Andersen Legal steps up Asian securitisation drive

The appointment of Andersen Legal member Zaid Ibrahim & Co consolidates the firm's successful entry into the market for government securitisation work. The firm handled Malaysia's first securitisation last June on the 1st Silicon transaction. It later secured the first ringgit securitisation, which completed last August.
Charon Maokhzani, the lead partner on the deal said: “The Asian securitisation market has been dominated by Clifford Chance and Freshfields [Bruckhaus Deringer], but in this instance we acted alongside Allen & Overy, which won the mandate against inevitable competition from these traditional players.”
The 1st Silicon transaction involved an issue of US dollar debt securities through a special purpose vehicle in the Labuan offshore financial centre. Zaid Ibrahim then went on to work on the first Malaysian ringgit deal, with Andersen Legal being the sole legal adviser.
Asset management company Danaharta was set up by the Malaysian government in 1998 to tackle the country's chronic problem of non-performing loans. It was backed by a change to law last April when the Malaysian Securities Commission issued guidelines to allow securitisations.
According to Maokhzani: “The Malaysia Securities Commission opened the door to asset-backed deals in April when it issued guidelines that removed many of the tax hinderances.
“It is naturally pleasing to be involved in two of the high-profile deals that have followed the commission's move and we're confident that more will follow.”