On 17 January, Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) launched a new, self-led 5.25-year benchmark senior-unsecured domestic deal. The forthcoming transaction will come in either or both fixed- and floating-rate formats and has indicative price guidance of 115 basis points area over swap benchmarks. Pricing is expected on the day of launch.
ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) became the first non-UK bank to execute a sterling covered bond referencing an alternative benchmark rate on 11 January. The deal also takes Australian-issuer engagement with alternative reference rates a step further, as the longest maturity – and by far the largest – deal to reference an alternative benchmark printed by an Australian issuer to date.
Two of Australia’s major banks are underway with their funding for calendar 2019, with one domestic and one offshore transaction printed. The issuers say ongoing market volatility remains front of mind as they enter the new year, and was factored into their market choices – but at this stage it is not expected to affect their broader funding strategy.