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It is truly clear-cut: 2003 heralds a reversal of six years of bear markets for US corporate bonds; the year to late November produced the strongest performance from the asset class since 1988, according to Lehman Brothers.

In the 11 months to late November, Bear Stearns’ investment-grade corporate bond index registered spreads on high-grade corporates tightening by 62bp, to 110bp over Treasuries – a 115bp tightening since the wides on October 11.

However, while the rally has been a

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