As 2003 draws to a close, Citigroup Global Markets has a seemingly insurmountable lead on its competitors in the U.S. asset-backed underwriter rankings, according to preliminary numbers maintained by Thomson Financial. With $62.4 billion of ABS sold through the middle of last week, Citigroup has a rough $10 billion lead on its nearest competitor, and an 11.3% market share.

This represents a return to glory for the former Salomon Smith Barney, which also finished as the leading ABS underwriter in 2000 and 2001, before finishing third in 2002. Additionally, Citigroup was the second most active underwriter coming down the home stretch, pricing over $15 billion in 4Q03.

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