Fees for underwriting junk bonds have fallen dramatically over the past five years, as more and more commercial banking companies have entered the market.

The average amount paid by a noninvestment-grade company for having its corporate bonds underwritten dropped by more than 40% between 1994 and 1998, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data. In the first half of 1999, fees averaged just 0.73%, compared to 1.73% in 1995.

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