Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) is setting up its own brand of structured finance ratings in Europe (ASR, 06/05/06). Although this is expected to add a new dimension to the European ratings business, it would likely take some time before any impact is felt.

Some market sources believe there are still barriers that DBRS will have to overcome before it establishes itself as an equal among the big three ratings agency. Fitch Ratings, which is a relative newcomer to European structured finance ratings, began establishing its presence in this sector of the market more than five years ago. A source at Fitch said that the rating agency is still often referred to as the "third rating agency," behind Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service.

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