Markit has launched a performance monitoring tool for U.S. ABS. This product is a response to market conditions and is expected to bring greater transparency to the subprime mortgage market. The platform combines complete historical data at the bond, collateral pool and loan level to offer ABS market participants with a timely source of information for deal monitoring and securitization analysis. More RMBS and ABS asset classes will be added in the future, the firm said in a release. In related company news, Markit has opened an office in Sydney. This is Markit's first office in Australia and its third office in the Asia Pacific region. Director Euan Johnswill lead Markit's Australian operations. Johns was previously at the Totem service in London for five years and will now concentrate on the Totem Interest Rate Swap service for the Asia Pacific region. He is joined by Ross Allen who will be responsible for the Totem Equities service for the region, and Andrew King who will head marketing and local support for current and new clients. Both Allen and King have also relocated from Markit's London headquarters. "The Asia Pacific region is key to our expansion plans, and we are seeing a surge in demand for our pricing and valuation services in the area," said David Crammond, chief executive officer of Markit Asia. "Financial regulators around the world are very much focused on the need for accurate, independent valuations, and this focus has sharpened with the credit crisis. A presence in Australia will enable Markit to capitalize on this demand and will allow us to be closer to our clients in the region."

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