China's Bocom International Holdings took the lead in the Maldives' dollar-bond debut. Photo: Asia Times
The Maldives is the country most threatened by rising sea levels. Photo: Asia Times

Chinese banks are edging out more established international arrangers to underwrite dollar-bond sales in frontier markets, reports Bloomberg. Bocom International Holdings was the lead for the Maldives recent US$200 five-year bond debut, while Citic Securities and ICBC both took part in Sri Lanka’s earlier US$1.5 billion issue.

Papau New Guinea has also tapped bank of China as a lead underwriter for a planned dollar-bond debut in the second half of this year.

Leo Hu, a portfolio manager in Singapore at NN Investment Partners sees the trend continuing against the backdrop of China’s Belt and Road projects:

“Under the Belt and Road initiative, I won’t be surprised to see more and more Chinese investors and banks involved in frontier markets who have good relationship with China,” Hu said.