Split mandate for Kookmin ABS

ING and Bank One selected for Kookmin Card''s first cross-border securitization.

Kookmin Card, one of Korea's largest credit card companies, has selected ING and Bank One to handle its first public cross-border securitization, according to rival bankers who also pitched for the deal.

Towards the end of May, Kookmin sent out request for proposals (RFP) to 16 investment banks (see related article), a record according to some ABS bankers, and eventually decided on a split mandate. It is believed that Kookmin is seeking to raise up to $500 million from the transaction and this will be done through a conduit issue - to be arranged by ING รป and a public term deal, to be structured by Bank One.

Neither bank was available for comment, although there would seem to be obvious reasons for their selection. ING, for example, arranged a $200 million triple-A rated conduit deal backed by auto loans for Samsung Capital in March 2001. The bank also structured two other Korean cross-border offerings last year: a $250 million consumer loans deal, also for Samsung Capital, and a $500 million issue for Samsung Card.

Meanwhile, although Bank One is not yet established as a major player in Asia, it seems to have been rewarded for its involvement on a privately placed, unrated $300 million cross-border securitization arranged for Kookmin last year.

Aside from that, Kookmin Card has also issued six securitizations in the domestic market. It now joins some of its major competitors in lining up international card ABS deals in 2002. Korea Exchange Bank mandated CSFB, HSBC has been chosen by Samsung Card, while Woori Financial selected UBS Warburg to arrange its first cross-border deal.

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