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Brazilian RMBS market launches

The long-awaited debut Brazilian residential mortgage-backed securities transaction backed by a bank’s own mortgage portfolio will be priced in the next few weeks. Despite Brazil’s booming economy and growing securitization market, RMBS has been slow to get off the ground. But things are changing. ABN Amro’s R$100 million ($50.5 million) deal should hit the market by early September, if not before. Caixa Economica Federal, a government-controlled bank, should be second to market, as it plans to bring its inaugural transaction to the market by the year-end.

"I think this is the start of a trend," says Rui Silva, executive director at ABN Amro in Brazil. "The big local banks are the main mortgage lenders in Brazil and they are all pushing that area to grow, so I expect they will be hot on our heels trying to structure the next RMBS transactions." Previously, RMBS deals in Brazil have only been issued by real estate developers, not banks.

At 1.7% of GDP, Brazil’s domestic mortgage market contrasts poorly with its peers such as Mexico, where the booming market accounts for nearly 20% of GDP. Local interest rates have declined significantly over the past two years but not to the point where Brazilian lenders are putting a lot of effort into their mortgage businesses.

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