Merrill Lynch Mortgage Loans Inc. priced its first commercial mortgage-backed securities deal of 2001 last week.

The issue was a C$187.68 million offering of CMBS pass through certificates, and was well received according to sources. The deal was comprised of five tranches, with ratings ranging from triple-A to triple-B-minus. The CMBS are secured by a pool of 229 multifamily housing and commercial mortgage loans originated by Laurentian Bank of Canada on 239 properties across Canada. The largest mortgage is 6.6% of the pool.

The $164.657 Class A triple-A rated tranche, had a weighted average life (WAL) of 1.839 years, and priced at par, with a 5.71% yield and coupon.

Settlement is expected Jan. 31. Merrill Lynch has been the most active issuer of CMBS product in Canada.

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