Making Sense of MTNs
The goal of mtn-i’s awards has always been to recognise where the MTN market has created most value for issuers, dealers and investors as it keeps adapting and evolving solutions that meet their needs. As MTN private placements ever more innovatively infiltrate every part of the capital market product, asset class, credit and capital class spectrum, that’s an increasingly challenging task!
To put it in context: the market has delivered some 43,000 notes in 2018, topping USD550bn of sales in nearly 50 currencies across nine asset classes, 70 identified product types and a dozen maturity buckets, according to mtn-i data. As many as 600 issuers and 130 dealers feature in these flows.
Moreover, a record 37 dealers and issuers submitted pitches to spotlight their contributions – posing a dizzying selection task for our editorial team this year.
It’s also our goal that our coverage spotlights the market’s strongest growth stories and pinpoint the performances driving them. So this year for the first time we’ve aligned our decisions with the Top 10 trend and growth story research we present at our regional showcases. The 2018 mtn-i awards are MTN growth trend-driven, guided by your pitches and our coverage, data and research.
We hope you share our view that this is the most valuable way of foregrounding the market’s most compelling value, innovation and performance for issuers and investors in 2018 and going forward.
Our Houses of the Year constitute the global elite of MTNs and private placements. Citi and HSBC, our Dealers of the Year, continue to display unmatched multi-regional strengths that enables them to remain market leaders in origination and distribution of non-public debt. Even as competition intensifies still further, their reach and relevance remain exceptional.
In addition, Credit Agricole breaks into the top tier as our Power Performer of the Year – a reflection of the firm’s exceptional capabilities both in cross-regional flows into and out of Asia and in SRI debt.
The World Bank, meanwhile, stands out as an unequalled issuer of these products. The senior supra has driven innovation in the SRI area with sustainable pay-off structures that go beyond use of proceeds and its highlighting of the water-related SDGs through ‘blue’ MTNs in multiple currencies and structures. It has also pioneered technology in capital markets through its bond-i blockchain breakthrough.
2018’s 200% growth in complex rate structure demand drove our recognitions in this sector. Citigroup’s strategic prioritisation of rate structures as a funding source over benchmarks – anticipating competitive FIG public market conditions next year – drove a big cross-regional lead as an issuer and dealer with over USD4bn of rate sales in 18 structure types.
We also recognise JP Morgan’s leadership in third-party rate structure sales.
Our Deals of the Year and Investor Solutions awards include Credit Agricole’s innovative CMS10/10-year structure, which avoids negative carry for insurance buyers. National Bank of Canada’s USD400m CMS dual range accrual series and Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and Region Wallonne’s EUR500m leveraged CMS steepeners emphasise the complex rate trend.
The sophistication, speed and flexibility of the MTN and structured debt markets in meeting investor needs is the common theme of our three Market Future awards. Credit Suisse’s jumbo Deal of the Year repackaged a multi-asset package of risk to deliver its buyer’s desired outcome, while Natixis pioneered the first repack of sovereign green bond debt.
Meanwhile, Leonteq harnessed its proprietary technology to offer over 10,000 structured notes this year on a unique set of underlyings that included thematic equity plays, newly IPOed stocks, bull and bear credit-linkers, and crypto currencies.
FIG scarcity continued to drive huge investor demand for corporates in 2018, particularly in the Euro 2-year FRN space. Societe Generale‘s prominence in the product’s 65% surge in sales to EUR19bn and leadership of the overall USD76bn corporate MTN space scoop our Corporate Dealer of the Year award.
Deutsche Bank’s EUR2.25bn FRN for AT&T underlined the depth of money market fund appetite for corporates. Aroundtown and Grand City Properties‘ CMS FRN series with Morgan Stanley highlighted the opportunity for corporate issuers to attract structured funding.
In addition, we recognise Mizuho’s mining of Asian demand for a string of European corporates. Toyota’s global accessing of over USD3.2bn in investor demand from SEC-registered structures to Japanese retail Uridashis, as well as its innovative ‘IncomeDriver’ programme in the US and multi-currency MTN sales internationally, wIn it Issuer of the Year.
The innovative and entrepreneurial diversification of the MTN product’s role has also driven a move at most firms away from a universal flow-based business to a focus on leadership in market segments where individual strengths are best leveraged. Standard Chartered’s domination of the Gulf credit sector for a third year running exemplifies that opportunity in a sector that now has over USD50bn of outstandings.
Natwest’s rejuvenated MTN business exploited the doubling of the sterling MTN market to drive a five-fold ramp-up in volume in 2018 with a focus on FIG origination that is recognised with a Power Performer award.
Another 50% jump in demand drove private SRI MTN sales to an all-time USD13bn high in 2018 and delivered some significant product and credit diversifications and innovations.
The global distribution of one Deal of the Year in this area underlines the investor appeal of sustainable payoffs as well as use of proceeds.The World Bank’s work with BNP Paribas and UBS delivered innovative SRI equity-linked notes that carry payoffs linked to the performance of specialist equity indices of sustainably rated companies.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered established the blueprint for sustainable marine development in returning the Seychelles to international debt markets. The pair’s Deal of the Year opens the door to further ‘blue bond’ funding.
We also acknowledge the new ground broken by Region Occitanie‘s green/social hybrid with an Investor Solutions award.
Non-syndicated demand has regularly flowed into the new bail-inable senior non-preferred and TLAC capital products as investors hunt yield pick-up via credit, regional and FX combinations that work for their portfolios. Bail-in MTN sales grew a further 40% in 2018.
Credit Suisse’s USD2.1bn TLAC-eligible rate structure series mitigated contracting credit spreads for ultra high net worth clients via embedded rate structures for its parent – the first non-US G-SIB to do so. UniCredit’s USD3bn of senior non-preferred notes underlined the depth of the market’s capacity for benchmark-style liquidity, filling the borrower’s entire TLAC requirement with one trade sold to Pimco.
At the other end of the funding dynamic, Nationwide Building Society’s series of Norwegian krone and yen non-preferred sales revealed it as the sector’s most consistently available issuer, earning it a Rising Star recognition.
With investors starting to adjust to the coming post-Libor environment Royal Bank of Canada pioneered SONIA-linked MTNs for itself and the new benchmark’s debut third-party FIG issuer, while Commerzbank brought SSA debt to the product. In US dollars L-Bank became the first European agency to issue on the new SOFR index.
In a year which saw record long-dated third-party covered MTN sales, Goldman Sachs exemplified the development with its EUR400m Deal of the Year for Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Increased after launch, the 20-year jumbo offered arbitrage funding at benchmark pricing but in an ultra-long maturity unavailable in the public market.
In addition, we recognise DZ Bank for returning swap-linked structures to the sector after a long absence. Its Deal of the Year series with France’s Cafill / CFF marked the first covered CMS FRN bullets in four years.
In the EM and Frontier FX sector CAF Development Bank’s substantial Colombian peso series (including its debut green issue) and rare Peruvian sol sales mark it out as a Power Performer. ING and Citi both contributed to the sector’s Deal of the Year – the IFC’s opening of the Uzbek so’m market. TCX’s vital provision of a swap market for the frontier FX sector earns it an Investor Solutions award.
Despite the volume setback that followed its record 2017, our Schuldschein awards spotlight the market’s ongoing international credit and investor diversification – recognised in UniCredit’s Dealer of the Year Award, and deal awards for Pirelli and Puma that underlined the market’s ability to deliver benchmark funding opportunities and provide borrowers with digital execution. Encevo’s Deal of the Year recognises the SSD market’s embrace of the green bond theme, while our Investor Solutions award spotlights innovative structuring in the format via Natixis‘s range accrual for Saxony-Anhalt.
SAVE THE DATE TO CELEBRATE: 7th February 2019, London
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