Linklaters and Allen & Overy had the lead roles on a $2 billion debt issue that saw the Chinese government sell dollar-denominated bonds for the first time since 2004.
On Thursday, the Chinese Ministry of Finance sold the debt in Hong Kong in two tranches: $1 billion in five-year notes and $1 billion in 10-year bonds. The offer was announced immediately after the 19th Party Congress, where the ruling Chinese Communist Party outlined its vision for the nation in the next five years.
Linklaters Hong Kong-based Asia head of capital markets William Liu led the team advising the Ministry of Finance. The U.K. firm has been advising the Chinese government on international note offers since 2009. Last year, Liu also advised China on its debut renminbi bond issue in London.
Earlier this year, Linklaters formed a best friends relationship with the Shanghai-based Zhao Sheng Law Firm. Three Linklaters lawyers have been transferred to Zhao Sheng, with Eric Liu, former counsel at the Magic Circle firm, taking up the managing partner role at the Chinese firm. The setup, pending regulatory approval, will lead to a formal joint operation between the two firms in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, allowing Linklaters to offer one-stop-shop services, including Chinese law advice.
Allen & Overy Hong Kong partner Agnes Tsang acted for a group of 10 banks, including Bank of China, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered as underwriters.
The bond sale received strong demand from investors in Hong Kong, with over $10 billion in orders within the first hour of opening.