NEW YORK — JPMorgan Chase Commercial Mortgage Securities Corp. filed a registration document for the sale of $1 billion of securities backed by commercial mortgages.

Calls to the bank weren't returned.

Since the company's $500 million commercial mortgage bond issue was sold in December, there have been no new issues in this $770 billion market.

Market participants have speculated that the next new issue is unlikely to be sold until the second quarter as it takes a while for banks to lend and then aggregate these new loans into securities.

Several banks including JPMorgan were said to be working on new commercial mortgage bonds. Another deal is expected to come from RBS with a size of $500 million.

If JPMorgan were to do a $1 billion issue, it would represent the largest offering since mid-2008. The size also is indicative that commercial lending has resumed, and investors' are comfortable with the structure of these stringently underwritten loans.

Last year's JPMorgan deal was eligible for funding through the Federal Reserve's Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF. The program for new commercial mortgage bonds is expected to sunset in June. Several deals are expected to be announced before that.

In this round of issuance, new commercial mortgage bonds are expected to sell at tighter pricing levels than the three issues that were sold last year.

For instance, the Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust deal sold by JPMorgan is now trading 40 to 50 basis points tighter from its pricing at 1.5 to 2.2 percentage points over a benchmark.

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