion follow-on for Gerdau, the world’s second-largest steelmaker, on April 12 last year.



LarrainVial is an aggressive Chilean Investment bank that just doesn’t know when to quit. In January last year, Codelco, the largest copper mining company in Chile, hired LarrainVial to sell its 40% equity stake in Chilean industrial electrical utility E-CL in bite-size chunks. But Felipe Porzio, managing director of LarrainVial’s investment banking division, insisted on selling it all in one $1.0 billion follow-on deal. “They said, ‘Man, you’re crazy,’” he recalls. But the offer was two and a half times oversubscribed and, with co-bookrunner J.P. Morgan’s big balance sheet at hand, the deal closed on January 27, 2011, long before global emerging markets tanked.



Bancolombia, the second-largest bank in Colombia, closed three M&A deals valued at $3.85 billion with a 25% market share last year. One of those deals was part of one of the most complicated transactions in the country’s history. First, the bank advised Bogota’s Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana on its $3.6 billion acquisition of Insurance Latam from ING, which was involved in a bailout. Then the bank raised $1.9 billion in equity for Suramericana to finance the transaction.



Citi is such a deeply entrenched player in Mexico that it might as well be a domestic bank. Last year Citi ranked number one in Mexico’s equity capital market with a 24.6% market share, number two in its debt capital market with a 10.5% market share, and number one in M&A with a 34.2% market share. On March 9 last year, Citi was the lead bookrunner in two convertible bond issues that combined raised $1.7 billion for Cemex.



GIB Capital

After running the Middle East’s second-largest IPO last year, raising $130 million for Hail Cement, GIB Capital, the capital markets arm of Gulf International Bank, has three more IPOs in the pipeline for 2012. “We believe we have one of the strongest pipelines of transactions in the region,” GIB said in a statement.


Arab African International Bank

Arab African International Bank remained active in Egypt’s capital market last year, underwriting bonds despite pitched battles in the streets of Cairo between troops and demonstrators that scared away many financial institutions. Together with National Bank of Egypt and Ahli United Bank Egypt, Arab African raised $59 million in the eighth issue of their Contact Securitization bond on December 1.



HSBC ranks in first place in Israel’s public debt market, where it raised $724 million in two deals last year. Leveraging its global distribution network, the London bank acted as a bookrunner in the Middle East’s largest bond issue, which raised $5.0 billion for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries of Israel.


Arab Financial Investment

The only player in Jordan’s equity capital market to speak of last year was Arab Financial Investment. AFIN raised $4 million in the country’s only public equity deal last year—an IPO for Northern Cement of Jordan on April 15. Despite the region’s political turmoil, the aftermarket performance has been enviable. As of the end of February, Northern was up 47% from its IPO price.



Markaz is the leading asset manager in Kuwait as well as an investment bank. Despite the Arab Spring, Markaz managed to pull off several transactions valued at $495 million, including issuing a bond to raise $79 million for itself. Markaz helped a private infrastructure firm raise capital to invest in a public-private partnership, started advising a consortium of creditors to restructure the debt of a local investment company and advised half a dozen companies on selling noncore assets.



A stagnant stock market prompted BankMed, Lebanon’s leading investment bank, to diversify away from its focus on public equities and to consider structured finance as well as private deals and block sales, says Mohamed Ali Beyhum, executive general manager of BankMed. BankMed, through its affiliate SaudiMed in Riyadh, launched the $100 million Residential Development Fund last September.



The largest bank by assets in Oman, BankMuskat was the sole bookrunner of Oman’s only IPO last year, which raised $64 million for a 35% stake in SMN Power Holding on October 10 last year. It was the largest IPO in the Gulf Cooperation Council last year, and the aftermarket performance has been excellent. As of the end of February, SMN Power was 18% above its IPO price.



Doha’s QInvest has not allowed the Arab Spring uprisings and military backlashes across the Middle East and North Africa to derail a public debt offering that its IPO team plans to hold sometime this year—an IPO of its own stock. QInvest underwrote the QAR 117 million ($32 million) Qatar Equity Protected Note, replicates the price movements of liquid shariah-compliant equities with capital protection.


Samba Capital

Regarded by fund managers as having high long-term growth potential by the standards of Middle Eastern financial institutions, Samba Capital was the joint lead manager of a $200 million bond issue and the bookrunner for a $990 billion Islamic bond issue last year. It also has a 4.6% market share for project finance in GCC countries.


Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered raised $1.6 billion in nine debt market deals that had a 9.7% market share in the United Arab Emirates. Thanks to its global distribution network, this London bank claimed a bigger share of the UAE’s debt market than any other investment bank.



FBN Capital

FBN Capital, the investment banking subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria, was very active last year, particularly in the country’s debt capital market. It ranked fifth and raised $43 million in two deals. FBN acted as bookrunner on a $74 million investment-grade corporate bond issued by Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria on October 10.


Standard Bank

The largest and most active African investment bank, Standard Bank ranked 10th in South Africa’s M&A field, where it advised on three deals worth a total of $1.68 billion last year. In one it advised Shanduka Group, a leading black-owned South African investment company, on the sale of 25% of its equity to China Investment Corporation for $244 million and closed on December 22, after most African stock markets had fallen steeply.

alt Best Investment Banks 2012