Citicorp expects to securitize as much as $12 billion of assets in Japan this year, double the amount the bank handled in 1997.

Nikkei Financial Daily, citing remarks by Frank Cavallo, vice president for asset securitization at Citicorp in Japan, said cutbacks in lending by Japanese banks has made Japanese companies more eager to securitize assets as an alternative source of funding. A Citicorp spokeswoman confirmed the report.

Mr. Cavallo added that the assets that could be securitized included accounts receivable, as well as lease receivables and bank loans among others.

Mr. Cavallo also suggested that financial deregulation in Japan is expected to accelerate asset securitization in that country.

Citicorp first began to securitize assets in Japan in 1988 and has so far arranged $20 billion to $25 billion worth of such transactions.

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