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Capital Markets

Pooled funding for the Mittelstand

Schmidt: German economic
pick-up should favour the

Commerzbank Corporates and Markets is tackling the conundrum of how to finance the Mittelstand by setting up the first Schuldschein securitization programme. Commerzbank will pool the two- to five-year, €500,000 to €5 million funding needs of different small and middle-size German enterprises to create securitizable portfolios. It launched the origination phase on July 8, and expects the first ABS issues next year.

Schuldscheine have traditionally been used by larger corporates, but Commerzbank's platform should make them a useful tool for SMEs that need funding in sums of less than €20 million.

So far, the popularity of issues from comparable platforms, such as HVB's Preps, which pools mezzanine loans to European SMEs, suggests that Commerzbank should do well. Investors, it seems, want diversified credit exposure to Europe's economic heartland.

Nevertheless, Commerzbank is entering uncharted waters. "This is the first German senior unsecured funding platform," says Roman Schmidt, Commerzbank CM's head of corporate finance. The bank will repackage its own loans first, then think about including other banks' Schuldscheine on the platform.

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