Citibank has been mandated to arrange the second securitization by the Thai subsidiary of Aeon Credit Service Co., Asian ABS bankers said. Aeon Thana Sinsap made its ABS debut in February with a THB1.5 billion (US$36.8 million) hire-purchase receivables deal arranged by Standard Chartered.

The next deal will be backed by credit cards, if market chatter is to be believed. Although Citibank would not comment on the speculation, rival bankers said it was not surprising that the bank had been picked. Citibank has a long-standing relationship with Aeon, having arranged several transactions in Japan - the company's home market - and a HK$69 million (US$88.5 million) credit card deal in October 1999 for Aeon's Hong Kong spin-off.

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