Asset-backed CP outstandings have rebounded in the first two weeks of March, totaling $715 billion as of last Wednesday, according to data maintained by the Federal Reserve. This follows two and a half months of declines, in which outstandings went from over $720 billion in January to just over $700 billion to close February.

New Century Financial Corp. has promoted Patti Dodge and Kevin Cloyd to executive vice presidents of the company. Dodge, who will maintain her role as chief financial officer of subsidiary New Century Mortgage Corp., is responsible for the strategic planning of all financial functions. Cloyd, who also serves as president of secondary marketing unit NC Capital Corp., is responsible for all secondary marketing related activities including whole loan sales, securitization strategies and transactions, warehouse line management, and pipeline and hedging management.

Deutsche Bank Securities has named managing director Phil Weingord as its head of North American fixed-income operations, taking over for Charles von Arentschildt, who was recently promoted to chairman of Global Markets North America. In his new position, Weingord reports to Anshu Jain, head of global markets. The Securitized Products Group will now report to Rajeev Misra, global head of credit trading. Weingord has been with Deutsche Bank since March 2000, when he joined from his position as co-head of ABS at Credit Suisse First Boston.

More personnel changes are expected at Credit Agricole Indosuez, following the departure of senior portfolio manager Paul Travers (See ASR 3/8/04). However, in its comment on the anticipated upcoming changes, Standard & Poor's reports that CAI has assured the rating agency that despite any employee turnover, its approach to investing in high-yield debt remains unchanged. S&P also credits CAI's pending merger with Credit Lyonnais for Travers' departure.

A reorganization within the structure of Moody's Investors Service has vice president and senior analyst Irina Faynzilberg moving to the student loan group, working closely with senior credit officer Sharon Asch, who will also be focusing on new product initiatives including ABS Servicer Ratings. The equipment lease rating effort will continue to be led by Vice president Denise Person, with other team members including analyst Olga Filipenko and associate analyst Rubinel Rios.

The Murrayhill Company has hired Edward Johns as its new director of operations. Johns brings 17 years of mortgage servicing experience to the company, and is charged with continually improving Murrayhill's risk-filtering technology. Prior to joining Murrayhill, Johns was at ABN AMRO Mortgage Group Inc. where he managed a 330-person staff as a default manager.

New Century Financial completed six whole loan sales in February to two Wall St. firms, raising $6 billion in liquidity, the company said in its most recent loan origination announcement. The specific purchasers of the portfolios were not disclosed. Also in the announcement, New Century disclosed that its February loan production totaled $2.5 billion and that it was on track to meet the $30 billion origination target it set for 2004. New Century will continue its 80%/20% ratio between whole loan sales and securitization.

ABN AMRO Mortgage Capital Markets, the sixth largest mortgage lender in the U.S., announced that its master mortgage servicing group was recently added to Standard & Poor's Select Servicer List, meaning the servicing operations meet both a ranking criteria of "average" and a "stable" outlook. "S&P admitted AMCAP to its Select Servicer List based on a comprehensive assessment of AMCAP's operational capabilities for servicing residential mortgages and asset-backed portfolios," ABN AMRO said in a release.

The senior unsecured debt issued by Nissan Motor Co., and captive finance subsidiary Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., have been upgraded two notches to Baa1' from Baa3', by Moody's Investors Service. Its short-term debt rating was also upgraded to P-2' from P-3'. This continues the turnaround for the foreign auto manufacturer from its credit rating low of Ba1' in 1999. Standard & Poor's, meanwhile, rates Nissan's long-term senior, unsecured debt at BBB' and its short-term debt at A-2'.

Wachovia Securities recently became the twelfth contributor of credit default swap pricing information to the iBOXX.CDX consortium. Wachovia joins ABN AMRO Mortgage Capital Markets, Barclays Capital, Bear Stearns, Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Bank USA, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and UBS Warburg in the consortium of data providers. IBOXX.CDX is a 125-name basket of credit default swaps. An updated index composition list, along with sub-sector composition, will be announced to the market at the close of business on March 17.

GMAC-RFC recently disclosed that its 2003 securitization volume reached $50 billion in 2003, up 45% from 2002 levels and the highest annual total in company history. Additionally, GMAC-RFC is the largest U.S. warehouse lender, with $16 billion in commitments, the second-largest mortgage conduit, and third-largest Alt-A MBS issuer. "We are very proud of our record growth in 2003," said Eric Scholtz, executive vice president and managing director of capital markets at GMAC-RFC. "We were able to continue to maximize the benefits of the strong mortgage finance market, allowing us to provide our lending partners with the products, services and tools they require, ultimately resulting in increased value for America's homeowners."

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