Canadian interloper Dominion Bond Rating Service is primed to rate its first U.S. ABCP program, and will be staffing up during the coming weeks to prepare.

"We are looking at one proposal in the single-seller area and two proposals in the multi-seller area," said Dominion managing director Andrew Jones. "We expect to have a larger pipeline once we institute a more aggressive marketing effort."

Jones plans to make two new hires to launch the ABCP portion of the rating agency's business. He hopes to have one new staffer in place within two weeks and the other in place within a month. Jones is looking to bring some monoline expertise to the team, as well as ABCP experience.

The newcomer is currently providing its loan-by-loan single seller model gratis to potential clients. "The model allows you to determine how the risk of a portfolio changes as you add and subtract individual loans," Jones said.

Since breaking into the U.S. ABS rating scene last year, DBRS has focused primarily on the mortgage related sector. Additionally, the agency has rated two auto deals, most recently a $1.5 billion offering from DaimlerChrylser N.A. holdings earlier this year, and expects to see a more robust auto deal flow come its way in 2005 (see ASR, 2/7/05). DBRS introduced its ratings methodology for the auto sector last June. The firm plans to release its rating criteria for the student loan sector shortly, Jones added.

(c) 2005 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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