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Tuesday, 4th August 2020
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Irish capital market deals top €100 billion in 2003 according to first Irish Capital Markets Directory Back  
Capital market deals by Irish-based issuers exceeded €100 billion in 2003 as a wide variety of funding vehicles were used by both corporate and bank issuers, with the US private placement market and corporate bonds featuring amongst the thirteen sectors surveyed in the first Irish Capital Markets Directory. Corporate bonds came back into favour in 2003, with six issues totalling approximately €2.8 billion from a number of the country€s largest companies. On the banking side two new markets emerged - the Irish covered bond, which saw issuance top €10 billion during last year, - and certificates of deposit, which for the first time Irish banks were able to issue to Irish investors. Click here for more.
The largest corporate financing transaction in Ireland in 2003 was eircom€s €2.4 billion refinancing, €Project Senaca€, which also involved the largest euro denominated high yield bond issuance in the European markets last year, at approximately €1.1 billion.

Other active corporates in 2003 included ESB, who transacted a $1 billion private placement and Caterpillar International Finance, the IFSC based finance subsidiary of Caterpillar, who raised €900 million off its medium-term note (MTN) programme, and $947 million from its commercial paper (CP) programme.

Corporate bonds came back into favour in 2003, with six issues totalling approximately €2.8 billion from a number of the country€s largest companies including Waterford Wedgewood and Elan. On the banking side two new markets emerged - the Irish covered bond, which saw issuance top €10 billion during last year, from two issuers DEPFA ACS Bank, and WestLB CBB - and certificates of deposit, which for the first time Irish banks were able to issue to Irish investors. UniCredito Italiano Bank (Ireland) plc was the first to avail of this opportunity launching an unlimited London CD programme in September. EBS Building Society followed suit in €1 billion combined CP/CD programme in December.

CP maintained its popularity as a short-term funding vehicle during the year, with total outstanding in 2003 around €36.7 billion, and new programmes launched by Intesa Bank Ireland and WestLB CBB. A high volume of medium-term notes were also issued, around €12.6 billion in total during the year, from issuers such as Anglo Irish Bank and IIB Bank.

AIB and Bank of Ireland were very active on two fronts, both in arranging deals for others, and in carrying out funding transactions for themselves. Both banks issued collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), BOI issuing its first Partholon, and AIB issuing its third Galway Bay.

The banks also advised on a number of high profile transactions last year, with AIB Capital Markets a co-lead on WestLB CBB€s inaugural €2 billion covered bond issue, and Bank of Ireland co-arranger on Galen€s $450 million syndicated loan.

London based bookrunners dominated the larger deals, with the Royal Bank of Scotland particularly active on the Irish private placement front.

With regards to legal advisers, McCann Fitzgerald was the most active law firm in the capital markets last year, based on the deals listed in the Directory, advising a significant number of banks and corporates on a number of different types of deals. The firm acted as adviser for both of the covered bond issuers, DEPFA Bank and WestLB, on their respective issues, and were also involved in deals such as Ireland€s first exchangeable bond, which was valued at €1.26 billion by UniCredito Italiano Bank (Ireland) plc, Independent News & Media€s €124 million corporate bond, and Bord Gais€ $440 million private placement.

Another law firm who was busy last year was William Fry, who advised Waterford Wedgewood on its €165 million high yield bond in November, as well as Sachsen LB Europe plc€s €2.1 billion commercial paper programme, and its €1.4 billion MTN programme.

Arthur Cox and A&L Goodbody also participated in a number of high profile deals during 2003, with both firms involved in eircom€s €1.4 billion syndicated loan deal, and A&L Goodbody advising eircom on its €1.1 billion high yield bond.

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