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Debt Market Update Q1 2020

Debt Market Update Q1 2020

The first quarter of 2020 saw a significant disruption and volatility in debt markets due to the devastating global health impact of COVID-19 and its subsequent economic shocks on a global scale. The increasing uncertainty as a result has caused a change in the funding landscape as both Federal and State Governments implement various policies to help contain the spread and impacts of COVID-19.

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Key themes


Market conditions – increasing uncertainty as a result of COVID-19 caused a significant widening of credit spreads.

Policy responses – a number of monetary and fiscal stimulus policies were announced by the RBA.

Policy impact on markets – a significant increase in trading volume across credit markets leading up to an increase in government bond yields during March.

Australian domestic bank debt market – Australian syndicated loan volume decreased significantly as the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its political economic impacts peaked.

Australian domestic bond market – sharp rise in the cost of debt and implied spreads across investment grade credit at the 5-year tenor widened significantly.

USPP – not immune from the economic uncertainty and total placement volume fell by 35.3 percent year-on-year.

Notable transactions

Notable syndicated transactions for the quarter included:

  • Star Entertainment Group completed a 4.5-year, $1.59 billion, three-tranche syndicated loan at BBSY + 200. The syndicate included ANZ, NAB and Westpac as well as a number of foreign banks.
  • Saracen Minerals closed a 3-year, $385 million loan to refinance existing loans. The facility drew a number of syndicated lenders including ANZ, BNP Paribas, Citibank and Westpac.
  • Qantas Airways (Baa2) raised $1.05 billion via a 10-year syndicated loan at BBSY + 275 led by the Big Four banks. The funds will be used for general corporate purposes.

Debt Market Quarterly Update

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