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Non-bank lender issues $1.25bn RMBS

La Trobe Financial has announced an RMBS raising of over $1 billion, with the AOFM involved in the deal.

Non-bank lender La Trobe Financial has announced a $1.25-billion residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) raising to continue writing home and business loans for customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

La Trobe Financial said it received support from global investment houses in Asia, the US and Europe and Australian institutional investors.

The federal government’s Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) was involved with the deal as part of its Structured Financial Support Fund (SFSF), but according to the lender, no AOFM investment was required due to investor demand.

The SFSF was announced by the government in March as a $15-billion fund established to enable smaller lenders to continue lending to small businesses and individual customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The AOFM is also working to implement a forbearance facility to support RMBS and warehouse cash flows through the coronavirus hardship phase.

Commenting on the RMBS issuance, La Trobe Financial’s chief treasurer and strategy officer, Martin Barry, said it was the largest securitisation transaction since the coronavirus became widespread in March.

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“We are pleased to have been able to return markets to some level of normality post the onset of the coronavirus with the raising of $1.25 billion from global and domestic investors,” Mr Barry said.

“We are also delighted to have the support of the AOFM through this transaction. While they were ultimately not required to purchase our bonds, their presence and decisiveness was a critical underpinning to investor confidence in the transaction.”

The lender has welcomed three new investors to its RMBS program, which already has 46 investors.

“With this RMBS transaction, we achieved competitive pricing, notwithstanding increased levels of market supply, and note participation from 15 domestic and seven international investors from Europe, USA and Asia.”

La Trobe Financial has now issued $6.17 billion of RMBS to a range of Australian and international investors.

Head of group portfolio management Richard Parry said: “With current trend loan originations now at $10+ billion per year, this was a practical step to complement current institutional mandates and our nationally and internationally awarded $5-billion retail credit fund.”

La Trobe Financial president and CEO Greg O’Neill said: “We are pleased to recognise the ongoing support for the industry from the AOFM and its role in continuing to buttress Australia’s reputation as a destination for global investors.”

Macquarie Bank was the arranger of the deal, while joint lead managers included the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Macquarie Bank, Natixis, and Citi. Wells Fargo was a co-manager.

[Related: La Trobe Financial offers virus-hit SMEs assistance]

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