Asia

China - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a department of the U.S. government, and its equivalent in China, the Ministry of Construction, recently announced an ambitious joint project that will test the possibilities of developing a mortgage-backed securities market in China.

Japan - Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's second securitization of Japanese non-performing real estate loans is nearing the final straight, according to sources close to the deal. The transaction, called International Credit Recovery-Japan Two, is expected to resemble the first highly successful deal, which closed in December last year.

Japan - The troubles surrounding Life Co., a consumer credit company that has filed for protection from its creditors, is unlikely to affect its only asset-backed issue, a transaction called Freya Funding Corp. The deal, which was launched in March 1999 and worth $216 million, had its ratings affirmed by Standard & Poor's even as it entered the corporate restructuring process.

Tokyo - Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's residential mortgage deal for Mitsubishi Trust & Banking closed recently, in what is only the third public RMBS transaction from Japan. The deal, which market pros in Tokyo said was well received by investors, was worth 33 billion ($309 million) and marked a significant advance in an RMBS market that has not grown at the rate many hoped due to outstand ing to legal and technical difficulties.

Europe

United Kingdom - Alliance & Leicester, the U.K. financial services group that provides mortgages, banking and insurance products, recently announced that is considering a move into the securitization market as an alternative way of raising finance. The company has awarded Morgan Stanley Dean Witter the mandate to advise it on any potential issue.

Ireland - Irish mortgage lender First Active stepped backed into the market recently with the first European securitization of flexible buy-to-let mortgages. Called First Flexible No.2, the GBP300 million ($449 million) transaction was backed mainly by a portfolio of over 4,000 flexible buy-to-let mortgages originated by First Active, almost 70% of which were concentrated in London and the South East of England. J.P. Morgan acted as lead manager.

Latin America

Uraguay - Banco Hipotecario del Uruguay (BHU) is pushing ahead with the country's first securitization. The state-owned bank is shopping for an arranger for a $100 million cross-border mortgage-backed deal, which is scheduled for next year.

Mexico - Mexican bank Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex) and Peruvian bank Banco del Credito del Peru (BCP), both issuers of credit card securitizations are now looking into a new asset class: trade payments. Though Turkish banks such as Garanti Bank and Teximbank began issuing trade payment securitizations last year, BCP and Banamex would be the first Latin banks to structure deals backed by these assets.

Peru - Banco del Credito del Peru's (BCP) $100 million securitization of electronic remittances, which was expected to close in mid-June, is reportedly delayed due to political instability in Peru after the controversial second-round of presidential elections. ING Barings is the arranger for the deal, which is wrapped by a monoline insurer.

Miscellaneous

MBIA Insurance Corp., the U.S. company that provides financial guarantees for asset securitizations as well as project finance, announced recently that it is to move its global marketing effort from the U.S. to London. The firm's vice chairman, John Caouette, will move to London to head its operations in the international markets.

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