Standard & Poor's Ratings Group released its commercial paper index last week, revealing a market that "continues to grow."

During the first quarter of 1999, S&P assigned ratings to six new commercial paper programs, all of which were multi-seller programs. During the same time period, the number of new sellers entering existing conduits was significant, at 250, versus the 438 new sellers added during the fourth quarter of 1998.

Additionally, as of the end of March 1999, there were 53 programs with commercial paper outstanding in excess of $2 billion and 23 programs with outstandings ranging between $1 billion and $2 billion.

New programs include: Giro Multi-Funding Corp. (A-1+), administered by Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale; Gramercy Capital Corp. (A-1+), administered by Credit Suisse First Boston; Blue Ridge Asset Funding Corp. (A-1), administered by Wachovia Bank; Crown Point Capital Company LLC (A-1), administered by Liberty Hampshire Co. LLC; LOCH NESS Ltd. (A-1), administered by Royal Bank of Scotland; Three Pillars Funding Corp (A-1), administered by SunTrust Equitable Securities.

The report described the largest CP programs it rated by seller type and the amount of new CP product coming into the market.

The company also announced it would be publishing numbers on 2(a)7 concentrations in CP programs going forward to inform investors as to whether or not a conduit has a concentration over 10% of the conduit's outstanding assets.

Because money-market investors must comply with Rule 2(a)7, the information S&P is disseminating will be useful to investors in the ABCP market. The information can be accessed at the company's Web site.

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