Now that the worst of Asia's financial crisis has passed, the International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank, is looking to help asset-backed originators in the region get their transactions off the ground.

"After the crisis, the need for the IFC is much greater than before. Lenders have pulled back and investors are still reluctant. But we believe that the Asian markets are ready for this type of instrument, which we'll be offering along with other traditional products," commented Arun Sharma, head of structured finance at the IFC in Washington, D.C. No transactions with IFC backing have yet emerged from Asia, although Sharma said he is working on some deals in the region.

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