UniCredit Leasing, the asset finance arm of Italian bank UniCredit, has launched a €1.3bn leasing securitisation according to a statement from the firm.

The debt bonds mark the first Italian public offering of an asset-backed securitisation since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2007.

The public securitisation gives the company a substantial boost to its capital, which the bank says will be used to help SME’s in Italy in accordance with an initiative by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF).

The issue is the thirteenth securitisation of the UniCredit Leasing portfolio, with four of those being privately placed.

The deal was structured and brought to the market by UniCredit Bank AG as sole arranger and Clifford Chance as legal advisor.

Issued in four tranches of partly paid notes, the first three tranches were rated AA+ and A2 respectively by Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor services. The fourth and largest tranche was unrated but underwritten by UniCredit.

Class A1 tranche was €90m in size and purchased by KFW and backed by the EIF with a weighted average life of the underlying of 2.7years. Class A2 was €400m in size with a weighted life of 3.6 years and purchased by the EIB.

Class A3 was for €225m and was purchased by Société Générale Capital Market Finance and UniCredit SpA.

The final tranche, Class B Junior, to a total of €585m was taken on by UniCredit Leasing according to the company.

The bonds were listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and have a maturity to December 2036.