Peter DiMartino, director of asset-backed and mortgage credit research at Salomon Smith Barney resigned last week, and is expected to take some time off before resurfacing. Taking over as head of the group is mortgage-related ABS analyst Ivan Gjaja. Mary Kane will remain focused on non-mortgage and consumer ABS research strategy.


At last week's round table discussion hosted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board on the SPE consolidation exposure draft, staff members questioned whether or not it makes sense to have a so-called "financial SPE" at all, as one of the main critiques on the draft has been its overly complex approaches to accounting interpretation. Also of note, in the discussions on minimum variable interest (equity) requirements, a threshold based on "projected, probable and in some instances, worst case loss" was proposed as a replacement for the equity threshold by round table participants. Said one ABS accountant who sat through the morning and afternoon session, "I think that, as a general matter, we will probably end up in a situation that is livable for CDOs. I think that jury is still out a little on multi-seller conduits."

Buenos Aires' financial markets are beginning to thaw. Talk is heating up that a couple of banks are looking to follow HSBC's suit in securitizing corporate loans, according to sources. The HSBC deal - for Ps45 million (US$12.0 million) - is now being looked at by regulators and is due out shortly. (see ASR 9/23, p. 19) The bank is currently roadshowing the deal which has ABN Amro as trustee.

Last week Fitch Ratings announced a consulting partnership with Gifford Fong Associates. GFA will advise Fitch on quantitative credit risk analysis, credit risk metrics and help develop new rating methodologies that can be used in structured finance and risk management areas. The agreement with GFA is an additional initiative being implemented by Fitch in response to investors' feedback as a result of the deteriorating credit environment of the last 18 months. One of the first projects that Fitch and GFA will undertake is a comprehensive review of Global CDO analytics.

Vehicle Management Services, a subsidiary of Cendant Corp., parent company of Avis Group, is prepping its next rental car fleet securitization expected this month. JPMorgan Securities has typically been lead underwriter on the Avis deals. VMS will tap the market via Chesapeake Funding, its fleet issuance vehicle.


CIBC has the launched debt marketing on the $600 million cashflow CLO for Blackstone Debt Advisors, a part of The Blackstone Group, with $478.75 million in Ambac wrapped triple-A notes, according to Thomson IFR Markets. Hanover Square CLO is also marketing $33.75 million in senior equity or senior subordinated notes that have a Ba2' principal-only rating from Moody's Investors Service. Hanover is Blackstone's first CLO, although the firm has recruited a CDO management team led by Dean T. Criares.

It is heard that ST Asset Management, part of the Singapore Technologies group, is marketing its first CDO in Asia and hopes to launch the transaction before the end of the year, according to Thomson IFR Markets. The offering will be in the US$200 million-range and have a 10-year maturity.


October 9: New York, NY: The Bond Market Association presents the Annual Awards Dinner. For more information, call 212-440-9429 or email

October 20 23: Chicago, IL: The Mortgage Banker's Association's 89th Annual Convention & Expo. For more information visit or call 1-800-793-6222.

November 7-9: Palm Beach Gardens, FL: The Bond Market Association's Fixed-Income Securities Operations Conference will be held at the PGA National Resort & Spa. For more information, call 212-440-9429 or email

November 21: New York, NY: The Bond Market Association's Fixed-Income Summit & Expo on E-Commerce and Technology will be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. For more information, call 212-440-9429 or email to

December 12: New York, NY: The Bond Market Association presents the Repo & Securities Lending Conference at The Roosevelt Hotel. For more information call 212-440-9429 or email

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