Aviva Singlife reports 'landmark' first Singapore dollar bridge-to-bond offering

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Aviva Singlife reports 'landmark' first Singapore dollar bridge-to-bond offering

Recenty formed holding company Aviva Singlife Holdings has priced S$550m of 10.25-year callable subordinated notes, the insurer announced this week.

Aviva Singlife Holdings described "outstanding investor demand" with S$3.5bn tier 2 notes orders for its first bridge-to-bond transaction in Singaporean dollars.

The company described the issuance as a "landmark debut transaction" by Aviva Singlife Holdings, financing the combination of two of the fastest growing insurance companies in Singapore and the creation of a Southeast Asian homegrown savings and protection company.

The success of this deal is testament to the potential that a new insurer can have with big ambition and the right partnerships to execute."

Aviva Singlife was formed in September when Aviva sold its majority shareholding in Singlife, though retained a 25% stake.

The Tier 2 SGD issuance received strong interest from start to finish with total orders reaching S$1bn within the first hour of launch. 

Final Price Guidance (FPG) was lowered by 37.5bps from Initial Price Guidance (IPG) of 3.75% to 3.375% while retaining almost all of the entity's book, an indication of high investor interest in its credit.  

The deal was announced after two days of roadshow meetings, which were attended by 55 accounts across Asian and European investors, including a strong mix of high quality institutional investors, eventuating in a final order book in excess of S$3.5 billion across 143 accounts.

  • By investor type: Managers/Insurance (67%), Private Banks (30%), Banks/Others (3%)
  • By Geography: Singapore 84%, Non-Singapore 16%

The deal financing in the capital markets follows robust investment grade ratings from both Moody's (Moody's ISFR rating of A3 and HoldCo rating of Baa2) and Fitch (Fitch HoldCo rating of BBB+ and new notes BBB-), reflective of the strong business fundamentals and the synergies between the two groups. 

Ray Ferguson, chairman of Aviva Singlife Holdings, said: "The investor interest received affirms a shared belief we have that the industry is ready for a new kind of insurance. A persisting covid-19 economy demands quality financial services beyond insurance that works to grow and protect the wellbeing of all. We are creating a homegrown regional brand that will deliver just that with the best of superior financial products and professional financial advice, and mobile-first customer engagement." 

Walter de Oude, deputy chairman, Aviva Singlife Holdings and group CEO of Singlife: "The success of this deal is testament to the potential that a new insurer can have with big ambition and the right partnerships to execute. As we move into 2021 and the next chapter of our journey to reimagine finance, we will double down on these ambitions and bring our innovative products across the region, unlocking the potential of money for everyone."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.