O'Leary, Christopher; Burns, Mairin
June 2003
Investment Dealers' Digest;6/23/2003, Vol. 69 Issue 25, p7
Trade Publication
An early review of the debt league tables for first-half of 2003 reveals a market bloated with new issuance, and one which has seen a number of down-and-out players suddenly return to the market in full force. Driven by very low interest rates, heightened buyer interest in all forms of debt and no competition from a virtually collapsed equity market, the debt sector has been in recession since the year began. While new U.S. investment-grade debt issuance was not quite as strong as the first half of 2002, most other sectors are far stronger than they were at this time last year. In high-grade, about $320.5 billion in new issues had priced as of June 16, compared with $326.5 billion at the same point in 2002. At just under $55.3 billion through June 16, high-yield issuance in the first half has almost surpassed the $58.9 billion issued in the whole of 2002. In fact, the second quarter of 2003 is the most prolific on record since the second quarter of 1998, according to Thomson Corp. While the average monthly issuance in the first quarter was $7.4 billion, the average for the second quarter is already far in excess of that at $11 billion. June is already on target to be a good month with over $6 billion of paper already priced.


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