Nippon Shinpan, one of Japan's most regular securitizers and biggest consumer finance companies, is tapping the market again with a 45.6 billion ($438.3 million) offering. The deal, launched out of the Ann Funding SPV, is backed by a pool of shopping card receivables and is being arranged jointly by Merrill Lynch and UFJ Bank.

Moody's has assigned triple-A ratings to the 40.8 billion senior tranche, which has a legal final of seven years, with the deal also featuring three small subordinated tranches with ratings ranging from Aa2' to Baa2'.

Given the reticence of most Japanese issuers to offer pricing details on their deals, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government should be applauded for bucking the trend following its recent 20.9 billion CBO. The transaction, called Tokyo Supporters CBO, was arranged by Mizuho Securities and backed by a pool of bonds issued by 372 small and medium sized enterprises.

The issue, which has an expected average life of 3.06 years, included two fixed-rate tranches rated triple-A by Standard & Poor's. A 3 billion retail tranche offered a coupon of 0.53%, or 15 basis points over swaps, while the 14.1 billion institutional piece pays 0.55%, a 17 basis points spread to swaps.

In addition, the transaction featured 300 million of double-A rated paper, paying 0.66% or 28 basis points over swaps, and 500 million of triple-B notes, offering 1.01%, or 63 basis points over swaps.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Mizuho are collaborating on another SME deal, a 19 billion CLO that launched last week.

(c) 2005 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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