The latest rate reduction bond offering from Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. was being shown throughout Southeast Asia last week in the hopes that bankers can drum-up demand for the deal and for future Texas RRB issuance. Representatives from joint-lead managers Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers and RBS Greenwich Capital, as well as financial advisor Saber Partners were in the midst of a whirlwind tour that included Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo last week, showing off CenterPoint's $1.85 billion offering that is due to hit the market before the end of the year.

If the syndicate can convince Asian investors to come aboard on the deal, it will be the first time foreign investors have participated in a utility rate payer-backed securitization from the U.S. A source familiar with the offering and the roadshow, said the it is focused on large Asian banks, in the hopes to capitalize on the growing interest by Asian investors in U.S. ABS, and from Asian investors who wish to turn away from U.S. agency debt, due to the uncertainty surrounding the GSEs.

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