First Taiwanese offshore primary CBO in doubt

The attempt to offer the first offshore primary Taiwanese collateralised bond obligation (CBO) appears to be in serious jeopardy, with credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) withdrawing its preliminary rating on a tranche of notes.

S&P had issued a preliminary ‘A’ rating to the Class A guaranteed floating-rate notes worth $133 million issued by TMBF One Ltd in March. An official at the rating agency told RiskNews today: “The deal was ready to go [in March] but never closed." As a result, the agency’s analysts believe the transaction has probably been pulled.

Officials involved with the transaction at Hong Kong-based investment bank Asian Capital Partners and Hong Kong-based ADM Securities were not available for comment.

TMBF One was to be the first offshore primary CBO. The transaction was co-sponsored and co-arranged by Taiwan’s International Commercial Bank of China, ADM Securities, Asian Capital Partners and Taiwanese research house Insight Pacific.

At the time of proposed launch, in March, about 18 small to medium-sized Taiwanese companies had been shortlisted to issue US dollar-denominated convertible bonds. Special-purpose vehicle TMBF One was to issue three classes of notes due in 2006 backed by the convertible bonds.

Besides the class A notes, TMBF One was also to issue class B senior preference shares worth $16 million and class C junior preference shares worth between $18 million and $20 million.

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