IBEX Capital Markets, both an investor of asset-backed securities and an issuer of asset-backed commercial paper, recently expanded its collateralized debt obligation program by $135 million, which will push the company's purchasing power into the $600 million range.

Privately-owned IBEX buys across all sectors of ABS, said a spokesman for the company. Under current guidelines, any bonds rated double-B or higher, and with maturities 10-years or fewer, are potential targets for IBEX.

"We have two different entities," the spokesman said. "We have IBEX Portfolio Holdings, which is an entity that goes out and buys securities and holds them.

"And then IBEX Portfolio Holdings issues a master note to our other entity, AriesOne Metafolio, which funds those purchases," he said.

AriesOne, in turn, issues 30-day asset-backed commercial paper to money market funds and other institutional investors.

Though IBEX does not currently invest in privately placed deals, the spokesman said that down the line the company might possibly look that way, as it continues to grow.

Additionally, the company might add diversity to its CP issuance going forward.

"We could issue longer term or medium term notes, or something like that," the spokesman said. "We haven't yet, but we could. If we were to issue medium term notes or something longer than 30-days, I'm sure we would continue to do it in the private markets, as private placements."

IBEX was able to raise the $135 million in capital through the infusion of additional debt.

"We took in a $10 million debt investment by an institutional investor into IBEX Portfolio Holdings," the spokesman said. "So it's a new tranche of debt capital into that vehicle - that $10 million of investment, if you will or capital - that infusion allows us to raise IBEX portfolio holdings capacity for commercial paper by $135 million."

The company was formed in July 1996 by and became operational in July 1998, though has only officially been in business since September 1998.

The spokesman attributes IBEX's successful growth to a unique perspective on issuance.

"We are the first company that focuses on the investors - the money market funds and other investors to create product - rather than focusing on the corporations and the corporate treasurers that are looking to get these financings off their books, to put it in loose hand jargon," he said.- MG/Shane Kite

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