Singapore recently saw its second-ever non-CBO securitization, in the form of a S$193 million ($111.6 million) commercial mortgage-backed transaction, originated by real estate developer DBS Land. The unrated transaction, backed by income from an office tower called Robinson Point, was arranged by DBS Bank and domestically placed.

The building was sold to an SPC called Visor Ltd., which issued two tranches of 10-year bonds: S$125 million in six percent senior bonds and S$68 million in two percent junior bonds, which were retained. Retail investors bought S$20 million of the senior portion, the first time that retail investors in Singapore had the chance to invest in a CMBS deal. "The response was overwhelming," said the bank's head of capital markets, Eric Ang.

Singapore's government has embarked on a high-profile campaign to become a regional financial center and securitization has recently been touted as a way for it to deepen its debt market. But high liquidity in the domestic market has made ABS issuance uneconomical for most firms.

Global ABS issues are also unlikely in the near term, since lack of diversity in the tiny city-state is likely to be a concern for international investors, pointed out a local ABS banker. VC

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