This year may prove to be the strongest year yet in the last decade for upgrades in residential mortgage-backed securities ratings, according to a study issued last week by Standard & Poor's Ratings Group, which examined the changes it made to its ratings on RMBS for the 10- and one-half-year period from Jan. 1, 1989, through June 30, 1999.

The study, which analyzed ratings changes such as upgrades and downgrades, reported that for the first six months of 1999, there were already 94 upgrades and only 11 downgrades for the MBS that S&P looked at.

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