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Announcement:

Moody's assesses impact on Spanish structured finance transactions following sovereign downgrade

18 Oct 2011

NOTE: On October 19, 2011, the press release was revised as follows: Replaced incorrect name of the rated entity (“Republic of Spain”) with the correct name (“Kingdom of Spain”). Revised release follows:

London, 18 October 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service has today announced that it will consider the implications for Spanish structured finance transactions of its two-notch downgrade of the rating of the government of the Kingdom of Spain to A1 with a negative outlook, from Aa2. For full details, please refer to "Moody's downgrades Spain's government bond rating to A1 with a negative outlook" published on 18th October 2011. Notwithstanding this lowering of the government debt rating, Moody's believes that a Aaa(sf) rating remains achievable for Spanish structured finance transactions that (i) benefit from sufficient credit enhancement; and (ii) have highly rated transaction parties or appropriate operational risk mitigants in place.

The factors driving the downgrade of the Spanish sovereign increase the risk that asset performance will deteriorate significantly and uniformly. Whilst the probability of such deterioration remains very low, it has reached a point where current levels of credit enhancement for some senior notes may be insufficient to support the highest rating levels.

Moody's will review all Spanish structured finance transactions and announce any rating actions within the next few weeks.

Highest achievable rating for Spanish structured finance transactions is Aaa(sf)

Notwithstanding its recent downgrade of the Spanish government's rating, Moody's expects that most Spanish structured finance transactions can retain or achieve ratings of up to Aaa(sf). Structural features and credit enhancement will continue to be able to mitigate the effects of increased collateral risk and performance disruption risk in a severe event and the level of uncertainty around them. Moody's discusses the relationship between sovereign ratings and structured finance ratings in Moody's Special Report "Assessing the Impact of the Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis on Structured Finance Transactions" published in April 2011.

Increasing collateral risk is a factor driving Spanish structured finance ratings

Spain continues to face significant challenges arising from the severe situation in the labour market, slowdown in its key exports affecting its economic growth and a fragile banking sector. Under such conditions, the debt repayment capacity of some individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will remain strained. As a result of the rising risk and uncertainty associated with the deterioration of Spanish asset performance, most Spanish structured finance transactions will only be able to retain or achieve ratings of Aaa(sf) if they benefit from sufficient credit enhancement and have the robust structure described below.

Moody's believes that for Spanish structured finance transactions to achieve a Aaa(sf) rating, credit enhancement levels are expected to be (i) 15%-20% for RMBS (depending on pool characteristics), (ii) 20%-25% for auto ABS, (iii) 25%-30% for consumer ABS and (iv) 30%-40% for SME/Leases ABS (depending on collateral and sectors). Notwithstanding these ranges, Moody's will review each transaction and may conclude in some situations that the level of credit enhancement sufficient to achieve or retain a Aaa(sf) rating is outside the published ranges. In relation to RMBS portfolios, Moody's expects a wider variability in the performance of Spanish portfolios from different originators and in certain circumstances may consider assigning or maintaining Aaa(sf) on transactions with credit enhancements levels lower than the above ranges.

Moody's will also consider the impact of the above analysis on notes currently rated or targeting ratings above the rating of the Spanish sovereign.

Increased operational risk is the another factor driving Spanish structured finance ratings

Moody's will also consider the effect of the potential deterioration in the credit quality of transaction parties such as servicers and cash managers in Spanish ABS and RMBS, in line with rating guidance entitled "Global Structured Finance Operational Risk Guidelines: Moody's Approach to Analyzing Performance Disruption Risk", published in March 2011. In its analysis, the rating agency will also factor in operational risk mitigants such as back up servicing and cash management arrangements and available liquidity.

In assessing the effect of any potential deterioration in the credit quality of the operational transaction parties, Moody's assesses both the credit quality of the parties and the amount of liquidity and credit enhancement in the transaction. For transactions with (i) adequate liquidity arrangements; (ii) servicers with current ratings at or above A3; or (iii) appropriate back up servicing provisions in place, the senior notes will be able to retain or achieve a Aaa(sf) rating, subject to minimum credit enhancement amounts described above.

Any potential deterioration in the credit quality of certain transaction parties may also lead to increased risks of set-off and commingling in some transactions. Moody's will also assess the structural features in each transaction to mitigate against such risks in assessing whether the senior notes will be able to retain or achieve a Aaa(sf) rating.

Ning Loh
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Annick Poulain
MD - Structured Finance
Structured Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's assesses impact on Spanish structured finance transactions following sovereign downgrade
No Related Data.
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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS’s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy.”

Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY’S affiliate, Moody’s Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody’s Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to “wholesale clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY’S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a “wholesale client” and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to “retail clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY’S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. (“MJKK”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody’s Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody’s SF Japan K.K. (“MSFJ”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (“NRSRO”). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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