Ratings shake-up threatens to take the fizz out of buoyant hybrids market

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A wealth of corporate hybrid issuance hit the market in December, despite renewed concerns about the ratings treatment for such securities. French insurer CNP launched a EUR1.25 billion transaction on December 12, and Japan's Sumitomo Bank brought a dual-tranche £500 million/$1.65 billion trade to market on December 14.

They followed success stories in the US earlier that month, as Axa's $1.5 billion deal was oversubscribed to the tune of $12 billion, Washington Mutual's $400 million deal tig

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