Citigroup is top debt and equity underwriter in third quarter

Business Materials 30 September 2007 08:13 (UTC +04:00)

( Reuters ) - Citigroup Inc was the top debt and equity underwriter globally during a difficult third quarter, but its fees still fell nearly 22 per cent from the same period last year, Thomson Financial said.

A credit crunch slashed global issuance volume by 25 per cent from the same period last year, but fees for all banks fell just four per cent, Thomson data show.

Rankings for underwriting and fees are watched closely by bankers seeking bragging rights and analysts estimating banks' revenues.

Total securities offering volume for the quarter was $1.217 trillion, down from $1.643 trillion in the third quarter of 2006.

The big story this quarter was the freezing of credit markets and it was not good for Wall Street banks, but it could have been much worse. The modest four per cent decline in overall fees implies that industry underwriting revenue held up fairly well.

But not all banks' fees fared well. Citi generated $299.5 million of disclosed fees, according to Thomson, keeping its No 1 position in fee generation, but that was down from $382.4 million in the same quarter last year. Citi was also first by deal volume.

Merrill Lynch & Co's disclosed fees dropped nearly 24 per cent to $229.9 million, making it the second-biggest fee generator for the quarter. By underwriting volume, Merrill Lynch was ranked fourth.

Total disclosed fees for all banks fell to $2.73 billion in the third quarter from $2.84 billion during the same period last year.

US junk bond sales plummeted more than 60 per cent as investors singed by the subprime meltdown grew more risk averse.