According to Standard & Poor's, total funded issuance in the French securitization market in 2002 was $9.68 billion - up from $6.76 billion recorded a year earlier. Auto loans were the favored asset type last year, with four transactions coming to market accounting for 53% of ABS public issuance in 2002. If the market is to experience a similar growth rate this year, however, French securitizations will have to look beyond the auto sector.
"The growth in the cash market was distinguished by French auto loans, but originators, while they may still look to tap the securitization [market], will likely have little left by way of French assets to include in the pools," explained one market analyst. "Many of these deals have demonstrated innovation and often include pan-European assets. It's likely that, going forward, future consumer loans within this asset class will include assets outside of France."