$2.4b raised in March as S'pore bonds hot up
THE local bond market continues to sizzle even as interest rates rise to multi-year highs. In the three weeks of this month, over $2.4 billion was raised from 16 issues against $1.6 billion and 13 deals in the same period last year.
The key three-month Sibor, or Singapore interbank offered rate, on Tuesday stood at slightly over 1 per cent, 2.2 times higher than 0.45 per cent at the beginning of the year. At 1 per cent, it has surged to a level not seen since December 2008.
Year-to-date bond volumes are still behind those of the same period last year. From Jan 1 to March 24, there were 37 issues worth $4.2 billion, which is 72 per cent of the $5.8 billion raised from the same number of issues last year.
The three local banks hold the top three spots among the bond underwriting banks, with OCBC Bank at No. 1, followed by DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB).
OCBC's market share is 35 per cent, with $1.4 billion from 17 issues, while DBS' market share is 30 per cent, with $1.3 billion from 14 issues. UOB ranks third with 9 per cent market share; it helped raise $387 million from eight deals.
THE BUSINESS TIMES