At approximately $1.8 billion, catastrophe bond issuance nearly doubled in 2003 compared with previous years, sources at Moody's Investors Service reported. While the insurance sector issuer base has leveled off, corporates may become more active in the market, with at least one or two hopefuls in the pipeline, and even more kicking around the idea.

EQECAT, the predominant risk modeler for natural disaster-linked deals, is fielding increased interest from non-insurance entities looking to hedge against the inevitable.

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