HSBC is marketing its first synthetic balance sheet collateralized loan obligation, called Metrix Securities. The GBP2 billion equivalent floating-rate notes, rated AAA to BB, will be issued in sterling, euros and U.S. dollars. A rash of balance sheet CLOs have hit the market recently in advance of Basel II (DW, 9/15).
Robert Drutman, head of asset-backed securities syndicate for Europe, Middle East and Africa in London, said Metrix is structurally similar to other synthetic CLOs in the market, but is unique because it references a weighted-average investment-grade portfolio. Metrix consists of credit-default swaps referencing predominately U.K. corporate loans. The reference pool will consist of 133 separate obligors and can be replenished with new obligations or increasing amounts of existing obligations throughout the four-year revolving period. The AAA tranche has a 4.96-year weighted average life, and the BB tranche has a 6.78-year weighted-average life with a legal maturity of 2018.
Metrix is HSBC's second balance sheet CLO. The first was a cash deal issued last year. Drutman said using credit-default swaps in the deal gives the firm greater flexibility in accessing a wider range of underlying loans. He expects it to close this week.