Standard & Poor’s is considering criteria changes that would make it more difficult for a structured finance transactions to earn a rating above the "sovereign ceiling," or the rating of the nation in which it is domiciled. The proposed criteria would cut the maximum ratings differential to four notches from the current six, in most cases.

If adopted as proposed, the biggest impact would be in European securitizations, where most rating differentials would be reduced by two notches, to four from six. 

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