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Announcement:

Moody's Concludes Review of U.S. CRE CDOs

04 May 2009

Approximately $83.1 Billion of Structured Securities Affected

New York, May 04, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has concluded a review initially announced on 12/19/2008 and supplemented on 3/12/2009 of 160 U.S. commercial real estate collateralized debt obligations ("CRE CDOs") rated during the period from 2002 through 2008. The outstanding balance of Moody's rated tranches for these reviewed transactions totaled $83.1 billion, which represents approximately 92% percent of all outstanding Moody's-rated and monitored CRE CDOs by dollar volume. Moody's upgraded 9 tranches, representing an aggregate balance of $301 million. Moody's downgraded 1,085 tranches, representing an aggregate balance of $52.9 billion. Moody's confirmed the ratings of 151 tranches, representing an aggregate balance of $29.9 billion. The review resulted in the downgrade of all rated classes by 1 to 15 notches.

The CRE CDOs reviewed include re-securitization transactions comprised primarily of commercial mortgage backed securities ("CMBS") as well as CRE CDOs comprised of non-CUSIP collateral such as whole loans, B-notes, mezzanine loans and other real estate collateral, structured on a cash or synthetic basis. Moody's review incorporated revised modeling parameters and credit drift in the CMBS collateral resulting from Moody's recent downgrades of 2006 through 2008 vintage CMBS conduit and fusion deals and 1997 through 2008 vintage CMBS large loan and single borrower deals.

The revised parameters in Moody's model for rating and monitoring CRE CDOs are related to asset correlation, default probability, and recovery rate. These revisions are generally consistent with recent revisions to key parameters for rating and monitoring other collateralized debt obligation transactions backed by asset backed securities.

Moody's review incorporated updated asset correlation assumptions for the commercial real estate sector consistent with one of Moody's CDO rating models, CDOROM v2.5, which was released on February 3, 2009. These correlations were updated in light of the systemic seizure of credit markets and to reflect higher inter- and intra-industry asset correlations. The updated asset correlations, depending on vintage and issuer diversity, used for CUSIP collateral (i.e. CMBS, CRE CDOs or real estate investment trust ("REIT") debt) within CRE CDOs range from 30% to 60% compared to 15% to 35% previously.

For non-CUSIP collateral (treated in CDOROM v2.5 as secured corporate debt), the updated asset correlations are approximately 30% compared to 15% previously. The updated asset correlations for non-CUSIP collateral reflect a reduction in the maximum over-concentration stress by half in CDOROM v2.5 due to the diversity of tenants, property types and geographic locations inherent in the collateral pools.

Default probability is typically captured in the collateral weighted average rating factor ("WARF"). For CUSIP collateral, the additional default probability stress sometimes applied to re-securitization collateral was not applied to CMBS collateral reviewed recently as part of Moody's CMBS ratings sweep. Based on Moody's current expectations of commercial real estate performance, the CMBS ratings are believed to be relatively stable for the next 12 to 24 months. However, for pre-2006 CMBS collateral, the default probability re-securitization stress was applied to capture the potential ratings volatility of the underlying collateral.

For non-CUSIP collateral, the additional default probability stress applied to corporate debt was eliminated as we expect the underlying non-CUSIP collateral to experience lower default rates and higher recovery compared to corporate debt due to the nature of the secured real estate collateral.

In addition to the asset correlations and default probability assumptions for cash CRE CDOs, Moody's assumed a single delayed default timing scenario in CDOEdge v3.2, one of its CRE CDO rating models, to better reflect our expectation of how the underlying real estate will perform in this recession. Previously, six default timing scenarios were used to analyze the expected loss at each tranche.

For synthetic CRE CDOs, Moody's has historically applied fixed recovery rates by original tranche rating of the specific asset. Moody's updated methodology uses a floating recovery rate model that derives a mean recovery rate determined by the current rating of the specific asset and a simulation of the range of potential recovery rates around that mean.

As always, Moody's ratings are determined by a committee process that considers both quantitative and qualitative factors. Therefore, the rating outcome may differ from the model output.

A list of Moody's downgrades may be found at: http://www.moodys.com/cust/getdocumentByNotesDocId.asp?criteria=PBS_SF164361

New York
Michael M. Gerdes
Senior Vice President
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Deryk Meherik
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Concludes Review of U.S. CRE CDOs
No Related Data.
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​​​​
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