MBS may no longer be such a dirty word in Argentina. Following the sovereign meltdown, the pesification of cross-border MBS originated by Banco Hipotecario slammed investors who now receive roughly a third of what they would be getting if the deals were still in dollars. While the bank has only revived originations in the past few months, it is preparing to securitize again. A seasoned pool will back the first issue of a Ps500 million (US$170 million) program.

The structurer is BACS Banco de Credito & Securitization, which is 70% controlled by BH. The International Finance Corp. has a 20% stake in BACS. The first deal off the program is sized at Ps50 million (US$17 million) and has won a rating of raAAA' on the national scale from Standard & Poor's. "I don't think we're going to do the whole program this year," said Rafael Rivero, senior analyst at BACS. "But we'll do a few."

Banco Hipotecario is the placement agent and a syndicate of distributors will include Deutsche Bank, among others. The originator is targeting retail investors in marketing the transaction, Rivero said. Pricing is slated for mid-June.

The deal is broken down into three tranches. With a maturity of slightly under four years, a senior tranche worth Ps40 million (US$14 million) carries an 8% coupon and a subordination of 20% from a mezzanine and junior tranche. The underlying pool has an average life of more than 10 years, according to Juan de Mollein, associate director at S&P. The loans were either originated in pesos or swapped into pesos. Some 95% are in fixed rate and the average remaining life is 5.5 years. The LTV is 39%.

Copyright 2004 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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