Telecom Italia's (TI) EURO700 million securitization of landline receivables may be a heaven-sent deal for telecom companies with augmenting corporate debt. As the doors in other markets slam shut, refinancing the billions of Euros funded in the unsecured bond markets will require the same innovation pioneered by TI's deal.

This first step for the Italian telecom promises to be one of many; with a EURO2 billion medium-term note program installed, market sources expect the company to return to market before year-end. Its promising reception has prompted other telecoms to follow suit. Royal KPN announced a EURO250 million issue in the works, while France Telecom and Telenor of Norway are designing programs of the TI magnitude, with intentions to launch a EURO2.4 billion and a EURO1.5 billion program, respectively.

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