<b>Australia - Corporate bond market takes off</b>
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<b>Australia - Corporate bond market takes off</b>

    Headline: Australia - Corporate bond market takes off
Source: Euromoney
Date: March 2000
Author: Peter Lee

Radical change is under way in Australian financial markets. A booming economy, prudent fiscal policy and privatization have led to the paying back of government debts. Fund managers are flush with superannuation money that must be put to work. Meanwhile banks are keen to lead structured loans and build mortgage loan books, but less happy with returns on straight corporate credits. So Australian companies are turning to bond markets for their funding. This time, it seems, the Australian corporate bond market is here to stay. Peter Lee reports

Yasuhiro Takama

When Asia went into a tailspin in 1997, many international bond investors feared that Australia would soon be dragged down along with it. Just the opposite happened. Australia shrugged of the crisis and its economy is galloping along at a rate comparable to that of the US, the so-called single engine of world growth. Australia grew at 4% last year, a time when seven out of its top 10 traditional trading partners were in recession.

"This country changed the destination of its exports very quickly from Asia to Europe," says Yasuhiro Takama, managing director of Nomura Australia and a long-time promoter of Australian bonds to Japanese investors.

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