Dominion Bond Rating Service appointed Darren Davies as a senior vice president in the agency's North American structured finance marketing team, where he will focus on developing relationships in the RMBS and ABS sectors in the U.S., covering issuers, bankers, and investors. In his new role Davies will report to Managing Director and head of North American structured finance marketing Andrew Jones.

Broker-dealer Guggenheim Capital Markets has hired Tom Mykityshyn, previously from Calyon Securities, as managing director in sales. At Calyon, Mykityshyn was responsible for structured credit sales. Prior to Calyon, Mykityshyn was at Toronto Dominion Bank in a similar role. Bob Shayegani was also hired as vice president focusing on structured finance research, including ABS, RMBS, CMBS, aircraft and CDOs. Shayegani joins Guggenheim from his own consulting firm where, among other things, he provided buy and sell recommendations to institutional clients concentrating on leveraged and distressed debt in various sectors including commercial & residential real estate.

Barclays Capital has hired Ray Cantu from Deutsche Bank Securities as director and senior ABS trader. Based in New York, Cantu will be focusing on trading cash and synthetic ABS reporting to John Carroll, managing director and head of U.S. securitized-asset trading. Cantu, who held a similar position at Deutsche Bank, replaces Raphael Gonzalez who left Barclays for a short stint at BNP Paribas before joining Banc of America Securities.

Credit Suisse First Boston has hired Kenji Toukaku to head its newly created Securitized Product Research Department in Japan. Toukaku was formerly from Mizuho Securities as a senior securitization analyst focusing on various securitization and structured products. He was also formerly head of bond option trading at IBJ Securities.

Continuing its expansion into the MBS business, HSBC Securities has hired two CMO traders from Deutsche Bank Securities. Nicholas Letica joins the firm as managing director and head of CMO trading reporting to Neal Leonard and Todd White, co-heads of MBS. Letica, who was formerly head of agency CMO trading at Deutsche Bank, will primarily focus on the development of HSBC's agency and non-agency CMO business. Mehul Shah, previously head of fixed-rate CMO trading at Deutsche Bank, also joins as senior vice president and senior CMO trader. Shah reports to Letica.

ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc., recently appointed Randy Conte chief operations officer. In this capacity, Conte will be creating an integrated operating environment across all AAMG locations. Prior to this new job, Conte was executive vice president and corporate controller for AAMG parent company LaSalle Bank Corporation. As such, he had various responsibilities including corporate accounting and finance administration for the company and its subsidiaries.

Capital One Financial Corp. last week renegotiated its purchase of New Orleans-based bank Hibernia Corp. to account for Hurricane Katrina's impact, reducing its offer by 9% to $5 billion and delaying the closing by about a month. Capital One was originally scheduled to close on its $5.35 billion buyout last week. If completed, the transaction would give Capital One its own bank to enhance its credit card operations.

ABN AMRO recently announced the launching of The Netherlands' first-ever structured covered bond scheduled for sometime this month. The program, backed by Euro-dominated Dutch prime residential mortgages, will be in one of only three markets where covered bonds were issued without a specific covered bond act.

Advocacy group the Center for Responsible Lending hosted a conference call last week to warn against the implications of the Ney-Kanjorski bill currently before Congress. The bill would be the first national policy against so-called predatory lending, placing standards on such items as points and fees, interest rates and prepayment penalties. Of interest to investors, the predatory lending legislation would set a national standard for assignee liability, which in some scenarios has placed uncapped liability on secondary market participants if a loan is found to be predatory. The CRL commissioned state and federal officials from Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Mexico and New Jersey to advocate for the competing, less lender-friendly Miller-Watt-Frank bill sponsored by North Carolina Democratic Representative Brad Miller.

Standard & Poor's recently released a new product named S&P's Interest Rate Evaluator, or SPIRE, that allows users to obtain rapid feedback on potential RMBS structures. SPIRE, which will be made commercially available, is able to determine whether funds derived from a loan or pool could cover a transaction's bond liabilities. It would also allow users to ascertain if a particular deal has passed the stress scenario corresponding to S&P's rating levels. The new model utilizes the rating agency's collateral and cashflow modeling criteria for foreclosure frequency, loss severity and loss coverage model. It also incorporates vectors for voluntary prepays and interest rate risk.

Freddie Mac released its quarterly national Conventional Mortgage Home Price Appreciation Index last Tuesday. For the second quarter, the index rose 15% on an annualized basis compared to a revised first quarter rate of 10.5%. Freddie Mac's Chief Economist Frank Nothaft attributed the strong growth to the decline in mortgage rates during the second quarter. Over the period from 2Q04 through 2Q05, home values increased 13.2%, according to the GSE. By region, the Mountain states recorded the largest annualized quarterly change at 24.3%, followed by the Pacific states at 22.4%, and the South Atlantic states at 18.9%. The area showing the slowest gain was the East North Central states at just 7.2%.

(c) 2005 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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