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DCM review: Winners were also losers in 2008

The primary market share of the top 10 global debt houses declined considerably in 2008, according to full year figures released by Dealogic. The impact of the financial turmoil, far from concentrating activity in the hands of the biggest players, is apparently leveling the field.

The top debt houses took a smaller slice of a smaller pie in a shrinking market. Barclays Capital has leapt to number one in volumes on the back of its takeover of Lehman Brothers in the US, edging out last year’s big three of JPMorgan, Citi and Deutsche Bank. For full-year 2007, Lehman ranked fifth and Barcap sixth, so the impact of Lehman’s US bond franchise has become immediately apparent. However, the combined group’s volumes fell by more than $200 billion to $368 billion last year, a 37% fall, compared with a decline in the total market of 27% to $4.42 trillion. Barcap/Lehman’s joint market share fell 1.3 percentage points to 8.3%.

Those hoping that the decline in Barcap’s market share is a sign that its takeover of Lehman’s US operations is not yielding the full expected benefits are likely to be disappointed. The market share of second-ranked JPMorgan, itself consolidating Bear Stearns’ numbers, fell from 9.4% to 7.9%. Third-placed Deutsche’s share dropped from 6.8% to 5.7%, and Citi’s from 7.2% to 5.7%. The overall market share of the top 10 global DCM houses fell by seven percentage points, from 61.5% to 54.5%, according to Dealogic’s numbers.

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