Commerzbank plans to securitize 5 billion ($5.9 billion) of its loan exposure as part of its new credit recycling program.

The issue is expected to come to market in the second quarter.

But contrary to previous market reports, the securitization program does not represent one-third of the loans the bank holds on its books. Christopher McMullen, head of the securitization team at Commerzbank, said the amount only represented a small portion of the bank's multinational book.

McMullen added that the securitization team had a few other deals planned for a near-term launch.

Following the departure of several members of its securitization team, including head of securitization Iain Barbour, in October last year, the group announced it would restructure its securitization focus (ASR, 10/24/05). McMullen said the group's refocus has largely been driven by the bank's recent acquisition of German mortgage bank Eurohypo.

"We have more of a focus on commercial real estate and will be looking to do more deals with [Eurohypo] going forward," he said.

At the end of last year, Commerzbank acquired a 66.2% stake in Eurohypo. The acquisition made Commerzbank the second largest bank in Germany.

Eurohypo has an estimated 107 billion ($127 billion) of commercial real estate loans on its books, most of which were originated in Germany. Eurohypo said last week that it expects to generate yearly commercial loan volume of at least 1 billion in Germany, which will account for 25% of its new business in real estate activities going forward.

McMullen said the bank also had several middle market deals in Germany ready for launch soon. Nicolaus Trautwein and Juergen Mahler lead Commerzbank's Frankfurt-based securitization team.

(c) 2006 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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