Dallas-based investment banking and financial services firm Southwest Securities Group (SWS) looks to throw its hat in the ABS ring as an issuer, originator and underwriter after agreeing last week to buy ASBI Holdings Inc., a holding firm for Arlington, Texas-based First Savings Bank. SWS will start to originate and securitize home equity and mortgage product by using First Savings Bank collateral, and will also underwrite its first asset-backed transaction in coming weeks.

"The purchase will really help us open up our mortgage market and mortgage business," said Dan Leland, head of fixed income, sales and underwriting.

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