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Mexican structured finance rides out the global credit storm

LATIN AMERICA ONLINE EXTRA: Mexico’s structured finance market continues to grow on the back of its housing boom.

The volume and variety of instruments continue to grow on the back of the housing boom, while the woes of the country’s northern neighbour are seen as a source of market hiccups rather than a more serious contagion. Leticia Lozano reports.

AS MEXICAN CONSTRUCTION companies busy themselves catering for the country’s historic home-building boom, so financiers find themselves equally active, grappling with the intricacies of the new asset and deal types reaching the market to pay for all this endeavour. Over the past three years, Mexican structured finance, which has been developing dynamically in a burgeoning market for asset-backed and residential mortgage-backed securities, has been prompting a diversification of the types of assets going into securitizations.

Total Mexican structured finance issuance volume rose 15% to $7.1 billion in 2007. It is expected to maintain solid growth this year, despite the US sub-prime crisis, as fresh structured products and new investors come into the market, according to Standard & Poor’s. RMBS accounted for 35% ($2.5 billion) of last year’s overall issuance, with new issuance up 38% on 2006 and accumulated issuance up 90%. Residential property is very much the driver of structured finance, as Mexican president Felipe Calderón builds on the success of his predecessor Vicente Fox and pledges a goal of a million new mortgages a year by 2010.

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