Macquarie lines up third global MBS

Company becomes first Aussie entity to confirm plans for US$ deal in 2003.

Macquarie Securitisation, the wholly owned subsidiary of Macquarie Bank and Australia's largest issuer of mortgage-backed securities, has confirmed it will soon launch its third global securitization.

The company, who completed $1.2 billion and $1 billion deals in September 2001 and June 2002, has appointed Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Salomon Smith Barney to underwrite its latest $1 billion deal. Deutsche - lead manager on Macquarie's last global offering - will also provide the swaps for the third transaction.

The deal, to be launched out of the PUMA Global Trust vehicle, will securitize a pool of 7,393 housing loans worth around A$1.4 billion. The weighted average loan-to-value of the mortgages is 75.73%.

Fitch, Moody's and Standard& Poor's are all expected to rate the class-A notes at the triple-A level.

Although spreads have pushed out by between 7bp-8bp since Macquarie went to the offshore market last June, many market observers still expect the high profile Aussie issuers to do US dollar denominated deals in the first quarter of 2003. With domestic spreads at their widest levels for years as well as a favourable swap market, the all-in cost for offshore deals is still around 1bp-2bp inside that of onshore transaction.

In addition, appetite among foreign investors - including Asian buyers - for Aussie MBS paper remains very strong. And with some players expressing concerns over the ability of domestic investors to absorb the volume of MBS issued, the offshore route continues to look a sensible option.

Macquarie last hit the securitization markets in October 2002 with a A$750 million deal via Deutsche and Macquarie Debt Markets. The transaction was split into a three-year A$340 million fixed rate tranche, 5.8-year average life A$385 million floating rate piece and A$25 million of subordinated notes. Both Moody's and S&P gave triple-A ratings to the senior tranches, with S&P rating the subordinated bonds AA-.

The three-year notes priced at 37bp over the three-year swap rate and the 5.8-year bonds at 39bp over the three-month bank bill swap rate (BBSW). Pricing for the subordinated tranche was undisclosed.

By the end of 2002, the company had raised just over $9 billion from securitization through 13 domestic deals, five Euro issues and the two globals.

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