A large club of 18 banks has signed an oversubscribed US$268mn term loan facility in Taiwan for South Africa’s Standard Bank.

The transaction carries a three-year tenor and was initially launched at US$200mn, but received enough interest to increase the final amount by US$68mn.

GTR can reveal that the loan is priced at 215 basis points over Libor.

“We are delighted to have raised such a sizeable amount for the tenor indicated,” notes Simon Ridley, group financial director at Standard Bank.

Bank of Taiwan was mandated to coordinate the facility and was joined by ANZ, Bank Sinopac, Cathay United, Chinatrust Commercial Bank, HSBC, Mega International Commercial Bank, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank and Taiwan Cooperative Bank as mandated lead arrangers.

The money will be used for general corporate purposes, including trade finance.

“Taiwan is very attractive in terms of liquidity in the medium term for the size of the deal”

Gerard Nolan, head of international finance at Standard Bank SA, tells GTR how the loan ended up in Taiwan: “Over the years we have been very successful in the loan market in particular. We have found it more difficult to access decent pricing and tenors in the US and Europe, so we have recently been focusing on Asia. We discovered that Taipei was fairly liquid.

“Taiwan is very attractive in terms of liquidity in the medium term for the size of the deal, though I doubt if you could go to Taiwan for a US$1bn deal, for example.”

“We are really pleased that we had such good responses from the banks, and it is our intention to continue focusing on the Asian market,” Nolan adds.

This is Standard Bank’s second successful term loan in the Taiwanese market; the first was last year’s US$130mn two-year loan.

Standard Bank also revealed to GTR that it is looking to borrow money from European banks and expects to close a two-year US$230mn deal on Tuesday November 23.

The deal will be led by Commerzbank out of Frankfurt and includes a club of seven other banks.
What have your experiences of liquidity in the Taiwanese market been? Leave your comments anonymously below.