ASSET-BACKED securities in Asia could top US$350 billion in the next 10 years, according to the head of Capital Markets Assurance (CapMAC), who predicts that debt offerings in the region are due to take off. Mahesh Kotecha, managing director of CapMac, quoted the World Bank figure of $1.3 trillion that would be needed for infrastructure over the next decade. This figure could only be met through mobilising domestic and international investment funds in the fixed-income markets, Mr Kotecha told an International Business Forum (China) conference on credit ratings and risk assessment in Asian emerging markets. The share of private market financing would probably rise to 15 per cent from seven per cent, said Mr Kotecha, whose company helps arrange ratings for debt issuers. Aggregate asset-backed securities volume in Asia was projected to top $350 million over the next 10 years, he told the conference. Demand for Asian fixed-income securities already exceeded demand, he said, particularly for maturities of less than five years. In 1992, international bond issues from Asia totalled US$2.34 billion, but surged to US$18.9 billion by the end of 1994.