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Rating Action:

Moody's takes rating action on variable rate demand bonds insured by Assured Guaranty Corp. and Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp.

Global Credit Research - 23 Jan 2013

New York, January 23, 2013 -- Moody's has taken actions on the long-term and short-term ratings of 78 variable rate demand bonds (VRDBs) as a result of the downgrades of (i) Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp.'s long-term rating to A2 from Aa3 and (ii) Assured Guaranty Corp's long-term rating to A3 from Aa3 on January 17, 2013. The long-term rating of each of these debts reflects the higher of the insurance financial strength rating of the applicable financial guarantor and the public underlying rating (if any) of the bond. The short-term ratings reflect the rating of the liquidity support provider and the risk that the liquidity commitment will terminate with no prior opportunity for investors to tender their bonds.

A list of variable rate demand bonds affected by these actions, which is an integral part of this announcement, can be accessed through the link provided below:

http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_149468

Generally, standby bond purchase agreements (SBPAs) supporting insured VRDBs terminate immediately and automatically as a result of certain financial guarantor credit events with no opportunity for investors to tender their bonds. Credit events resulting in immediate and automatic termination of the liquidity commitment are typically: (i) nonpayment by the financial guarantor under the bond insurance policy or any parity insurance commitment, (ii) financial guarantor insolvency or bankruptcy, (iii) invalidity or repudiation of the bond insurance policy by the financial guarantor; and (iv) downgrade of the financial guarantor by all NRSROs rating them to below investment grade.

Moody's short-term ratings of VRDBs are capped at the liquidity support provider's short-term rating. Moody's transitions short-term ratings of VRDBs insured by a financial guarantor below the liquidity support provider's short-term rating as the financial guarantor's long-term rating changes to reflect changes in the risk that the liquidity provider's commitment to purchase bonds will terminate with no opportunity for investors to tender their bonds. A short-term rating transition schedule for insured variable rate demand bonds supported by SBPAs with the immediate and automatic termination events described above is included in Moody's January 2008 publication titled "Short-term Rating Transition for Insured Variable Rate Demand Bonds and Tender Option Bonds" (http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBM_PBM107188).

.

In some cases, SBPAs supporting insured variable rate demand bonds do not include automatic termination for downgrade of the insurer below investment grade. In these cases, Moody's transitions the short-term ratings as the applicable financial guarantor's rating changes on a schedule parallel to that on which ratings of unsecured short-term obligations of a corporation or financial institution transition relative to its long-term rating. Please see "Moody's Short-Term Ratings" published in October 2012 (http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_146667) for a more complete discussion of Moody's global short-term rating scale.

The primary methodology on which short-term ratings affected by this action are based is "Moody's Methodology: Variable Rate Instruments Supported by Third Party Liquidity Providers", dated November 2006. In addition, they are based on "Short-term Rating Transition for Insured Variable Rate Demand Bonds and Tender Option Bonds" published in January 2008.

The principal methodology on which long-term ratings affected by this action are based is "Moody's Rating Methodology for the Financial Guarantor Insurance Industry", published in September 2006. Moody's long-term ratings on securities that are guaranteed or "wrapped" by a financial guarantor are generally maintained at a level equal to the higher of the following: a) the rating of the guarantor (if rated at the investment grade level); or b) the published underlying rating (and for structured securities, the published or unpublished underlying rating). Moody's approach to rating wrapped transactions is outlined in Moody's special comment entitled "Assignment of Wrapped Ratings When Financial Guarantor Falls Below Investment Grade" published in May 2008 (http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_108924); and Moody's November 10, 2008 announcement entitled "Moody's Modifies Approach to Rating Structured Finance Securities Wrapped by Financial Guarantors" (http://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-modifies-approach-to-rating-structured-finance-securities-wrapped-by--PR_167011).

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Joann Hempel
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Public Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Thomas Jacobs
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Public Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's takes rating action on variable rate demand bonds insured by Assured Guaranty Corp. and Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp.
No Related Data.

 

© 2014 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

 


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