A steady stream of Japanese ABS issues continued to rain down in recent weeks, reflecting firm's desire to improve their financial standing before Japan's fiscal mid-year in September.

The biggest issue came from repeat ABS issuer Showa Leasing Co., which launched a 32.8 billion ($277 million), equipment lease-backed securitization via Sunflower Funding Special Purpose Co. The issue comprised 12 classes of notes with maturities ranging from six months to six years and coupons ranging from 1.55% to 2%. It was rated triple-A by both Moody's and Standard & Poor's. IBJ Securities arranged the transaction, which marked Showa's first public domestic ABS after two previous Euromarket issues.

IBJ also kept busy with an auto loan-backed securitization originated by first-time ABS issuer Kokunai Shinpan Co., one of the country's largest consumer credit companies. An SPC called KC Prime Asset Funding Special Purpose Company issued eight classes of notes totaling 23 billion, with coupons ranging from 0.27% to 1.23%. Maturities on the notes ranged from six months to four years. Moody's rated the transaction triple-A.

Another shinpan, or non-bank finance company, that recently priced its first ABS issue was JACCS Co. Its 11.9 billion auto loan-backed issue comprised six classes of notes with maturities ranging from six months to three years and coupons ranging from 0.343% to 0.92%. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Securities arranged the deal, which was rated triple-A by Standard & Poor's and Japan R&I.

Shopping loan-backed deals are also becoming more common, with one more coming in the shape of a 30 billion transaction originated by GC Corporation, a consumer finance business. The deal, backed by consumer installment sales receivables, benefited from a financial guarantee provided by Mitsui Marine and Fire Insurance. An SPC called Rainbow Global Capital Limited issued three tranches of securities with coupons from 0.5% to 1.70%.

ING Barings arranged the transaction, which was rated Aa1 by Moody's.

Finally, NEC Leasing, an affiliate of NEC Corp., launched its second domestic lease-backed ABS in the form of a 30 billion deal issued by Spread Finance Ltd. That transaction comprised nine classes of notes priced from 0.278% to 1.48% with maturities ranging from six months to 4.5 years. It was arranged by Daiwa SB Capital Markets and rated triple-A by Moody's and Standard & Poor's. VC

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