Fitch Ratings is hoping to build on the success of its public finance platforms in other regions by appointing William Streeter as Asia-Pacific head of public finance. Based on Tokyo, Streeter will be responsible for establishing a public finance/project finance ratings group in Asia and will report directly to Masayasu Saki, CEO of Fitch Tokyo.

Focusing particularly on Japan, Streeter will cover public financing and infrastructure finance issues for the entire Asia-Pacific region.

In Fitch's Tokyo office, Streeter will lead a five-member team that has yet to be finalised. He will also look after one designated analyst in Fitch's other Asian offices covering Beijing, Mumbai, Brisbane and Taipei.

Streeter moves from Fitch's global project finance group in New York where he was a managing director specialising in transportation finance. Cherian George, who now assumes responsibility for US transportation ratings, will replace him. He was employed at the rating agency since October 1997.

Before moving to Fitch, Streeter spent twelve years at another international ratings agency as manager of Canadian ratings, senior analyst for US mid-west ratings and as senior vice president in the revenue specialties group.

Fitch says it has createdan Asian Public Finance division because of the recent reforms of the government-owned lending sector, the privatisation of government-owned enterprises (toll roads, airports authorities), health care reforms and decentralisations of municipality and local government enterprises.

In bringing Streeter to Asia to establish a public finance/project finance group, Fitch will expand its international public finance to four departments.