United Kingdom - Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. announced recently that it is monitoring closely the performance of the E100 million ($157 million) Care Homes No.1 deal, launched in April 1997 by NHP, the U.K's largest owner of nursing homes. The deal was lead managed by NatWest Markets.

Italy - The confusion surrounding the Lit465 billion ($231 million) securiti-zation issued by Italian media group Cecchi Gori shows no sign of clearing up. It may even be getting worse. The transaction, arranged by Merrill Lynch and called Finance for an Italian Library of Movies (Films). was launched in February 1998. Since November last year, however, things have not been running smoothly, with two missed or partial rental payments and a fall in the level of overcollateralization.

Poland - Poland's tentative steps into the securitization world, after its inaugural deal last year, are gathering pace. Last week, Warsaw-based Bank Pekao launched a small scale pilot deal to see how securitization could work within the Polish legal and tax framework.

Germany - German mortgage bank Rheinische Hypothekenbank (Rheinhyp) recently launched the first multi-jurisdiction pan-European securitization of commercial mortgages. The E1.381 billion ($1.34 million) synthetic securitization deal, called Europa One, was split into nine tranches and was arranged by Barclays Capital and Rheinhyp's parent company, Commerzbank Group.

Italy - Italian bank Banco di Sicilia's (BdS) recent E380 million ($369 million) Island Finance (ICR-4) transaction, backed by a E1.4 billion portfolio of non-performing loans, was the first Italian NPL deal to receive triple-A ratings on its senior tranche. It was also the first deal of it's kind to receive ratings from all four international ratings agencies.

Latin America

Argentina - Banca Nazionale del Lavoro's (BNL)Argentine subsidiary is structuring a $350 million multi-asset program through which it plans to securitize its housing loans, credit card receivables and personal loan portfolio.

Argentina - HSBC Banco Argentina S.A. is expected to be in the market next week with $25 million in notes and $45 million in certificates through Hexagon I. The transaction, which is a repackaging of some domestic Argentine government debt, will be rated AAA on the local scale by Standard & Poor's.


Japan - Japan's most prolific securitizer, Orient Corp. (Orico), recently issued what is thought to be the first domestically placed residential MBS in Japan, in a private deal arranged by DKB Securities, sources in Tokyo said.

Korea - SG Asia recently closed the first internationally placed securitization backed by domestic South Korean assets, in a deal for its affiliate Korean French Banking Corp. (known as Sogeko). The deal was also the first cross-border securitization to use the Korean ABS law, which was passed in1998, and the first Asian securitization to be issued with the backing of the World Bank's private equity arm, the International Finance Corp. (IFC).

Singapore - Singapore property company DBS Land was forced to retain all the junior tranches of the three quasi-securitizations that it closed last year, after deciding it would be unable to place them in the market, company officials told reporters in Singapore.

Australia - The Australian mortgage-backed markets are displaying new depths - and may even be showing the first signs of maturity - with the entry of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to the global MBS market through a US$955 million issue, and the return of St. George to the domestic arena with a A$600 million (US$365 million) transaction.

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