Markit plans to launch a new credit derivative index that allows investors to protect against losses in U.S. prime mortgages, or bet on the deterioration in their credit quality.

The index, tentatively called ABX.PRIME, will launch in the first quarter of 2010.

The company also plans to launch a new total return index, likely to be called IOX, which is based on pools of mortgages that are guaranteed by Fannie Mae.

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