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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades USD 15m LSS Notes of Starts

14 Dec 2010

London, 14 December 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service announced today it has upgraded its rating of Series 2006-2 notes issued by Starts (Ireland) plc.

Issuer: Starts (Ireland) plc

....US$15M STARTS (Ireland) plc Series 2006-2 USD 115,000,000 Leveraged Super Senior Credit-Linked Notes due 2013, Upgraded to A3 (sf); previously on Mar 9, 2009 Downgraded to Baa2 (sf)

This transaction is a Leveraged Super Senior transaction with time-dependant thresholds (the "loss triggers") which, if exceeded, could lead to a deleveraging or early termination of the transaction at market value. Investors would lose a substantial part of their investment in the process. The series is exposed to a static reference portfolio of 100 corporate reference entities until March 2013. The initial size of the notes was USD 115 million, but this amount was partially cancelled in May 2008 and currently USD 15 million of the notional amount are outstanding.

Moody's explained that the action effected today is the result of several concurrent factors. The overall credit quality of the static portfolio which is reflected in the removal of negative outlook and review for possible downgrade status on several reference entities since the last rating action in March 2009. The model results also benefited from the reduced remaining time to maturity (in July 2013) and the greater relative importance of the highest loss triggers.

Moody's also performed sensitivity analysis consisting in modelling Moody's market implied rating in place of the corporate fundamental rating to derive the default probability of each corporate name in the reference portfolio. Moody's market implied ratings are derived from observable CDS spread on each corporate name and mapped to Moody's rating scale. The gap between a Market implied rating and a Moody's corporate fundamental rating is an indicator of the extent of the divergence of credit view between Moody's and the market on each referenced name in the CSO portfolio. This run generated a result that supports the base run result.

Moody's also looked at results of sensitivity analysis which included removal of forward-looking measures, the notching adjustment on each entity's rating due to watch for downgrade or negative outlook was removed. The result of this run was consistent with the base run result. Moody's also run a stress scenario where all the reference entities belonging to the most represented industry sector in the portfolio (Retail 18%) were downgraded by one notch.

In addition to the quantitative factors that are explicitly modelled, qualitative factors are part of rating committee considerations. These qualitative factors include the structural protections in each transaction, the recent deal performance in the current market environment, the legal environment, and specific documentation features. All information available to rating committees, including macroeconomic forecasts, input from other Moody's analytical groups, market factors, and judgments regarding the nature and severity of credit stress on the transactions, may influence the final rating decision.

The principal methodology used in this rating was "Moody's Approach to Rating Corporate Synthetic Obligations" rating methodology published in September 2009.

Moody's analysis for this transaction is based on the CDOROMTM. This model is available on moodys.com under Products and Solutions -- Analytical models, upon return of a signed free license agreement.

Moody's Investors Service did not receive or take into account a third party due diligence report on the underlying assets or financial instruments related to the monitoring of this transaction in the past 6 months.

Due to the impact of revised and updated key assumptions referenced in "Moody's Approach to Rating Corporate Synthetic Obligations", key model inputs used by Moody's in its analysis may be different from the manager/arranger's reported numbers. In particular, rating assumptions for all publicly rated corporate credits in the underlying portfolio have been adjusted for "Review for Possible Downgrade", "Review for Possible Upgrade", or "Negative Outlook".

Moodys did not run a separate loss and cash flow analysis other than the one already done using the CDOROM model. For a description of the analysis, refer to the methodology and the CDOROM user guide on Moodys website.

Moody's analysis of corporate CSOs is subject to uncertainties, the primary sources of which includes complexity, governance and leverage. Although the CDOROM model capture many of the dynamics of the Corporate CSO structure, it remains a simplification of the complex reality. Of greatest concern are (a) variations over time in default rates for instruments with a given rating, (b) variations in recovery rates for instruments with particular seniority/security characteristics and (c) uncertainty about the default and recovery correlations characteristics of the reference pool. Similarly on the legal/structural side, the legal analysis although typically based in part on opinions (and sometimes interpretations) of legal experts at the time of issuance, is still subject to potential changes in law, case law and the interpretations of courts and (in some cases) regulatory authorities. Although the impact of these decisions is mitigated by structural constraints, anticipating the quality of these decisions necessarily introduces some level of uncertainty in our assumptions. Given the tranched nature of Corporate CSO liabilities, rating transitions in the reference pool may have leveraged rating implications for the ratings of the Corporate CSO liabilities, thus leading to a high degree of volatility. All else being equal, the volatility is likely to be higher for more junior or thinner liabilities. The base case scenario modelled fits into the central macroeconomic scenario predicted by Moody's of a sluggish recovery scenario of the corporate universe. Should macroeconomics conditions evolves towards a more severe scenario such as a double dip recession, the CSO rating will likely be downgraded to an extent depending on the expected severity of the worsening conditions.

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The rating has been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agents and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

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Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's Investors Service provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

Please see the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

London
Luca Vit
Associate Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
Neelam S. Desai
Senior Vice President
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
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
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's upgrades USD 15m LSS Notes of Starts
No Related Data.
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