Woori Bank lines up two ABS deals

Korean bank to issue deals backed by shipping and aircraft finance receivables.

Woori Bank, the flagship unit of Woori Finance, Korea's second largest financial institution behind Kookmin Bank, is believed to be close to launching two securitization deals. ABN AMRO, is arranging both transactions according to observers.

Target completion date for the transactions, to be backed by shipping and aircraft financing receivables, is early April.

Woori is looking to raise as much as $350 million equivalent from securitization, but with the cross-border market temporarily unfavourable due to perceived geopolitical risk and pricing concerns, it seems certain it will have to tap domestic investors to achieve that. Whether it will go via the conduit route, or do a public term deal has yet to be decided.

The motivation behind the deals is balance sheet management, and bankers in Korea expect other financial institutions to follow's Woori's lead in the coming months.

In June 2002, ABN arranged a $200 million syndicated loan for Woori along with Barclays and Commerzbank.