Displaying a cozy name and friendly cartoon beaver outside each branch, Su Casita - "your little house" - has drawn tens of thousands of low-to-middle income Mexicans to its doors. The company is a Sofol, the shorthand for housing finance companies that extend residential mortgages and bridge loans for construction (see article p. 1). Notwithstanding the cutesy marketing, it has aggressively grown over the last couple of years. Established in 1994, Su Casita became the second largest Sofol after swallowing a peer, Financiamiento Azteco, in July 2001. Then came last year, when asset growth outstripped the industry average, leaping 56% to Ps13.6 billion (US$1.3 billion). Mortgage loans account for about 84%, while bridge loans for construction make up the rest.

Among the milestones in 2002 was the company's first genuine securitization of bridge loans, a Ps672-million deal that priced last October (see ASR 11/4, p.19) via Deutsche Bank. To date, Su Casita has tapped the markets for Ps1.6 billion (US$147 million), including CPs and quasi-securitizations.

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