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CAPITAL MARKETS

CMBS index: Back to the drawing board

Efforts to launch a CMBS index in Europe have foundered, so the proponents of the product have now decided to abandon the original project and start again.

Caroline Philips, Eurohypo “To be able to properly hedge spread risk via an index would be a very good development for our business”
Caroline Philips, Eurohypo

The group of eight dealers that have been working on producing a European CMBS index have “gone back to square two” on the product, which was originally expected to have been launched shortly after the ABX and CMBX products in the US at the beginning of this year. The group, which includes Citigroup, Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, UBS and Merrill Lynch, has gone back to the drawing board on a number of aspects of the product, which will now not emerge until the latter part of the year at the earliest. The rethink has partly been driven by closer examination of where demand for the product will come from. An important factor in this is the CMBS conduits’ need to hedge spread risk during ramp-up of individual deals – a process that can take three to six months. There is significant demand from originators for a product that can lay off this exposure while the pool is being amassed.

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