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Community refinanced

SAN DIEGO – Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP (HFF) announced that its San Diego team led by Associate Director Zach Koucos, Senior Managing Director Tim Wright and real estate analyst Zack Holderman arranged an $11.5 million refinancing for Pacific Skies Estates, a 9-acre, 93-space manufactured home community in Pacifica, Calif.

HFF worked exclusively for owner InSite Realty Advisors to secure the five-year, fixed-rate loan from Opus Bank. The recapitalization allows for repatriation of equity.

The coastal property, about 10 miles southwest of San Francisco, is currently 96 percent occupied, and is being repositioned as a lifestyle rental community.

The community was developed in the early 1960's. Recent investments in the property include an upgraded sea wall and approximately 16 percent new units for rent.

San Diegan sentenced

(AP) -- U.S. District Chief Judge Roslyn Silver has sentenced 61-year-old Thomas Gregory Alexander, of San Diego, to 10 years in prison for concocting a loan scheme that led to millions in losses and the eventual distress merger of an Arizona bank.

Alexander ran the scheme from 2005 to 2007 when he worked as a loan originator.

Court records show he helped create fake documents allowing unqualified borrowers to apply for loans from Mesa Bank.

They used the money to buy land and build homes. He also owned the land company many used.

Alexander pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges in June and was also ordered to pay $5.5 million in restitution.

JPMorgan resolution

(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank, reached a settlement with regulators to resolve claims tied to its home loan business.

The agreement in principle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission covers two investigations related to mortgage-backed bonds handled by JPMorgan and Bear Stearns Cos., which the bank acquired in 2008, New York-based JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) said Thursday in a filing.

“The firm has reached an agreement in principle with the staff of the SEC to resolve” some claims, JPMorgan said in the filing. “The agreement in principle is subject to approval by the SEC, as well as court approval.”

The SEC has issued notices to banks including JPMorgan in probes focusing on mortgage securities and whether lenders failed to disclose underlying credit weaknesses.

MIBA seeks shield

(Bloomberg) -- MBIA Inc. is asking bondholders to shield it from being dragged into bankruptcy by the insurance company's unit that backed some of Wall Street’s most toxic debt securities.

MBIA (NYSE: MBI) wants to change bond indentures that accelerate credit-default payments under a cross-default provision with cash-strapped MBIA Insurance Corp., replacing that unit with its more stable municipal bond insurer National Public Finance Corp.

Subbing in National removes “the direct link between a rehabilitation or liquidation proceeding of MBIA Corp. and a company bankruptcy,” MBIA said in a statement.

MBIA, shut out of the municipal debt market because of soured bets on home and commercial mortgage-backed securities, is among firms that took losses on home loans tied to lenders including Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC).

It's seeking to force the lender to repurchase the mortgages.

Selling Italian RMBS

(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase Co. is selling 940 million euros ($1.2 billion) of Italian residential mortgage-backed securities on behalf of a client, according to four investors who have been asked to bid for the notes.

The largest U.S. bank is offering senior debt first issued in 2011 under Banca Popolare di Vicenza SCPA's Berica ABS SRL program, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the sale isn’t public.

The debt is being sold under a so-called bid-wanted-in-competition, or BWIC, process, in which buyers submit auction-type offers and the highest above the reserve price wins, the people said.

Potential buyers need to say what bonds they're interested in and how much they’re willing to pay by Nov. 12, according to the people.

JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) is one of several lenders offering the notes, the people said.

Valerio Vago, a spokesman for Banca Popolare di Vicenza, said his bank was not involved in any deal.

Canadian starts

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian housing starts fell for a second month in October on declines in both single-family and multiple-unit projects.

Work slowed to an annual pace of 204,107 units from a revised 223,995 in September, or by 8.9 percent, Ottawa-based Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said Thursday.

The country's central bank forecast that housing investment, which helped lead Canada out of recession in 2009, will become a drag on growth next year and in 2014.

Multiple-unit starts in urban areas fell 11.4 percent to 119,732. Single-family starts declined 7.6 percent to a pace of 62,402 units, the lowest since March 2011, according to the CMHC report.

UK REIT decline

(Bloomberg) -- Land Securities Group Plc, the U.K.'s largest real estate investment trust, said first-half profit declined 9.8 percent after it sold buildings to finance developments.

Profit excluding changes in asset values and one-time items fell to 143.7 million pounds ($230 million) from 159.3 million pounds, the London-based company said Thursday. Adjusted earnings per share fell to 18.4 pence.

Chief Executive Officer Rob Noel is betting that developing and leasing new buildings will offer better returns than purchasing existing income-producing properties.

Land Securities is building an office tower known as the Walkie-Talkie in the City of London financial district with Canary Wharf Group Plc after deciding to proceed without lining up tenants in advance.

Tightening risk weights

(Bloomberg) -- Norges Bank Deputy Governor Jan F. Qvigstad said Norway should tighten risk weights on mortgage loans to free up capital for other lending and ease pressure in the housing market.

“One problem is that the risk weights for housing loans are very low,” he said Thursday.

“If that had been higher the banks would have been more eager to lend to businesses relative to households and housing.”

Rate increases would help balance an economy that's showing signs of overheating.

Siemens selling

(Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG, the biggest engineering company in Europe, said Thursday that it plans to sell part of its water business that generates about 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) a year in sales.

The announcement on the day Siemens reported net income from continuing operations fell 2 percent in the quarter ending Sept. 30.

Last month the Munich-based manufacturer said it was pulling out of the solar business to focus on its core operations.

The Siemens Water Technologies division includes wastewater, municipal and industrial water purification services and membrane filtration systems.

The business has 4,500 employees, 3,000 of them in North America and 600 in Asia.

Siemens (NYSE: SI) said it intends to keep its water pump business.

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