Fitch Ratings has announced the formation of a new rating group for U.S. commercial real estate CDOs, which it termed an increasingly popular asset class.The group will be led by managing director Jenny Story. Jill Zelter, managing director of collateralized debt obligations at Fitch, said CRE CDO issuance rose over 100% in the first quarter and average deal size more than doubled. The market includes CDOs backed by commercial mortgage-backed security collateral, commercial real estate loans, and CMBS Re-REMICs, the rating agency said. Fitch can be found on the Web at http://www.fitchratings.com.

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