Recently revised figures released by the Federal Reserve showed a continued decline in ABCP issuance between 2001 and the first quarter of 2003, according to Standard & Poor’s Rating Services.

Period end CP outstanding declined to $728 billion as of March 2003, from $765 billion recorded at December 2001, the rating agency said in a report issued this week. The decline was in contrast to the tremendous growth seen in the market through the close of 2001. Part of the stagnation, the agency said, is illustrated by the 588 sellers entering programs during the first quarter of 2003 versus the 679 sellers exiting programs during the same period.

U.S. dollar ABCP programs with issuance greater than $5 billion remained constant during recent years, while the smaller programs experienced stagnation or market attrition. One-third of total ABCP outstanding in March 2003 stemmed from the top 15 programs, a number similar to those recorded in December 2002. Edison Asset Securitization LLC, sponsored by GE Capital Corp., was again the largest ABCP program with $30.1 billion recorded. 

Loan backed programs racked up a 17% quarter-to-quarter increase in the first quarter of 2003, whereas multi-seller and single-seller programs decreased in CP issuance. Increase in this area was attributed to Lake Constance Funding Ltd., which began its CP issuance in 2003 and managed to rank as the third largest loan-backed program as of March 2003.

ABN AMRO remained the largest program administrator/sponsor bank as well as liquidity provider in the U.S. dollar partially enhanced ABCP market. Tulip Funding Corp. had notable growth in issuance, and charted in the top 15 largest programs as of March 2003.  

In all, eight newly rated programs and nine ratings withdrawn comprised activity for the first quarter 2003.






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