World’s Best Investment Banks 2021: Best Crisis Financing Solutions

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Banks were honored last year for adapting quickly to the global crisis and acting quickly to meet their customers’ liquidity needs and other funding demands.

The DBS Stronger Together Fund provided food and other assistance.

A gentle sea does not make a skilful sailor. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced investment banks and other financial institutions to improve their performance internally and externally in order to cope with an unprecedented crisis.

The banks that have distinguished themselves by helping their clients through the crisis had in common an early adaptation to ensure the proper functioning of their internal operations and their work with clients – and remotely – and were able to design solutions that responded quickly. customer financing requests. For many, this left them in a good position to advise on the series of major deals that came to fruition later in the year. Along the way, these banks have provided much needed assistance to their local communities and employees.

DBS, headquartered in Singapore, received dual recognition as Global Finance’s Best Investment Bank for Financial Crisis Solutions globally and in the Asia-Pacific region. The bank accelerated its multi-year digital roadmap to convert the “last mile” of manual processes to a contactless environment.

“Due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time, we pioneered the use of a new online application channel allowing the acceptance of rights via the Internet, allowing shareholders to exercise ‘digital acceptance of rights,’ says Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets at DBS.

DBS harnessed this capability to win the assignment as sole financial advisor and joint lead of Singapore Airlines’ $ 8.8 billion Singapore (approx. $ 6.5 billion) rights issue last June: the largest equity fundraiser and rights issue in Singapore.

“The transparent and timely execution of the fundraiser is a testament to DBS’s commitment and innovative spirit in the midst of a time of great uncertainty,” says Eng-Kwok.

The bank also set up a S $ 10 billion facility, dubbed “DBS Stronger Together Fund,” which provided 4.5 million meals, care packages and medical supplies to areas where DBS operates.

Afreximbank (African Import-Export Bank), our winner for Crisis Solutions in Africa, acted quickly at the onset of the pandemic, launching its $ 3 billion Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility in March. dollars to help member countries manage the financial, economic and health effects of the epidemic. It increased the size of the facility in December, when it closed a $ 520 million facility with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the first to be covered by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

“The successful implementation of this facility is a testament to the great collaboration and innovative approach taken by MUFG, NEXI and Afreximbank,” said Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Banking Services at Afreximbank, in a December press release. The fund “demonstrates the power to use public resources to mobilize private finance for development”.

To meet customer demand, the bank raised $ 5.9 billion at the end of June from internal sources, including loan repayments; new loans via syndicated loans; and committed lines from development finance institutions, export credit agencies and commercial banks. He also had access to the resources of the African Resource Mobilization Unit. In total, the bank has dispersed $ 6.1 billion across countries, financial institutions and businesses to ease the demands placed on them by Covid-19.

Afreximbank activated its business continuity management plan in the days following the pandemic to avoid service disruptions. As part of his protocol, he banned employees from traveling outside of employee duty stations and visiting their offices in person, allowed employees to work from home, held briefings and knowledge sharing sessions for employees and their families and has engaged medical consultants at various facilities. office locations.

Our best bank for crisis financing solutions in Central and Eastern Europe, the Russian capital of Renaissance, responded to the emergency with an online strategy to maintain a business-as-usual environment and enable clients to continue in business despite closed borders and uncertain financial markets.

“We have hosted over 100 investor events in total,” said co-CEO Anna Vyshlova, including the bank’s flagship annual investor conference in Russia and events focused on Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa , the Middle East and North Africa, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Romania. and Turkey. “Our 2020 virtual conferences hosted more than 900 individual and group calls between 163 companies and 907 investors, in addition to 55 roadshows with and without agreement.”

True to its strategy, the bank maintained its share of its main markets in 2020, in particular the international order book of the London Stock Exchange (8.1%), the Moscow Stock Exchange (9.2%), the Bourse Nigerian (8.45%) and the Nairobi Securities Exchange (19.2%).

Brazilian Itaú BBA, 2021 Best Investment Bank for Crisis Finance Solutions in Latin America, and its controlling shareholders have donated more than 1.2 billion reais (approximately $ 213 million) for research on the pandemic, the acquisition of medical and protective equipment for health professionals, the training of municipal public managers, to set up crisis offices and to develop strategies to resume safe social activities.

The bank’s best-known initiative has been its “Todos pela Saúde” or “Everything for health” awareness campaign, which it has developed with its partner advertising agency Agência Africa. In an effort to encourage people to wear protective masks, Itaú projected a properly proportioned image of a mask and a red heart, with the hashtag “#MascaraSalva” (“mask saved”), on the resident the most recognizable in Rio de Janeiro, the statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city.

The pandemic did not have a significant impact on the internal operations and efficiency of the bank, as its investments in technology allowed it to quickly order employees to work from home, noted Candido Bracher, then CEO of Itaú Unibanco, during a third quarter earnings call. “Most of our efficiency gains are projected on better use of technology,” he said.

While the Mashreq may not be the largest bank in the Middle East, the agile bank’s strategic investment in technology has made it the region’s best investment bank for crisis finance solutions in 2021. The Mashreq has accelerated its digital migration to accelerate customer onboarding and increase its paperless transaction offerings, reaching a 90% digital transaction rate by October, says Joel Van Dusen, head of corporate banking and investment. Its digital investor meetings helped the Mashreq secure deals in Asia worth $ 6 billion, as well as deals in Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa worth $ 1 billion and $ 700 million. , respectively. It has also made significant investments to support Covid awareness campaigns in the local communities where it operates.

In the first two months of the pandemic, the corporate and investment banking (CIB) activities of our best investment bank for crisis finance solutions in North America, JP Morgan, have helped clients to to raise $ 940 billion in financial markets and to provide over $ 80 billion in credit in many markets.

“Even when the lockdowns went into effect, we continued to process crucial payments for governments and businesses,” says a spokesperson for the CIB. “In fact, at the height of the crisis, we processed up to $ 11 trillion in critical payments in one day.” The World Bank set records during the pandemic by leveraging its strength and resilience, helping clients strengthen their balance sheets, shift their priorities and accelerate their digital strategies, the spokesperson added.

JP Morgan adopted resilience measures quickly after the onset of the pandemic; within days, 90% of its employees were working remotely, with the same secure access to information and resources as at their desk.

The bank also introduced additional safety and health protocols for people entering buildings and redesigned work areas to redirect the flow of traffic to ensure social distancing. On-site testing was available at 26 of its health and wellness centers.

In the midst of a crisis year, Danish giant Nordea, Global Finance’s best investment bank for crisis finance solutions in Western Europe, played an important role in preparing US financing for a wide range transactions, including those aimed at meeting immediate liquidity needs and enabling continued investments. . The bank also continued to advise stakeholders and shareholders on complex translations involving debt, equity and mergers and acquisitions, maintaining its high position in Refinitiv’s rankings for the bank’s income. investment.

As it moved 70% of its employees to work remotely, Nordea made notable deals such as the € 561 million (roughly $ 663 million) merger of beverage makers Altia and Arcus and the Musti Group pet care for € 182 million.

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