The largest global financial institutions are not likely to be significantly affected by the huge number of downgrades of subprime securities announced by Standard & Poor's Jan. 30 (see above item), but they could boost losses among "smaller players," the rating agency says. S&P said it believes that the total losses for financial institutions will eventually reach more than $265 billion. "In our opinion, the downgrades of mortgage securities could lead to the realization of these losses, especially among some of the smaller players that have yet to feel the full extent of the value impairments on securities held in their available-for-sale securities portfolios," S&P said.

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