Tide turns in Asian banking

Investment banks in Asia are making more money from debt deals than underwriting stock offerings for the first time, a milestone in how evolving regional markets are challenging a business model that has relied upon high-paying equity deals.

At the end of August, bonds and syndicated loans make up 40 per cent of capital markets fees earned this year by investment banks in Asia Pacific excluding Japan, according to Freeman & Co. Fees for debt are about double the typical proportion in the pre-crisis years. The bond percentage is 26 per cent, the highest on record, with $1.7bn in estimated fees, the fee consultancy adds.