While eyes have been glued to Deutsche Bank in the race to take the first true MBS to Mexico's market (see ASR 1/27, p.21), local bank Banorte appears to have snuck ahead. Last week, Fitch Ratings confirmed a deal for up to Ps360 million (US$33 million) and carrying a tenor of no longer than 5.8 years. The national-scale rating is AAA(mex)'. Legal counsel is Irurita.

The structurer is Solida Administradora de Portafolios - part of the Banorte family - while the placement agent will be the bank's brokerage arm. Launch is timed for no later than May, according to a source on the deal. While Mexico's housing finance sector has thrived over the last several years, deals have been almost exclusively backed by bridge loans for construction and not mortgages per se.

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