Market predictions of strong year-end volumes for ABCP issuance in 2002 are proving true. Despite difficult economic and regulatory conditions, the market grew to $178 billion at the end of the year from the $135 billion that opened up the market at the beginning of 2002, according to figures reported by Moody's Investors Service.

"The strong performance of the European market in these difficult conditions is a testament to its resilience and investor confidence in the safety of the market," said Moody's. "European conduits continue to grow at a quicker pace than their U.S. counterparts and now account for approximately 25% of the total ABCP market."

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