-- Daniel Flatt
Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG plans to put together up to 12 securitization funds in 2008, depending on market volatility. The funds will invest in plain-vanilla transactions, said Mark Bowles, manager of the bank’s London branch, noting that the bank saw attractive yields surfacing from the market without having to take undue risk.
The funds will likely invest in mortgage-backed, consumer and credit card loan securitized debt, the majority of which will be from Central Europe, where the bank has a strong business network. “There’s not the same fear of recession that’s threatening the U.S. and Western European markets. We are finding amongst investors a continued willingness to look at products from this region,” Bowles said. At this stage, the products will more likely be attractive to hedge funds rather than larger institutional investors who have shied away from the securitization market altogether, he added.
“We will be watching the syndicated loan market. If that remains reasonably strong, then sooner or later the structured product market will begin to come back again. I suspect the early part of next year we will [invest in] secondary [market] trades,” Bowles concluded.