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* Securitisation deal could be worth some 370 mln stg
* N.Rock says deal will diversify its funding base
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LONDON, March 22 Northern Rock [NRTRK.UL], the
British bank which was nationalised after nearly collapsing
during the credit crisis, launched its first public
securitisation issue in a deal which could raise some 370
million pounds ($602.3 million).
Northern Rock said the size of the transaction was expected
to represent around 2 percent of its 18.6 billion pound balance
sheet -- implying it could be worth roughly 370 million pounds.
The retail and mortgage bank added that the cash raised
would help diversify its funding base.
Northern Rock was nationalised three years ago after
becoming the first major British bank in more than 150 years to
suffer a bank run.
The government has long been keen on returning the bank to
the private sector, since selling Northern Rock would raise cash
to cut the country's troublesome deficit, and analysts consider
an eventual sale as the most likely outcome.
Virgin Money, supermarket retailer Tesco's (TSCO.L) banking
arm and private equity firm JC Flowers have all been cited as
possible acquirers of Northern Rock.
Earlier this month, Northern Rock reported a 232 million
pound loss but said it was on the "right trajectory to
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Myles Neligan)