Courtesy of Asset Sales Report International

Asia

China - China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, recently announced that it has given permission to the China Construction Bank to start offering mortgage-backed securities. The move caused a flurry of publicity in international newspapers and capital markets publications, with the Financial Times quoting Li Zibin, the mayor of Shenzhen, one of the two cities chosen to pilot the securities, saying that a deal would be launched "very soon or, at the latest, by the end of the year."

Japan - Morgan Stanley Dean Witter has started marketing a domestic residential mortgage securitization for Mitsubishi Trust & Banking, in a deal that the U.S. bank hopes will prove its credentials to the Government Housing Loan Corp., Japan's state-owned mortgage lender, which is close to selecting an arranger for its inaugural mortgage deal.

Japan - The Japanese securitization market took a further step forward in mid-April with a 11 billion ($103 million) privately placed residential mortgage securitization, arranged by Greenwich NatWest for Life Housing Loan, a specialized mortgage-lender owned by Long Term Credit Bank of Japan and a consumer credit company called Life.

The deal is called LHL Trust 2000-1 and received an AAA rating from Stan-dard & Poor's. It is Japan's first non-conforming mortgage deal as, according to S&P, LHL lends primarily to borrowers who do not meet the basic lending requirements of traditional mortgage lenders, but are considered to have good credit quality. These include owners of family businesses.

Japan - Nomura International recently lead managed the fourth of its so-called "club funding" deals, which see a group of Japanese companies issuing private-placement bonds with the sole intention of pooling them into a securitization.

The Euroyen deal, via a Cayman Island-SPV called Ensemble IV, allows relatively small, lowly-rated or unrated companies to use the club funding strategy to access funds at rates lower than that available from banks.

Europe

Dutch - The two biggest pension funds in the Netherlands announced recently that they are to form their own investment bank. ABP Investments and PGGM expect the new bank, called NIB Capital, to be up and running in the very near future, and say that it will initially focus on establishing its presence in the Benelux region.

Securitization will play a significant part in its strategy NIB Capital was formed from the ashes of Nationale Investeringsbank - which was bought in February last year by ABP and PGGM for E2 billion ($1.91 billion) - and other acquisitions made by the pension funds, such as Alpinvest and financial consultants Van Den Boom.

Europe - It's taken sometime for aircraft-related securitization to become a regular feature of the European ABS market, but with banks cutting down their lending to the industry, the time may be right for Europeans to build on the handful of aircraft-lease backed deals seen in the last few years. That, at least, is the forecast from Standard & Poor's in its latest report on the European structured finance market.

Germany - Germany's Landesbank Schleswig-Holstein (LB Kiel) recently made its first venture into the securitization market with a synthetic residential mortgage backed deal, the first such deal from a German Landesbank. The transaction - called FOERDE 2000-1 - totals $1.007 billion ($910 million), made up of a E888 million credit default swap and bonds worth E119.2 million.

Latin America

Argentina - 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.

Latin America - Latin American securitization pros' catchphrase used to be "get over Y2K and everything will be fine." But January 1, 2000 came and went without any major computer meltdowns and the Latin market has stubbornly refused to pick up steam.

Mexico - Financiamiento Azteca, a Mexican non-bank mortgage lender or Sofol (Sociedad Fianciera de Objeto Limitado) is in the market with P150 million ($16 million) deal through Banco Multicactivos.

Building projects commissioned by Infonavit (Instituto del Fondo Nacional de la Vivienda para los Traba-jadores), a government-sponsored housing program that provides subsidized mortgage loans to lower-income household back the transaction.

Nicaragua - Roberto Zamora, a Miami-based Nicaraguan, has long been working on building a capital market in Central America and the Caribbean, an area often regarded as a financial barren land.

Through the Latin American Financial Services Corp. (Lafise), he and his associates provide specialized financial services to multinational corporations, banks, governments, multilateral organizations and individuals with operations in the area.

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