LAS VEGAS - This year's release of tradable indices for asset-backed securities credit default swaps - deemed the wild, wild West of ABS - is not only considered a turning point for the rapidly growing CDS of ABS sector, but is thought to be one of the most, if not the, monumental developments in the market, according to attendees at the ASF 2006 conference held here last week.

The ABS CDS market was jump-started in June 2005, when the International Swaps and Derivatives Association released standard documentation for pay-as-you-go and cash settlement procedures. An army of investors swooped into the single name swap market, enticed by the opportunity to take a short position on the subprime housing sector. And when the ABX.HE indices were unveiled last month, more roadblocks to participation in the market were knocked down, causing another surge of liquidity.

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