On 24 July 2019 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, London Branch (“ICBC London”) successfully priced its inaugural GBP benchmark issuance, a major milestone for ICBC London’s local business and in the development of the investor base for the bank as a whole.
The GBP600m 3-year fixed rate bond (rated A1 by Moody’s) is the first benchmark sterling debt issuance by a Chinese bank, was majority sold into UK investors and is listed on the LSE International Securities Market.
This is an immense achievement for ICBC London, especially given the diverse range of local investors, resulting in the final orderbook being distributed 50% to UK & Ireland. Fund Managers represented the largest proportion of the orderbook with 49% of allocations, Central Banks and Official Institutions the next 42% with the remainder roughly split between Banks / PBs / Insurance and Pension Funds. ICBC London views access to the sterling bond market as a key step in the development of ICBC’s UK business, providing term funding and establishing a benchmark for future issues, and diversifying ICBC’s investor base into key UK funds.
The issuance cements ICBC’s leading position in pioneering inaugural transactions for Chinese Banks following from their inaugural green bond issuance in June 2018 which marked the largest green bond ever listed on London Stock Exchange at that time.