How much of a record? This is the highest level since the first cat bonds were issued in the mid-1990s.

The catastrophe bond market ended 2014 with a busy fourth quarter, resulting in a new industry record of more than $8 billion of 144A property and casualty (P&C) bonds issued for the year.

The activity followed one of the slowest third quarters since the P&C catastrophe bonds were first issued in the mid-1990s, according to a new briefing and analysis by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp. Total risk capital outstanding as of Dec. 31, 2014, was $22.868 billion, which is the highest level of outstanding risk capital that the market has ever supported.

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