Registration & opening remarks
Asian credit market outlook
The COVID-19 outbreak has sent shockwaves across Asia’s economies. While companies have been dealt sudden liquidity crunches, governments across Asia have rolled out temporary policies in an attempt to support them through this crisis. Nonetheless, many believe that the virus’ impact will be too substantial to overcome for certain borrowers and a tsunami of restructurings and bankruptcies are on the horizon. The opening panel will explore how the credit landscape has changed over the past 12 months and how it is shaping up for Q4 2020 and beyond.
• How have markets responded to the COVID-19 fallout, and how have economic stimulus packages fared for the region’s major economies?
• How has the demand for capital fluctuated over the past 12 months?
• Which industries are expected to offer the most enticing distressed opportunities, and which type of restructuring will be preferred?
• How will this unprecedented event change the Asian debt financing landscape?
Networking coffee break
The road ahead for cross-border restructuring
The global liquidity crunch caused by COVID-19 will inevitably lead to a sizeable amount of distressed debt worldwide. Although opportunities are set to rise, due to factors such as varying insolvency laws and creditor rights across jurisdictions coming into play alongside the global economic downturn, lenders looking to engage in cross-border restructuring should plan strategically and proceed with greater caution. Our panel of advisors and practitioners will provide an update on recent developments and significant court rulings, as well as highlight the ways to overcoming cross-border challenges.
• How should creditors evaluate cross-border restructuring opportunities and approach the complexities involved?
• What are the best practices when negotiating with overseas creditor groups and stakeholders?
• What are some of the recent legal developments and significant court rulings?
• How can creditors overcome the common pitfalls of cross-border restructuring?
Financing in Asia: A changing of the guard?
Asia’s banks have become increasingly cautious in their lending activities in recent years, and with traditional methods of capital becoming harder to access, more and more corporate borrowers and financial sponsors have inquired about alternative funding options and structures. However, so far, despite the increased demand, deal flow for private financing has been sluggish in 2020, with fund managers having to deal with struggling portfolios during the global liquidity crisis. Our panel of bank and private debt managers examine how financing in Asia will evolve after COVID-19.
• Given the economic downturn, where will the financing opportunities come from?
• How are debt financing structures changing, and how cautious will lenders be moving forward?
• How will lenders assess risk, and what are the key factors in mitigating risks?
• Will private debt emerge and play a more significant role in Asian debt financing?
A new era in China?
While China’s economy is expected to pick up sooner than its Western counterparts, a global slowdown will continue to take its toll. Chinese non-performing loans (NPLs), which saw an increase amidst the virus fallout, continue to intrigue investors, especially given the clause included in the US-China Phase One trade deal which promises to open up the NPL market to foreign investors, and with the establishment of a fifth national asset management company – the first in 21 years. A rise in bond defaults is also likely, but to what extent will the Chinese government intervene? Our panel of experts discuss how to evaluate the upcoming opportunities in China.
• How has the Chinese government reacted to the impact of COVID-19?
• To what extent will there be an uptick in Chinese bond defaults going into 2021, and where do the restructuring opportunities lie?
• Given the impending changes, how will dynamics shift within the Chinese NPL market?
• How are investors accessing targets in China and conducting due diligence during these unique times?
Our panel of advisors and practitioners break down a recent transaction and discuss the implications for future deals.
Networking coffee break
India vs the rest of Asia
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, certain sectors in India were already showing signs of an imminent collapse. With the pandemic now fully in the picture, distressed funds can expect an even wider range of available options. However, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introducing waves of relief measures and possibly further extending the moratorium period, what is the approach towards prospective opportunities in India, and how will they compare with the rest of Asia?
• Given the upcoming wave of distressed companies around the world stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak, can India still attract interest from foreign investors?
• How have sectors across India reacted to the RBI’s relief measures, and will there be more to come?
• What types of businesses will prevail with the help of stimulus packages, and which sectors will present the most opportunities for distressed debt investors?
• From a distressed debt perspective, how does India compare to Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore?
Capturing distressed M&A opportunities
With countries around the world still battling the virus and recovering at a different speeds, businesses across most sectors and markets continue to struggle. Despite the number of distressed opportunities with attractive valuations being set to rise, prospective buyers will still need to exercise caution given the risks involved with transactions in this space, such as antitrust and regulatory scrutiny, potential challenges from creditors, and economic uncertainty. In light of the current situation, our final panel discuss whether the rewards outweigh the risks for distressed M&A.
• What types of M&A deals will see an uptick under a distressed environment?
• What are the key considerations when evaluating the timing of a transaction, such as inside or outside an insolvency process?
• How should investors navigate the common pitfalls of distressed M&A, such as challenges from creditors?
• Given the shortened timeframe, how should investors approach due diligence?
Close of conference and cocktail reception