Talk is circulating that Turkey's Finansbank has awarded Merrill Lynch a mandate for an RMBS which could turn out to be the country's first. The bank issued a $500 million, seven-year deal backed by diversified payment rights in March of last year via Merrill.

A draft mortgage law submitted to the Turkish parliament in Nov. 2005 has stirred discussion about the outlook for the mortgage market in Turkey, which is deeply underdeveloped, according to a recent report by Standard & Poor's.

Housing loans account for 2% of GDP, a far cry from the 46% EU average, and from the nearly 65% in the U.S. In addition, the mortgages that are actually disbursed to homeowners usually have very low LTV ratios

The new draft law on mortgages "aims to establish an efficient housing finance system that provides alternative funding sources to primary lenders," S&P said in its report.

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