Petroecuador, Ecuador's state-owned oil company, is said to be discussing the possibility of launching an asset-backed deal with investment bank ING Barings. According to sources, Petroecuador has been mulling the possibility of securitizing its oil export receivables for quite some time but has remained undecided due to internal political conflict.

Philip Sherman has joined Deloitte Consulting in Singapore as a senior adviser in the financial services industry practice, where he will focus on credit-risk management consulting. Previously he was managing director and CEO of Asian Securitization & Infrastructure Assurance Ltd. (ASIA Ltd.), Asia's only monoline.

Fitch IBCA in Tokyo has boosted its Japanese securitization team with the hire of Akihiro Yamada as associate director. Yamada will focus on rating commercial and consumer ABS. Previously he was employed at Diamond Leasing, a major leasing company in Japan.

One of the stars of the European structured finance world JP Morgan's Alexander Justham, has been promoted to a corporate finance role, covering U.K. financial institutions and reporting to Terry Eccles, the bank's joint head of financial institutions. He will not be entirely lost to securitization, as he will continue to originate deals. He will be replaced by Colin Evans.

Market rumours suggest that Lehman Brothers is nearing launch of the first Spanish catastrophe bond. The deal, called Don Quixote, would be linked to average wind speed levels and provide insurance to an unnamed Spanish corporate. Sources suggest that Lehman's insurance group has been working on the deal for many months. The bank declined to comment.

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