MANHATTAN Card, the only listed credit card company in Hong Kong, has come up with a variety of financing options which include securitising its credit card receivables to match the consumption peak in the fourth quarter. Hived off from Chase Manhattan Bank for a separate listing last year, Manhattan Card has been relying on a refinanced syndicated loan and shareholders' funds to finance its credit card lending. Without the deposit base of retail banks, together with the expiration of the loan by year-end and the upcoming peak season in the fourth quarter, new financing activities will have to be launched soon. Managing director Stephen Chu said a financing plan comprising various options would be finalised shortly. The options include securitising its credit card receivables by turning the assets into marketable debt papers, issuing certificates of deposits and another syndicated loan. For short-term, cash-management purposes, the company has obtained a standby credit facility from five banks in the interbank market. The initial plan was to launch the securitisation project earlier this year when the syndicated loan should have expired. However, the plan was temporarily put off and the loan was re-financed to allow for some lead time. ''The product is a brand new concept and it is difficult to control the exact launching time,'' Mr Chu said. Meanwhile, the company is seeking a credit rating from Thomson BankWatch, a US-based bank rating agency which recently acquired Capital Information Service, a rating agency focusing primarily on Asian banks. Manhattan Card is also liaising with other international rating agencies such as Standard and Poor's and Moody's to procure a credit rating for its upcoming securitised papers on credit card receivables. ''We have not decided which option will go first, that would have to depend on market conditions,'' said Mr Chu. A credit rating helps broaden the investor base of debt papers and would likely lower the cost of borrowing. The company's credit card receivables grew by 12 per cent to $2.3 billion, occupying a 15.7 per cent market share in Hong Kong, slightly up from 14 per cent last year. The number of cards issued, which was around 340,000 in December, grew five per cent to 357,000, against the total number of 2.7 million cards in issue. The roll-over rate reached 80 per cent, meaning that 80 per cent of receivables were subject to interest charges of about two to 2.5 per cent a month.