Structured investment vehicles (SIV) take a long time to put together and require delicate balances of assets and liabilities to make profits. They are also experiencing spread tightening, much like every other structured finance asset class. Yet the market has expanded to $250 billion in outstanding assets, prompting market players to draw distinctions between the SIV structure and their spin offs, SIV-lites.'

"These recently coined SIV-lites, have common features to both market value CDOs and some features common to SIVs," said Patrick Clerkin, senior director of European structured finance in the London office of Fitch Ratings.

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