Fitch Ratings' recent moves on a handful of Russian ABS and MBS - most of which were decidedly negative - have raised the spotlight on Transfer & Convertibility (T&C) risk in the country.

The agency downgraded the Russian Federation to 'BBB' from 'BBB+' and likewise cut the country ceiling to 'BBB+' from 'A-.' The country ceiling expresses the likelihood that T&C restrictions will be imposed by the local authorities - since the Asian crisis of the late 90s and the Argentine default several years later, emerging market investors keep a close eye on this component of a deal's risk.

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