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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades four Italian small-ticket lease ABS

17 Feb 2015

London, 17 February 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded the ratings on 10 notes and confirmed the ratings on four notes in four Italian asset-backed securities (ABS) transactions: Italfinance Securitisation Vehicle S.r.l. (ITA 8), Italfinance Securitisation Vehicle 2 S.r.l. (ITA 9), Leasimpresa Finance S.r.l. (LF 2) and Vela Lease S.r.l. The four affected deals are all backed by small-ticket leases.

The upgrades of the local-currency country risk ceilings to Aa2 from A2 in Italy on 20 January 2015 prompted today's rating actions. Please refer to the revised methodology on country ceilings and the new ceiling applied to euro area countries: http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PR_316765

Please refer to the end of the Ratings Rationale section for a list of affected ratings.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The main drivers behind today's upgrades are (1) the reduced country risk as reflected by the increase in the maximum achievable rating in Italy; and (2) the deleveraging since the last rating actions for the deals, particularly in the case of Vela Lease S.r.l.

Moody's analysis incorporates the revisions, when needed, of portfolio default assumptions, taking into account the collateral performance to date as well as the exposure to relevant counterparty servicers, account banks and swap providers. The sensitivity test to key collateral assumptions has not constrained the transactions' ratings. However, exposure to substantial debtor concentration (the five largest exposures amount to 10.8% of the pool) has constrained the rating on the Series 2 C Notes of Vela Lease S.r.l.

--- INCREASED LOCAL-CURRENCY COUNTRY CEILINGS

The country ceilings reflect a range of risks that issuers in any jurisdiction are exposed to, including economic, legal and political risks. On 20 January 2015, Moody's announced a six-notch uplift between Italy's government bond rating and its country risk ceiling. As a result, the rating agency increased the maximum achievable ratings for covered bonds and structured finance transactions to Aa2 from A2 for Italy.

-- NOTES' RATINGS ARE LINKED TO BANCA ITALEASE'S RATINGS THROUGH ITS OBLIGATION TO REPURCHASE DEFAULTED LOANS

ITA 8, ITA 9 and LF 2 have a strong linkage with the originator, Banca Italease S.p.A.(deposits Ba3, negative outlook, bank financial strength rating E+/baseline credit assessment b3, negative outlook). The observed performance of these transactions, which is in line with Moody's assumptions so far, is conditioned by the obligation of the originator to repurchase defaulted loans (for a minimum price of 75% of their outstanding amount).

--- KEY COLLATERAL ASSUMPTIONS AND CREDIT ENHANCEMENT LEVELS

Moody's has lowered its volatility assumption in all four transactions given the reduced country risk. Default probabilities and recovery rates have been kept constant given the stable performance of the transactions.

When modelling cash flows, Moody's maintained the recovery rate assumptions of ITA 8, ITA 9 and LF 2 at 75% based on Banca Italease's repurchase obligation. However, Moody's assumed that the recovery rate would go down to 15% upon Banca Italease's default. Legal uncertainty regarding the rights of the special purpose vehicles to recover amounts on the lease contracts upon originator's default drives this assumption. This feature increases the dependence of the notes' ratings on Banca Italease's rating. In Vela Lease transaction, in which there is no repurchase obligation, Moody's still assumed a 15% recovery rate in case of BNP Paribas default.

For ITA 8, the default probability assumption on current balance of 13.00% (corresponding to a default probability on original balance of 10.70%), together with a recovery rate of 50.00% (base case assumption relating to actual recovery rate performance) and a volatility of 49.01% (lowered from 63.70% previously), corresponds to an unchanged portfolio credit enhancement (CE) of 21.00%.

The CE under the Class A Notes, Class B Notes, Class C Notes and Class D Notes increased since June 2014 to 41.8% from 38.9%, to 31.2% from 27.7%, to 24.0% from 20.2% and to 21.6% from 17.7%, respectively. The limited increase in CE results from pro rata amortisation of the notes.

Performance has been in line with Moody's expectations, with a net cumulative default ratio of 1.99%.

For ITA 9, the default probability assumption on current balance of 14.0% (corresponding to a default probability on original balance of 10.9%), together with a recovery rate of 50.0% (base case assumption relating to actual recovery rate performance) and a volatility of 55.1% (lowered from 74.0% previously), corresponds to an unchanged portfolio CE of 22.5%.

The CE under the Class A Notes, Class B Notes, Class C Notes and Class D Notes is 32.8%, 19.6%, 10.7% and 7.7%, respectively. The limited increase in CE results from pro rata amortisation of the notes.

Performance has been in line with Moody's expectations, with a net cumulative default ratio of 2.74%, slightly below the sequential amortisation trigger level of 2.75%.

For LF 2, the default probability assumption on current balance of 10.00% (corresponding to a default probability on original balance of 6.2%), together with a recovery rate of 50.00% (base case assumption relating to actual recovery rate performance) and a volatility of 62.13% (lowered from 83.30% previously), corresponds to an unchanged portfolio CE of 20.00%.

The CE under the Class A Notes, Class B Notes and Class C Notes is 32.8%, 24.0% and 22.5%, respectively.

Performance has been in line with Moody's expectations, with a net cumulative default ratio of 2.97%, slightly below the sequential amortisation trigger level of 3.00%.

For Vela Lease, the default probability assumption on current balance of 11.0% (corresponding to a default probability on original balance of 7.8%), together with a recovery rate of 50.0% and a volatility of 65.3% (lowered from 79.0% previously), corresponds to an unchanged portfolio CE of 22.0%.

The CE under the Series 2 A Notes, Series 2 B Notes and Series 2 C Notes is 89.6%, 31.3% and 7.0%, respectively.

Performance has been in line with Moody's expectations, with a cumulative default ratio of 7.2%.

--- EXPOSURE TO COUNTERPARTIES

Today's rating actions took into consideration the notes' exposure to relevant counterparties, such as servicers, account banks or swap providers. Moody's considered how the liquidity available in the transactions and other mitigants support continuity of note payments, in case of servicer default. Moody's also assessed the default probability of each transaction's account bank providers. Moody's analysis considered the risks of additional losses on the notes in the event of them becoming unhedged, following a swap counterparty default. None of the transactions upgrades were limited by the exposure to counterparties.

--- RATING SENSITIVITY

To ensure rating stability and to test the sensitivity of the note ratings, Moody's ran stressed scenarios in cash flow models before upgrading ratings on the relevant notes.

The stressed scenarios assume (1) 25% stresses for the default probability assumption for ABS and (2) a 20% increase in the portfolio CE assumption. Moody's upgraded the ratings when the negative rating impact resulting from the above test was within the sensitivity tolerance. The sensitivity analysis to Moody's key collateral assumptions did not constrain the upgrades.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was "Moody's Approach to Rating ABS Backed by Equipment Leases and Loans," published in January 2015. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

FACTORS THAT WOULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS:

Factors or circumstances that could lead to an upgrade of the ratings are (1) a lower probability of high-loss scenarios as a result of an upgrade of the country ceiling, (2) performance of the underlying collateral that exceeds Moody's expectations, (3) deleveraging of the capital structure and (4) improvements in the credit quality of the transaction counterparties.

Factors or circumstances that could lead to a downgrade of the ratings are (1) an increased probability of high-loss scenarios as a result of a downgrade of the country ceiling, (2) performance of the underlying collateral that does not meet Moody's expectations, (3) deterioration in the notes' available CE and (4) deterioration in the credit quality of the transaction counterparties.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Italfinance Securitisation Vehicle S.r.l.

....EUR959M A Notes, Upgraded to A1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Baa2 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR83M B Notes, Upgraded to Baa1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Ba2 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR56M C Notes, Upgraded to Baa3 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Ba3 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR18.5M D Notes, Upgraded to Ba1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Ba3 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

Issuer: Italfinance Securitisation Vehicle 2 S.r.l.

....EUR1442.4M A Notes, Upgraded to A3 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Baa3 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR125M B Notes, Upgraded to Ba1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Ba2 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR84.3M C Notes, Confirmed at B1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 B1 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR27.9M D Notes, Confirmed at B2 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 B2 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

Issuer: Leasimpresa Finance S.r.l.

....EUR931.5M A Notes, Upgraded to A1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 A3 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR57.2M B Notes, Upgraded to Baa1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Baa2 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR10.3M C Notes, Confirmed at Baa3 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Baa3 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

Issuer: Vela Lease S.r.l.

....EUR920.35M Series 2 A Notes, Upgraded to Aa2 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 A2 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR60.35M Series 2 B Notes, Upgraded to A1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 Baa2 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

....EUR25.15M Series 2 C Notes, Confirmed at B1 (sf); previously on Jan 23, 2015 B1 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Upgrade

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions of the disclosure form.

Moody's did not receive or take into account a third-party assessment on the due diligence performed regarding the underlying assets or financial instruments related to the monitoring of these transactions in the past six months.

The analysis relies on an assessment of collateral characteristics to determine the collateral loss distribution, that is, the function that correlates to an assumption about the likelihood of occurrence to each level of possible losses in the collateral. As a second step, Moody's evaluates each possible collateral loss scenario using a model that replicates the relevant structural features to derive payments and therefore the ultimate potential losses for each rated instrument. The loss a rated instrument incurs in each collateral loss scenario, weighted by assumptions about the likelihood of events in that scenario occurring, results in the expected loss of the rated instrument.

Moody's quantitative analysis entails an evaluation of scenarios that stress factors contributing to sensitivity of ratings and take into account the likelihood of severe collateral losses or impaired cash flows. Moody's weights the impact on the rated instruments based on its assumptions of the likelihood of the events in such scenarios occurring.

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 www.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.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

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.

Anne-Sophie Spirito
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moody's France SAS
96 Boulevard Haussmann
Paris 75008
France
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Mehdi Ababou
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Structured Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Ludovic Thebault
Analyst
Structured Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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Moody's upgrades four Italian small-ticket lease ABS
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