The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to file a series of criminal complaints today against National Century Financial Enterprises, according to insiders. Although little could be confirmed as of press time, more details will be posted on www.asreport.com as they become available.
Moody's Investors Service analyst Jay Eisbruck was recently promoted to team managing director, after more than 10 years with the firm. He will continue his role overseeing the ABS group, along with managing directors Michael Kanef, and Ed Bankole, with his focus on esoteric assets, including insurance cashflows, stadium finance and entertainment royalties. Eisbruck was named senior vice president in 2000 and has made the rounds at Moody's, having worked in the surveillance, monitoring as well the ratings group. Additionally he has experience with auto loan, credit card and manufactured housing ABS.
Standard & Poor's removed two classes of auto lease ABS issued by Nissan Motor Credit from CreditWatch Negative last week, after reviewing the status of Nissan's pension obligations. The tranches, 2002-A A3A and 2002-A A3B, were placed on watch on May 12, 2003, along with numerous other auto lease ABS. "Based on the information received, S&P has determined that the PBGC lien risk associated with Nissan Auto Lease Trust 2002-A is currently not of a sufficient magnitude to warrant lowered ratings on the above referenced notes," said S&P.
Hybrid ARM originations have increased significantly this year, accounting for 23% of the total number of conventional loan supply. This percentage has risen from 14% six weeks ago. UBS Warburg said that this was expected with the market sell-off and the steep yield curve. The firm said that 3/1, 5/1 and 7/1 hybrids look attractive to non-mortgage product and fair to short fixed rate CMOs.
Law firm Thacher Proffitt & Wood will return to downtown Manhattan Sept. 2. TP&W is moving into new office space at Two World Financial Center. TPW had been operating out of its midtown office since being displaced from its World Trade Center offices on Sept. 11, 2001. TPW managing partner Paul Tvetenstrand will celebrate the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the WFC's Winter Garden.
The American Securitization Forum has scheduled Sept. 25 for another gathering in its Sunset Seminar series. The discussion, on the changing regulatory environment for securitization markets, features Deloitte & Touche partner Marty Rosenblatt and Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw partner Jason Kravitt. As has been the case with past Sunset Seminars, it is slated to start at roughly 5:30 p.m., with a
networking reception starting at
The proposal to give the U.S. Treasury supervision over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have some implications for agency MBS spreads this fall, said Bear Stearns in a recent report. The recommendation, which was discussed publicly by Senator Jon Corzine (R,N.J.), would have the Treasury absorb current GSE regulatory body Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO). Bear said that direct Treasury oversight would probably strengthen, if not formalize, federal backing for Fannie and Freddie. This is an element that could broaden the audience for both agency debt and MBS, thus tightening spreads. However, Treasury oversight may also result in new constraints on agency portfolio investment, which by contrast, could widen spreads, said Bear.
The fixed-rate CMBS conduit/fusion delinquency rate was generally unchanged in July, said RBS Greenwich Managing Director Lisa Pendergast. The delinquency rate increased by only two basis points to a weighted-average 2.24% in July from 2.22% in June. This is based on the performance of 35,858 fixed-rate commercial-mortgage loans in 209 conduit/fusion CMBS deals issued between 1995 and 2002. Pendergast said that only those 2002 deals that have seasoned by one year are included in the database.
Troubled medical equipment lender DVI Inc. announced it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after missing a coupon payment Aug. 8. The surprise of the announcement was that of accounting improprieties at the firm, which had many worried about the valuation of the assets in the $1.8 billion of outstanding ABS (see related story p. 6).
After announcing that it had compromised that the true-sale status of its asset sales in its 2000 and 2003 securitizations dental equipment finance concern HPSC Inc., said it had obtained covenant waivers from its lenders. In the initial announcement, HPSC said it may have to reverse the sale treatment of the assets in the 2000-1 and 2003 transactions. 2000-1 was led by Credit Suisse First Boston and 2003-1 was led by Merrill Lynch. HPSChas roughly $850 million in outstanding ABS.