King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) have advised Bank of China, Sydney branch (BOC Sydney) on its Australian dollar bond issuance, as part of the state-owned lender's multi-currency, multi-tranche 'Silk Road' bonds offering in April 2019. The bonds were denominated in US dollars, euros, Australian dollars, offshore renminbi and Hong Kong dollars through five of its branches – Sydney, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Frankfurt and Macau.
The bonds were BOC's fifth in the international market specifically for China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the proceeds of the bonds are slated to support projects under the BRI, which is a massive infrastructure initiative linking some 65 countries across Asia, Europe and Africa.
The A$600 million bonds were issued off the bank's overall US$40 billion Medium Term Note programme, with a 3.5-year Australian dollar floating rate and ratings of A1/A/A, on par with BOC.
The KWM team acting on the transaction was led by partner, Philip Harvey and assisted by special counsel, Angela Chung.
Commenting on the issuance Philip said: "KWM is currently involved in a range of Belt and Road projects and advising BOC Sydney on this issuance is another way in which the firm can help progress this international initiative. BRI looks to bolster economic co-operation and pave the way for simplified trades between countries along the ancient Silk Road and we are proud to be involved in progressing projects that serve to promote exchange and mutual learning in the region."
KWM have advised BOC Sydney on issuances totalling A$2.7 billion over the past three years as part of the bank's US$40 billion Medium Term programme and the branch's A$4 billion Transferable Certificate of Deposit issuance programme. KWM have also advised on the issuances for the Australian branches of major Chinese banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China.