After tripping on an MBS placement around the Christmas season, Santander definitively closed the deal at the end of January. Due to a paucity of investors at the launch, the bank held back Ps65 billon (US$22 million) of a five-year tranche. The unsold piece was brought to market a few weeks later at 5.5% over the UVR inflation index, unchanged from initial pricing. "We had trusts, treasuries at state and private companies, and banks buying up the paper," said a source close to the transaction.

At the end of the day, the transaction totaled Ps138 billion (US$47 million). The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) provided a partial guarantee worth up to 10% of the issue. Legal counsel for the multilateral was provided by Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, which has been involved in other securitizations out of Colombia, notably of coffee export receivables and airline ticket receivables.

Gomez Pinzon & Asociados gave legal counsel to the underwriter, while Fannie Mae lent technical support in selecting mortgages. Fitch Ratings affiliate Duff & Phelps rated the deal AAA' on the national scale. (For further details on the structure see ASR 1/6/03, p.23).

Elsewhere in Colombia, Commodities & Banca de Inversion has abandoned plans to sharply upsize Fidupalma, a palm-oil backed transaction. The deal is now heard at Ps30 billion (US$10 million), still higher than the original Ps20 billion (US$6.8 million). The bank was unable to find an adequate number of originators with the desired profile, said a source familiar with the deal. But even the current profile may not be quite up to par. The talk is that in its current form the transaction would not get the double-A plus or higher needed for a hassle-free closing (see ASR 1/13/03).

Copyright 2003 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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