Bond insurers are expected to increase their market share this year as the volume in asset-back securities grows, says a recent Standard & Poor's report.
Bond insurers guaranteed $60 billion in asset-backed and mortgage-backed transactions in 1996. They have increased their share of the bond market by 23% in the last 11 years, the report said.
The increase is the result of the growing volume in asset-backed securities, said Robert E. Green, director in the bond insurers group at Standard & Poor's.
Bond insurers also have become liberal in their underwriting standards, he said, pointing out that competition in the industry has lowered the cost of insuring securities.
Bond insurers' recent gains in market share stem primarily from the securitization of home equity loans, which are regarded as somewhat risky by investors. They were less successful in insuring securities backed by student loans, commercial mortgages, and credit card receivables.