Standard Chartered Bank is rumored to be involved with HSBC Securities on the Singapore-originated securitization of loans to small and medium-sized companies based in the Lion City. ASR recently reported HSBC is working with SPRING, the Singaporean SME agency, on warehousing loans before securitizing them at a later date, with any deal subject to approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Other names linked with this project now include Barclays Capital and Maybank, but details on who will be doing what are somewhat cloudy.

On the same theme, a private-sector initiative called Action Crucible for Financing is also trying to promote securitization as a means of raising funds for SMEs in the city-state. The group is believed to be recruiting banks for a two-part scheme. Securitizing loans already on bankbooks would be the first option; structuring a CLO or CBO offering would an alternative.

In Thailand, the state-owned National Housing Authority, which provides funding for low-income properties, last week launched its second securitization. The (THB)1.171 billion deal (US$28.7 million), arranged by Krung Thai Bank, is backed by a pool of residential hire-purchase receivables with a book value of B1.35 billion.

At launch, the NHA SPV 2 vehicle will issue 20-year amortizing debentures, with the purchase of the bonds funded by the sale of short-term notes through the Osprey 2 commercial paper conduit. This structure is identical to the one used on NHA's debut B607 million securitization in November 2002. On the latest transaction, Fitch Ratings gave the 20-year bonds A+' and the CP vehicle F1.

HSBC, a leading player in the Asian securitization business, has added to its number with the hiring of Angelina Nguyen as associate director of its Hong Kong-based structured capital markets team. She joins the bank following a stint with the Freshfields law firm, where she advised on a number of ABS deals, including the $110 million shipping-receivables deal arranged by Societe Generale for Korea Line Corp. in the summer of 2002. A source told ASR more new faces might be hired before the year is out.

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