Dominion Bond Rating Service says it is inching into the U.S. synthetic RMBS and ABS sectors. Bank of America Corp. recently commissioned the Canadian rating agency to supply ratings to a pair of U.S. synthetic RMBS deals. These transactions constitute the first public ratings the rating agency has assigned to synthetics in the U.S. market. DBRS is currently preparing ratings for several other deals, according to Michael Nelson, managing director of U.S. structured finance.

DBRS rated certain classes of 12 synthetic balance sheet mortgage deals co-issued by RESI Finance Ltd. Partnership and RESI Finance DE Corp., totaling roughly $102 billion. The DE Corp. deal had been outstanding but not rated. In a related transaction, the rating agency assigned a "AAA" rating to the $1.9 billion senior interest balance of the CARSS Finance Ltd. Partnership 2004-A. The deals were backed by RMBS and retail auto installment contracts, respectively, and both were held on BofA's balance sheet.

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