Standard & Poor's distributes Markit's credit default swap pricing via CDS Xpress

London – 5th August, 2005 – Standard & Poor’s, the leading independent provider of investment research, indices and ratings today announced an agreement with Markit Group Limited ("Markit"), the leading industry source for independent mark-to-market pricing and asset valuations, to distribute Markit’s benchmark credit default swap (CDS) prices via Standard & Poor’s CDS Xpress data-feed.

Composite daily closing prices for five-year CDS will now be available on Standard & Poor's CDS Accelerator product, which facilitates and streamlines synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO) analysis. When used in conjunction with CDS Xpress, CDS Accelerator provides even greater functionality by providing daily updates of key information such as Standard & Poor’s credit ratings, industry codes, country and CLIP entity codes on underlying reference credits. Markit RED (Reference Entity Database) was integrated into CDS Xpress and CDS Accelerator last year.

CDS Xpress and CDS Accelerator provide accurate data that is specifically tailored to the synthetic CDO market. The prices can be updated daily or monthly, delivered via FTP in XML format as part of the CDS Xpress feed.

Markit provides daily, independent mark-to-market pricing and reference entity data, drawn from over 50 contributing financial institutions, that is used by organizations globally within their trading, risk management and operations areas.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Markit on this new and exciting project. This new alliance with Markit will enable us to provide our clients with an integrated data solution which has been widely requested", commented Krishna Biltoo, Managing Director of Standard & Poor’s Securities Services, Europe.

"The combination of Standard &Poor’s analytics and Markit’s pricing provides credit portfolio managers with a valuable tool with which to monitor their investments. This partnership will undoubtedly enhance our clients’ risk management capabilities in the context of increasingly sophisticated credit products", said Mark Hunt, Director of Product Development at Markit.

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