Global banks left on the sidelines in Brazil’s IPO boom

Global banks left on the sidelines in Brazil’s IPO boom
The Sao Paulo’s Stocks Exchange (Bovespa) headquarters is seen in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AFP/File)
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Updated 15 September 2020

Global banks left on the sidelines in Brazil’s IPO boom

Global banks left on the sidelines in Brazil’s IPO boom
  • Key factors behind the shift include the increasing importance of reaching domestic investors

SAO PAULO: The days of marquee global investment banks being shoo-ins for stock market listings could be coming to an end, in Brazil at least.

The Brazilian market for initial public offerings is booming this year despite the pandemic. Yet among the five banks leading managers’ rankings in terms of deal volumes, four are domestic, according to Refinitiv data: Itau Unibanco Holding SA , Banco Bradesco SA, XP Inc. and Banco BTG Pactual SA.

The other is Bank of America.

That’s a marked reversal from the same period last year, when four of the top five were major global players — Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Citi and HSBC — with just one Brazilian outfit, Banco do Brasil.

Still, industry experts caution that, despite the shifting trends in 2020, it is too early to call a structural change in a market for IPOs that has been dominated by global banks for years.

Key factors behind the shift, according to industry experts, include the increasing importance of reaching domestic investors, and local banks’ existing relationships and loans to many of a new breed of midsize companies eager to go public.

Brazilian investors have flooded into stocks in recent months as interest rates have slumped to all-time lows, making fixed-income investments less attractive. Foreign investors have accounted for 38 percent of the money in Brazilian IPOs this year, compared with 57 percent two years ago and below the historic average level of 60 percent since 2007. “Local investors are moving to equities and fund managers are having a hard time finding company shares to buy,” said Pedro Mesquita, a partner at XP bank. When cash rebates provider Méliuz began planning an IPO last month, for example, it could have opted for global players, also including the likes of JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, which all have local offices.

Yet Méliuz’s founders and venture-capital investors instead tapped BTG Pactual, Bradesco, XP and Itau Unibanco as its bookrunners.

Global banks are, however, still likely to be seen as the safe go-tos for the biggest deals, and they will likely snag some big mandates by the end of the year, industry experts say.

Multibillion-dollar IPOs, such as those by insurance company Caixa Seguridade SA, hospital chain Rede D’Or and retailer Havan SA will be managed by international as well as local banks, for instance.

“Local banks often have existing commercial relationships with smaller companies as they grow into the scale required for an IPO, but this does not mean that global banks will not lead in terms of volumes by year-end,” said Fabio Medeiros, managing director at Morgan Stanley in Sao Paulo.

IPOs in Brazil are on track for their biggest year since 2007. Thirteen companies have already made their debut and more than 40 others have filed for offerings with the regulator.

So far, companies have raised $3.1 billion, up 113 percent from the same period a year ago, in the 13 IPOs — outperforming global IPOs, which are up 20 percent, according to Refinitiv data.

In India, by comparison, there have been 21 IPOs, but they raised $1.7 billion, down 22.8 percent from a year earlier, while in China 328 deals raised $52.4 billion, more than double versus a year ago.

The four domestic banks leading Brazil’s ratings accounted for 54.3 percent of the country’s $3.1 billion deal volumes.

Many companies propelling the new IPO wave hail from beyond the traditional Sao Paulo-Rio business corridor, where global banks often lack offices and relationships.

“For a long time, the Brazilian stock exchange was all about commodities and banks,” said Alessandro Farkuh, head of investment banking at Bradesco. “Now there are companies from different industries, from pure e-commerce to more regional retail businesses. Domestic banks know all these companies.”


Emirates to operate 70% of pre-pandemic capacity by year-end

Emirates to operate 70% of pre-pandemic capacity by year-end
Updated 52 min 33 sec ago

Emirates to operate 70% of pre-pandemic capacity by year-end

Emirates to operate 70% of pre-pandemic capacity by year-end
  • The Dubai flag carrier may obtain further financial support from the Dubai government and could also issue bonds

RIYADH: Emirates Airline will operate 70 percent of its pre-pandemic power by the end of this year, Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum revealed.
He said the company maintained strong financial solvency despite the devastating impact of the pandemic on the global aviation sector, Bloomberg reported.
The Dubai flag carrier may obtain further financial support from the Dubai government and could also issue bonds, he said.
“We are dealing with an emergency situation that changes on a weekly or even daily basis,” he said. “We are working on long and short trips. We currently have 151 Boeing 777 planes, and about 20 Airbus A380s in service, and we are awaiting the opening of markets and destinations to gradually return them,” he said.
Emirates Airline and flydubai were working to improve cooperation and develop further partnerships, he said.


Egypt to prioritize vaccination of tourism workers

Egypt to prioritize vaccination of tourism workers
Updated 18 May 2021

Egypt to prioritize vaccination of tourism workers

Egypt to prioritize vaccination of tourism workers
  • About 65 percent of tourists in Egypt head to those coastal destinations

DUBAI: Egypt is prioritizing the vaccination of tourism workers to support the sector’s recovery and is on track to announce full inoculation of two resort areas this month, its tourism minister said.
While Egypt’s tourism industry is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector has picked up in recent months, with more visitors heading to resorts along the Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts.
“We will prioritize workers in the tourism industry, which is an essential sector for Egypt’s economy,” Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled Al-Enani told AFP.
“In May, I will announce, along with the minister of health, the complete vaccination of Egyptian workers in hotels, resorts, businesses and restaurants in South Sinai and the Red Sea,” he said on the sidelines of a travel industry conference in Dubai.
About 65 percent of tourists in Egypt head to those coastal destinations, he said.
Enani said other tourist spots will follow, such as Luxor, Aswan and the capital Cairo, home of the Giza pyramids and major museums.
Egypt, which has a population of approximately 100 million, has administered some one million doses, according to authorities.
About two million people work in the tourism industry or organizations linked to it.
Along with its pyramids and pharaonic temples, Egypt is also known for its seaside resorts.
After experiencing “significant and continuous loss” since the coronavirus outbreak, the sector has picked up, said Enani.
He said Egypt welcomed 500,000 tourists in April, more than double the number in January and up from just 200,000 tourists a month in the second half of last year.
“The important thing is there is an upward curve,” Enani said.
“We hope the numbers will increase again in the near future with the opening of some countries and the easing of restrictions, including in Arab countries, Europe and Russia,” he said.
“The return of tourism in Egypt does not only depend on us, but remains linked to other countries.”
Cairo has announced several major new archaeological discoveries in recent months, hoping to revive a sector which was battered by a 2011 uprising, political unrest and jihadist attacks.
While the industry recorded a rebound of nearly $13 billion in revenues for 2018-2019, tourism was hit hard again by the  pandemic.
Official figures show a drop of more than 20 percent in revenues for mid-2019 to mid-2020.
Egypt reopened to foreign tourists in July last year after having closed its borders in March. Visitors only need to produce a negative PCR test.
Russia earlier this year resumed flights to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts after the lifting of a flight ban.
Moscow banned direct flights to Egypt after the 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner shortly after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.
 


Saudi sovereign fund PIF boosts US equities exposure to over $15 billion

Saudi sovereign fund PIF boosts US equities exposure to over $15 billion
Updated 18 May 2021

Saudi sovereign fund PIF boosts US equities exposure to over $15 billion

Saudi sovereign fund PIF boosts US equities exposure to over $15 billion
  • Fund increased its US stock holdings to $15.4 billion in the first quarter

DUBAI : Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has increased its US stock holdings to $15.4 billion in the first quarter from nearly $12.8 billion at the end of 2020, according to a US regulatory filing on Monday.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought 2.9 million class A shares in SoftBank Group Corp-backed Coupang Inc, equivalent to $141 million, and dissolved its share stake in Suncor Energy, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
It more than doubled its position in Activision Blizzard to 33.4 million shares from 15 million shares at the end of the fourth quarter, which led it to a $3.1 billion exposure from $1.4 billion.
The fund increased its shares in Electronic Arts Inc. to 14.2 million, equivalent to $1.9 billion, from a $1.1 billion position at the end of the previous quarter.
PIF, which did not immediately respond to a comment request on the filing, is at the center of Saudi Arabia’s plans to transform the economy by creating new sectors and diversifying revenues away from oil.
The $400 billion fund is expected to inject at least $40 billion annually in the local economy until 2025, and increase its assets to $1 trillion by that date, which would make it one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds.
“PIF would have wanted to take advantage of the bullish sentiment in equity markets in Q1 to make opportunistic investments and add to its portfolio,” said Rachna Uppal, director of research at Azure Strategy.
“In line with domestic efforts to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030, the Saudis also appear to be favoring investments into sectors such as technology, mobility, and especially future mobility, tourism and entertainment,” she said.
At the start of last year PIF piled up minority stakes in companies worldwide, taking advantage of market weakness caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Monday’s filing showed the value of its biggest US stock holding, Uber Technologies, rose to nearly $4 billion in the first quarter, from $3.7 billion as of Dec. 31, as the ride-hailing company’s shares gained value during the period.
PIF was an early investor in Uber, taking a $3.5 billion stake in 2016, three years before its listing in 2019.


Qatar Investment Authority to take $740m chunk of US renewables firm Avangrid

Qatar Investment Authority to take $740m chunk of US renewables firm Avangrid
Updated 18 May 2021

Qatar Investment Authority to take $740m chunk of US renewables firm Avangrid

Qatar Investment Authority to take $740m chunk of US renewables firm Avangrid
  • QIA will buy shares worth $740 million and Iberdorla, the largest shareholder in Avangrid

RIYADH: Renewable energy provider Avangrid said it would sell shares worth a total of $4 billion to both the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Spanish Iberdrola Group for $ 51.40 a share.
QIA will buy shares worth $740 million and Iberdorla, the largest shareholder in Avangrid (based in Orange County, Connecticut, US), will purchase approximately $3.26 billion of stock, Asharq Business reported.
The deal is expected to close on Tuesday.
The Qatar Investment Authority last March also acquired 16 percent of the 53 million shares offered by Siemens Healthineers, through a private placement of $2.8 billion.
The fund is targeting deals in Asia, in an attempt to diversify its investment portfolio, which has a great focus and weight in America. Northern and Europe, Chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said in a previous interview with Bloomberg.

 


Egyptian neobank Telda raises $5m in Sequoia-led pre-seed round

Egyptian neobank Telda raises $5m in Sequoia-led pre-seed round
Updated 18 May 2021

Egyptian neobank Telda raises $5m in Sequoia-led pre-seed round

Egyptian neobank Telda raises $5m in Sequoia-led pre-seed round
  • It was the first investment for the American venture capital firm in the Middle East and North Africa

DUBAI: Telda, a Cairo-based digital banking application, has raised $5 million during its pre-seed funding round organized by US firm Sequoia Capital.
It was the first investment for the American venture capital firm in the Middle East and North Africa.
Global Founders capital and Class 5 Global also participated in the round.
The app recently announced it has received license from Egypt’s central bank to issue cards and on-board customers to its platform.
It has received 30,000 sign ups since it started its operations, it said.
The funding comes as digital-only banks rise in popularity across the region, where 60 percent of the population is estimated to be under the age of 25.
“Egypt boasts of a large, young, talented and tech savvy population with a strong appetite to innovate,” Sequoia partner George Robson said.
Egypt is among the top 10 countries most reliant on cash and with the highest rate of unbanked people, according to Merchant Machine.
“Today’s funding milestone promotes the digital transformation of the Egyptian economy and allows Telda to provide everyone with access to important financial services so they can fully participate in the economy,” Telda chief technology officer Youssef Sholqamy said.
Sholqamy, who was a former senior engineer in Uber’s infrastructure team, co-founded the startup with Ahmed Sabbah, who also founded the Egyptian bus-hailing service Swvl.