22 Nov 2007, Alexander Campbell, Risk magazine
The committee took the decision "in light of the current market situation and to avoid undue over-acceleration in the widening of spreads", it said.
The covered bond market is dominated by German issuers, and had a total outstanding volume of €1.9 trillion at the end of last year, according to the ECBC. The 8-to-8 committee represents the eight largest market-making banks and the eight largest issuing countries in the covered bond market. They are based on securities such as residential mortgages, but are considered superior to mortgage-backed securities because they also give the holder a claim on the issuer in the event of default.
The market in the bonds has become increasingly uncertain - earlier this week Allied Irish Bank's mortgage branch postponed a covered bond issue, citing "extreme volatility in the credit markets".
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