More details have emerged on a recent RMBS from Panama's La Hipotecaria, the second cross-border mortgage deal from Latin America this year. The $73 million, six-year average life bond priced at 5.75% and holds triple-A ratings from all three leading rating agencies. The final maturity is 29 years. XCLA wrapped the transaction, which ended up with three asset management companies, according to Rob Fine, president of sole lead Descap Securities. The arranger had never before executed a cross-border securitization in the region. It plans to do so again, Fine said. "At this point we're going to focus on the emerging market mortgage sector," he added, saying that Central America was of particular interest. Mexico, on the other hand, held less appeal for Descap, as a number of rivals had already dug in their heels.

La Hipotecaria is yet another example of how subprime noise isn't reverberating outside the U.S. The woes up north didn't cause any problems in securing the guaranty, according to Fine. "The issuer hasn't suffered any losses due to delinquencies," he said. And the first seven transactions in the RMBS program - all issued domestically - have been performing well. A particular strength of the collateral is that payments are automatically deducted from the borrower's paycheck.

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