Citigroup Global Markets has reclaimed its lead in the U.S. ABS league tables, according to preliminary data maintained by Thomson Financial, outpacing its competitors by almost a two-to-one margin in the third quarter. The $32.6 billion of primary ABS supply Citigroup underwrote in the third quarter pushed its year-to-date total to $68.6 billion, giving it more than 11% of the market, and putting it $13 billion ahead of its closest competitor. In the first three months of 2003, Citigroup had sold $47 billion of new-issue supply.

Countrywide Securities, which raced to a surprising midyear lead, dropped to second place overall, with $55.4 billion sold to date and a 9% market share. In the third quarter Countrywide sold $15.7 billion, down from the nearly $23 billion it placed in 2Q04 and the $16.7 billion sold in 1Q04. Countrywide has nearly tripled

its 3Q03 total of $18 billion. Countrywide has a slim $2.7 billion lead over its third-place rival, Lehman Brothers.

With $52.7 billion sold, Lehman controls 8.5% of the market and is in a solid position to maintain its top-three placement throughout the fourth quarter. Lehman has remained fairly constant throughout the year, having sold between $16.4 billion and $18.5 billion in each of the first three quarters of the year. To date, Lehman has outpaced its 2003 performance, when it had placed $37 billion, by roughly $15 billion.

About $4.5 billion behind Lehman, Credit Suisse First Boston currently sits in fourth place overall, with $48.3 billion of domestic ABS placed in investors' hands, good for 7.8% of the market. CSFB has picked up its pace in the last two quarters - after underwriting $12 billion in 1Q04, it has sold over $18 billion and $17 billion, respectively, in 2Q04 and 3Q04.

Roughly $2 billion behind CSFB, Deutsche Bank Securities rounds out the top five, with $46.3 billion placed in the primary term market, or 7.5% of the overall market. Deutsche Bank has steadily ramped up its book of business throughout the year, pricing $14.4 billion, $15.6 billion and $16.2 billion in each of the three quarters this year.

As a group, the top-five underwriters have sold $271.6 billion of the $617 billion sold to date, and collectively control 43.9% of the market.

Copyright 2004 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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