Despite the growing perception among investors that European securitizations are a safe haven among the shaky global equity markets, volume for the first half of this year is down 6.3% to E60.7 billion from the E64.8 billion issued during the same period last year, reported the European Securitization Forum.

According to the ESF report, RMBS and CDO transactions dominated the first-half issuance, and a steady decline in non-mortgage asset-backed securities is cited as the main instigator for volume shrinkage. Within this sector, volumes were reported to have decreased by 19.4% to E32.3 billion from 2001 volumes of E40.1 billion. This is a far cry from the year-end momentum that had many market participants hopeful for a repeat of 2001 volume, if not a slight improvement.

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