While Titularizadora Colombiana launched an MBS program in May 2002, the agency earned a runner-up award this year for its steadfast commitment to building up this asset class in Colombia's domestic market. Maneuvering through such market stresses as spiking interest rates and political uncertainty, Titularizadora has stuck to its twice-yearly timetable with enough flexibility to strike in periods of calm. "We've hit the goals we set for ourselves when this started," said Mauricio Amador, who has been with the entity as vice president of finance since it started early last year.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of this quasi-Fannie Mae is the slow but seemingly inexorable drift of investors into this asset class. In each of the four placements, the originating banks took the bulk of the paper, but they have been gradually filtering the bonds into the market. Originators, for example, bought 71.5% of the first issue, which amounted to Ps478.9 billion (US$169 million). The group now holds 45% of the issue. Subsequent placements have been likewise trickling into the hands of investors, including pension funds, investment funds, trusts and even private sector companies.

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