Thailand was once expected to be a leading Asian source of asset-backed transactions, until the market volatility after the currency crisis in 1997 quashed the handful of securitizations in the pipeline. But now that signs of stability are starting to appear, some forward-looking arrangers are starting to scour the surviving pieces of the Thai economy for securitization opportunities.
Much has happened since the first securitizations were completed, with the number of potential players much smaller than it was before the crisis. Finance companies which originated most of the securitizations done to date have largely been liquidated, merged, or nationalized. After the government shut down 58 at a stroke in 1997, only 19 out of an original 91 are left. Banks were once likely sellers of credit-card and mortgage-backed deals, but that sector has also seen major consolidation. So far, the government has intervened in eight out of 15 commercial banks, while others await to be privatized.