BOCA RATON, FLA. - Credit card ABS market participants speaking at Information Management Network's ABS East conference held here last week forecast continued diminishing supply in the sector, with smaller issuers becoming more and more frequent. In addition, several large credit-card issuers predicted portfolio growth percentages in the low-to-mid single digits.

The major driver behind this year's light credit card ABS has been consolidation. With the consolidation, however, comes the chance for smaller issuers to grab more of the spotlight, pointed out Scott Friedman, a director at SG Corporate Investment Banking. "There is likely to be more private, smaller issuers who will come to market, issuers who will have a couple billion on their balance sheet and need to securitize," said Friedman. He speculated that student credit-card issuer First Financial Bank is likely to bring more ABS to market next year.

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