The US private placement market has long been a happy home for Australasian issuers. The annual USPP roundtable hosted by KangaNews and MUFG found that lower issuance in 2020 had nothing to do with lack of support from the investor base and that hopes remain high for future primary supply. USPP investors also share perspectives on the rapid growth in significance of environmental, social and governance analysis in their market.
If Australian corporate engagement with sustainable finance were measured by labelled green, social and sustainability bond issuance, progress remained underwhelming in 2020. However, issuers, investors and other market participants at the KangaNews Sustainable Debt Summit 2020 spoke of deepening commitments to environmental, social and governance risk mitigation.
When Australia went into lockdown, transport and shipping infrastructure saw an unprecedented business shock. Airport and toll-road passenger numbers collapsed while even freight flows dropped as the global economy ground to a halt. In October, KangaNews and Westpac Institutional Bank gathered key players in the Australian sector to discuss business impact, balance-sheet resilience and the swift rebound of debt capital markets including the domestic option.
The economy-wide impact of COVID-19 has affected Australian corporate borrowers in a host of ways. But access to funds has generally remained in place as issuers navigate a path back to some type of normality – even for those in the most affected sectors.
The KangaNews Market People of the Year are the individuals who voters in the KangaNews Awards 2019 believe went above and beyond their roles to contribute to the development of the Australian and New Zealand debt markets. There are no restrictions on the firms, positions or seniority of winners – voters are simply asked to consider who contributed most to the market in either or both 2019 specifically or across the span of a career.
An extended issuance hiatus could slow progress, but Australian corporate borrowers continue to show willingness to engage with new sustainability-linked products. Sydney Airport and Wesfarmers have completed new sustainability-linked funding – the former as the first such issuer in any global bond market.