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Market Monitor: Testing the global bond market

Edited by Peter Lee

Sitting together in one medium-sized meeting room at Euromoney's international borrowers and investors conference in London last month were two women and four men who between them, for the year to date, represented 56% of new investment grade bond issues in the US.

The six main government sponsored entities (GSEs), Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Bank System, Fannie Mae, Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corp, Tennessee Valley Authority and Sallie Mae, contrive to churn out mind-boggling statistics. As David Smith, chief financial officer of TVA joked, the best thing about sitting on such a panel is that only among these peers can he talk about having total debt outstanding of only $27 billion.

Take Federal Home Loan Bank, which funds the non-conventional mortgage lending of 5,800 member depository institutions. Last year in the US, it raised $116 billion, through 2,216 separate issues with an average size of $59 million. That works out at between 10 and 11 deals each business day from a single borrower: surely, an origination officer's dream. In the first quarter of this year, it was borrowing at such a rate that it was on track to raise $172 billion by the end of 1996.

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