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Announcement:

Moody's: EMEA ABCP Sector Has Stabilised, With Some Potential for Growth

19 Nov 2010

London, 19 November 2010 -- Although the European Asset-Backed Commercial Paper (ABCP) market continues to face challenges, Moody's Investors Service believes that the sector has not only stabilised but will likely remain stable, with potential for growth through product innovations. This was the overall theme of Moody's eighth annual ABCP conference, which was held in London on 16 November 2010.

Moody's conference was attended by over 140 delegates, attracting senior representatives from the key sponsors, investors and dealers in the EMEA ABCP market and reflecting the continued interest in ABCP amongst a wide variety of participants in the European capital markets.

The rating agency's ABCP conference was held in a context of stabilised issuance and spread levels. "Whilst we have not returned to the halcyon days before the credit crisis, the market has reached a new equilibrium, reflecting the fact that ABCP remains both an important source of funding for banks and their clients and a core product for investors," said Masako Oshima, a Senior Credit Officer at Moody's and conference organiser. However, Ms. Oshima says the sector continues to face certain challenges, particularly in sponsors' ability to meet investor demand regarding maturities.

Ms. Oshima presented an overview of the EMEA ABCP market in 2010 as well as Moody's outlook on the market for 2011. Although issuance levels of the conduits rated by Moody's declined steadily during the credit crisis from $488.4 billion at year-end 2006, total issuance has stabilised during 2010 and stood at $183 billion as at August 2010. Ms. Oshima noted that the increasing shift to full-support structures has highlighted the linkage between the ratings of ABCP programmes and the ratings of supporting banks.

Commenting on rating trends for European ABCP sponsors, Oscar Heemskerk, a Vice President and Senior Analyst in Moody's Financial Institutions Group, emphasized that the phasing-out of bank support schemes across Europe will put debt ratings under pressure. "The strengthening of unsupported ratings is crucial to avoid long-term rating downgrade pressure," said Mr. Heemskerk.

A panel of senior representatives from European conduit sponsors was optimistic about the medium-term outlook for the ABCP market, but agreed that the attractiveness of other types of financing is a key determinant of ABCP issuance levels, particularly in light of the new regulatory environment for banks. Panel members also commented on the importance of the US commercial paper (USCP) market for European conduits, particularly when swap rates are favourable.

A panel of investors and dealers also discussed the future of the European commercial paper (ECP) market, particularly compared to the USCP market, noting that the regulatory environment and capacity of sponsors to meet investor demand remain the significant drivers over the medium term. The panel also agreed that open lines of communication between sponsors and investors bode well for the continuing stability of the market. However, the panel emphasized the importance of disclosure, even for fully supported conduits, in driving an upturn in investor appetite.

Recognising this need, Denis Struc, an Analyst in Moody's EMEA ABCP team, discussed the new format of and the enhanced disclosure to be provided by Moody's new ABCP Performance Overview. "The new Performance Overview reports include an historical comparison of the programme's portfolio, an analysis of the ten largest transactions in the portfolio and qualitative analysis of key ratings drivers, written by the lead analyst for the programme," Mr. Struc explained. Moody's believes this greater disclosure will help investors in analysing and monitoring programme performance. Slides from the conference are available at Moodys.com in the Events directory.

London
Eli Laius
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Paris
Sophie Berthelon
Senior Vice President
Structured Finance Group
Moody's France SAS
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom

Moody's: EMEA ABCP Sector Has Stabilised, With Some Potential for Growth
No Related Data.
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