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Natalie Karaskevicus, Darren Ward and Brant Murdock recently began as Associates in the asset-backed financing group at Scotia Capital in New York. They will be issuing asset-backed commercial paper, and reporting to Michael Eden and Norman Last. Karaskevicus had previously been the head of ABS modeling at Bridge Information Systems. Both Ward and Murdock had been in other divisions at Scotia Capital.

Attorney Todd Lurie has joined Swiss Re. Lurie was most recently at American Capital Access (ACA).

Chris O'Connell and Scott Beinhacker have recently joined XL Capital Assurance.

O'Connell, most recently from Standard & Poor's, joins as a vice president in the structured finance group, reporting to David Czerniecki, head of structured finance at XL. Beinhacker, also joining as a vice president, will work on the public finance side, reporting to group head Wynne Morriss. Beinhacker came from Lehman Brothers.

Also, XL has hired Walter Sluberski as controller, replacing Bob Toausz, who has moved on to pursue other opportunities. Sluberski was most recently at Fortis.

Continuing to build its ABCP origination effort following the group's exodus to Deutsche Bank last year, Credit Suisse First Boston had hired Scott Spiegel, formerly with The Industrial Bank of Japan asset securitization group, under Peter Nagykery. Spiegel, a lawyer by training, will be a vice president of ABCP Origination reporting to the group Director Maureen Coen. Coen was formerly the ranking MD in ABCP at Moody's Investors Service.

Christopher Ricciardi, a director in Credit Suisse First Boston's CDO group, has been promoted to run the bank's domestic CDO business, except for high-yield bonds and loans. Ricciardi will report to group head John Chrystal. The high-yield CDO group will continue to be led by Jerry Devito and Alan Mentle, formerly with DLJ. Ricciardi, who ran Prudential Securities' CDO business and has been in charge of CSFB's ABS CDO team for some time, is now responsible for North American investment-grade corporate CDOs, ABS CDOs, and synthetic CLOs and CDOs.

News

BNP Paribas is preparing the securitization of consumer loans originated by its consumer finance subsidiary, Cetelem. The transaction, which will be the fourth in Cetelem's series, is titled Master Noria 2001-1. It will be approximately EURO320 million in size, split between a 3.9-year triple-A rated EURO300 million piece and a single-A rated piece for roughly EURO20 million. Price guidance is Euribor plus 23-25 basis points for class A and 45-50 basis points for the B piece. Pricing is expected at the end of this month.

Dwr Cymru, the vehicle through which Glas Cymru funded its purchase of Welsh Water, signed the asset-back debt program under which the GBP 2 billion notes were sold. This was the final opportunity to sign the facility off as the bonds settle. The multi-currency facility has a limit of GBP 6 billion split equally between the senior guaranteed part and the non-guaranteed piece. RBS and Schroder SSB are the co-arrangers for the facility, accompanied by Barclays Bank plc, Banc of America Securities (BASL) and Lehman Brothers in the dealer group.

Miscellaneous

The Korean Deposit Insurance Corp (KDIC) has a $400 million office equipment lease securitization in the works for the private placement market via joint-book runners Societe Generale and co-lead Credit Suisse First Boston. The deal is mooted for June.

Ratings

Argentina is slipping further down the rating ladder with Standard and Poor's recent downgrade of five structured transactions and several Argentine banks, following the lowered sovereign rating single-B from single B+. All five of the transactions remain on CreditWath with negative implications, leaving room for further downgrades. The rating downgrades reflect the country's continued credibility risk in restoring the fiscal balance and the exisitng problems with economic growth.

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