Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. yesterday secured a triple-A claims-paying rating from Fitch Investors Service, a move that could start an avalanche of new bond insurance ratings from Fitch.

FGIC's new tripe-A allows it to boast three top grades from the premier rating services. If the marketplace determines the new rating adds value to FGIC-backed municipals -- by increasing the trading level of the bonds themselves -- the other major financial guarantors would quickly follow suit.

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