Press Release

DBRS Confirms Banco Comercial Português S.A. Covered Bonds (Obrigações Hipotecárias - Mortgages) Series 7 at “A”

Covered Bonds
March 26, 2019

DBRS confirmed its “A” rating on Series 7 of the Obrigações Hipotecárias (OH; the Portuguese legislative Covered Bonds) issued under the Banco Comercial Português (BCP or the Issuer) EUR 12.5 billion Covered Bonds programme (the Programme). The confirmation follows the amendment of Series 7.

According to its restated terms, the expected maturity of Series 7 is updated to 22 April 2022 and the extended maturity to 22 April 2023. These amendments have no impact on the ratings of the covered bonds outstanding under the Programme.

There are five series of OH outstanding under the Programme totalling a nominal amount of EUR 8.2 billion.

The rating is based on the following analytical considerations:
-- A Covered Bonds Attachment Point (CBAP) of BBB, which is the Long-Term Critical Obligations Rating of BCP. BCP is the Reference Entity for the Programme.
-- A Legal and Structuring Framework (LSF) Assessment of “Average” associated with the Programme.
-- A Cover Pool Credit Assessment (CPCA) of BB, which is the lowest CPCA in line with the LSF-Implied Likelihood (LSF-L).
-- An LSF-L of BBB (high).
-- A two-notch uplift for high recovery prospects.
-- A committed minimum overcollateralisation (OC) of 14%. DBRS gives full credit to such commitment in accordance with its principal methodology. Such a level is not subject to haircut as DBRS considers it to be persistent based on historically observed levels.

The transaction was analysed with the DBRS European Covered Bond Cash Flow tool. The main assumptions focused on the timing of defaults and recoveries of the assets, interest rate stresses and market value spreads to calculate liquidation values on the cover pool (CP).

Everything else being equal, a one-notch downgrade of the CBAP would lead to a one-notch downgrade of the LSF-L, resulting in a one-notch downgrade of the covered bonds rating. In addition, all else unchanged, the OH ratings would be downgraded if any of the following occurred: (1) the sovereign rating of the Republic of Portugal was downgraded below BBB (low); (2) the quality of the CP and the level of OC were no longer sufficient to support a two-notch uplift for high recovery prospects; (3) the relative amortisation profile of OH and CP moved adversely; or (4) volatility in the financial markets caused the currently estimated market value spreads to increase.

The aggregated outstanding balance of the CP backing BCP’s OH was EUR 11.4 billion as of 31 December 2018 while the total amount of liabilities outstanding is EUR 8.2 billion, yielding a current OC ratio of 38.8%. The Issuer has publicly committed to maintain an OC level of 14.0%.

As of 31 December 2018, the mortgage CP comprised 227,958 residential mortgages granted to individuals, with an average loan amount of EUR 49,929. The weighted-average (WA) current loan-to-value of the mortgages was 55.2% with a seasoning of 118 months. The CP is located mainly in Lisbon (41.7% by outstanding balance), Northern Portugal (30.1%) and Central Portugal (15.2%).

Of the loans in the portfolio, 87.6% pay a floating interest rate, indexed to Euribor, and 12.4% of the loans pay a fixed rate, while 12.2% of the covered bonds are fixed rate.

The DBRS-calculated WA life of the mortgage assets is roughly 14 years based on a 0% prepayment rate, which is longer than the 2.3 years of WA life on the covered bonds, not accounting for any maturity extension. This risk is mitigated by the Extended Maturity Date, which falls one year after the Maturity Date, and by the OC in place.

All CP assets and covered bonds are denominated in euros. As such, investors are not currently exposed to any foreign-exchange risk.

DBRS has assessed the LSF related to the Programme as “Average” according to its rating methodology. For more information, please refer to DBRS’s commentaries, “DBRS Assigns LSF Assessment to Portuguese Covered Bonds” and “Portuguese Covered Bonds: Legal and Structuring Framework Review,” both available at www.dbrs.com.

For further information on the Programme, please refer to the rating report at www.dbrs.com.

Notes:
All figures are in euros unless otherwise noted.

The principal methodology applicable to the rating is: “Rating European Covered Bonds”.

In DBRS’s opinion, the change(s) under consideration do not require the application of the entire principal methodology. Therefore, DBRS focused on the cash flow analysis.

A review of the transaction legal documents was limited to the final terms of Series 7. All other transaction documents have remained unchanged since the most recent rating action.

Other methodologies referenced in this transaction are listed at the end of this press release. These may be found on www.dbrs.com at: http://www.dbrs.com/about/methodologies.

For a more detailed discussion of the sovereign risk impact on Structured Finance ratings, please refer to “Appendix C: The Impact of Sovereign Ratings on Other DBRS Credit Ratings” of the “Rating Sovereign Governments” methodology at: https://www.dbrs.com/research/333487/rating-sovereign-governments.

The sources of data and information used for this rating include investor reports provided by the Issuer.

DBRS did not rely upon third-party due diligence in order to conduct its analysis.

At the time of the initial rating, DBRS was not supplied with third-party assessments. However, this did not impact the rating analysis.

DBRS considers the data and information available to it for the purposes of providing this rating to be of satisfactory quality.

DBRS does not audit or independently verify the data or information it receives in connection with the rating process.

The last rating action on this transaction took place on 8 March 2019, when DBRS confirmed its “A” ratings of BCP’s outstanding OH after completing a full review of the Programme.

Information regarding DBRS ratings, including definitions, policies and methodologies, is available on www.dbrs.com.

For further information on DBRS historical default rates published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in a central repository, see: http://cerep.esma.europa.eu/cerep-web/statistics/defaults.xhtml.

Ratings assigned by DBRS Ratings GmbH, Sucursal en España are subject to EU and US regulations only.

Lead Analyst: Covadonga Aybar, Vice President
Rating Committee Chair: Vito Natale, Managing Director
Initial Rating Date: 20 January 2016

DBRS Ratings GmbH, Sucursal en España
Calle del Pinar, 5
28006 Madrid
Spain

DBRS Ratings GmbH
Neue Mainzer Straße 75
60311 Frankfurt am Main Deutschland
Geschäftsführer: Detlef Scholz
Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, HRB 110259

The rating methodologies used in the analysis of this transaction can be found at: http://www.dbrs.com/about/methodologies.

-- Rating European Covered Bonds
-- Rating European Covered Bonds Addendum: Market Value Spreads
-- Global Methodology for Rating Banks and Banking Organisations
-- Legal Criteria for European Structured Finance Transactions
-- Derivative Criteria for European Structured Finance Transactions
-- Interest Rate Stresses for European Structured Finance Transactions
-- Master European Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Rating Methodology and Jurisdictional Addenda
-- Operational Risk Assessment for European Structured Finance Originators
-- Operational Risk Assessment for European Structured Finance Servicers
-- Rating Sovereign Governments

A description of how DBRS analyses structured finance transactions and how the methodologies are collectively applied can be found at: http://www.dbrs.com/research/278375.

For more information on this credit or on this industry, visit www.dbrs.com or contact us at info@dbrs.com.

ALL DBRS RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO DISCLAIMERS AND CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. PLEASE READ THESE DISCLAIMERS AND LIMITATIONS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING DBRS RATINGS, INCLUDING DEFINITIONS, POLICIES, RATING SCALES AND METHODOLOGIES.