DUBLIN – November 10, 2020 – CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”), announced today the issuance of US$500 million of senior unsecured notes in a Regulation S (Category 2) bond offering. The proceeds will fund new capital expenditure, debt refinancing, working capital, as well as other general corporate purposes.
The notes were issued by CDBL Funding 1 and guaranteed by CDB Aviation, under the companies’ US$3 billion Medium Term Note Program, which is rated A1 by Moody's and A+ by Fitch, and have the benefit of a keepwell and asset purchase deed provided by CDB Leasing.
“The issuance represents our ongoing efforts to enhance the company’s diversified capital structure, demonstrating our increasingly strong liquidity profile and credit metrics,” commented CDB Aviation Chief Financial Officer Brendan O'Neill.
The notes were priced at the 1.500% three-year senior unsecured fixed rate of 99.909% to yield 1.531%, or Treasuries plus 135bp, well inside the initial price guidance of 170bp area. The new bonds achieved a negative new issue premium, as well as the lowest-ever priced coupon for a China-based lessor’s fixed-rate public U.S. dollar bond.
The bond sale attracted good demand from investors, reflecting strong interest and continued support from global funds and asset managers who like the quasi-sovereign credit of both CDB Leasing and CDB Aviation. Despite a congested primary market with 11 trades coming from Greater China on the same day, orders were over US$1.7 billion when final price guidance was announced, including US$800 million from the leads.
CDB Aviation Chief Executive Officer Patrick Hannigan emphasized that “the resounding success of this bond offering underscores our platform’s core strengths” and demonstrates the CDB Aviation team’s “unfaltering commitment to our long-term vision,” particularly at this time as all aviation stakeholders are navigating the challenges of the pandemic’s ensuing impact.
Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Communications, China Citic Bank International, Mizuho Securities, ANZ, Haitong International, ICBC Singapore, Guotai Junan International, CMB International, and Natixis were Joint Global Coordinators. They were also Joint Bookrunners And Joint Lead Managers with China Minsheng Banking Corp Hong Kong branch, ABC International, China Securities International, and CTBC Bank.
“This issuance sets the stage for the continued development of our in-depth relationships with leading global financial institutions. We would like to express our appreciation to CDB Leasing for their continued support anchored with China Development Bank’s unique resources, and to our lenders for their trust and participation in strengthening our capital base,” concluded O'Neill.