The dearth of news in a market still recovering from the distractions of the Olympic Games was broken by positive developments on three fronts: the abandonment of tax legislation that had threatened to force an expensive restructuring on many securitisation programs, a rating confirmation and improved outlook for the local subsidiary of a U.S. mortgage insurer, and the unveiling of a pioneering subprime home-loan financing vehicle.

Not the most dramatic of events, perhaps, but they pointed respectively to an increasingly productive dialogue between the tax authorities and the financial markets (not always evident in the past), a relief to some of the gloomier prognoses made from time to time about the lenders' mortgage insurance sector, and growing comfort on the part of both the ratings agencies and investors with subprime transactions.

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