Firm acts on $1.5bn RMBS issue

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Norton Rose Fulbright has acted for financial institution ME on a major issue of residential mortgage backed securities, the institution’s largest since the global financial crisis.

Lead partner on the cross-border Norton Rose Fulbright team Scott Millar said the deal shows increased confidence in the Australian financial sector.

“This deal shows that financiers outside of the majors are continuing to raise large amounts at good pricing and remain competitive in light of the recently announced changes to the capital requirements imposed on the big four banks and Macquarie,” he said.

The transaction consisted of six classes of bonds with the two most senior tranches, Class A1 Bonds and Class A2 Bonds to be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Consisting of a large cross-border team, Norton Rose Fulbright’s London office coordinated the application for listing on the Irish Stock Exchange, assisted by Hong Kong and Singapore offices which settled the offering document in several jurisdictions.

“The deal shows that margins on RMBS have stabilised over the last few months.  It shows the good standing of the SMHL programme with the deal seeking $500m at launch and ultimately raising $1.5 billion,” said Millar.  “It will be interesting to see whether this pricing and demand in the primary market for RMBS issuance is reflected in the future rounds of the AOFM’s program to divest its RMBS portfolio.”
Australia at the helm of an Asia-Pac and UK operation, Millar said the transaction ran relatively smoothly.

“It was pleasing to be able to co-ordinate a team spanning Australia, Asia and Britain to assist ME in launching this significant RMBS issue,” he said.  “Utilising our network to advise on the many complex and cross-border aspects of this transaction meant we could provide a comprehensive solution to ME that will help it grow its business.”