Magazine article American Banker

Securitization Prospects Still Hot Abroad, Trade Group Told

Magazine article American Banker

Securitization Prospects Still Hot Abroad, Trade Group Told

Article excerpt

Amid setbacks for the secondary market at home, where investors have been retreating to safe-haven Treasury securities, Wall Street continues to seek out securitization opportunities overseas.

"Firms continue to look at this business in global terms," said George P. Miller, vice president and deputy general counsel at the Bond Market Association.

Securitization is "increasingly global in character," despite inadequate infrastructure overseas, he said.

He spoke last week during a panel discussion hosted by the association.

Fannie Mae is seeing a "growing interest" in mortgage securitization overseas, said Martin Levine, Fannie's managing director for international housing finance services.

Thailand, Hong Kong, and South Korea are among the countries that have recognized that issuing mortgage-backed securities may lay the groundwork for attracting capital back into sectors from which it has fled, Mr. Levine said. Some of these efforts combine government policies and private enterprise. And the movement has continued despite economic volatility.

The European landscape is "still a situation of separate jurisdictions," said Timothy E. Stapleford, managing director at Bear, Stearns & Co.

The creation of a single currency for much of Europe will provide "a lot of impetus for re-thinking," he said, but it will not guarantee smooth sailing. "Beneath the single currency, you still have nation-states."

Foreign companies are not on a level playing field with U.S. companies for securitization, despite the "ongoing standardization" of the legal and accounting framework across Europe, Mr. …

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