Federal Reserve Statistical Release, Corporate Medium-Term Notes; title with eagle logo links to Statistical Release home page

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U.S. corporations issued $71 billion of medium-term notes (MTNs) in 2000, down $64 billion from the 1999 total of $135 billion (table 1.A). Issuance by financial firms was $67 billion in 2000, a decline of $54 billion; issuance by nonfinancial firms was $4 billion, a decline of $10 billion. A total of 82 firms sold MTNs in 2000, down from 96 in 1999 (table 1.B), and the number of firms with MTNs outstanding also fell, to 436 (table 2.B). Outstandings at year-end rose slightly over year-end 1999, to $417 billion (tables 2.A and 3); most of the increase was the $6 billion rise at financial firms, to nearly $332 billion. Outstandings for nonfinancial firms decreased $5 billion, to $85 billion, after the previous year's gain of $9 billion.

Borrowers in the corporate MTN market continue to have predominantly investment-grade ratings. As in 1999, roughly 99 percent of total MTN issuance had a rating of Baa or better (table 5.A). Single-A-rated issuers accounted for 50 percent of gross issuance, down from 62 percent in 1999. The share of AA-rated issuers increased to 37 percent, from 20 percent in 1999. Two issuers had a speculative-grade credit rating last year (table 5.B).

The MTN market accounts for a sizable share of intermediate and long-term borrowing by U.S. companies. Outstanding MTN debt as a share of total corporate outstanding debt (MTNs plus corporate bonds) was 13 percent in 2000, down from 14 percent in 1999 (table 7).

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