The Public Utility Commission of Texas approved CenterPoint Energy Inc.'s request to securitize up to $1.8 billion in stranded cost ABS last week, clearing the way for a deal which the issuer hopes will occur as soon as possible. Some hurdles do remain, however, as the issuer has yet to officially select an underwriter for the transaction.

In a release issued following the Commission's approval, CenterPoint said it hoped to complete its offering by mid-year. But Floyd LeBlanc, vice president of communications at CenterPoint, indicated that the company wanted to waste as little time as possible to complete its offering. "The transaction has been approved by the [Commission] and depending on market conditions, we hope to work with our financial advisor to take advantage of the current low interest rate environment."

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