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Industry roundup: 9 August

Canadian report outlines benefits of open banking

Canada's Advisory Committee on Open Banking has delivered its final report on the subject, which makes recommendations on how to modernise the Canadian financial services sector and implement a secure open banking system that gives Canadian consumers the confidence and convenience they are looking for in today’s economy.

As noted in the Advisory Committee’s report, more than four million Canadians are currently accessing open banking-style services (such as personal budget planners, robo-advisors, and non-traditional lending) via 'screen scraping', which requires people to share their banking login credentials. This is unsecure, inefficient, unregulated, and an unreliable method of data sharing. The report notes that Canadians deserve a secure open banking system that is safe, regulated, efficient, and protects their interests. The government says it is committed to safeguarding the privacy of Canadians and ensuring they have control over their own data; this same approach will be adopted by the government as it moves forward with open banking.

With the appropriate security framework in place, open banking can contribute to economic growth in a data-driven, digital economy and improve the financial outcomes of Canadians and their businesses, which is vital for post-COVID-19 recovery.

"Consumer-driven finance, or open banking, is already part of Canadians’ lives," said Chrystia Freeland, Canada's deputy prime minister and minister of Finance. "Many use digital services every day to manage their money, to budget for expenses, and to make investments. Working towards a regulated, made-in-Canada system will make sure that we continue to enjoy a strong, stable, and innovative financial sector that is globally competitive, promotes consumer choice, prioritises data privacy, and contributes to economic growth. I want to thank the committee for their work and look forward to reviewing their recommendations as we develop next steps."


€200m Italian 'supply chain basket bond' second tranche launched 

Four months after the first transaction focused on the wine industry, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and UniCredit have announced the closing of the second tranche of the 'Supply Chain Basket Bond', a €200m programme launched to finance the development plans, both in Italy and abroad, of companies belonging to supply chains that are of strategic importance to the Italian economy.

The second issue is entirely dedicated to the Italian cultural sector, with a specific focus on film and television production and distribution. Three companies have individually issued 7-year fixed-rate minibonds, raising a total of €21m to finance their investment and development plans in the domestic and international markets.

CDP and UniCredit, acting as anchor investors in the transaction, have also each underwritten 50% of the total amount of these issuances stemming from the programme. The three internationally recognised 'Made in Italy' issuing companies are:

  • Iervolino and Lady Bacardi Entertainment S.p.A., a global production company founded by Andrea Iervolino and active in the production of film and television content, including films, TV-shows, web series and more. The company is listed on the AIM market.
  • Leone Film Group, an independent film and audio-visual production and distribution company in Italy founded by Sergio Leone in 1989. Listed on the AIM market in 2013, the majority shareholders are the director's children, Andrea and Raffaella Leone.
  • Lucky Red, a company founded in 1987 by Andrea Occhipinti and Kermit Smith, which is a popular independent company in the audio-visual sector, active in all segments: production and distribution of films and series, cinemas, sales abroad. They recently created Miocinema, a quality digital cinema platform

"We are proud to have dedicated this new tranche of the Basket Bond to companies in the cultural production sector, one of the areas of Made in Italy excellence that contributes to determining the identity of our country, also internationally," commented Andrea Casini, head of Corporate at UniCredit Italy. "The innovative transaction signed today is further concrete proof of the dynamism shown in recent years by the main Italian operators in the sector. We are convinced that we have provided companies with an effective tool to gain access to the capital market in an advantageous and streamlined way, opening up sources of financing useful to support their investments."


ING backs sustainable securitisation transaction for Bayfront Infrastructure Management

ING has acted as joint global coordinator and sole sustainability structuring advisor for Singapore government sponsored Bayfront Infrastructure Management on its second infrastructure asset-backed securitised (IABS) issuance, Bayfront Infrastructure Capital II. This was successfully priced at $401 million and leverages Bayfront's sustainable finance framework, which ING played a key role in developing.

In what the bank describes as "a significant milestone in the securitisation of project and infrastructure debt in Asia," this is the first time a sustainability tranche is included in such an issuance. 

"This is a feature we think will be more commonly seen going forward given the increasing demand for sustainable investment opportunities globally and a focus on generation of sustainable infrastructure assets in emerging markets," said Jordan Batchelor, ING’s head of Global Balance Sheet Distribution APAC.

The transaction offers investors exposure to a portfolio of 27 project and infrastructure loans, diversified across 13 countries and eight industry sub-sectors. Approximately $184.8 million, or 46%, of the portfolio is considered eligible sustainable (green or social) assets in accordance with Bayfront's sustainable finance framework. Additionally, ING supported Bayfront in receiving a positive second party opinion from international verification body DNV, as well as a dedicated pre-issuance report showcasing the alignment of the included eligible assets with its sustainable finance framework.

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