Issuance of asset-backed securities (ABS) in South Korea rose more than 30 percent in the first half of this year due to a surge in sales of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) by the state-run mortgage provider, financial watchdog data showed Thursday. ABS sales amounted to 26.8 trillion won (23.8 billion U.S. dollars) during the January-June period, up 35.5 percent from the same period of last year, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). Financial, non-financial firms and mortgage agencies in South Korea use cash flows from mortgage loans, sales receivables, loan receivables and credit card receivables as underlying assets to issue ABS. The state-run Korea Housing Finance Corp. (KHFC) issued a record 14.2 trillion won worth of MBS, accounting for more than half of the total ABS sales in the first half. The public agency, which securitizes standard conforming loans, increased sales of MBS to meet the government\'s efforts to boost the long-term, fixed-rate loans. The Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH) floated 700 billion won worth of ABS with rent receivables as collateral in the first half, down 500 billion won from a year earlier. ABS sales by credit card issuers reduced 26.3 percent from a year earlier to 2.9 trillion won in the first half due to slumping consumption, but those issued with auto loans and lease as collateral gained to 1.1 trillion won in the first half from 189.5 billion won a year ago. Issuance of ABS collateralized by real estate project-financing (PF) loans declined 81.9 percent to 300 billion won over the cited period amid faltering property market, but those issued with handset installment sale receivables as collateral increased 9.5 percent to 3 trillion won.