Japan-based Hankyu Corp., whose principal business is operating rail networks in the west of the country, will use securitization for the next project in its diversification scheme.

The company will transform the Nishinomiya Stadium - located in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture - into a giant shopping complex and condominiums, with construction due to begin this fall. Hankyu will issue a securitization deal this summer to raise up to 20 billion, and investors will be redeemed from future sales of shop units

and condos.

Meanwhile, over in Korea, less than two months after it completed its first RMBS in a $499.6 million offering via UBS Warburg, Korea First Bank is rumored to be planning its next deal with Merrill Lynch at the helm. Although officials at Merrill remain tight- lipped, several bankers at rival firms told ASR that Merrill has been provisionally selected for another RMBS with both parties close to finalizing contracts.

Korea First Bank's debut was one of the most successful cross-border deals done out of Asia so far in 2004. Both Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's rated the two-tranche deal triple-A due to an Ambac wrap, with the 1.79-year tranche pricing at 38 basis points over Libor and the 5.79-year piece at 58 basis points. The all-in pricing of 45 basis points was five basis points inside the previous benchmark established by Samsung Life in December 2002.

Copyright 2004 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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