ABS issuance in the credit card industry might see a slow-down in the short-term as consolidation gains traction with the recently announced acquisitions by Citigroup Inc. and Washington Mutual Inc. Over the long term, however, fewer players might give the sector a boost.

Citigroup said on June 3 that it would acquire $4.4 billion of credit card receivables from Federated Department Stores Co. and purchase an additional $2.2 billion of May Department Stores Co. receivables when its acquisition by Federated is completed. Meanwhile, Washington Mutual announced days later that it would acquire credit card company Providian Financial Corp., which has an $18.1 billion non-prime credit card portfolio.

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