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Rating Action:

Moody's concludes review of sovereign impact on Greek structured finance transactions

31 Mar 2010

Approximately EUR19.7 billion of debt securities downgraded

Paris, March 31, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service today downgraded 24 structured finance transactions backed by pools of Greek assets. The downgrades were prompted by increased credit risk of the Greek sovereign and affect EUR 6.906 billion of tranches from 11 RMBS deals, EUR 10.710 billion of tranches from 11 ABS deals and EUR 2.082 billion of tranches from two CLOs.

- In RMBS, Moody's downgraded Aaa senior classes two or three notches and downgraded mezzanine classes rated above the Greek government's A2 rating to A2.

- In ABS, Moody's downgraded seven deals backed by loans or leases to small and medium enterprises and four backed by consumer assets. Aaa classes were downgraded one to three notches and Aa2 and A1 classes from two of these 11 transactions were downgraded one to two notches.

- In CLOs, Moody's downgraded two Aaa classes to Aa1.

These downgrades incorporate Moody's view on the impact of increasing country risk in Greece. The ratings were reviewed with consideration of an extreme worst-case economic scenario developed from macro-economic factors that can impact structured finance transactions. As well, the availability of liquidity support and the impact of operational risk were analysed. Today's actions are primarily driven by the worst-case economic scenario.

Rating actions relating to two covered bond transactions are described in a separate press release entitled "Moody's downgrades Greek mortgage covered bonds issued by Alpha and NBG; Eurobank EFG's mortgage covered bonds confirmed at Aa2".

Recent Rating Activity

These downgrades follow the press release issued on 19 February 2010, entitled "Moody's reviews for downgrade Aaa ratings of most Greek structured finance and covered bond transactions," where Moody's explained it was placing on review the Aaa-rated securities backed by the above mentioned transactions in the context of the evolving sovereign situation and the current economic and financial environment. This included consideration of the existing credit enhancement levels in relation to a potential increase in the default probability of the underlying assets, in the event the local economy endures further stress, as well as concerns around refinancing risk and the exposure of some of these transactions to local banks.

Today's rating actions conclude this review for RMBS, ABS and CLO transactions and follow the announcement of Moody's requirement for assigning Aaa ratings on Greek structured finance and covered bond transactions released on 29 March 2010 ("Moody's: Greek structured finance deals can achieve Aaa ratings subject to certain conditions").

Moody's notes that some of the structured finance transactions affected today rely on the performance of National Bank of Greece, EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA, Alpha Bank AE and Piraeus Bank, or their subsidiaries, as servicers, swap counterparties and/or collection account banks, among other roles. In its normal course of monitoring these structured finance ratings, Moody's will closely follow the steps taken by the banks within each transaction to remediate the impact of the recent Greek bank rating actions, and will take appropriate rating action if required. For a description of these bank rating actions please refer to the press release dated 31 March 2010 "Moody's downgrades five Greek banks due to weakened financial strength; outlook remains negative."

Review Parameters

In order to determine the worst-case economic scenario, Moody's considered a few extreme scenarios, such as the crisis in Argentina in 2000, which combined a systemic banking crisis together with a sovereign debt crisis and resulted in inflation exceeding 40 percent and a real GDP drop of more than 10 percent. Moody's focused on macro-economic factors that can impact structured finance transactions, particularly those related to the sovereign. In addition to factors typically associated with economic and financial volatility such as business failure rate, unemployment rate, interest rate and market price movements, the rating agency also considered factors related or highly correlated to the strength of public finances and to the local banking system. Long-term fiscal austerity, availability of credit in the event of a liquidity crisis and even civil unrest, amongst others, would impact the performance of securitised assets. Moody's also considered Greece's membership of the European monetary union, which removes the risk, generally one of the most perilous for investors, of a devastating disruption to the national payment system. As previously explained, Moody's believes the risk of a disorderly exit of Greece from the Eurozone is negligible.

In its analysis, Moody's viewed the likelihood of this economic worst-case scenario as equivalent to an A1 default probability. Such probability is equal to Moody's A1 systemic support anchor for the banking sector in Greece. This systemic support anchor is positioned one notch above the national government's local currency debt rating, which is a proxy for a scenario in which the government would be compelled to provide support to the banking sector.

Moody's weighted the consequence of the worst-case scenario on the notes expected loss by the likelihood of such scenario. As a consequence, the impact is likely to be limited on tranches currently rated below A1. However, Moody's notes that any further rating action on the Greek government debt rating or banking systemic support anchor may lead to further rating actions on Moody's rated Greek structured finance transactions.

Moody's has concluded that a significant stress on these macro-economic factors, including the government-related ones, would result in severe performance deterioration of securitised assets, but that the deterioration would vary depending on the type of assets in the pool. For instance, a loan to a small enterprise which is relying on uncommitted revolving lines from local banks would be more directly exposed to a liquidity crisis than a fully amortising mortgage loan. For further elements on each specific asset class, please refer below.

RMBS Transactions

Moody's reviewed 11 RMBS transactions assuming worst case scenario losses in the range of 30 to 40 percent. All Aaa-rated classes were impacted in the stress test analysis and they have been downgraded by either two or three notches. The analysis has also affected three mezzanine classes rated above the government rating which have been all downgraded to A2. The appropriate stress scenario was determined considering the portfolio characteristics and in particular the weighted average loan-to-value ('LTV') at closing as well as the seasoning of the collateral. No consideration was given to the performance of the collateral in the determination of these stress scenarios. However the rating impact varies according to the available credit enhancement for each class which is ultimately linked to the performance of the underlying collateral.

The portfolio of Greek RMBS rated by Moody's comprises transactions closed between 2004 and 2009. In this portfolio the weighted average LTV at closing was on average equal to approximately 65 percent with few exceptions above 70 percent. There was only one revolving transaction, Estia Mortgage Finance II, for which the substitution period has already ended. In general, all the transactions are still performing within expectations with 60+ delinquencies on average at approximately 1.5 percent of the current pool balance and cumulative defaults below one percent of the original pool balance.

ABS Transactions

Moody's reviewed 14 out of 17 ABS transactions with Moody's ratings outstanding. Among the remaining three ABS deals, two are directly linked to the rating of the Greek government (Ariadne and Titlos) while Karta 2005-1 is a credit card transaction in the end of its accumulation phase which is largely cash collateralized (see the press release dated 19 February 2010 for more details).

The 14 transactions can be split into two sub-groups; 10 deals backed by loans or leases to small and medium enterprises ('SME') and four transactions backed by consumer assets (including one credit card deal). During the review process, Moody's considered extreme loss scenarios on the securitized pools corresponding to extreme macro-economic conditions as described above. For the SME loans and leases portfolios, Moody's considered loss scenarios in the 55 to 60 percent range, whereas the consumer portfolios were stressed up to a 50 percent loss. In addition, Moody's conducted a sensitivity analysis on the extreme loss assumption.

Among the 14 transactions, 11 are impacted by this worst-case scenario analysis, leading to one to three notch downgrades on the initially Aaa-rated notes and one to two notch downgrade on two senior notes from two transactions initially rated A1 and Aa2 . The three transactions that are not affected by this rating review are Anaptyxi 2006-1, Anaptyxi SME II 2009- 1 and Andromeda Leasing I. The analysis on Anaptyxi 2006-1 (reviewed in June 2009) and Anaptyxi SME II 2009- 1 (closed in February 2009) already partly considered an extreme scenario of a stressed sovereign situation and a potential systemic banking crisis. However, given the current A2 and A1 rating on the respective senior-most tranches of these two transactions, the incremental risk assessed with a likelihood of A1 was negligible.

The impact of this analysis on Andromeda Leasing I was also negligible given the higher credit enhancement levels based on a conservative recovery assumption for the Aa2 rated class of notes.

CLO Transactions

Moody's reviewed two replenishable collateralised loan obligations with underlying portfolios consisting of bond and term loans advanced to SMEs located in Greece by Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank AE. Moody's considered loss scenarios in the 50 to 60 percent range. Again, these loss assumptions correspond to extreme macro economic conditions as described above. Moody's also conducted a sensitivity analysis on both the extreme loss assumption and the likelihood of occurrence of such an event. Furthermore, the industry distribution and concentration profiles of the securitised pools were taken into account. The rated tranches of these transactions have credit enhancements in the 50 to 55 percent range.

The impact of this review on the two transactions is a one notch rating downgrade of the initially Aaa-rated tranches.

In addition, Moody's analyzed Eterika plc, a Greek-domiciled CLO transaction with a similar underlying portfolio using the above loss scenario assumptions. The impact of the incremental risk of a sovereign and systemic banking crisis occurring with a likelihood of A1 was not material for the rated tranche, given its current rating of A1.

List of Rating Actions

RMBS

Issuer: Estia Mortgage Finance II PLC

....EUR1137.5M A Notes, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Grifonas Finance No. 1 Plc

....EUR897.7M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

....EUR23.8M B Certificate, Downgraded to A2; previously on Aug 30, 2006 Definitive Rating Assigned A1

Issuer: KATOIKIA I MORTGAGE FINANCE PLC

....EUR886.6M A Notes, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: KION Mortgage Finance No. 2 Plc

....EUR522.405M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: KION Mortgage Finance Plc

....EUR553.8M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Themeleion Mortgage Finance PLC

....EUR693.5M A Notes, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Themeleion II Mortgage Finance Plc

....EUR690M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Themeleion III Mortgage Finance Plc S.r.I.

....EUR900M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

....EUR40M M Certificate, Downgraded to A2; previously on Jun 26, 2006 Definitive Rating Assigned Aa2

Issuer: Themeleion IV Mortgage Finance Plc

....EUR1352.9M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

....EUR155.5M B Certificate, Downgraded to A2; previously on Jun 21, 2007 Definitive Rating Assigned Aa3

Issuer: Themeleion V Mortgage Finance Plc

....EUR957.8M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Themeleion VI Mortgage Finance Plc

....EUR1560.9M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

ABS

Issuer: Anaptyxi SME I

....EUR1750M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Axia Finance PLC

....EUR1408.75M A Certificate, Downgraded to A2; previously on Nov 21, 2008 Assigned A1

Issuer: Axia III Finance Plc

....EUR1670.1M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: DANEION 2007-1 PLC

....EUR1587.5M Class A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Gaia Lease Plc

....EUR272.6M A Notes, Downgraded to Aa1; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: IRIDA PLC

....EUR261.1M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: KATANALOTIKA PLC

....EUR1109.6M A Certificate, Downgraded to A1; previously on Dec 9, 2008 Assigned Aa2

Issuer: Misthosis Funding Plc

....EUR363.9M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: PRAXIS I FINANCE PLC

....EUR493M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Praxis II Finance Plc

....EUR379.2M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa2; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: Synergatis Plc

....EUR1414.5M A Certificate, Downgraded to Aa3; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

CLO

Issuer: Axia II Finance PLC

....EUR459M Class A Asset Backed Floating Rate Notes due 2031 Notes, Downgraded to Aa1; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Issuer: EPIHIRO PLC (Athena Project)

....EUR1623M Euro 1,623,000,000 Class A Asset Backed Floating Rate Notes due January 2035 Notes, Downgraded to Aa1; previously on Feb 19, 2010 Aaa Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Moody's will continue to monitor the transactions. The principal methodologies used in rating and monitoring these transactions are:

- Moody's Methodology for Rating Greek RMBS (October 2009)

- Cash Flow Analysis in EMEA RMBS: Testing Structural Features with the MARCO Model (Moody's Analyser of Residential Cash Flows) (January 2006)

- Moody's Approach to Rating Granular SME Transactions in Europe, Middle East and Africa (June 2007)

- Refining the ABS SME Approach: Moody's Probability of Default Assumptions in the Rating Analysis of Granular Small and Mid-Sized Enterprise Portfolios in EMEA (March 2009)

- The Lognormal Method Applied to ABS Analysis, (July 2000)

- Revising Default/Loss Assumptions Over the Life of an ABS/RMBS Transaction (December 2008)

- Moody's Approach to Rating Credit Card Receivables-Backed Securities, (April 2007)

- Moody's Approach to Rating CDOs of SME in Europe, (February 2007)

- Moody's Approach to Rating Corporate Collateralised Synthetic Obligations, (September 2009)

- Moody's Approach to Rating Corporate Collateralised Synthetic Obligations, (August 2009)

All principal methodologies are available on www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating these transactions can also be found in this Rating Methodologies sub-directory. In addition, Moody's publishes a weekly summary of structured finance credit news, ratings and methodologies in "Structured Finance Quick Check" at www.moodys.com/SFQuickCheck. For further information, please visit our website directly or contact Moody's Client Service Desk (+44 20) 7772 5454.

Paris
Carole Gintz
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Structured Finance Group
Moody's France S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Paris
Florence Tadjeddine
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Structured Finance Group
Moody's France S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's concludes review of sovereign impact on Greek structured finance transactions
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