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Merrill Lynch and Ocwen Financial Corporation form international asset management servicing company for distressed businesses; FinancialOxygen launches a new online exchange for Fed Funds and Eurodollar trading; GSTP AG to launch its global straight-through processing network in September 2002.

Merrill Lynch and Ocwen Financial Corporation, West Palm Beach, Fla., have formed Global Servicing Solutions, LLC. This joint venture, of which Ocwen is the majority owner, will be responsible for establishing, licensing and operating distressed asset management servicing companies in various countries around the world to service both Merrill Lynch assets and assets owned by third parties.

The first asset management servicing company, Servicing Solutions Japan, Inc., will be formed with the advice and assistance of Tokyo Servicer Inc., a local Japanese loan servicer.

"As we expand our principal investment business globally, we must maintain our commitment to superior asset resolution and loan servicing," said Robert Fitzpatrick, head of asset management for the Global Principal Investment at Merrill Lynch. "Our joint venture relationship with Ocwen increases our ability to further achieve such a commitment."

"Ocwen has developed various processes and technologies to service and maximize the value of loans and real estate. We are all very excited to now be able to work with Merrill Lynch to deploy these products and services on a worldwide stage", said Thomas Meyer, senior vice president, Ocwen Financial Corporation.

Ocwen Technology Xchange (OTX) provides customer focused business solutions for the real estate finance industry on a global basis by providing business process expertise supported by technology. OTX offers products designed to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction in residential mortgage origination and servicing, and in commercial mortgage servicing.

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FinancialOxygen, a provider of capital markets trading technology, has launched a new online exchange enabling major banks, dealers and other financial institutions to trade Fed Funds and Eurodollars among themselves.

FinancialOxygen's institutional trading platform, known as DealerOxygen, streamlines trading through an electronic system that improves trade execution and significantly lowers operational costs. DealerOxygen also electronically captures transaction data and facilitates straight-through processing to each institution's system of record.

"DealerOxygen is the first all-electronic trading exchange that addresses the more than $1 trillion market for Federal Funds and Eurodollars currently executed in low-tech fashion, primarily by phone," said Robert Oxenburgh, CEO of FinancialOxygen. "DealerOxygen will fundamentally change the process by lowering transaction costs, introducing transparency, and increasing speed of trade execution and processing. Financial institutions who have begun using the platform say thatDealerOxygen is a much needed, quantum leap forward."

DealerOxygen currently has about 50 participating institutions, including seven of the top 10 U.S. banks. Each day, institutional traders execute more than $1 trillion in transactions worldwide.

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GSTP AG, an organization formed to promote global straight-through processing, announced that it will launch its TFM network in September 2002.

Development and testing of the utility have been completed successfully as a result of the combined efforts of GSTP AG and axion4gstp, as well as axion4 shareholders SIS SegaInterSettle, TKS-Teknosoft SA/TATA Consultancy Services and SWIFT.

GSTP AG also announced plans to restructure its operations. Effective immediately, GSTP AG will assume direct responsibility for the operation of the utility, migrating from axion4. GSTP AG will enter into direct relationships with existing and new service providers, providing the most cost-effective solution for the industry and ensuring continuity of the services and investments made. SWIFT will continue to be the exclusive provider of messaging services to GSTP AG and its users.

Concentrator service providers, who will play a significant role in expanding the reach of the utility beyond large industry players, will start live production at the same time as the 33 firms currently involved in the pilot program.

"This decision of the GSTP AG Supervisory Board reflects the dynamics of the marketplace and the state of the economy as it has impacted our participants," said Juergen Marziniak, CEO of GSTP AG. "axion4 has fulfilled its task of developing the GSTP solution. The restructuring provides an outstanding opportunity for a powerful launch of GSTP AG by linking concentrators and participants' communities and we believe this is in the best interest of the industry and our shareholders."

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