It pays to be number one

League tables

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It has been a great year so far for underwriters. During the first nine months of 2003, global debt capital markets volume went up by a quarter. Over 20,000 deals have realised $14.8 billion of fees, a 31% year-on-year increase.

Among other things, this means that some banks have had more cash in their coffers to indulge in one of the corporate bond market’s less appealing habits: the buying of bookrunner league table position.

Neither investors, issuers nor bookrunners would admit to taking leagu

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