Baker McKenzie and its Singapore member firm Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow have advised Muang Thai Life Assurance Public Company Limited ("MTL") on its debut issuance of regulatory-compliant tier 2 capital notes with a total value of USD 400 million. The notes have a maturity period of 15.25 years with an early redemption option in the 5th year of issue and are offered to investors outside Thailand and US pursuant to Regulation S; there is no step-up coupon feature. This landmark deal was the first tier 2 offering by a Thai insurer to investors overseas and one of the first from Southeast Asia. The notes are listed on SGX-ST.
The multijurisdictional deal was led by Bangkok Partners Amnart Pitakgorn and Kowit Adireksombat, Singapore Partner Xavier Amadei, and with supervision from Bangkok Partners Chaveewan Likhitwattanachai and Sivapong Viriyabusaya. They had support from Bangkok Associates Sawaporn Sophanodora, Pasinee Tangsuriyapaisan, Grongjaporn Saosaovaphak, Thitapa Haritaworn, Supachoke Mueanmai, and Singapore Associate Su Yeun Yang.
"We are proud to have represented MTL in its debut issuance. Thai banks have been tapping US dollar bond markets to issue their regulatory capital notes for years, and we hope this first USD-issuance by a Thai insurer will pave the way for other companies going forward," remarked Kowit.
Amnart added: "The issuance also demonstrated the regulator's acceptance that these instruments are useful not only for insurers that need to rescue their balance sheets, but also for other high-profile insurers looking to strengthen their capital fund under the risk-based capital rule."
Rarity value and an attractive ownership profile led to strong investor support for this issuance, which also marked one of the highest allocations to asset managers in Asia.