The U.S. commercial paper market may still be four times larger than its European counterpart, but with market volumes in the U.S. on the downtrend and a growing appetite for European commercial paper, the ECP market is starting to close the gap.

According to figures reported last week at the Credit Suisse First Boston ABCP teleconference, ECP growth has doubled since 1998 and increased by 12% over the last 12 months. Euro-denominated outstandings have increased tenfold since 1998, and the euro is now the ECP market's largest currency by volume - accounting for 41.6% in the first seven months of this year and 38.8% by outstanding.

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