Barings places private Japanese ABS deal

Nice work if you can get it: ING Barings has arranged a $102.6 million securitization for Nice, a consumer finance company
Japanese consumer finance company Nice has completed its fourth securitization deal via ING Barings, which not only acted as lead manager on the deal but is also the parent company, having acquired a 35% interest in the firm last year.

The Ñ12.5 billion ($102.6 million) transaction is backed by a portfolio of around 38,000 consumer loans, the first time Nice has issued a deal using such assets.

The deal was placed privately, something that is relatively easy to do in Japan's asset backed securities (ABS) market because investors are crying out for high quality paper, especially securitized paper as it carries better credit protection than straight corporate bonds.

ING Barings used the same method of placement in June when it arranged a Ñ10 billion securitization of small business loans for Shinki, a provider of loans to small businesses and consumers.

As the transaction for Nice was a private deal, neither party is obligated to give specific details about the issue. A well-placed source says, however, that the deal has an expected maturity of three years, an average life of two years and was split into two tranches.

The senior tranche received a rating by Moody's that was 'well above investment grade' and was purchased by outside investors, while an unrated subordinated piece is to be held by the issuer as credit enhancement.

Nice, which has its headquarters in Tokyo, is Japan's 24th largest consumer finance company with around Ñ165 billion worth of assets, 146 branches and over 140,000 customers.

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