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Primary deal flow in the first week of December was highlighted by asset-backed securities deals on either side of the Tasman Sea. In New Zealand, Latitude Financial Services priced its NZ$200 million (US$137.6 million) market debut while Liberty Financial priced a A$250 million (US$180.8 million) auto receivables-backed deal. Meanwhile, the 2018 KangaNews Awards winners were revealed.

The New Zealand securitisation market welcomed a new entrant on 6 December when Latitude Financial Services (Latitude) priced its inaugural New Zealand dollar asset-backed securities (ABS) deal. The deal’s domestic focus provided insulation from external market forces according to deal sources, who add that there is growing enthusiasm for securitised product among local buyers.

On 6 December, Qudos Mutual (BBB- by S&P) launched a new, indicative A$15 million (US$10.8 million) one-year floating-rate note (FRN) transaction, via Westpac Institutional Bank. The forthcoming deal is being marketed in the area of 85 basis points over three-month bank bills. Pricing is expected in the near future.

On 6 December, NWB Bank (AAA/Aaa) launched a minimum A$60 million (US$43.5 million) increase to its July 2028 Kangaroo bond. The forthcoming deal has indicative price guidance of 47 basis points area over semi-quarterly swap, equivalent to 50.75 basis points area over Australian Commonwealth government bond. Pricing is expected on the day of launch, according to lead manager RBC Capital Markets.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) has printed the first Australian-origin transaction to reference an alternative benchmark rate. The bank issued £125 million (US$158.8 million) of one-year notes on 3 December at 40 basis points over the sterling overnight index average (SONIA), via RBC Capital Markets (RBCCM). Deal sources say the UK market is the most progressed towards base-rate change, but add that there is much work still to be done ahead of the forthcoming expiry of interbank offered rates.

Having been acquired by Cerberus Capital (Cerberus) in March 2018, Bluestone Group (Bluestone)’s Sydney-based chief executive officer, Campbell Smyth, says the business has been able to expand significantly into the near-prime lending space. The company’s conservative lending practices have remained, he adds, leaving it well placed for sustained future growth.

On 5 December, Liberty Financial (Liberty) launched its auto asset-backed securities (ABS) transaction, Liberty Series 2018-1 Auto. The forthcoming deal is capped at A$250 million (US$182.6 million) and is expected to price on or before 7 December, according to arranger and lead manager National Australia Bank.

KangaNews is proud to present the winners of the institutional and deal categories in the KangaNews Awards 2017. After an extensive voting and verification process, KangaNews can confidently say its results reflect a true market view on the outstanding performers of 2017 in the Australian and New Zealand debt markets.