Structured finance: Raiffeisen and UniCredit pioneer ABS
"If you are a prime and acknowledged originator of assets there is no central and eastern European pricing premium"
Two of the leading banking groups in central and eastern Europe, Austria’s Raiffeisen International and Italy’s UniCredit, have demonstrated that there is continued investor appetite for structured finance assets from the region with the launch of pioneering transactions.
Raiffeisen was first to market, with a securitization of vehicle loans originated by its Polish leasing subsidiary, Raiffeisen Leasing Polska. The Zl1 billion ($410.8 million) transaction with a weighted average life of 2.8 years was the first international asset-backed issue from central and eastern Europe this year. Although pricing on the private placement was not publicly disclosed, Georg Feldscher, head of strategic portfolio management at Raiffeisen International in Vienna, says that it was in line with pricing on public transactions that emerged before the asset-backed market in central and eastern Europe was effectively closed down last summer on the back of the fallout from the problems in the US sub-prime mortgage market. "If you are a prime and acknowledged originator of assets there is no central and eastern European pricing premium," says Feldscher, adding that Raiffeisen Leasing Polska has been offering vehicle leases for more than 10 years.