As the European ABS markets reach a point of critical mass, looking at other regions could bring the much-needed alleviation from oversupply that some investors need to create asset diversification and arbitrage opportunities. The new EU member states might provide some relief in 2005, say market sources.

"We're expecting at least two transactions this year from the Russian and Ukraine region of the Gazprom and Rosbank variety - these are well sought after in continental Europe and we expect this trend to continue this year," said one market analyst. Last week, Rosbank topped off its initial $225 million securitization of credit card receivables (see ASR 11/1/2004) with a $75 million offering. The new transaction will consolidate with the series 2004 offering that attracted investors from across Europe and Asia.

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