Last week in Japan, a Y19.2 billion ($182.8 million) CLO was launched via Mizuho Securities last week as part of a government initiative to provide funding for small and medium sized enterprises. The transaction - named Tokyo Supporters CLO - features SME loans specifically originated for the transaction by several major banks, including Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Group and UFJ Bank.

The exercise is a result of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bond Market Scheme; with a Credit Guarantee Corp. of Tokyo wrap on the underlying loans.

The deal offers investors three fixed-rate soft-bullet tranches. Moody's Investor's Service has assigned triple-A ratings to both the Y1.058 billion 2.5-year class A and 5.5-year Y13.8 billion class B notes. The Y4.3 billion junior piece, also maturing in 5.5-years, is rated Aa1' by Moody's.

Meanwhile, parking lot operator Paraca Inc. announced last week it would increase securitization of its own properties in 2005. Although Paraca would not state how much it wants to raise, it says it needs to boost issuance in an effort to keep down purchasing costs. The firm is targeting properties in densely populated urban areas where demand for parking is highest.

Paraca established its SPV, which has financed the purchase of Y16.5 billion of properties, in September 2003. Investment returns from the plan reached 33% at the end of 2004, according to Paraca.

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