MANHATTAN Card says its maiden HK$200 million floating-rate certificate of deposit (FRCD) issue has been increased by 50 per cent to HK$300 million and allotments have been scaled back. The company said that the FRCD, its first in Hong Kong dollars, met with overwhelming support and allocations to the management group had to be scaled back despite the increase in size. The issue was arranged and underwritten by Jardine Fleming Bank and Schroders Asia. The issue attracted nine managers from seven countries. This month, Manhattan Card said the FRCD issue had been rated by Thomson BankWatch with a long-term debt rating of AA-minus, allowing it to qualify for liquefiable asset status. Liquefiable asset status makes debt securities more attractive to bank investors, which have to maintain a proportion of their assets in liquid form, such as cash, government bonds, or other qualifying and rated instruments. Manhattan Card said the AA-minus rating would increase secondary market liquidity and reduce issuer and investor costs. It said the issue was designed to diversify the company's long-term funding sources. The five-year FRCD issue carries a coupon of 60 basis points (0.6 percentage points) over the three-month Hong Kong interbank offered rate (HIBOR). The issue price was par. Manhattan Card has boosted its fund-raising activities in recent months. Two months ago, it launched a US$200 million credit card securitisation issue, billed as the world's first publicly registered cross-border securitisation. The company said it was the first time that assets from a foreign place - Hong Kong - had been securitised in the United States through a public offering registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It said the money from the cross-border securitisation would be used to finance Manhattan Card's operations and repay a one-year US$130 million loan. Chase Manhattan said it also expected to launch a mortgage-backed security issue early next year. The issue will be at least HK$1 billion and will be rated to facilitate secondary market liquidity.