Bonds have enabled the bank to diversify its refinancing base and extend the maturity of its funding portfolio.
S&P Global Ratings confirmed a credit rating of BBB+ for Oma Savings Bank Plc’s long-term borrowing in June 2023, as well as a rating of A-2 for short-term borrowing. The outlook for a long-term credit rating has been confirmed as stable.
Beside public issuances, OmaSp may also consider issuing private placements, if they are in line with the company’s funding plan.
Covered Bond Program
OmaSp started issuing mortgage banking operations, ie covered bonds, in 2017. OmaSp received its first permission from the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) on 14 September 2017 and a permission under the new law on 30 June 2022. The mortgage bank operates as part of OmaSp's banking business and diversifies the bank's funding. OmaSp's mortgage-backed loans act as collateral for the covered bonds. As part of the launch of mortgage banking, OmaSp applied for direct monetary policy and TARGET2. The bank's TARGET2 account with the Bank of Finland was opened in September 2017.
The loans will be issued under OmaSp's €3 billion bond program. Bonds play an important role in arranging the refinancing of OmaSp: their size has been consistently increased, with the aim of increasing the share of market-based debt financing in the bank's funding portfolio.
OmaSp uses investment certificates and debentures to diversify its financial portfolio and increase refinancing opportunities. Investment certificates are used by the bank specifically for short-term financing needs and liquidity management.
Financing costs decreased
With the expanded refinancing base and successful risk management, OmaSp has succeeded cost-effectively in acquiring refinancing. On average, financing costs have increased with the increase in the general interest rate. However, with the help of the issuance of covered bonds and the BBB+ credit rating received from S&P, OmaSp will be able to ensure efficient refinancing in the future.