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Rentenbank (AAA/Aaa/AAA) and Kommunalbanken Norway (KBN) (AAA/Aaa) priced deals in the Kauri market on October 7 and 8 respectively, with the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ)-led new Rentenbank 2011 deal in particular drawing attention as a result of its swap-flat pricing.

Westpac Banking Corporation (AA/Aa1/AA-) (Westpac) brought the first domestic vanilla transaction for over six weeks on October 2, pricing a total of A$1.48 billion (US$1.17 billion) of two- and three-year paper at pricing levels investors say are impressive given recent market turmoil.

On September 30 ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) closed the convertible preference share (CPS) offer it launched at the end of August, upsizing the transaction slightly to A$1.081 billion (US$856.69 million). The firm has been busy in the hybrid market of late, also pricing a A$600 million transaction through its New York branch on September 26.

Securitisation market participants have come out broadly in favour of the September 26 announcement by the commonwealth treasury that Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) will buy A$4 billion (US$3.19 billion) of mortgage-backed assets, though doubts remain regarding how the plan will be put into action and its overall efficacy.

Political progress on the exemption of semi-government bonds from interest withholding tax (IWT) was a central topic of discussion as Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) and Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) brought Australian state treasuries and government treasuries from both Australia and New Zealand together with international investors in Australia on September 24-27.

Municipality Finance (AAA/Aaa) (MuniFin) doubled the size of its only outstanding Kauri bond, the 2011, on September 23, adding NZ$100 million (US$68.81 million) to its size in a transaction that launched and priced in a day to reduce the impact of volatile markets.

The Challenger Millennium Series 2008-1 Trust RMBS deal priced on September 19, riding out heightened market volatility since its opening a week previously and even upsizing slightly, to A$440.8 million (US$355.11 million) from its indicative A$400 million. The transaction was led by nabCapital, Royal Bank of Scotland Australia and Barclays Capital.

The status of deals open in the Australian and New Zealand markets has been put under scrutiny as Westpac New Zealand (AA/Aa2) (Westpac) postponed the five-year domestic deal it launched on September 8, citing the ongoing uncertainty in global markets.

The European company for the financing of railroad rolling stock, EUROFIMA (AAA/Aaa), will roadshow to Australian and New Zealand investors towards the end of October. TD Securities is arranging the roadshow, which starts in Sydney on October 21.

Macquarie Group has strongly denied a newspaper report in Australia saying it is likely to struggle to meet its refinancing requirements over the next six months. The bank claims in an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announcement that the claims are inaccurate and were made without giving Macquarie right of reply.

Lehman Brothers’ Kangaroo bond was removed from UBS indices in Australia on September 17 following Standard & Poor’s downgrading of the issuing entity, Lehman Brothers Treasury, to D. This is the first example of a Kangaroo bond entering default.

The financial institutions (FIs) closest to the most recent wave of market turmoil have just short of A$10 billion (US$8.01 billion) outstanding in the Kangaroo market with almost A$7 billion also borrowed by HBOS through its Bank of Scotland Australia subsidiary.