Moody's Rates Aussie Servicers

Moody's Investors Service has developed Australian methodology for servicer quality ratings.

"Moody's intends to roll out SQ Ratings for all mortgage servicers that service loan portfolios backing Australian RMBS," said Moody's analyst Kim Ly. "The publication of SQ Ratings will be subject to the servicer's approval."

Moody's said that among the catalysts for the decision to rate Australian servicers have been "concerns that weakening house prices may lead to higher delinquencies and defaults."

Moody's made a number of announcements related to the Australian mortgage market at its fourth annual structured finance conference, which drew close to 250 attendees here on Aug. 12 and drew about 100 attendees in Melbourne on Aug. 13. These included:

* The tally for Australian residential mortgage-backed securities issuance between January and August of 2004, which was A$35 billion (about $25 billion), a notable amount given that A$40 billion (approximately $28 billion) in RMBS were issued in 2003 as a whole.

* The release of delinquency levels for performance indices in the Australian market, which were "lower than in other comparable jurisdictions and in line with their historical averages."

* Plans to issue performance reports overview reports on Moody's rated commercial MBS transactions.

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