MOODY'S ASSIGNS DEBT ISSUANCE PROGRAMME RATINGS (PFANDBRIEFE AT Aaa, SENIOR UNSECURED AT Aa3, AND SUBORDINATED AT A1) TO WESTFAELISCHE HYPOTHEKENBANK AND ITS GUARANTEED AFFILIATE -- WESTHYP FINANCE BV
Moody's Investors Service has assigned debt programme ratings to the Euro 10 billion joint debt issuance programme of Westfaelische Hypothekenbank AG (Westhyp) and its wholly-owned, guaranteed subdidiary -- Westhyp Finance B.V. (Westhyp Finance). Under this programme, Westhyp is able to issue Public-Sector and Mortgage Pfandbriefe (both at Aaa), as well as senior unsecured debt (at Aa3) and subordinated debt (at A1), whereas Westhyp Finance can only issue senior unsecured debt (at Aa3) and subordinated debt (at A1).
According to Moody's, the programme ratings for unsecured debt are primarily driven by the explicit support for Westhyp itself in the form of a public Patronatserklaerung (letter of comfort) from its 75% owner -- Bayerische Hypotheken und Vereinsbank AG (rated Aa2/P-1/B+). Westhyp's acceptable intrinsic fundamentals are reflected in its C bank financial strength rating. Moody's added that it regards Pfandbriefe to possess credit characteristics that are directly linked to the overall longer-term creditworthiness of the issuer -- as defined primarily by Westhyp's Aa3 deposit rating. Nevertheless, Pfandbrief ratings are higher than long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings, owing to the comparatively greater predictability of timely debt servicing and also to the greatly reduced potential loss-severity in the event of a default.
In relation to the joint debt issuance programme, the following ratings were assigned:
Wesfaelische Hypothekenbank AG -- Aaa for Public-Sector Pfandbriefe; Aaa for Mortgage Pfandbriefe; Aa3 for long-term senior unsecured debt; A1 for subordinated debt; and Prime-1 for short-term debt.
Westhyp Finance B.V. -- Aa3 for guaranteed long-term senior unsecured debt; A1 for guaranteed subordinated bet; and Prime-1 for guaranteed short-term debt.
Westfaelische Hypothekenbank AG, based in Dortmund, Germany, is a mortgage bank engaged in both real estate and public-sector lending. Westhyp had consolidated total assets of DM 54 billion (US$ 30 billion) as of September 1998.
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