Notwithstanding the current economic climate, the European structured finance market skyrocketed almost 78% higher during the first quarter of 2002, with volumes ending at $34.6 billion compared with $19.5 billion a year earlier, according to Simon Collingridge, European director of surveillance at Standard & Poor’s Structured Finance Ratings group. Speaking at a London press conference, Collingridge explained that the number of transactions that closed was lower, however, with a total of 35 completed compared with 37 in the same time frame last year. ‘This anomaly is explained by the explosion in the unfunded section of the market, which ended at $16.3 billion compared with $1.4 billion in the first three months of 2001. The most significant source of the increase was certain large German issuances,’ he said. Cash volumes, in comparison, were virtually flat on levels achieved in the first quarter of 2001, ending at $18.3 billion compared with $18.2 billion.
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