Delayed Italian lease-backed transactions are expected to close early in the year once a resolution to the legal uncertainties, that crept up in the latter part of 2003, are resolved. Market analysts said that at least E2.4 billion (US$3 billion) of lease ABS has been postponed. But a legal amendment that will clarify whether leases are remote from the originator bankruptcy could stimulate growth if it extends to the securitization of all lease-backed issuance and not just to the translativo leases in question. A delay in the closing of these lease transactions put total Italian issuance for the end of the year at approximately 28 billion (US$35 billion). This is similar to levels reached in 2002.

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