The usual flood of Japan asset-backed deals has slowed down in recent weeks, as issuers took a breather after a flurry of new issues hit the market earlier this month.

Only two new issues came to market. The first was a 20 billion ($191 million) collateralized debt obligation originated by STB Leasing Co., the leasing affiliate of Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co.

The issue - from STBL Funding Special Purpose Co. - was backed by a pool of 4,840 equipment leases for 62 domestic companies. It was chopped into 10 tranches of bullet securities with maturities ranging from five months to five years, and coupons ranging from 0.37% to 1.53%.

Sumitomo Trust & Banking arranged the issue and retained Orix Corp. as backup servicer. The entire issue was rated AAA by Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd. and placed in the domestic market.

The second deal was a 20 billion shopping loan-backed securitization from Nippon Shinpan Co., a major Tokyo-based consumer credit company, and its affiliate, Minami Nippon Shinpan Co. The issue - from J-Shop Corp. III - comprised a single issue of fixed rate notes due January 2005, rated Aaa by Moody's Investors Service.

The initial pool of loans consists of 104,455 contracts totaling 22 billion.

Pricing will not be disclosed because the issue will be privately placed in the domestic market, said bankers at Greenwich NatWest Securities (Japan) Ltd., which arranged the deal. This marks the third securitization for Nippon Shinpan, which was Japan's first asset-backed issuer in 1996.

Pricing was reportedly close for Japan's first non-performing real estate backed securitization at press time. The groundbreaking 21 billion transaction arranged by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is expected to be placed mainly in Japan, said sources.

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