Fitch Ratings' latest U.S. CMBS loan delinquency index is down the rating agency reported last week. The slow pace of the restoration in the Gulf Coast areas affected by Hurricane Katrina is a factor, added Fitch.

Katrina-related delinquencies are currently at roughly $201.8 million, decreasing from $268.9 million peak in December 2005. A little over 18% of Katrina-related delinquencies ($36.5 million) are real estate-owned properties, Fitch noted. However, Fitch Senior Director Patty Bach said, "Fitch is concerned regarding the outlook for the region as clean-up and rebuilding is reported to be moving slowly."

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