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Barclays Eyes First CDO In Asia

Barclays Capital Asia is looking to issue its first synthetic collateralized debt obligation in Asia on the back of a recent push into the regional credit market, according to Rick Ng, director and head of sales for fixed income and structured products in Hong Kong.

"We're gearing up our resources," Ng continued, adding that the firm has started talking to clients about issuing a synthetic CDO in the region. The firm is planning a USD1 billion arbitrage CDO referenced to liquid Asian credits, with global names to increase diversity. Ng added that Barclays structured its first synthetic CDO in Japan three weeks ago.

Ng continued that Barclays has begun a more concentrated focus on the credit derivatives market under the leadership of Robert Morrice, who was appointed chairman and chief executive of Asia Pacific in Hong Kong. Previously, Morrice was the global head of credit products in London. Morrice was traveling and could not be reached for comment. For the push, Ng expects Barclays will look to add two credit structurers in the coming months.

"Everyone's rushing to get their first CDOs in Asia out of the way," noted a credit trader at a rival firm in Hong Kong. He added that Barclays has been aggressive on gaining market share in the asset-swaps market in recent months and is now keen to target the credit derivatives market.

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