Italy is bracing itself for a boom year in structured finance. "There are already signs that 2001 will be the year of explosion for Italian securitization," says Silvio Angius, executive director responsible for Southern European Securitization at UBS Warburg, who expects it to be much bigger in terms of volume and number of transactions. "As originators and investors are getting more familiar with securitization techniques following the 1999 Law, a large number of transactions will be brought to the market."

Of the US$3 billion of new issues in the European ABS market in January 2001, two RMBS transactions worth US$841 million were Italian: Upgrade and Orio2.

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