The Italian government is ready to step back into the securitization market, the Treasury announced recently. Inail, the state insurance agency for work-related injuries, is looking to raise in the region of L3 trillion ($1.7 billion) from the transaction, which will be backed by the recovery of false insurance claims.

The treasury has also picked the banks that will handle the transaction. The mandate has been jointly awarded to BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan and Banca di Roma.

This latest development follows last year's E4.65 billion securitization of delinquent pension contributions from INPS, the Italian state pensions body (ASRI 11/30/1998 p. 1 and 12/13/1999 p. 9,). Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas and Caboto underwrote the transaction, though it was structured by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, UBS Warburg and San Paolo IMI (ASRI 11/15/1999 p.6).

At the time of the INPS deal, the treasury announced that it would look to raise around E8 billion from further securitization deals as a means of raising funds without adding to public debt, and it was widely anticipated that Inail would be the next government agency to access the asset-backed market (ASRI 11/29/1999 p. 2).None of the banks involved were available for comment by press time.

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