Activity has picked up in the asset-backed commercial paper market in recent weeks - with a few large deals closing - though outstandings, as measured by Federal Reserve, still show flat to declining ABCP.

A fair amount of the activity in the conduit world has been restructuring and/or transferring assets from conduit to conduit. It seems that collateral from CIBC's ABCP vehicles is moving around the market. Last week, IFR Markets reported that RBS Greenwich had acquired the some-odd $1.5 billion portfolio of CDOs from CIBC's SPARCs, funding about 75% of it through Royal Bank of Scotland's Thames Asset Global Securitization (TAGS).

All told, participants in the ABCP market note that utilization rates are down. By the Fed's count last Wednesday, outstanding U.S. ABCP was at $708 billion, down slightly from $714.9 billion the prior week. Similar to last year, new conduits in the pipeline are mostly mortgage-related, said Deborah Seife, of the ABCP group at Fitch Ratings.

As for new transactions, in its weekly roundups, Moody's Investors Service detailed a $525 million addition of franchise loans placed jointly with Societe Generale's Barton Capital and CDC Financial's Eiffel Funding. Also of note, several conduits participated in a $5 billion student loan club deal, backed both by loans and student loan ABS.

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