Magazine article American Banker

No Changes at Top of Syndication List

Magazine article American Banker

No Changes at Top of Syndication List

Article excerpt

The U.S. syndicated lending market lost steam during the first quarter -- deal volume fell 13% from a year earlier, to $214 billion -- as lenders reassessed their portfolios in the face of continued weakness in the economy.

However, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Banc of America Securities, and Citigroup Inc.'s Salomon Smith Barney took the top three spots in market share and maintained their stranglehold on the sector with a combined share of almost 70%.

Morgan Chase retained its No. 1 spot, despite a 21% drop in proceeds and a 9% decrease in market share from the first quarter of 2001.

Underwriting of investment-grade loans dipped 23% from a year earlier, to $125 billion, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data. Meanwhile, the more lucrative leveraged loan market rose 6%, to $89 billion, the data company said.

Among U.S. syndicated lenders, Bank One Corp., Deutsche Bank AG, and Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. ranked fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, Thomson Financial Securities said.

The New York-based investment banking company Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. climbed six spots to seventh place, with five deals worth a total of $6.3 billion, a 138.8% increase from the same period last year, the data company said.

Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch & Co. stumbled after making big strides early last year. (See adjoining story.)

Bram Smith, Morgan Stanley's managing director of global loan products, described the syndicated lending market as a "Velcro product," because so many other businesses can be tied to dealings with corporations, such as merger and advisory work and equity and bond underwriting, he said. …

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