Bank of the Year, Investment Bank of the Year 2018 -- Mexico: BBVA Bancomer

Bank of the Year, Investment Bank of the Year 2018 -- Mexico: BBVA Bancomer

Mexico’s investment banks enjoyed a bumper year as borrowers feasted on favorable market conditions to meet their financing needs ahead of the presidential election on July 1. Then deal flow slowed to a crawl after Andrés Manuel López Obrador won, while Mexico’s financial community tries to figure out AMLO’s possible economic policies.

Against this backdrop, BBVA Bancomer held on to the largest market share in Mexico, despite worthy competition from Citibanamex, Santander, Banorte, HSBC, Scotiabank and Actinver, among others.

“2018 was a great year for BBVA Bancomer,” says CEO Eduardo Osuna. “Our year-over-year growth reached double digits in terms of our portfolio – about five times more growth than that of the local economy.

“In M&A and bond sales, we are the market leader,” Osuna says. “In the last 10 years, we’ve advised more than 50 M&A transactions and placed more than 300 peso-denominated bonds.”

BBVA Bancomer displayed diversity by tapping various markets. Equity deals this year included a joint bookrunner role on a Fibra-E share offering for stateowned utility company Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the first from an electricity company in Mexico, and a $1.64 billion Fibra-E from the airport authority Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México.

In the bond market, BBVA Bancomer used a range of instruments, such as floating- and fixed-rate notes along with UDI-denominated, inflation-linked securities, to help companies raise financing.

Besides CFE, BBVA Bancomer led bond deals for other state-owned issuers, including the housing lender Fovissste, the consumer lender Fonacot, the development bank Nafin and the public education trust CIEN.

For the private sector, BBVA Bancomer coordinated bond sales for the car lenders Volkswagen Leasing and Daimler México, the real estate investor Fibra Uno and BNP Paribas Personal Finance.

And BBVA and its Mexican affiliate returned to form in the loans market. From October 2017 to the end of September 2018, BBVA ranked second in loans in Latin America and the Caribbean, moving up from ninth place a year earlier, according to data from Dealogic.

BBVA Bancomer coordinated a nearly $2 billion syndicated loan in local currency for the Mexican retailer Coppel, a rarity when banks are seldom willing to lend such a high amount in pesos.

The loans list continues, with loans for Grupo Axo, Grupo Lala, the glass producer Vitro and the construction materials company Elementia. BBVA Bancomer also developed green loans for the local subsidiary of the the Spanish electricity company Iberdrola.

In the retail banking sector, BBVA Bancomer wants to expand its online and mobile banking platforms to as much as 50% of business by the end of next year. Seven out of 10 people in Mexico use smartphones and half the population does not have a bank account, Osuna says. As the largest retail bank in the country, BBVA Bancomer is well positioned to provide digital banking services for its customers.

“Without a doubt, [technology] is a priority for us. Our purpose is to provide opportunities of this new age to all through the exploitation of new technologies,” Osuna says. “We will continue to execute a series of plans to convert BBVA Bancomer into [a key player] throughout Mexico and the world,” he says. LF