Fitch IBCA and Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. are putting the final touches to the ratings reconciliation process that will precede their June merger. The agencies, which will merge under the name Fitch, were scheduled to make public their common ratings for outstanding structured transactions on June 1, after previously announcing changes to some long-term sovereign ratings.

Over 90% of the ratings for securitization worldwide are expected to be affirmed. "For example, out of the 150 Latin America securitizations rated by Duff & Phelps and Fitch we probably differ in one or two transactions and the difference doesn't amount to more than one or two notches," explained Jill Zelter, head of structured finance at Fitch. "Generally speaking, our criteria are not that different so the reconciliation of criteria for future flow deals, which constitute 99% of the outstanding ratings in Latin America, has been pretty simple."

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