The second half of August saw very little activity in the European structured finance market, as bankers and investors girded themselves for what is expected to be a busy September and October.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter weren't put off by the holidays, however, as they launched a commercial mortgage-backed transaction that resembled the kind of real estate conduit financing common in the U.S.

The transaction was worth GBP168.9 million ($271 million), was backed by loans to 13 borrowers and secured on 185 properties in the U.K. and Ireland. The deal was chopped into four tranches, from triple-A down to triple-B, paying a return varying from 55 basis points over three month Libor to 225 over. Morgan Stanley said that the deal was well received by investors.

The only other significant transaction to make it to the market was the much-trailed securitization of tilting train leases from Royal Bank of Scotland subsidiary Angel Trains. The GBP480 million ($773 million) raised will be used to refinance the bridging facility the bank previously made available to Angel Trains to purchase trains from Alstom and Fiat Ferroviaria. The fixed rate transaction matures in 2015 and is rated at single-A by Standard & Poor's.

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