The malaise in the U.S. bond market continues to go global, with the number ofoverseas defaulting bond issuers rising again in 2001 largely at the hands ofthe floundering telecommunications sector.

According to Standard & Poor's, 121 ratedglobal bond issuers have defaulted in 2001 on bonds totaling $74.3 billion,already exceeding 2000′s full-year number of 108 issuers with a total of $34.3billion in bonds. The rating agency said that 19% of the companies thatdefaulted were in the telecom sector and accounted for 41% of the volume. Forestproducts represented 9% of the companies and 10% of the volume. The ratingagency also reported that 76% of the bonds that defaulted in 2001 were issuedbetween 1997 and 1999.

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