The Christmas holidays may be around the corner, but it's evident that the robust pipeline will leave very little time for shopping over the remaining weeks. At press time, issuance had reached E7 billion, with a number of deals pricing and more arriving in the marketplace. Market sources expect the intensity to continue into the New Year.

"Investors who have stayed awake in the recent weeks have been presented with many attractive opportunities," said one source at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. "What is also increasingly clear is that, of the pipeline that still exits, it will be the case of survival of the fittest' - deals that are priced most flexibly or those that require the least amount of work to get credit approval."

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