NationsBanc Montgomery Securities has begun publishing an index that tracks the total return of AAA-rated securities backed by commercial mortgages

The index complements a broader commercial mortgage bond index that the Bank of America Corp. unit unveiled last November.

Both indexes are designed to help investors gauge the performance of their securities relative to the market, said Michael D. Youngblood, managing director of real estate research.

He said NationsBanc saw the need for a commercial mortgage index last August, when the global financial crisis sent securities prices into free fall, making valuation difficult.

The new index incorporates both the yield and changes in market value of a hypothetical $29.6 billion portfolio of 10-year bonds.

NationsBanc has four research analysts dedicated to these indexes, Mr. Youngblood said.

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