For the last three weeks the European ABS market has been seemingly bereft of new issues, but lurking in the quiet has been a growing pipeline that is set to erupt.

According to Morgan Stanley, despite a quiet start, volume figures for the first two months of the year nearly reached the record levels of $10.3 billion reached last year. "The pick-up in activity comes as no surprise, given that quarter-end considerations will be coming to the fore of issuers' minds and given the long lead times involved in putting European transactions together; it is uncommon to see much issuance in the first two months of the year," said analysts at Morgan Stanley. "This is because bankers spend the last few months of the previous year working on transactions which need to be completed before year-end."

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