The ramp-up continues at HSBC Securities, which hired George Smith from Bear Stearns and Rob Diorio from CDC IXIS North America as managing directors in its U.S. ABS group. At Bear Stearns, Smith led the ABS syndicate and trading desks. Prior to CDC, Diorio was a co-head of the securitization group at Merrill Lynch.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has scheduled Action Alert No. 04-19 for 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. Topics to be discussed include beneficial interests in securitizes financial assets, mortgage servicing rights and fair value measurements. A non-decision making open education session is scheduled to immediately follow the meeting, to discuss the topics brought up at the May 26 Board meeting.

SG Corporate & Investment Banking has hired Camille Chin as an associate in its U.S. term ABS group, reporting to John Chauvel, head of U.S. ABS. Chin, who had worked in Bank One Capital Markets' Dallas office, will focus on off-the-run assets, such as equipment leas ABS.

Dominion Bond Rating Service has officially launched its U.S. operations with a six-person team located in New York. The team consists of senior vice presidents Andrew Jones and Michael Nelson, chief knowledge officer Susan Kulakowski, and vice presidents Quincy Tang, Ken Higgins and Chris O'Connell.

Joseph Reel recently started as a vice president in the ABS research strategy group at Citigroup Global Markets, where he will cover a variety of mortgage and non-mortgage assets. He reports to director Ivan Gjaja. Reel previously worked at Prudential Securities.

Bear Stearns will be coming out with a new research publication titled Across the Curve In Rates and Structured Products. The markets covered include: Treasurys, Agencies and Futures, ARMs, Interest Rate Derivatives, ABS and CDOs, Non-Agency MBS, Agency MBS, and CMBS. Across the Curve will be released every Tuesday.

FGIC has hired Kenneth Degen and Robert Velins as managing directors in its structured finance department. Prior to FGIC, both Degen and Velins were managing directors and at MBIA. Degen, a former group head led MBIA's business production with respect to financial institutions and operating asset companies. In his new position, he reports to Gregory Raab, senior managing director and head of FGIC's commercial ABS business. Velins, who will work out of the London office, reporting to Tim Travers, has a background in international infrastructure finance and infrastructure securitization.

Falcon Financial disclosed that it had closed a $150 million one-year warehousing facility with iStar Financial, which may be increased to $200 million at iStar's option. The facility replaces an existing facility extended by ABN AMRO and SunAmerica Life Insurance Co., which is set to expire Oct. 1, 2004. The new facility expires Apr. 10, 2005.

Associate Director Michael Morcom has moved from Barclays Capital to Ambac as a vice-president in the emerging markets division, where he will report to Managing Director Diana Adams. Morcom represented the final banker focusing on Latin American ABS at Barclays, where he worked for four years. Prior to Barclays, he worked on international structured finance at Duff & Phelps. His departure comes one year after John Gonzalez and Ryan Donohew left Barclays. The bank's last Latin American ABS transaction in March 2002, backed by a diversified payment rights (DPR) for El Salvador's Banco Agricola, which hired Wachovia Securities for its most recent securitization. Barclays officials did not return requests for comment on whether they will replace Morcom or pull out of arranging Latin American ABS altogether.

Meanwhile, for Ambac, Morcom's hiring marks a stepped-up commitment to emerging markets, with the team increasing to three from two. "We definitely see opportunities in future flows," said Ambac's Adams. Adams added that Ambac will continue pursuing opportunities in other asset classes in the relatively developed domestic markets such as Mexico and Chile.

European regulators have conceded to a lower capital requirement for investors in credit card ABS and are currently on track to complete a detailed Basel II accord by the end of the quarter, according to reports. Banks choosing the most advanced risk weighting will have until 2007, with those adopting the alternative risk weighting having until the end of 2006 (see story p. 16).

Copyright 2004 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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