Mark Sun recently started in the auto origination group at JPMorgan Securities. Sun had worked in a similar capacity at Barclays Capital for four years. Prior to that, he was at Salomon Smith Barney.

The Alta Group, a firm specializing in equipment leasing, recently appointed Humbero D. Olavarria as a principal for its Latin American division, the company said in a release. Olavarria will also support the Asia region. He previously spent five years at Citibank N.A., heading up the regional asset-backed operations for Latin America initially and then for the Asia Pacific region. Prior to his time at Citibank, Olavarria worked in the leasing and equipment finance industry in Latin America.

Student lender Nelnet, Inc. reported that its student loan portfolio has grown to $12.2 billion as of June 30, an increase of $2.7 billion, or 29%, from second-quarter 2003 and a 17% increase from Nelnet's position at year-end 2003. Year-to-date net income totals $94.4 million, compared with $17.9 million for the first six months of 2003. For 2Q04, net income was $85.3 million, compared with $8.3 million in 2Q03, a 22% year-over-year increase, and a 68% increase for the quarter.

Fannie Mae announced last week that it has taken additional steps to enhance disclosure for its MBS. Beginning in August, the company will include data for Mega pools on the monthly Supplemental file and will provide a new file for MBS pools with initial interest-only periods. The newly disclosed data will be posted on Pool Data Direct and on PoolTalk.

Continued growth is expected of true sale transactions for asset classes securitized in Germany in the first half of the year, according to a report from Standard & Poor's. The total volume of publicly rated German risk transfer increased to 6.7 billion ($8 billion) in the first half of 2004 from 4.1 billion ($4.9 billion) in the first half of 2003, an increase of about 62%. Germany ranks fifth in Europe in total risk transferred.

Washington Mutual, due to close 53 of its commercial banking locations, last week streamlined its commercial banking business, including the discontinuation of its proprietary CMBS platform. The group will stop serving the professional homebuilder finance sector as well, with its commercial real estate team merely focusing on structured and standardized portfolio lending for CRE owners and investors. The group will still lend to multifamily and CRE owners and investors, and offer lines of credit and deposit products to mortgage bankers via its mortgage banker finance business. Additionally, it will still serve residential clients via its specialty mortgage finance business and Long Beach Mortgage. These actions would mean losing 850 jobs across the U.S.

Total assets under management for specialty servicer Portfolio Financial Servicing Company topped the $10 billion threshold last week, the company announced. The Portland, Ore.-based servicer, with offices in West Columbia, S.C., serves as a primary and backup servicer for Captive Finance Programs, Net Receivables and Collateralized Debt Obligations, as well as equipment leases. "This growth is, in part, attributed to PFSC's ability to consistently meet the diverse needs of our clients and the high standards of the structured finance market," said PFSC Jerry Hudspeth, president and CEO.

As anticipated, collections in SCIP2, the Italian real estate government securitization, fell short of new-issue assumptions. Regardless, Fitch Ratings believes the deal is still relatively strong in the near term at least. The latest investor report for the deal showed quarterly collections were 255 million (US$310 million), just 15% of what was expected for that period. However, investors were warned earlier this year that a new law allowing for deeper discounts to tenants might delay the timeliness of collections going forward. Since the April implementation of the decree, collections have shown slight signs of improvement, said market sources. But the portfolio performance remains well below the business plan. SCIP2 has collected 1.1 billion (US$1.3 billion) to date versus the expected 5.4 billion (US$6.57 billion) outlined under the business plan.

Standard & Poor's believes the European ABS market will see increased diversity and increased volume in the latter half of the year, the rating agency said Tuesday. The report entitled Scope and Scale of European Asset-Backed Transactions Widen from the ratings agency shows funded European ABS issuance rose to 24.1 billion in the first half of 2004, compared with 14.9 billion in the same period of 2003. Italy accounted for approximately 43% of the total. S&P also noted that the pipeline of transactions is still solid, and the market will asset types such as leases, credit cards and auto loans.

Commission entered an order that revokes the registration of the Class A common shares of Spiegel Inc. Spiegel states that "no member of a national securities exchange, broker or dealer shall use the mails or any means of instrumentality of interstate commerce to effect any transaction in, or to induce the purchase or sale of the shares." The SEC made the order pursuant to the Offer of Settlement submitted by Spiegel that is related to a pending investigation of the firm by the SEC. Spiegel is no longer required to and does not expect to make filings of annual, quarterly or other reports as a result of the order submitted.

Copyright 2004 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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