Yurts and kraals go off balance sheet
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Yurts and kraals go off balance sheet

More and more emerging countries are developing asset-backed securities markets as a way to improve on inefficient bank financial intermediation. The aim is to stimulate domestic investment, as well as to attract international investors that have long bought emerging-market issues backed by hard-currency receivables. With a little help from the IFC, mortgage securitization schemes are now running in Argentina and South Africa. The IFC has also helped develop more complex lease securitizations in Korea and Turkey. If securitization markets are to grow as big as those in Europe and the US, radical changes are needed in bankruptcy laws, regulation and standards of disclosure. James Smalhout reports

Author: James Smalhout “The fundamentals are in place in several countries,” says Arun Sharma, head of structured finance at the International Finance Corporation. “Something significant could happen.” Sharma thinks that securitization is becoming much more important for emerging markets.

Progress has come in fits and starts for almost a decade. But now, the fundamentals are shifting. Many developing countries are balancing their budgets or even running surpluses, for the very first time. Inflation is down and governments have been privatizing their old pay-as-you-go social security systems. “Crowding out, particularly by governments in Latin America, is becoming less and less of a problem and now they need to develop new securities for domestic markets,” says Maureen Coen, a managing director with Moody’s in New York. Cross-border deals originating in developing countries meanwhile are becoming more innovative than ever. “We are seeing more creative proposals from investment bankers for both domestic and cross-border transactions,” she observes. “They are finally getting deals done, but the cost of securitization is not yet where issuers want it to be. So, some cross-border deals are not coming to market.”

Sharma’s busy little team at the IFC has been spreading the gospel of securitization from Ankara to Argentina, and from South Africa to Seoul.

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