Japanese asset-backed flow is steadily on the rise as companies rush to issue their deals before their fiscal year ends in March. Leases remained the dominant asset class, but commercial mortgage-backed deals are starting to appear in greater numbers after a disappointing showing last year.

All of the transactions were sold to domestic investors and came from repeat issuers, indicating that the market has deepened since last year, when many issuers launched for the first time.

As usual, IBJ Securities Co. was the most busy, launching three asset-backed deals within 10 days. The largest of them was a 35 billion ($322 million) auto loan-backed deal for Orient Corp. (Orico), the biggest ABS issuer in Japan. That issue from Oracle Beta SPC comprised seven tranches of five-year bullets priced from 0.16% to 1.00%, and was rated triple-A by Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's.

Close behind was a 33.1 billion, lease-backed deal for Showa Leasing Co. An SPC called Sparkle Funding Corp. issued a single tranche of seven-year notes priced at 0.89%, which was rated triple-A by both Moody's and S&P. The third was a 20.5 billion, lease-backed deal for Toshiba Credit Corp., whose issue from TA Funding SPC comprised ten tranches of bonds priced from 0.14% to 1.5% with tenors ranging from six months to five years. Moody's rated it Aaa.

DKB Securities also priced its credit card securitization originated by Aeon Credit Service, which it called the first credit card-backed deal in Japan. The 10 billion issue from AC Card Funding SPC was a single tranche of 1.52% bonds with an expected five-year maturity. It was rated Aaa by Moody's.

Tokyo-Mitsubishi International in the U.K. underwrote two lease-backed deals that were largely placed with investors in Japan. One was a 35 billion, 60-tranche issue from SCL International SPC originated by Sumisho Lease Co. The other was a 18.8 billion, 20-tranche issue from BOTL Asset Funding SPC originated by BOT Lease Co. Pricing for both transactions could not be obtained by press time.

Last but not least was a 22 billion, lease-backed deal from Fuji Securities for Fuyo General Lease Co. It comprised nine tranches of Blue Tetra Trust Certificates issued by a trust account at the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Fuji Trust & Banking Co. The certificates were priced from 0.15% to 1.06% with tenors ranging from three months to two years and were rated Aaa by Moody's.

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