USD $64 million of debt securities affected
New York, April 14, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service announced today that it has upgraded the ratings
of the following classes of notes issued by Premium Loan Trust I,
U.S. $215,000,000 Class A Senior Secured
Notes due October 25, 2014 (current outstanding balance of $35,467,115),
Upgraded to Aaa (sf); previously on March 18, 2010 Confirmed
at Aa3 (sf);
U.S. $16,000,000 Class X Deferrable Amortizing
Senior Secured Notes due October 25, 2014 (current outstanding balance
of $5,457,640), Upgraded to Aa1 (sf); previously
on March 18, 2010 Confirmed at Ba1 (sf);
U.S. $10,000,000 Class B Deferrable Senior
Secured Notes due October 25, 2014 (current outstanding balance
of $10,606,369), Upgraded to Ba1 (sf); previously
on March 18, 2010 Confirmed at Ba2 (sf);
U.S. $11,000,000 Class C Secured Notes
due October 25, 2014 (current outstanding balance of $12,070,693),
Upgraded to Caa2 (sf); previously on March 18, 2010 Downgraded
to Caa3 (sf).
According to Moody's, the rating actions taken on the notes result
primarily from the delevering of the Class A Notes, which have been
paid down by approximately 55% or $44.0 million since
the rating action in March 2010. As a result of the delevering,
the overcollateralization ratios have increased since the rating action
in March 2010. As of the latest trustee report dated February 28,
2011, the Class A, Class B, and Class C overcollateralization
ratios are reported at 164.74%, 126.82%,
and 100.49%, respectively, versus February 2010
levels of 120.49%, 106.50%, and
94.22%, respectively. The Class B Notes,
Class C Notes, and Class Notes continue to defer interest,
while the Class X Notes have resumed paying interest but still carry a
deferred interest balance. Moody's expects the Class X notes
deferred interest to be fully repaid over the next few payment periods.
Notwithstanding the positive effect of the delevering, Moody's
notes a deterioration in the credit quality of the underlying portfolio,
observed through the average credit rating (as measured by the weighted
average rating factor). In particular, based on the latest
trustee report dated February 2011, the weighted average rating
factor is currently 3077 compared to 2741 in the February 2010 report.
As reported by the Trustee, on October 25, 2008 the transaction
experienced an Event of Default caused by a failure of the Overcollateralization
Ratio with respect to the Class A Notes to be at least equal to 103%,
as required under Section 5.1(d) of the Indenture dated November
18, 2004. This Event of Default is continuing. As
provided in Article V of the Indenture during the occurrence and continuance
of an event of default, the Holders of at least 66-2/3%
of the Aggregate Outstanding Amount of each Class of Notes may direct
the Trustee to proceed with the sale and liquidation of the collateral,
potentially resulting in losses to the note holders.
Today's rating actions also reflect Moody's consideration that the risk
of collateral liquidation has further receded as a result of sustained
improvement in loan market values. According to a letter to the
investors from the collateral manager, Neuberger Berman Fixed Income
LLC, dated October 22, 2010, the CLO collateral's mark-to-market
improved to 82.03% as of December 31, 2010,
compared to 66.40% as of December 31, 2008 and 80.86%
as of December 31, 2009. Since each class of notes must vote
in order to liquidate the CLO collateral during the occurrence and continuation
of an event of default, in Moody's opinion the increase in loan
price raises the par coverage of all the notes based on market value and
lowers the likelihood that the mezzanine and junior note holders will
vote to liquidate.
Due to the impact of revised and updated key assumptions referenced in
"Moody's Approach to Rating Collateralized Loan Obligations" and
"Annual Sector Review (2009): Global CLOs," key
model inputs used by Moody's in its analysis, such as par,
weighted average rating factor, diversity score, and weighted
average recovery rate, may be different from the trustee's reported
numbers. In its base case, Moody's analyzed the underlying
collateral pool to have a performing par and principal proceeds balance
of $66 million, defaulted par of $7 million,
a weighted average default probability of 23.71% (implying
a WARF of 4312), a weighted average recovery rate upon default of
40.56%, and a diversity score of 30. These
default and recovery properties of the collateral pool are incorporated
in cash flow model analysis where they are subject to stresses as a function
of the target rating of each CLO liability being reviewed. The
default probability is derived from the credit quality of the collateral
pool and Moody's expectation of the remaining life of the collateral
pool. The average recovery rate to be realized on future defaults
is based primarily on the seniority of the assets in the collateral pool.
In each case, historical and market performance trends and collateral
manager latitude for trading the collateral are also factors.
Premium Loan Trust I, Ltd., issued in November 2004,
is a collateralized loan obligation backed primarily by a portfolio of
senior secured loans.
The principal methodologies used in this rating were "Moody's Approach
to Rating Collateralized Loan Obligations" published in August 2009 and
"Updated Approach to the Usage of Credit Estimates in Rated Transactions"
published in October 2009.
Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process
of rating this issuer can also be found on Moody's website.
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
Moody's modeled the transaction using the Binomial Expansion Technique,
as described in Section 18.104.22.168 of the "Moody's Approach
to Rating Collateralized Loan Obligations" rating methodology published
in August 2009.
For securities whose default probabilities are assessed through credit
estimates ("CEs"), Moody's applied additional default
probability stresses by assuming an equivalent of Caa3 for CEs that were
not updated within the last 15 months, which currently account for
approximately 4% of the collateral balance. In addition,
Moody's applied a 1 notch-equivalent assumed downgrade for CEs
last updated between 12-15 months ago. For each CE where
the related exposure constitutes more than 3% of the collateral
pool, Moody's applied a 2-notch equivalent assumed
downgrade (but only on the CEs representing in aggregate the largest 30%
of the pool) in lieu of the aforementioned stresses. Notwithstanding
the foregoing, in all cases the lowest assumed rating equivalent
In addition to the base case analysis described above, Moody's also
performed sensitivity analyses to test the impact on all rated notes of
various default probabilities. Below is a summary of the impact
of different default probabilities (expressed in terms of WARF levels)
on all rated notes (shown in terms of the number of notches' difference
versus the current model output, where a positive difference corresponds
to lower expected loss), assuming that all other factors are held
Moody's Adjusted WARF -- 20% (3450)
Class A: 0
Class X: 0
Class B: +2
Class C: +3
Class D: 0
Moody's Adjusted WARF + 20% (5174)
Class A: 0
Class X: -1
Class B: -2
Class C: -2
Class D: 0
Moody's notes that this transaction is subject to a high level of
macroeconomic uncertainty, as evidenced by 1) uncertainties of credit
conditions in the general economy and 2) the large concentration of speculative-grade
debt maturing between 2012 and 2014 which may create challenges for issuers
to refinance. CDO notes' performance may also be impacted
by 1) the manager's investment strategy and behavior and 2) divergence
in legal interpretation of CDO documentation by different transactional
parties due to embedded ambiguities.
Sources of additional performance uncertainties are described below:
1) Delevering: The main source of uncertainty in this transaction
is whether delevering from unscheduled principal proceeds will continue
and at what pace. Delevering may accelerate due to high prepayment
levels in the loan market and/or collateral sales by the manager,
which may have significant impact on the notes' ratings.
2) Recovery of defaulted assets: Market value fluctuations in defaulted
assets reported by the trustee and those assumed to be defaulted by Moody's
may create volatility in the deal's overcollateralization levels.
Further, the timing of recoveries and the manager's decision
to work out versus sell defaulted assets create additional uncertainties.
Moody's analyzed defaulted recoveries assuming the lower of the
market price and the recovery rate in order to account for potential volatility
in market prices.
3) Exposure to credit estimates: The deal is exposed to a large
number of securities whose default probabilities are assessed through
credit estimates. In the event that Moody's is not provided the
necessary information to update the credit estimates in a timely fashion,
the transaction may be impacted by any default probability stresses Moody's
may assume in lieu of updated credit estimates. Moody's also conducted
stress tests to assess the collateral pool's concentration risk in obligors
bearing a credit estimate that constitute more than 3% of the collateral
Further information on Moody's analysis of this transaction is available
on www.moodys.com. In addition, Moody's publishes
a weekly summary of structured finance credit, ratings and methodologies,
available to all registered users of our web site, at www.moodys.com/SFQuickCheck.
Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following:
parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential
and proprietary Moody's Investors Service information.
Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available
on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of maintaining
a credit rating.
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.
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Ramon O. Torres
Senior Vice President
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's upgrades the ratings of notes issued by Premium Loan Trust I, Ltd.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007