India's state-owned housing and infrastructure financing body, the Housing & Urban Development Corp. (Hudco), is closing in on its inaugural securitization.

The deal is expected to be worth Rs10 billion ($230 million) in total, but there are suggestions that it may be split into two equally sized transactions to be issued at different times. It will be backed by infrastructure loans made to water, road, bridge and airport projects in Kerela, Maharastra, Karnataka and Gujurat (ASRI 9/6/1999 p.1).

Optimistic banking sources in New Delhi said that the transaction is now scheduled for January next year, with a decision on the mandate expected to

be made in December. Eighteen foreign and domestic banks submitted bids, some getting together in syndicates.

The foreign banks include ANZ Investment Bank, Merrill Lynch & Co., Citibank, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., HSBC Capital Markets, and ABN Amro, while the local players include SBI Capital Markets and ICICI. Western consulting firms Arthur Andersen and KPMG have also entered bids, as part of different syndicates.

Bankers said that the deal will be helped by an implicit government guarantee and a corporate guarantee from Hudco.

Hudco owns over $3.5 billion of receivables that could be securitized, of which around a third are made up of infrastructure loans and two-thirds housing loans.

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