As anticipated, issuance in the equipment sector is significantly ahead of last year's pace, with close to $9 billion so far in 2003, including truck and equipment wholesale financing. At about $7 billion, small-, mid-ticket and A&G sectors combined have already met the $6.9 billion seen for all of 2002, and there's still a quarter to go.

In fact, fourth quarter is typically a strong volume period for equipment, as it hit $2.5 billion in 2002. Sources anticipate a few of the staple, repeat issuers to close second- or third-round deals before year's end, including IKON Office Solutions, HPSC Inc., The CIT Group, or CNH Global (with its more typical collateral, versus wholesale). Frontier Leasing and Sky Financial, both of which have been present in past years, have yet to show in 2003, though it is understood that Sky recently closed a conduit facility.

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