SFIG Vegas 2018 conference review

The annual SFIG conference in Las Vegas attracted over 7,250 registered delegates, a tidy increase from the 6,800 delegates in 2016. A contingent of Australian RMBS and ABS issuers and bankers attended the three-day conference from 25-28 February. 

A keen topic of discussion was the impact of the current mandatory input by banks to the setting of the LIBOR interest rate benchmark. Securitisation professionals are only just beginning to assess their exposure to the phase-out of Libor, expected at the end of 2021, and speakers at the conference noted there currently isn’t an ideal replacement benchmark. 

The increased attendance at the conference partly reflected the strong 2017 year for the US ABS market.  In 2017 the US asset-backed securities, mortgage bonds and CLO markets increased 27% compared with 2016. Issuance of CLO’s boomed in 2017 will a doubling of new issue volume to US$118 billion.  But with loans still trading at tight spreads, despite volatility spiking elsewhere in credit markets, finding collateral was noted as being the biggest challenge in the market in 2018.

Many sessions discussed the impact of the U.S. Appeals Court decision to exempt certain CLO structures from the risk retention requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.  Some speculated that other asset classes may possibility benefit from this precedent.

Panels discussing the private-label RMBS highlighted that the strengthening US economy has supported the US residential market, but noted the market is unlikely to significantly expand in the near term with the Federal agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, still providing the bulk of residential mortgages in the US with banks funding the balance and currently retaining the loans on their balance sheet.

Absent from the agenda this year was discussion on STC, indicating a possible diminishing interest in the European developments against a general backdrop of a loosening of the US Dodd-Frank regime.

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SFIG Vegas 2019

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Securitisation Fundamentals course




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Australian Securitisation Journal

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