Rumors about a gambling revenue-backed deal soon to be launched by state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. have been floating around for several weeks, following recent statements about such a deal by the Phlipppines' finance secretary, Edgardo Espiritu.

But contrary to many reports, no mandate has been awarded, and the government is still contemplating the feasibility of such an issue, according to bankers throughout Asia. Most recently, Goldman Sachs has been cited as having won the mandate, though that is highly unlikely. "There is no way that Goldman would do a peso-denominated deal. I would be very surprised," commented one banker. Goldman officials as usual declined to comment.

Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse First Boston and Bear Stearns are the most likely candidates though no decision has been made yet, said a source familiar with the transaction. However, any future flow deal is still in very early stages and would not materialize before year-end.

The Washington Sysip Policy Center of the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines is holding a conference on domestic mortgage-backed securitization. The conference is on October 22 in Manila. Those interested should contact Vicky Batac at 632-750-1010 or mbatac@dataserve.aim.edu.ph. Sponsors of the conference include the Department of Finance, Capital Market Development Center, and the Financial Executive Institute of the Philippines.

Nobuki Yasuda, senior staff manager in the structured finance department at Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. in Tokyo, will move to the firm's investment planning department. Yasuda currently leads a 12-strong investment team that buys domestic asset-backeds.

The first Latin American transaction featuring political risk insurance from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), a $200 million 10-year bond deal for Telefonica del Peru, was recently pulled from the market.

The postponement of the 144A offering managed by JP Morgan until the first quarter of next year casts a shadow on a score of other Latin issuers such as YPF, Aguas Argentinas, Banco Hipotecario Nacional, Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires, Transportadora de Gas del Norte and Electricidad de Caracas which were hoping to access the international market with Opic-backed deals.

Warning signs regarding the Telefonica transaction appeared earlier last month, when price talk on the deal widened out from initial levels of 350 basis points over Treasurys to 400 basis points over. According to a source, promises made by managers and insurers to deliver tight spreads were "unrealistic."

Mark Tuttle is joining Chase Manhattan's securitized finance group in New York as managing director with responsibility for Latin America. He will be leaving his position as head of the asset-backed finance group responsible for Latin America at Warburg Dillon Read. Prior to joining Warburg, he held a similar position at Citicorp.

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