PASADENA, Calif. -- Banks have committed $2.7 billion to Countrywide Credit Industries' huge new credit line, and the deal will close at that level, according to market sources.

When launched into the bank loan syndication market last month, the credit was slated to be as large as $3 billion, but lenders' pockets proved to be not quite that deep.

Still a Record

"I guess we now know exactly how much mortgage industry bank credit is out there," said one banker following the deal.

Despite the fact that the $3 billion upper limit was not reached, the size of the deal still sets a record and bankers were unanimous in terming the syndication a success.

"Countrywide would be crazy if they weren't happy with this," said a banker.

Another said, "Getting $3 billion was an upper limit, but anything above $2.5 billion is satisfactory."

First Chicago, the deal's lead bank, structured the credit so that if it closes at $2.7 billion, it can be increased to $3 billion without seeking banks' approval, according to sources.

Countrywide Credit and First Chicago officials did not return phone calls.

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