Two special-purpose corporations created by Citicorp to promote its asset-based lending are preparing to issue up to $3.5 billion in medium-term notes in the private placement market.

Until now, the financing units -- Ciesco L.P. and Corporate Asset Funding Co., or Cafco -- have relied solely on commercial paper to fund the short-term assets that they buy from customers.

In reports to be issued today, Fitch Investors Service Inc. says the two corporations are each authorized to issue a total of $7 billion in notes and commercial paper.

The rating agency expects to give the medium-term notes the same top ratings that the commercial paper carries, a Fitch official said.

By expanding their armada of securities, the corporations hope to attract a broader investor base, said an investment banker at one of the Ciesco's dealer firms.

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