Ranking the Bond Underwriters

Corporate bond underwriting by investment banks plunged 19 percent last year, Bloomberg finds.
Stephen TaubJanuary 2, 2003

Despite roughly 40-year lows in interest rates, 2002 was not a great year for corporate bond underwriting. Why? Because companies were busy trying to pare debt—not increase it—and investors worried about credit quality, defaults, accounting scandals, and the lousy economy.

In fact, investment banks underwrote $2.7 trillion in bonds last year, down 19 percent from 2001, according to Bloomberg.

Few bankers predict a rebound this year. “I expect volumes to be pretty similar in 2003,” Hope Pascucci, global head of syndicate at Deutsche Bank AG, told the wire service.

Citigroup Inc.’s Salomon Smith Barney was the top underwriter for the second straight year, managing $253 billion of corporate, agency, and government sales, according to Bloomberg.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG came in second and third on the list.

Here, then, are the top 10 underwriters of corporate and agency debt in 2002, and their market share, according to Bloomberg’s calculations:

Salomon Smith Barney, 9.4 percent
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., 7.5 percent
Deutsche Bank AG, 6.5 percent
Morgan Stanley, 6.0 percent
Merrill Lynch & Co., 5.9 percent
Credit Suisse First Boston, 5.6 percent
Lehman Brothers, 5.4 percent
UBS Warburg, 4.9 percent
Goldman Sachs & Co., 4.8 percent
Barclays Capital, 3.1 percent