DEAL: Softbank’s $4.5 billion subordinated perpetual notes

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 3 Aug 2017

Japan’s Softbank has raced ahead of all its peers by selling the world’s largest subordinated notes but complying with international accounting requirements proved a challenging task.

This was virtually the first case that a Japanese issuer adopting the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for issuing offshore subordinated notes has sought to have them treated as equity.

"It is not only rare for Japanese corporates to issue subordinated notes but there is also no precedent for an offshore IFRS-compliant hybrid debt offering by a corporate"

Tokyo-listed telecoms giant Softbank has become the first Japanese issuer to have tapped the offshore high yield perpetual bond market, raising $4.5 billion from two tranches of hybrid US-dollar debt on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). It has also set a benchmark for the application of the IFRS on such an offshore bond offering.

But difficulties when it came to complying accounting rules...