BNP Paribas has created a new specialty finance group with its global fixed income securitization business. Paul Chivers - formerly from Deutsche Bank as managing director in its global markets structured credit trading team - has joined BNP to co-head the new group with Olivier Baratier, who will be moving to New York from BNP's London office where he was responsible for structured credit and portfolio management. Three new hires join Chivers' London team, including Bertarand Loubieres, hired from Morgan Stanley, and Mark Wells, who comes from Depfa. Riccardo Eerenstein is making an internal move from BNP Paribas' principal finance team. Meanwhile, Wilfried Marchand, who was formerly at BNP's energy, commodities, export and project finance team, joins Baratier in New York.

Michael Corsi has moved to Deutsche Bank Securities as vice president in institutional sales focusing on MBS and structured products. Corsi comes from an over five-year stint at RBS Greenwich Capital where he led the CMO strategy group at the firm. At his new position, Corsi reports to Managing Directors Michael Jordan and Munir Dauhajre.

LaSalle Bank announced last week that Michael Tolentino was promoted to senior vice president in Global Securities and Trust Services (GSTS). In his new role, Tolentino will assume full responsibility as chief fiduciary officer for GSTS Fiduciary Oversight and Governance. The new appointee will be responsible for risk management of GSTS products and services, oversight of GSTS SAS 70 and Sarbanes-Oxley controls and reviews, business continuity plans and risk reviews. Beginning in 2004, Tolentino has served as first vice president within LaSalle's GSTS, focusing on their risk management functions. Before his stint at LaSalle, he was an associate for Hewitt Associates and vice president for Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, both Atlanta-based companies. Tolentino is a member of the Bank's trust policy, trust investment, trust litigation and GSTS new product committees.

GSC Partners appointed Richard Sharfman to its board of advisors, expanding on his current advisory role as a member of its risk and conflicts committee. Sharfman also serves as counsel to GSC Partners' management committee. Sharfman is a partner at the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, where he is a member of its senior executive committee and co-chairman of its litigation practice.

The American Securitization Forum announced last week that The Tonight Show host Jay Leno will be the featured entertainer at the ASF 2007 conference industry dinner. The dinner will be held on Jan. 29, 2007, and is sponsored by United Capital Markets. "We are delighted that Jay Leno will be returning to the ASF winter conference as the entertainer for our industry dinner, as he was very well received at ASF 2005," said Jim Ahern, chair of the ASF Entertainment Task Force and managing director at Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking in a release. "With upwards of 5,000 people expected to attend ASF 2007, Mr. Leno will be one of many highlights at the industry's biggest conference." In a related event last week, the ASF also released the agenda for the conference, which was developed by seven program advisory subcommittees who met over the past month to single out topics and speakers. ASF 2007 will be held at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas from Jan. 28 to Jan. 31.

UniCredit has hired a new regional team head for global project and structured finance in London. From January 2007, Jim Barry will head the team, which is responsible for generating and executing project and structured finance transactions in the U.K., Ireland, Africa and the Middle East. In his new role, Barry will report directly to Kai Henkel, head of global project and structured finance at UniCredit.

BNP Paribas has launched a 25 billion ($32 billion) French covered bond program. However, it won't be employing the tailor-made French covered bonds legislation, Obligations FonciEres. Instead, BNP offering is a covered bond that is structured more in line with the U.K. model.

The first deal is expected to be 2.5 billion and run for five years. Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service have already assigned a preliminary AAA'/'AAA'/'Aaa' rating. The cover bond pool consists of prime residential loans that are collateralized either by a first-ranking mortgage or a guaranty by a credit institution. Under the new structure, no minimum percentage of senior mortgage loans is prescribed for the pool, which gives the issuer much more flexibility. According to Fitch, 50% of the preliminary cover pool consists of guaranteed loans, which is representative of BNP's loan book. Under the Obligations FonciEres legislation, guaranteed loans may constitute a maximum of 20% of the cover pool.

The September Treasury International Capital System data was released last Thursday morning. The data showed that foreign net purchases of long-term U.S. agency bonds in September was $26.1 billion. JPMorgan Securities analysts project that $18.4 billion of the purchases were in agency MBS. The year-to-date total through September is $131.5 billion.

HBOS, the largest provider of mortgages in the U.K., announced plans to offer mortgages of up to 125% LTV via the Halifax and specialist mortgage lender solutions brands. HBOS currently has two outstanding U.K. prime RMBS master trusts, PERMA and MFPLC. Under the existing trust portfolio criteria, mortgages with 100% plus LTV are not allowed to be included in the securitized pools.

The U.K. government proposed the relaxation of REIT ownership rules this month that allows an individual to own more than 10% of the trust without tax penalties. For corporate ownership or self invested pensions in excess of 10%, an additional tax charge will remain. The government imposed the additional taxation for larger holdings, limiting opportunities for tax avoidance. The new rules will allow further expansion of the REIT market, as several large property companies have shareholders with stakes in excess of 10%. REITs are expected to be active in the CMBS market, using the low funding costs to increase leverage for equity holders, Societe Generale analysts said.

ABN Amro has established its leasing business in China called ABN Amro Leasing (China) Co. Ltd. The newly formed subsidiary will tap into the increasing need for ABS financing to fund capital equipment spending, including operating leases as well as sale and leaseback and receivables purchases.

Fannie Mae has priced its $1.1 billion Benchmark REMIC Trust 2006-B2, a guaranteed maturity class with a coupon of 5.50% and a May 27, 2014 final maturity date. The GMC issue was priced at 99.9102 to yield 5.44%, or 73 basis points over the interpolated Treasury curve. Settlement on the deal is scheduled for Nov. 21.

(c) 2006 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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