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Adam Tashman, a Merrill Lynch CDO researcher, has landed at Patriarch Partners, after a reshuffling at the investment bank. Patriarch is part of FleetBoston Financial Corp. and is known for its Ark CLO I, a first-of-its-kind distressed CLO.

Tom Currie, formerly in the new assets group at Standard & Poor's, joined XL Financial Assurance as a chief underwriting officer. Currie, who last week moved to the Bermuda office of XLFA, will focus on reinsuring monoline wraps.

Soc Aranburu, previously a vice president and transactor in private ABS, has left SunAmerica's Texas-based office. SunAmerica is currently looking for a replacement.

News

Publications such as the Wall Street Journal are reporting that GE Capital is the most likely candidate to purchase once-and-now-again The CIT Group from its ailing parent Tyco International.

GMAC has purchased the servicing rights on FMAC's securitized loans. It is said that GMAC's arrangement with the current FMAC servicing team includes a one-year contract, whereby FMAC will continue to workout the distressed loans, while GMAC will service the remainder. Last year, GMAC had purchased the servicing rights on the non-securitized portfolio.

Banco Santander is expected to bring another mortgage-backed transaction to market this week. Hipotebansa is a Euro 900 million (U.S. $786.6 million) transaction that will follow a similar structure to the nine deals that have previously hit the market over the last six or seven years.

Standard & Poor's has downgraded Uruguay's sovereign rating to triple-'B'-minus from triple-'B'-plus with a negative outlook. According to S&P, the downgrade reflects the country's persistent fiscal and structural weaknesses.

Additionally, the Uruguayan Central Bank has announced that it will intervene in Banco de Galicia Uruguay SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires SA, an Argentine bank. The move was prompted by the institution's difficulties in handling the steady withdrawals of deposits, which have depleted its funding of approximately $500 million since the beginning of December 2001.

Standard & Poor's assigned its A+/A-1' credit ratings to Japan Real Estate Investment Corp. (JRE). The outlook is stable. The announcement marks the first rating of a REIT in Japan. JRE is also among the first J-REITs to be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

GMAC-RFC plans to tap the ABS market again in the coming week, with a RAMP RS series offering, according to sources familiar with the situation. The deal is expected to be in the $140 to $150 million in size.

No underwriter has been officially announced for the offering.

This will be the first-ever deal for GMAC-RFC, backed entirely by re-performing collateral, sources added. In the past the issuer has sprinkled re-performing loans into its RS deals, but has only made up 3% to 10% of the entire pool.

Six tranches of Conseco 2000-B senior auto-loan paper was downgraded to A3 and Baa2, respectively, from Aaa, Moody's announced Tuesday. Mezzanine tranches meanwhile were cut to junk status, from levels in the double- and single-A area. All classes remain on watch for further downgrades.

In a statement released this morning, Moody's said: "The downgrades reflect the severe deterioration in credit performance of the transaction of the underlying pool of commercial trucks and trailers. The pool continues to incur persistently high loss rates that exceed historical trends based on comparable seasoning."

Following last recent announcement from Bank One that the bank would offer it's inaugural de-linked credit card ABS offering in the first quarter of 2002, sources added it would be a five-year triple-B-rated sub tranche, scheduled for the first week in March.

Also announced at the conference was that Capital One would also come out with a de-linked structure, scheduled to hit the market in the second quarter.

Ratings

Standard & Poor's upgraded the Class M and Class B of U.K. subprime MBS, Plum Sterling No.1, following the increased credit enhancement and seasoning of the pool. The Class M notes were upgraded to AAA' from A' and the class B notes were upgraded to AA' from BBB'.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded the A3 and A4 classes of notes issued by the first U.K. student loan- backed transaction, both by one notch, to Ba2. The transaction, Higher Education Securitised Investments Series No.1 Plc, demonstrated poor performance of the portfolio of student loans.

The class A2 notes of Finnish-originated MBS, Fennica No.2 plc, was upgraded by Standard & Poor's following the upgrade of the Republic of Finland to AAA'. The Republic of Finland acts as provider of the interest of subsidy, transaction account, guaranteed investment contract and loan representation and warranty obligor. The class A-2 notes were moved to AAA from A+.

German transaction Fast 1999-1 received an upgrade from Standard & Poor's on the class B notes, to AAA' from BBB+'. The action is based on the strong performance of underlying pool, combined with low delinquency rates.

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