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12 Jun 2009
London, 12 June 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service has taken the following rating actions on the
covered bonds issued by Marfin Egniata Bank ("Marfin") and
Alpha Bank ("Alpha"):
- Mortgage-backed covered bonds issued by Marfin:
Downgraded to Aa1 from Aaa. Previously on 18 November 2008 assigned
initial rating of Aaa.
- Mortgage-backed covered bonds issued by Alpha: Aaa,
placed on review for possible downgrade. Previously on 21 July
2008 assigned initial rating of Aaa.
Today's rating actions are a result of the increase in spread used
for modelling refinancing risk, which Moody's announced on
8 April 2009.
As a result of the new refinancing margins, Marfin and Alpha required
a higher amount of over-collateralisation to maintain the Aaa rating
on their covered bonds. Marfin has committed to increase the current
over-collateralisation to a level consistent with a Aa1 rating,
but not to a level consistent with a Aaa rating. Alpha has proposed
a number of structural changes which -- if satisfactorily implemented
- could result in the current Aaa rating of the covered bonds being
maintained. Pending further review and implementation of such new
structural features, Moody's has placed the covered bonds
of Alpha Bank on review for possible downgrade.
A number of other covered bond programmes with otherwise stable ratings
would have been impacted by the increase in spread used to model refinancing
risk if further support had not been added. The Issuers supporting
these covered bond programmes decided to add further enhancement to them
to maintain the ratings. These enhancements have either already
been added to the programmes or are expected to be added to the programmes
in the near future. As a result, Moody's is not expecting
any of these covered bond programmes to be impacted by the increase in
refinancing margins announced on 8 April 2009.
Refinancing margins are one of the three main determinants of refinancing
risk -- the others being the portion of a cover pool impacted
by refinancing risk and the average life of the assets in the cover pool.
A measure of the refinancing risk can be found in our performance overviews
under the heading "Refinancing and Market Risks".
The vast majority of covered bonds are exposed to refinancing risk.
Refinancing risk arises following the default of the bank supporting the
covered bond ("Issuer Default"). Following an Issuer Default,
the covered bonds must be repaid from the assets backing the covered bonds.
For "bullet bonds", the natural amortisation of the assets cannot
be relied on to repay the bonds. This means that funds need to
be raised against the assets backing the covered bond, possibly
through the firesale of the assets. The discount on the price achieved
to complete this sale, in the potentially stressed environment following
an Issuer Default, is referred to as refinancing risk.
As the credit crunch evolves, Moody's will continue to review refinancing
margins and update them as appropriate.
Moody's analyses and monitors covered bond transactions using the rating
methodology for EMEA Covered Bond transactions as described in the Rating
Methodology reports "Moody's Rating Approach to European Covered Bond",
published in June 2005, "Timely Payment in Covered Bonds following
Sponsor Bank Default", published in March 2008 and "Assessing Swaps
as Hedges in the Covered Bond Market", published in September 2008.
Covered bond ratings assigned by Moody's address the expected loss posed
to investors. The ratings address only the credit risks associated
with the transaction. Other non-credit risks have not been
addressed, but may have a significant effect on yield to investors.
Juan Pablo Soriano
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Moody's concludes refinancing review; negative rating action on two Covered Bond programmes
Senior Vice President
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
No Related Data.
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