Following a quieter than anticipated performance in the first half of the year, the European securitization sector is back on track following a busy third quarter.

Those were the findings of Merrill Lynch's ABS international research team, headed by Alexander Batchvarov, who predicts a strong showing in the final quarter will see issuance up on last year. Despite this, Merrill now believes its initial forecast of $100 billion for 2000 was optimistic, saying that "seems increasingly unlikely to be reached, unless a number of large, one-off transactions come to market."

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