Banc of America Securities is readying a synthetic single tranche collateralized debt obligation referencing a USD750 million portfolio of leveraged loans, which is thought to be the first deal of its kind. Although synthetic collateralized loan obligations have already hit the market, these are more commonly created for banks wanting to hedge out the risk of their loan books, rather than being sourced from the market, and have thus far been full capital structure deals. Single tranche CDOs, meanwhile, have mainly comprised credit derivatives referencing bonds. Melissa Fox, spokeswoman at BofA in New York, declined comment.
One reason for the paucity of single-tranche portfolios referencing leveraged loans is it is harder to source loans for such structures because the leveraged loan market is markedly less liquid than the bond market. This also makes the tranches challenging to delta hedge, noted an official. It could not be determined how BofA is tackling this problem.
Rivals say the deal could be the first of many because credit derivatives referencing leveraged loans are generating a lot of buzz. Last year Credit Suisse First Boston launched the first synthetic index of leveraged loans in a bid to boost liquidity (DW, 10/20). BofA is thought to be in the final stages of structuring the deal, which is expected to come out in the next month.