Citigroup Global Markets secured the top spot in the ABS underwriter league tables for 2003, maintaining a $10 billion lead on its closest competitor.

In 2003, Citigroup sold $65.2 billion of primary ABS volume - a 31.9% increase in business from the prior year when it finished as the third-leading underwriter. Citigroup controlled 11.3% of the ABS market in 2003, up from the 10.8% market share it held in 2002, according to numbers tracked by Thomson Financial.

Citigroup's lead is padded by its in-house credit card issuer Citibank N.A., which priced over $13 billion of credit card-backed ABS from its credit card issuance trust shelf, including a $2.5 billion five-year floater in late November 2003, the largest credit card ABS ever done. In all, Citibank's in house volume accounted for $21.2 billion of credit card, mortgage, student loan and mutual fund fee collateral.

JPMorgan Securities, which was the leading dealer of 2002, moved into the second place slot with $54.5 billion sold, up a modest 6.33% from the $51.3 billion sold in 2002. JPMorgan controlled 9.5% of the market in 2003, down from its 2002-leading 11.3%.

Jumping three spots to finish third is Lehman Brothers, with $51.1 billion of ABS sold last year, up an impressive 43.5% from its 2002 numbers, when it finished the year in sixth place. Lehman closed 2003 with a 8.9% market share, up from its 7.8% the year previous.

Credit Suisse First Boston closed out 2003 in fourth place, after a strong 4Q03, during which it was the second-leading underwriter. CSFB placed $49.2 billion of ABS in 2003, a 1.92% decrease from its 2002 volume. CSFB's market share also decreased, to 8.6% from 11% in 2002, when it finished the year as the second-leading ABS underwriter.

With $48.3 billion of ABS sold, Morgan Stanley moved into fifth place, up from seventh in 2002, edging out Deutsche Bank Securities by $2 billion. With 8.4% of the market, Morgan Stanley's underwriting volume represents a 37% increase from 2002, when it controlled 7.7%.

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