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ING Bank has appointed Mark Bronder as director and head of Netherlands securitization, starting next month, reporting to Robert Plehn, head of European securitization for ING.

Bronder joins from Societe Generale, where he was responsible for its Netherlands securitization business. Prior to that he was a member of the securitization team at ABN AMRO.

Wachovia Securities named Scott Shannon head of term ABS operations and Ed Covington head of ABCP operations, the company announced last Monday. Each will report to Ben Williams, head of real estate and financial services investment banking.

Shannon's team develops and arranges securitization opportunities for financial services and other corporate clients, seeking ultimate execution in the term market. Shannon was a former First Union head of ABS.

Covington's team, on the other hand, develops and arranges securitization opportunities for clients seeking funding in the asset-backed commercial paper market. The team also manages all aspects of conduit funding and administration.

In addition to the previously-reported streamlining of the Banc Of America Securities ABS and MBS syndicate desk, which reports to Pat Augustine, Dave Nagle and Jeff Willoughby will be joining Pat Beranek and Alex Cha in the secondary trading group.

Towards the tail end of 2001, Blythe Master of JPMorgan moved over to the position of head of global portfolio management, replacing Andrew Feldstein, who took Masters' former position of co-head of global ABS. Feldstein will be working in tandem with Michael Malter, who ran the group with Masters. Both will continue to report to Bill Demchak, global head of structured finance for the bank.

In her new position, Masters, considered a wunderkind of the ABS market, will deal with the management of credit risk within JPMorgan's portfolio of retained assets, sources said.

Also, managing director Romitta Shetty was promoted to head of the global CDO effort for the bank, and vice president Michael Rosenberg, who formerly headed the CLO group, took over as the head of North American CDOs.

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Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown has won the mandate to lead the upcoming Australian RMBS offering for Commonwealth Bank of Australia issuance vehicle Medallion Trust. Size for the offering has yet to be disclosed, but it is expected to be a multi-tranche global offering greater than $1 billion. This is a change for the issuer, as Medallion's last deal came through Salomon Smith Barney.

GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. has sued Larry Silverstein and the group that bought the World Trade Center lease for allegedly spending the insurance proceeds dispensed after the Sept. terrorist attacks as an "unfettered account" for expenses. The list of expenses includes $700,000 in monthly management expenses. The suit also indicated that the Silverstein group hasn't cooperated in helping to protect the lenders' interests. The Silverstein group is also reportedly fighting insurers over whether the attacks involved one terrorist incident or two. The insurance policies specify that the owners will be paid $3.55 billion per "occurrence."

Analysts said that this is hardly unexpected. The servicer is just ensuring insurance proceeds are dispersed in an orderly fashion and that there will be sufficient proceeds available for whatever the next step would be. They said that Banc of America will probably have to do the same thing on 7WTC.

Fitch has upgraded Mexico to BBB+' from BB+', as a result of the country's macroeconomic policy framework and economic performance in the face of an unfavorable external environment over the last year. The rating outlook is stable.

Separately, Standard and Poor's said it has reviewed all of its rated Mexican financial future flow transactions and all have performed well in the wake of the Sept. 11 events and a continued global economic slowdown. The transactions in general are tourist-dependent or remittance-backed, with all but one of the transactions rated triple-A.

They are fully protected by bond insurance provided by triple-A-rated insurers.

Spain-based Banco Santander Central Hispano SA has announced that it will acquire an 18.5% stake in its Argentine subsidiary, Banco Rio de la Plata SA, increasing its ownership to nearly 97%. Standard & Poor's does not believe that its ratings on either bank will be affected by the transaction, which involves nearly $245 million and will be paid with existing shares of Santander.

While it is still too early to know what the exact ramifications are of Argentina's new administration, led by President Eduardo Duhalde, Standard & Poor's said the government's new measures will put pressure on Argentine ABS and MBS transactions. Since Duhalde has taken office, his administration has instilled a freeze on dollar deposits and a conversion of certain dollar debt into pesos at a one-to-one exchange rate. In recent months, the transactions have also been affected by the sovereign's default, depreciation of the local currency, transfer and convertibility restrictions on hard currency, a near-insolvent banking system, record unemployment, restrictions on cash withdrawals from bank accounts, and a three-and-a-half-year recession, which has turned into a depression.

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