The refinancing game

With a bulging pipeline borrowers are racing each other to get their deals out in the market first.

Loans are not repaid - they are refinanced. This has been the mantra of the Korean banking sector since recovering from the country's financial collapse in 1997.

Last year there these credits were conspicuous only by their absence as investors refused to purchase any more paper. This was attributed to the constant bullying of banks to price deals inside their counterparts.

Woori Bank tried to get a jump on its rivals by sending out RFPs in mid-December. The bank hoped to issue a mandate last year so that syndication could be launched right at the beginning of 2004.

A number of banks replied, these included Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi,...

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