Quarter-end results show European securitization volumes of deals backed by small tickets and consumer finance increasing by 21% from first quarter volume in 2001. Volumes have soared to $2.3 billion compared to last year's $1.9 billion, and while the number of issues has actually decreased by one, analysts said this clearly exhibits a trend towards larger scale transactions in order to satiate the growing investor demand for primary issuance.

Suprisingly, the leader of the pack so far this year is Germany. According to Standard & Poor's the German securitization market has nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2002 and recorded $8.42 billion compared with the $2.16 billion recorded this time last year. On the leasing and consumer finance end the country recorded volumes at $1.6 billion compared to last year's $0.7 million. Of the two deals issued this year, both were backed by auto-loan receivables.

Second-quarter issuance is expected to continue on the same path, the analyst said. Along with Italy and Germany, the market can expect to see the U.K. and Portugal active this quarter, particularly because these two countries are "backed by a relatively developed consumer culture," said an analyst at S&P.

And to reinforce this position, last week BMORE Finance No.3 Plc priced a EURO100 million Portuguese auto loan and lease securitization led by Deutsche Bank, right on the cusps of the Atlantese deal that was in the market the week prior. Banco Mais, the issuer, saw its deal price at price talk level. The triple-A rated notes priced at 32 basis points and the single-A and triple-B notes priced at 80 basis points and 150 basis points, respectively.

In the pipeline

The first Italian securitization of sports receivables structured under the law 130/99 was in last week's line-up. The deal is interesting not only because of its underlying receivables, which consist of nine sponsorships, advertising, trademark licensing, and TV rights licensing agreements up to 2005, but sources said it's the first public ABS issued with a performance bond under the new Italian law.

Parma AC, the issuer, is a football club from the Northern region of Italy is currently a part of the Series A or Premier League of Italy and has historically finished among the top seven teams in this league. Like the U.K. soccer securitizations, many of the contracts in the underlying portfolio are closely connected to the performance of the team.

Moody's Investors Service has assigned the single tranche offering of EURO94 million an Aa2 rating based on the performance of the guarantee provided by Assicurazioni Generali SpA.

Also gearing up for a second turn in the securitization market is ProLogis, who launched its first Pan-European Industrial Properties Series in April 2001. The securitization will include assets from the UK, the Netherlands and France. ABN AMRO and JP Morgan co-lead the EURO356 million transaction that will be offered to investors in three soft bullet tranches of floating-rate notes. Moody's and Fitch have rated the notes: The Class A notes are rated triple-A; the Class B notes are rated double-A; and the Class C notes are rate single-A.

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