Syndicated lending totals US$973.4 billion during first quarter 2018
Global syndicated lending during the opening three months of 2018 totaled US$973.4 billion from 1,963 completed loans, down 15% in terms of proceeds and down 31% by number of deals compared to a year ago. The United States captured the largest share of lending market, with US$559.9 billion in proceeds from 854 loans, down 12% by proceeds and down 20% by number of transactions compared to the prior year.
Acquisition financing down 9% compared to last year
Global acquisition financing hit $158.3 billion from 190 deals during the first quarter of 2018, bolstered by Cigna Corp’s US$23.7 billion bridge loan to acquire Express Scripts. M&A financing for US companies totaled $106.5 billion, up 66% compared to the last year. Acquisition financing for companies in the United Kingdom raised US$15.6 billion in proceeds, down 73% compared to 2017.
Double-digit percent decline in Europe and Asia-Pacific lending
Syndicated lending in the Americas totaled US$618.9 billion from 942 transactions, down 9% by proceeds and down 21% by number compared to the previous year. Proceeds of European syndicated loans declined 30% compared to 2017, with US$174.4 billion in completed deals, driven by a 59% downtick in United Kingdom lending. Loans made by issuers in the Asia-Pacific region totaled US$84.6 billion during the first quarter, down 25% compared to a year ago.
Financials, energy & power, and industrials leads lending
Borrowing in the Financials industry accounted for 16% of lending activity in the first quarter, totaling US$157.5 billion from 325 completed loans during the first quarter, up 4% compared to the previous year. The Energy & Power sector accounted for the second largest share of lending activity, with US$144.6 billion in proceeds, down 10% compared to the same period in 2017. Compared to a year ago, there is a double-digit percent decline for number of completed loans across all sectors.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch tops bookrunner rankings
Bank of America Merrill Lynch maintained the top ranking for global bookrunners, capturing 10% of global syndicated lending activity, with $94.4 billion in proceeds from 298 transactions. JP Morgan and Citi retained their second and third ranks, respectively, from a year ago. Mitsubishi UFJ took the fourth place, climbing three positions from last year. Mizuho took the fifth spot, up from eighth place in the first quarter of 2017.
Syndicated lending fees down 18% compared to last year
Estimated bookrunner fees decreased 18% compared to the first quarter of 2017, totaling US$3.8 billion in fees. The top five bookrunners, by proceeds, captured an aggregate US$1.1 billion in fees, or 29% of the global fee pool. The top five banks, by proceeds, gained a combined 3.7 points in wallet share compared a year ago.
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