Thanks to a trio of domestic deals since the end of July, Chile kept moving when activity ground to a halt elsewhere. Two transactions sprang from the housing sector, which would typically be a yawn in a market where real estate structures are firmly established and account for the lion's share of outstanding securitization volume. But this time the dull hearth of the industry produced an eye-popper, at least by local standards. On Aug. 29, local structurer BCI Securitizadora closed a deal totaling 3.84 million inflation-indexed units (UF) (US$95 million), the largest ever in the housing sector. Senior tranches amounting to 3.77 million UF (US$93 million) priced at 6%, somewhat wide of comparable deals in the ratings category, which was AA' on the national scale by Standard & Poor's affiliate Feller Rate and Moody's Investors Service affiliate Humphreys. The heft of the deal probably pressured pricing, according to one investor. The average yield on the collateral is 8.08%.

With an average life of six years and final legal maturity of slightly over 19, the transaction was backed by mortgages originated by Banco Santander, which recently ballooned into the country's largest private bank upon merging with Banco Santiago. Apart from its stellar size, the transaction marked the first time this originator has sold mortgages for securitization. Legal counsel was Guerrero, Olivos, Novoa y Errazuriz.

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