CHICAGO - Heller Financial Inc. said it has-become the first commercial finance or asset-based lending company to open an office in Phoenix.

Heller is an affiliate of Fuji Bank Ltd. of Japan.

Jeffrey Sweet, assistant vice president of Heller Business Credit in Phoenix, said asset-based borrowers previously had to go to out-of-state companies or investment banks.

Heller offers secured revolving credit lines of $2 million to $25 million for working capital and will participate up to $40 million in loans on which other institutions are agents.

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