Less than a year after the announcement of its political risk insurance product for the capital markets (ASRI 8/9/99 p.1), the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) is looking to enter the MBS arena. The U.S. federal agency created to support U.S. business interests abroad said last week that it would develop "bold and innovative" ways to apply its financing and insurance products to housing markets in developing countries.

The new product will initially focus on Latin America. "Latin governments are no longer able to subsidize their housing sector, so the natural next step is for the capital markets to respond to the housing potential," explained George Munoz, OPIC's president and CEO, speaking at a meeting on securitization in Peru. "We are convinced that with a properly structured model we can successfully raise some long-term financing in the capital markets for Latin MBS."

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