Steve Bergantino recently joined Bear Stearns as a managing director in the MBS research group. Specifically, Bergantino will be using loan level data from various sources with a specific focus on Bear Stearns subsidiary EMC Mortgage Corp. For the past six years, Bergantino worked at Lehman Brothers focusing on prepayment and valuation modeling.

Keiko Kurasaki was promoted to team managing director in Moody's Investors Service's structured finance group in Tokyo, reporting to Naoki Yamauchi, representative director of Moody's Japan. Prior to joining Moody's in 1992 as a research associate, Kurasaki worked at IBM and Nikko Securities.

MortgageIT Holdings Inc., a residential mortgage company organized as a REIT, last week announced the appointment of Glenn Mouridy as president and CFO. Among his other duties, Mouridy will be responsible for financial management, loan portfolio management and capital markets activities. Mouridy was formerly at Chase Home Finance, a business unit of JPMorgan Chase. At CHF, he was executive vice president in operations and risk management, and prior to that was its CFO.

Wachovia Securities recently published a CDO textbook entitled Collateralized Debt Obligations: Structures, Strategies & Innovations, Second Edition. Co-editors, Wachovia Managing Directors Arturo Cifuentes and Brian Lancaster, co-authored the book, along with the contributions of seven Wachovia CDO professionals into the 300 plus page book, which includes a glossary. It is available to Wachovia clients as well as interested business schools.

MBNA Corp. announced that it has acquired the $550 million credit card portfolio of AmSouth Bancorp., for an undisclosed sum. Under terms of the agreement, MBNA will own AmSouth's credit card receivables and will manage the card program under the AmSouth brand. MBNA will also be responsible for all credit, customer service, customer assistance and operational decisions concerning the 390,000 account portfolio. Additionally, MBNA will market credit card products and services to AmSouth's existing and future customers through AmSouth's 670 bank locations and the AmSouth Web site.

Upgrades outpaced downgrades for non-real estate-related term asset-backed securities for the first time in more than two years, according to Fitch Ratings. Year-to-date, Fitch has issued 142 upgrades and 211 downgrades, compared with 32 upgrades and 917 downgrades during the same period last year, the agency reports.

Capital One Financial Corp. acquired HFS Group, a U.K.-based home equity loan broker for $117 million (GBP65 million) in an all-cash transaction. This consideration includes repayment of $47 million (GBP26 million) of HFS Group's debt. In the 12-month period ending March 31, 2004, HFS originated a volume of approximately 15,000 loans, with a value of approximately $630 million (GBP350 million).

Fitch Ratings announced its decision last week not to rate high cost loans originated in Massachusetts after the state's Predatory Home Loan Practices Act goes into effect on Nov. 7. The legislation increases the risk of unlimited assignee liability compared to provisions in existing Massachusetts predatory regulations. Fitch's refusal to rate the said loans is based on this risk of uncapped liability.

New Century Financial reported loan production totaling $10 billion in the third quarter 2004, an 18.7 decrease, compared with 2Q04, but a 15.8% increase from the same period a year ago. It also reported 2005 origination volume could top $45 billion.

Of its 3Q04 production, 89.8% was originated via its wholesale channel, 81% being adjustable-rate product and 60.3% being refinance loans.

United Capital Markets is the lead sponsor for the American Securitization Forum's industry dinner at its ASF 2005 conference, a source within the company confirmed. As previously reported, the dinner, being held the evening of Jan. 24, will feature the Tonight Show host Jay Leno (see ASR 10/4/04).

Fitch Ratings has rated an upcoming commercial real estate deal - Mexico's second in a year - AA(mex)' on the national scale. The deal is capped at Ps450 million ($39 million) and has final legal maturity of 10 years. Collateral is comprised of rental contracts paid by locales operating at the shopping center Centro Comercial Plaza Fiesta San Agustin, owned by real estate company Inmobiliaria Valle de Colorines. The transaction is well diversified, with no single obligor - including anchor stores Sears Roebuck de Mexico and JC Penney - have accounted for more than 10% of rental income to the mall. Value is reportedly leading the transaction.

Copyright 2004 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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