As the U.S. hurricane season approaches, catastrophe bond sponsors are taking advantage of a surge in investor enthusiasm to renew existing deals at much lower rates and expand or initiate insurance-linked securities (ILS) programs.

Although issuance in the first two months of 2013 was unusually light, the pace has since picked up markedly, and the more than $3.6 billion in cat bonds issued as of mid-May put the market on course to reach record annual issuance for the year as a whole.

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