Alex Gress has joined Wachovia Securities in a newly created role responsible for working with leveraged finance and private equity sponsor coverage offering structured finance alternatives to traditional debt financings.

In the new position Gress will be a director in the structured products group, reporting to Managing Director Pete Budko. Gress was part of JPMorgan Securities' debt capital markets group in London since 2001 where he focused on ABS origination and whole business securitizations. Prior to JPMorgan, Gress worked in the securitization group at CIBC World Markets in New York beginning in 1998.

Randolph Snook has been named executive vice president The Bond Market Association and head of its New York office. Snook, who retired as head of debt syndicate at Goldman Sachs in May 2003, also worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Snook reports to BMA president and CEO Micah Green. Snook will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations in the BMA's New York office, including the various U.S. based asset-class divisions - municipal, corporate, MBS and securitized products, government, and funding - as well as technology and operations, according to a release.

Sidley Austin Brown & Wood named Samantha Good, as a partner in its banking and financial transactions group, the company announced. Good practices in all areas of banking and finance, including securitization and structured finance, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate law. The firm currently has 600 partners in offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

GMAC RFC has agreed to buy new shares of Rio Bravo Securitizadora equal to 20% of the Brazilian securitizer, according to a filing with local regulators.

The purchase is contingent on the International Finance Corporation buying 19.9% of Rio Bravo in

new shares.

Huntington Bancshares reported that its total average consumer loans increased 15% the year-ago quarter primarily due to a $1.1 billion, or 37%, increase in average residential mortgages. Average home equity loan volume increased $500 million, or 13%, though annualized linked-quarter growth rates for the first half of 2005 have been at rates roughly half that, at 6% and 7%, for 1Q05 and 2Q05, respectively. Average total auto loans decreased $300 million, or 11%, from the year-ago quarter reflecting the sale of automobile loans over the past year, as part of a strategy of reducing automobile loan and lease exposure as a percent of total credit exposure. Partially offsetting the decline in automobile loans was growth in direct financing leases due to the continued migration from operating lease assets, which have not been originated since April 2002.

Fitch Ratings promoted Richard Hrvatin to head of its North American credit derivatives group. Hrvatin will report to Jill Zelter, a managing director in Fitch's credit products group. Hrvatin joined Fitch in 1998. Since then, he has spearheaded various research and modeling initiatives, including the development of Fitch's rating criteria for mortgage CBOs, ABS CDOs, and the launch of Fitch's VECTOR model.

The CIT Group Inc. reported last Wednesday a 25% increase in net income for the second quarter, to $220.7 million from $176.6 million last year. Diluted earnings per share were $1.03 for the quarter, compared with $0.82 last year. The company attributed the success to low charge-offs, strong non-spread revenues and a lower effective tax rate. CIT also sold $900 million of its business aircraft portfolio, and terminated 200 employees. Those moves resulted in gains of $22 million and $25.2 million, respectively.

Gramercy Capital Corp. increased net income available to shareholders by 60%, to $7.5 million in the second quarter from $4.6 million in the first, the company announced last Wednesday. Gramercy in the quarter completed 20 debt investments totaling $241.3 million and generated total revenues of $18.8 million.

Bank of America Corp. reported second quarter earnings of $4.3 billion and a managed consumer credit card portfolio of $59.3 billion as of 6/30/05, rising from $57.9 billion at the end of the first quarter. BofA attributed higher credit card losses to various factors including the return of securitizations to the balance sheet, bankruptcy legislation and minimum payment changes. Managed credit card net losses reached 6.23% in the second quarter versus 6.17% in the first. Bank of America manages two credit card master trusts, which have a combined $6.8 billion of term ABS outstanding. Charge-offs in the Fleet credit card trust are higher than the BofA credit card trust with the average yield higher for the BofA trust.

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