Predicting a growth in ABS deals secured by revenues from natural resources, film royalties and casinos, Fitch Ratings created a structured finance new asset group, and appointed Dan Chambers, a managing director in its CMBS group, to manage it.

Fitch expects that securitization in those asset classes, and unusual assets with operating business components, will continue to accelerate in 2007, with volume projected to be up 30% or more over 2006. Furthermore, many deal proposals in recent years have incorporated structural approaches from the CMBS group, and Fitch hopes to draw on Chambers' experience in the CMBS area to develop criteria in the new group. Chambers was a director in Fitch's CMBS group, where he spearheaded the development of methodologies and criteria for new assets, Susan Merrick, Fitch's managing director and head of its CMBS group, said. In his new role, Chambers will report to Merrick and Kevin Duignan, managing director and head of the ABS group. He joined the rating agency nine years ago, after working in the real estate lending business at Sumitomo Bank.

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