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Fitch: Upgrades Continue for U.S. Term ABS as Mid-Year Approaches.

NEW YORK -- Higher energy and consumer price concerns continue to pervade the markets, but for the time being, the U.S. term asset-backed securities sector remains unaffected as upgrades once again eclipsed downgrades, according to the latest Credit Action Report by Fitch Ratings.

Fitch upgraded 13 total ABS classes in May, with two in the auto loan ABS arena, seven equipment lease four recreational vehicle(RV)/marine loan classes, compared to just two downgrades (both in the RV/marine loan Sector). 'Further upgrades are likely in both the auto and equipment lease sectors as transactions continue to build credit enhancement and business spending patterns remain favorable,' said Kevin D'Albert, Director, Fitch Ratings.

The May performance brings Fitch's totals as of May 2006 to 90 upgrades and 70 downgrades in a significantly improved showing compared to last year (26 upgrades and 100 downgrades through May 2005). Upgrades have taken place in the credit card (45), auto loan (36) and equipment lease (nine) sectors, while franchise loan (35), aircraft finance (31), insurance-related (two) and RV/marine (two) sectors, encompass the 707 total downgrades.

'Term ABS Credit Action Report: May 2006' is available on the Fitch Ratings web site at www.fitchratings.com.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, www.fitchratings.com. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 26, 2006
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