After covering rates and MBS strategy at Bear Stearns for the last four years, Steven Abrahams has moved to a position on the mortgage trading desk at the firm, where he will trade mortgage derivatives. In a note to readers of Bear's weekly Across the Curve and Rates and Structured Products, Abrahams said, "the rates markets have been fascinating to cover over the last year, as so many new forces have come into play. We'll see if they look as fascinating through the lens of a P&L."

Merrill Lynch and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein have reportedly won a mandate from Russia's Alfabank to structure a deal backed by diversified payment rights. Founded in 1990, the originator is one of Russia's largest privately-owned banks. Its assets totaled $7 billion at the end of 2004.

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