WestLB seeks diversification
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WestLB seeks diversification

The quest for securitization

Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale's recent borrowing has been prolific and diverse: among the most active of all Pfandbrief borrowers, the Düsseldorf-based bank has also issued in nine other currencies in the past year alone.

Domestically, WestLB has some Dm175 billion ($100 billion) to Dm180 billion outstanding, with Dm120 billion of that in the Pfandbrief market at the end of July 1998. The bank is also among the top handful of underwriters in the Pfandbrief, and is rated triple-A by Fitch IBCA and Standard & Poor's for jumbo Pfandbrief. "Our strategy has been to build up a curve in the important maturities, from four to 10 years," says Werner Taiber, director and head of international funding in Düsseldorf. "We should have a volume of at least Dm2.5 billion in each maturity." Taiber also stresses the bank's "strong market-making commitment in the secondary market. The focus is to increase these volumes up to Dm5 billion".

Overseas, the bank has also been active. Over the past year, WestLB - generally as WestLB Finance (Curação), a 100%-owned funding vehicle for Euromarket activies - borrowed nearly Dm6 billion equivalent: Kr400 million ($60 million) in Danish kroner; in Austrian Schillings it issued three bonds totalling Sch2 billion ($160 million) (the bank has a holding in Bank Austria group); L400 billion ($228.6

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