The Australian market appears to be digging in for the run-up to Y2K and the possibility of further market volatility. Only four substantial deals have been priced or launched during the last month, together worth nearly A$2 billion (US$1.3 billion).

Only one the biggest, a US$994 million issue by St George Bank's Crusade Global Trust was offshore. The others were a A$180 million issue by a new funding arm of SG Australia's Asset Collateralised Entity suite of conduits; a A$100 million deal by Citibank mortgage financing vehicle Compass Trust and a similar-sized transaction by ANZ Investment Bank's Financial Assets Specialised Trust No. 7.

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