With six months of trading left in the year, European industry players are beginning to hammer out the trends that will define the second half of 2004. The obvious culprits remain the Basle II consultation paper, which was purportedly unveiled at a press conference last weekend, and the direction spreads are heading. The year promises to be busy with year-end levels expected to surpass 2003 volumes.

In the weeks preceding the release of the Basel paper, bankers were holding out hope that the committee would provide more detail on how the new accord would impact their securitization holdings going forward. Although the European market was somewhat preoccupied with the pending release, activity managed to maintain its upbeat pace despite the specter of regulatory change.

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