Australian regulator investigates ANZ over treasury-bond issuance

BY Reuters | TREASURY | 05/12/24 11:03 PM EDT

(Reuters) - ANZ Group Holdings (ANZGF) said on Monday Australia's corporate regulator is investigating the lender for suspected violation of laws in executing the issuance of 10-year treasury bonds by the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) in 2023.

ANZ was appointed by the AOFM, which manages the Australian government's debt portfolio, to act as a risk manager in relation to the issuance of the treasury bonds.

Earlier in the day, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing sources, that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) begun its work after receiving a complaint from the AOFM, adding that the agency was concerned about the way in which some of its debt had been sold.

"ANZ understands that ASIC is investigating suspected contraventions of a number of provisions of the ASIC Act and the Corporations Act," it said in a statement.

It added that it takes compliance with its regulatory obligations and is co-operating fully with the regulator.

The ASIC and the AOFM did not immediately respond to request for comment.

(Reporting by Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

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