At this year's Information Management Network Global ABS conference held in Nice, France, Turkish originators discussed the multilateral option for selling their DPR deals (ASR, 6/9/08).

Distressed markets provided the perfect opportunity for these bankrollers to put into practice one of their mandates: support emerging market issuers in troubled times.

Last week, one such institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB), appears to have done just that, although pricing was undisclosed. Turkey's Akbank sold a $393.5 million deal backed by diversified payment rights to the EIB, with WestLB as sole lead. The transaction marks the EIB's debut in future flows.

In a press release, the arranger also touted the transaction as the first future-flow transaction in 2008 from the EMEA region, a sharp reminder of just how grim the environment's been even for an emerging-market asset class that boasts a virtually spotless track record.

With a 9.8-year final maturity and 6.6-year average life, the deal bumps up the total volume from Akbank's DPR program to $4 billion. The program dates back to 1999 and now has originated more than 20 tranches.

Moody's Investors Service, the only agency to rate the current deal, has given it a ‘Baa2'. In a release, the agency noted that the paper is capped at Akbank's local currency rating of ‘A3'. DPRs are generated from a bank's electronic remittance business, which is fueled by exports, worker remittances, foreign direct investments and other activities that generate money orders.

In a release, Akbank's Head of International Banking Hulya Kefeli cited the stress in the monoline industry as a catalyst for doing business with multilaterals. Indeed, between 2005 and 2007, the bank had Ambac, FGIC, FSA, MBIA and XLCA all wrap tranches from its DPR program.

Proceeds from the EIB-purchased tranche are going expressly to fund the origination of SME loans. "Given [Akbank's] significant business franchise in Turkey, it is particularly well placed to make efficient use of these proceeds in favor of its SME lending," EIB Vice President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen said.

While DPR activity has languished in Turkey since credit markets starting convulsing mid last year, the untainted reputation of future flows is starting to draw new players into the market.

Last week, for instance, was rife with talk of an RFP from International Bank of Azerbaijan (see story on pg. 20).

(c) 2008 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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