Investors and analysts point out that now might not be the best time for a first-time issuer of equipment assets to make a go at it in the U.S. ABS market. There are no convincing signs that the economy is improving markedly and, although it appears delinquencies are leveling off, investors may be weary of new equipment issuers and the extra due diligence involved.

Nevertheless, with this is mind, small Canadian equipment finance concern Alter Moneta priced its $233 million equipment deal via RBC Dain Rauscher last week. The deal came following the establishment of a partnership between HSBC and Alter Moneta in which the latter would manage and service the portfolio held by HSBC Business Credit in addition to the acquisition of assets in its Equipment Finance Division. In all, the arrangement will add more than C$2 billon to Alter Moneta's assets under management.

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