Leading non-bank lender Firstmac has completed a $1.4 billion RMBS issue – its largest ever public trade – within days of passing the milestone of $11 billion in loans under management.
Managing Director Kim Cannon said a total of 25 institutions had invested in the oversubscribed issue, which was more than usual, and more than half of them were from offshore including the UK, Singapore, and Japan.
“This is a great vote of confidence from foreign investors in our business and in the Australian property market more broadly,” Mr Cannon said.
“The cloud of uncertainty that was hanging over the Australian property market before the election has been lifted and Firstmac is well positioned to benefit.”
The RMBS issue was completed at 1.23% over the Bank Bill Swap Rate, which was consistent with Firstmac’s $1.0 billion issue in October, 2018.
The latest issue on its own comprises almost half of Firstmac’s annual funding program of $3 billion and brings the total amount of RMBS issued by Firstmac since 2003 to more than $24 billion.
Firstmac continues to grow rapidly, with its loan book increasing 10 per cent from $10 billion to $11 billion since June 30, 2018.
Mr Cannon said that the major institutions who buy RMBS recognised the very high quality of Firstmac’s loan book.
“Our loan quality is among the best in the entire lending industry as measured by loan arrears and defaults and every loan we write is a prime loan.”
“There are many ingredients that go to our successful funding program but one of the most important is the increasing recognition by the market of our ‘premium prime’ market segment,” Mr Cannon said.
Mr Cannon said that Firstmac was poised to grow even faster over the next year as home buyers were increasingly open to borrowing from non-bank lenders instead of the big banks.
The Federal Government was also aiming to boost smaller banks and non-banks to increase competition for Australian borrowers, recently announcing it would give preference to working with them when implementing its First Homebuyer Deposit Scheme.