UPDATE 1-US syndicated loan issuance off 37 pct in Q2 -RLPC

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NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - U.S. syndicated loan issuance fell 37 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, plumbing historic lows in the wake of last year’s credit crunch, Reuters Loan Pricing Corp said on Friday.

Overall issuance fell to $156 billion from $248 billion a year earlier, with investment-grade issuance down by 27 percent to $70 billion and leveraged loan issuance down by 25 percent to $68 billion, according to RLPC.

High-yield bond issuance rose 39 percent in the second quarter to $46 billion.

JPMorgan was lead book-running manager in the second quarter, with $51.6 billion in deals, or 33 percent market share; followed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with $30.9 billion, or 20 percent market share; and Citigroup, with $16.7 billion, or 11 percent market share.

Some signs of stability emerged in the second quarter. In the leveraged loan market, prices of the 100 most widely traded loans rose by nearly 15 percentage points to 86 cents on the dollar.

Investors, however, had little opportunity to put cash to work on new deals. Issuance for leveraged buyouts, until recently a key source of new supply, dropped by 95 percent from a year earlier to $590 million in the quarter.

In the investment-grade area, a lack of merger and acquisition financing kept issuance down after the market cleared a number of jumbo deals in the first quarter, such as a $22.5 billion loan for Pfizer Inc PFE.N. (Editing by Leslie Adler)