Fitch Ratings is asking investors for a little feedback. On Aug. 3, the rating agency rolled out a plan to add surveillance, metrics, analytics, research and tools to its ratings of structured finance deals on a monthly or quarterly basis. The exercise aims to assure bondholders that the rating agency is actively monitoring each deal.
Called S.M.A.R.T. Stamp, the goal is to publicly disclose the results of monthly or quarterly deal reviews. Its acronym stands for Surveillance, Metrics, Analytics, Research and Tools. Fitch will begin the more frequent disclosure with the CMBS sector. After that, the rating agency will roll out the system to most of the ABS asset classes. Before it starts publishing its periodic reviews, Fitch will issue the proposed methodology and process for the updates in the form of an exposure draft, and will solicit feedback from the market before it releases the final process.
Specifically, the agency wants to know if the S.M.A.R.T. Stamp will add value to investors, and whether the possible increased usage of Rating Watch might be troublesome.
The exposure draft will be available for one month. Fitch hopes to begin implementing the S.M.A.R.T. Stamp system by Sept.18, said Mary MacNeill, Fitch's managing director of CMBS and ABS surveillance.
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