Undeterred by dismal consumer demand, Chile's BCI Securitizadora brought the country's first credit card securitization to market in early November. "The collateral backing the deal is super-healthy," said Gerardo Spoerer, CEO of the structuring bank, "particularly since they're accounts with a proven track record."

Named after the deal's department-store originator, Ripley totaled Ps66 billion (US$95.1 million), with Ps40.5 billion (US$58.3 million) allocated to a senior piece and Ps25.5 billion (US$36.8 million) to a subordinated one. The senior tranche priced at 7.3%, yielding a spread of roughly 158 basis points over a combination of the Central Bank's PCB bonds maturing in two and five years. The expected maturity of the A piece is mid-2005, while the legal final is late 2008.

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