The Argentinian branch of Deutsche Bank was putting the final touches to its first securitization program last week. Aptly named Millennium, the program will issue ABS offerings backed by repackaged bonds and synthetic products such as swaps.

ING Barings will be the fiduciary agent for all of the Millennium series and Deutsche Bank in Germany will guarantee the swaps. The program is rated AAA on the local scale by Standard & Poor's and Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co.

The first deal of the series will be worth approximately $100 million and is backed by Argentine bonds and a swap agreement. It is expected in the market later this month.

Structuring a securitization program made a lot of sense for Deutsche. While other banks such as Citibank, Merrill Lynch and HSBC have securitized derivative financial products one asset type at a time, executives at Deutsche thought it would be more advantageous to do a more encompassing program.

"With Millennium, Deutsche will have more flexibility as far as the time they need to work on each series and the scope of assets they can securitize," said a source who worked on the program. "They will be able to tap the market quickly when a window of opportunity opens up and do so at a lower cost."

Deutsche Argentina has long been an active player in the securitization arena. It is a well respected arranger and worked on two peso-denominated MBS deals for Banco Hipotecario Nacional in 1996 and a loan securitization for Banco Velox last year, among others. "I think that the market will have a positive response to new program," said a source. "Deutsche has a very good track record and there is a lot of appetite for these type of deals in the local market."

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