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<b>Bond overview - Europe's battle of the bulge</b>

    Headline: Bond overview - Europe's battle of the bulge
Source: Euromoney
Date: February 2000
Author: Peter Lee

The biggest opportunities for growth and profits in the fixed-income world in 2000 are in Europe. Corporate bonds, high-yield, securitization will flourish. There will be a fierce contest, as all manner of intermediaries - commercial and investment banks, Americans and Europeans fight for a place in the bond bulge bracket. According to the US model this should guarantee the eventual winners a honey-pot combination of high market share and profitability. The competition to hire the people - high-level originators, salesmen expert at advising institutional investors strategically, skilled and market-savvy credit analysts - will become ever more intense. Peter Lee's report heads a series of articles on the future of fixed income

Firms are each starting with different competitive advantages. Bank lenders will trade on their old lending relationships, M&A advisers on their strategic partnerships with issuers. And firms will seek to import each other's skills. The European firms, unused to a large domestic credit bond market, will copy American techniques, such as devising index products as a means to tie them to European bond investors who are being measured for the first time against new bond indices.

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