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American Capital Access is looking to replace Ken Mulford, formerly a managing director in the firm's ABS credit department who jumped ship to Salomon Smith Barney's mortgage finance group.

ACA recently hired Phil Wubbena and Vimal Shah as vice presidents in the firm's ABS group reporting to Maryam Muessel, chief operating officer and head of structured finance at ACA.

Structured Finance Advisors has hired Carl Baker as a senior MBS portfolio manager. Baker joins from Aeltus Investment Management.

The American Securitization Forum is looking to hire an associate director. The successful candidate will work with Executive Director Dwight Jenkins as well as the member leadership committees and will be responsible for developing and pursuing projects and initiatives relating to the legal, regulatory, accounting, capital, and tax treatment of securitization transactions. Interested candidates should contact Dwight Jenkins at (212) 440-9431.

News

Vanguard Airlines, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 30, has exposure in two aircraft lease ABS transactions (see ASR 7/1), according to Lehman Brothers. The airline leases two McDonnell Douglas 82 aircraft from the AerCo trust totaling 2.4% of the portfolio and two Boeing 737-200A from Airplanes Pass Through Trust (AIRPT) totaling 0.3% of the portfolio. The MD 82 are considered intermediate assets, while the Boeing 737 are considered problem assets, Lehman adds.

As Brazil continued to sink further into uncertain waters last week, market participants became more and more leery about what the future holds for structured finance deals that are looking to close prior to the country's presidential elections (see ASR 7/29/02 p.17). Last week, Fitch Ratings placed Brazil's sovereign ratings on Rating Watch Negative status in light of the continued unfavorable market conditions facing the country and the consequent impact on credit fundamentals. The ratings remain at single-B-plus for both foreign and local currency denominated obligations.

While market sources recently told ASR that the structured finance arena in Brazil seemed to be on its way to regaining strength, sources this week said they were nervous about those deals.

Last week Providian Financial announced better than expected second-quarter earnings as well as an optimistic outlook for the reminder of the year, in part due to the mid-June pricing of the Providian Amortizing Credit Card Trust (PACCT). Removing the roughly $2.4 billion of high-risk accounts from its books allowed Providian to free up $67 million from the allowance for loan losses it had set up, as well as gaining $15 million of estimated uncollectible finance charges and fees.

According to Morgan Stanley, The Federal Reserve last Wednesday released its Beige Book survey of current economic conditions. While local districts reported modest economic expansion in recent weeks major cities like Boston, New York, Atlanta, and Dallas noted some slowing. Commercial real estate and construction remained weak in most areas. Specific comments were made about certain districts. New York showed signs of weakness after a period of stabilization. There were rising vacancies in Manhattan and in the suburbs. Office vacancies in Chicago are rising, but at a slower rate. In San Francisco, office vacancies rose slightly and residential markets remained firm.

Auto ABS volume is expected to top $90 billion in 2002 setting a new record high, said Standard & Poor's. Corporate headline news has pushed up unsecured financing costs thus making the ABS sector a more attractive alternative.

Online loan sale platform DebtX will announce that it has been selected to help the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) sell an additional $213 million of residential real estate loans through an auction, conducted Sept. 12, on the company's website www.debtx.com.

The portfolio consists of performing single-family mortgages taken over by the FDIC from Resolution Trust Corp., which had initially been securitized in 1995 via Bear Stearns. This is the seventh such loan sale DebtX has conducted for the FDIC.

Ratings

Moody's Investors Service has placed Jamaican Credit Card Merchant Voucher Receivables Master Trust Series 2001-A certificate under review for possible downgrade. The Baa3' rating does not consider any outside credit support by third party enhancers, the rating agency said. The review was a result of the change in ownership of National Commercial Bank of Jamaica (NCB), the transferor of the assets for this transaction. In March 2002, the government of Jamaica completed the sale of its interest in NCB to AIC Limited. AIC Limited now owns 75% plus one share of NCB Jamaica though AIC Barbados, which is 100%-owned by AIC Limited.

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Uruguay's long-term foreign currency rating to single-B from single-B-plus and the long-term local currency rating to single-B from double-BB minus. The short-term foreign currency rating remains at single-B.

Bank of America received a commercial mortgage special-servicer rating of CSS2-minus for large loans from Fitch Ratings. The agency stated the rating is based on the firm's seasoned management team, experienced real estate staff, and financial strength. In a release, Fitch stated that members of BofA's asset management group have completed several successful sales of distressed loan portfolios, negotiated debt restructures to maximize collections on defaulted loans, and have successfully collected defaulted loans. As of last June 30, BofA was named special servicer on four single asset CMBS deals amounting to $1.04 billion. Fitch rates commercial mortgage servicers on a scale of one to four, with one being the highest rating.

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