Australia's AMP Bank last week launched the latest deal from its Progress RMBS facility. Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale are joint leads on the A$750 million ($547 million) two-tranche offering, with pricing due on Wednesday.

The deal comprises A$727.5 million of senior notes, rated triple-A by Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's with an expected average life of 2.6 years, and a A$22.5 million 4.5-year subordinated piece, rated Aa2/AA.

The underlying pool has a weighted average loan to value of 64.47% and seasoning of 27.27 months. Genworth and PMI are providing the mortgage insurance.

AMP last tapped the market in November 2005. The A$976 million offering was also led by Deutsche and SG. The triple-A piece on that deal offered a 17 basis point spread over the bank bills swap rate (BBSW) for a 2.5-year average life, while the double-A piece priced at 26 points over BBSW.

Comparable deals

Bankers expect spreads to be around the same level on the upcoming issue, given the result of Interstar Wholesale Finance's latest RMBS, which priced last week (ASR, 03/13/06).

The A$1 billion issue, led jointly by Macquarie Bank and National Australia Bank, featured a A$963 million triple-A piece offering 17 basis points over BBSW for a 2.8-year average life, and 21 point spread for the A$17 million of 4.4-year bonds, also rated triple-A. Additionally, A$20 million of AA-rated notes paid 25 over BBSW for 4.4-years.

According to sources, the deal attracted interest from Asian and European accounts as well as domestic buyers.

Also in Australia, British tycoon Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Group, is attempting to gain a hold on the Australian mortgage business. Virgin has aligned itself with Macquarie Bank to offer variable home loans offering a 6.59% interest rate that is slightly below similar products offered by major players such as ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac.

Macquarie will help Virgin raise funds for loan origination through its PUMA securitization vehicle.

(c) 2006 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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