In a drastic re-ordering of top ABS bookrunners, JPMorgan Securities became the top-ranked manager for public ABS deals in the first half of 2007, according to a preliminary tally of deals by the ASR Scorecard database.

JPMorgan completed 48 deals that amounted to $32.1 billion in lead manager business, making it the hardest working bank by far in the first half. That amount of underwriting business gave the bank a 10.3% share of the ABS lead manager market in the second quarter. Citigroup Global Markets followed, in second place, with 42 deals amounting to $29 billion and a 9.3% market share, repeating its second-place finish from the previous quarter. Banc of America Securities, placed third for the most recent quarter, with $27.9 billion in lead manager business.

The end of the first half also saw final refinements to the ASR Scorecard database. Each investment bank was assigned partial credit for deals on which they acted as joint lead managers. The revised Scorecards also included 144A transactions. The tally for the first quarter, gave each manager full credit for those situations. The revision reconfigured the rankings of the industry's top lead managers for ABS deals, but these investment banks remained in the very top tier of ABS underwriters.

Placing fourth was Morgan Stanley, with $22.8 billion in deals and a 7.3% market share. Countrywide Securities Corp. completed about $22.5 billion in deals, to take fifth place. Merrill Lynch made a slight leap to sixth, with $21.9 billion in transactions, up from seventh place in the first quarter, when it did about $10.3 billion in deals. As in the first quarter, the lead manager Scorecards excluded CDOs.

Completing the top-10 list of managers were: Deutsche Bank Securities, seventh, with $21.6 billion; RBS Greenwich Capital, eighth, with $20.7 billion; Lehman Brothers, ninth, with $18 billion in mandates and Barclays Capital, 10th, with $16.5 billion in deals.

Without a doubt, the ABS market lived through interesting times in the first half of 2007, which affected the rankings, say market players. In a major move, SLM Corp. announced a $25 billion buyout by Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, auto loan ABS fell off dramatically and the volume of credit card ABS issues skyrocketed, all of which helped define overall production volumes for the second quarter and the first half of the year.

(c) 2007 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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