The number of overall debt-restructuring-advisory appointments and the amount of debt involved decreased in 3Q23 from the previous quarter in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan), but mandates stemming from new situations increased significantly QoQ. The Chinese real-estate sector remained the primary provider of work for restructuring professionals during the quarter.
New/legacy restructuring situations
A total of 59 mandates on USD 49bn debt were awarded in APAC (ex-Japan) in 3Q23, compared with 72/USD 50.1bn in 2Q23 and 97/USD 62.3bn in 3Q22.
Of the 59 mandates, 34 were handed out for restructurings involving eight companies that began their workout process during the quarter, while the remaining 25 mandates were related to restructurings that began in prior periods. In contrast, only 13 of the 72 mandates in 2Q23 were from new situations.
The new restructurings in 3Q23 included three companies with mandated debt of more than USD 1bn each:
- Country Garden Holdings (Cogard) selected CICC and Houlihan Lokey in September to assist in a holistic offshore-debt restructuring. The Chinese property developer has USD 17bn offshore debt, including 17 public bond tranches with USD 10.8bn outstanding. CICC advised Cogard on a restructuring of all its onshore bonds which was completed in mid-September. The behemoth developer began missing coupon payments for its offshore bonds in early August but has so far been able to cure those missed payments within the grace period.
- Sino-Ocean Group Holdings handed out eight mandates in 3Q23. In mid-September, the developer announced that it appointed Houlihan Lokey and Sidley Austin for a holistic restructuring of its USD 6.1bn offshore debt. The announcement came only about a month after the company completed a consent solicitation to defer multiple offshore bond coupons by two months. That exercise resulted in six mandates.
- Pembangunan Perumahan (Persero), a 51%-state-owned Indonesian construction conglomerate, was entered into a court-supervised debt-restructuring process (PKPU) by the Commercial Makassar District Court on 29 August on a petition from trade creditor CV Surya Mas.
China real estate continues to dominate
As has been the case for about last two years, the Chinese real estate sector was the biggest source of opportunity for restructuring professionals. Chinese developers accounted for 32 of the 59 total mandates in 3Q23 and 84.7% of the debt advised on.
Outside China, mandate activity picked up in Singapore and Indonesia, but off a low base. There were 13 mandates off Indonesian situations, up from only four in 2Q23. Other than Pembangunan, the other two Indonesian companies that awarded mandates were both property developers: Agung Podomoro Land and Adhi Persada Properti.
Singapore accounted for seven mandates in 3Q23 – four of which came from construction company TA Corporation – compared with only three mandates in 2Q23.
Top advisors (see tables in the attached PDF)
Houlihan Lokey, Alvarez & Marsal and FTI Consulting topped the financial-advisor table in 3Q23, winning three mandates each. By the amount of debt, Houlihan Lokey was ranked first, advising on situations involving USD 23.2bn debt, of which, USD 17bn came from its role as Cogard’s financial advisor.
As was the case in 2Q23, Sidley Austin topped the legal advisor chart with three roles involving USD 9.2bn debt.