Japan ABS: Ain't No Stopping Us Now


Domestic Japanese ABS issues continued to rain down recently, as corporates geared up for Japan's fiscal mid-year end in September. As usual, most of the issues were domestic and backed by equipment leases and consumer loan receivables.

Sanwa Securities arranged two transactions: a 13.1 billion ($120 million) CMBS issued by Azuchi Estate Funding Ltd. backed by an Osaka office building, and a 7.5 billion equipment lease-backed transaction issued by J-Lease Corporation for consumer credit company Nippon Shinpan. Both deals were private and Sanwa bankers declined to disclose pricing. Moody's rated Azuchi's two classes of notes A2 and Baa2, while it rated J-Lease's bonds triple-A.

Goldman Sachs arranged another equipment lease-backed deal, originated by repeat issuer Sumisho Lease Co. The 35 billion issue from SCL Enterprise SPC comprised ten tranches of bullet securities priced from 0.26% to 1.65% and maturities from six months to five years. It was rated triple-A by both Moody's and S&P.

Fuji Securities also kept busy with a 15 billion, consumer receivable-backed deal for first time ABS issuer Fine Credit Co. That issue, from FC Funding Co., comprised five tranches of bonds priced from 0.195% to 0.898%, and was rated triple-A by Moody's partly on the strength of a guarantee provided by Yasuda Marine & Fire Insurance.

Other deals awaiting pricing at presstime included a 9 billion consumer loan-backed deal for Hitachi Shinpan arranged by Lehman Brothers; a 38 billion lease-backed deal for Tokyo Leasing arranged by DKB Securities; and a 20.08 billion auto loan-backed Euromarket deal for Nissan Credit Corporation arranged by Nikko Salomon Smith Barney and Citibank.