DBRS Ratings Limited (DBRS) confirmed its AA (low) ratings of the Obbligazioni Bancarie Garantite (OBG; the Italian legislative covered bonds) issued under the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS or the Issuer) EUR 20.0 billion covered bond programme (BMPS OBG1 or the Programme) guaranteed by MPS Covered Bond S.r.l. The action follows the completion of the full review of the Programme.
At the same time, DBRS discontinued its rating on Series 21 as it repaid early on 22 July 2019.
As of today, there are 12 outstanding series of OBG under the Programme that total a nominal amount of nearly EUR 8.0 billion.
The ratings are based on the following analytical considerations:
-- A Covered Bonds Attachment Point (CBAP) of BBB (low), which is the Long-Term Critical Obligations Rating of BMPS. BMPS is the Issuer and the Reference Entity for the Programme. DBRS classifies the Republic of Italy (Italy; rated BBB (high) with a Stable trend by DBRS) as a jurisdiction in which covered bonds are a particularly important funding instrument and deems the cover pool (CP) strategic for the core activity of the Issuer.
--A Legal and Structuring Framework (LSF) Assessment of “Very Strong” associated with the Programme.
-- A Cover Pool Credit Assessment (CPCA) of A (low), which is the lowest CPCA in line with the assigned LSF-Implied Likelihood (LSF-L).
-- A LSF-L of “A”.
-- A two-notch uplift on the LSF-L for high recovery prospects.
-- A level of overcollateralisation (OC) of 30.8% to which DBRS gives credit and is the minimum level observed in the last 12 months adjusted by a scaling factor of 0.89. BMPS commits to a maximum asset percentage of 83.0%, corresponding to a level of committed OC of 20.5%.
The transaction was analysed with DBRS’s European Covered Bond Cash Flow Tool. The main assumptions focused on the timing of defaults and recoveries of the assets and interest rate stresses. In accordance with the DBRS “Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds” methodology, no forced asset liquidations were analysed for this transaction, given the conditional pass-through structure. DBRS assumed several prepayment scenarios, ranging between a 1.0% and 20.0% prepayment rate.
Everything else being equal, a one-notch downgrade of the CBAP would lead to a one-notch downgrade of the covered bonds rating. In addition, the ratings would be downgraded if any of the following were to occur: (1) the quality of the CP and the level of OC were no longer sufficient to support a two-notch uplift for high recovery prospects, (2) the LSF Assessment associated with the Programme were downgraded to “Average” or below or (3) the CPCA were downgraded below A (low).
BMPS OBG1 has a conditional pass-through structure. In case the guarantee is enforced, the Guarantor is not contractually bound to pursue a forced asset sale of the CP in a distressed market environment. Notwithstanding this, the Guarantor can still attempt to liquidate the assets so it can meet its payment obligations on the pass-through series and the earliest maturing covered bonds. In so doing, the Guarantor shall attempt to maintain the Programme’s OC proportionally to all asset sales. Additionally, the Programme documentation provides for the sale of the assets to take place only as long as the amortisation test is complied with before and after the sale. The amortisation test sets the OC to a level of at least 75.0% of the OC resulting from the asset percentage used on the last test calculation date preceding the service of a guarantee enforcement notice. Should the amortisation test be breached, all series switch to a pass-through payment on a pari passu and pro rata basis. DBRS did not account for stresses on forced asset sales in its analysis because the Guarantor is not obliged to liquidate the assets.
The Bank of New York Mellon (Luxembourg) S.A., Milan branch (rated AA with a Positive trend by DBRS) and The Bank of New York Mellon, London branch (rated AA with a Positive trend by DBRS) have respectively replaced BMPS in its capacity as the Italian and English account banks. They are compliant with DBRS’s “Legal Criteria for European Structured Finance Transactions” methodology. Commingling and set-off risk are mitigated by the computation of such risks in the asset coverage tests.
As of June 2019, the total CP balance was EUR 12.1 billion, including EUR 11.3 billion of mortgages and EUR 847.7 million of principal receipts. There are currently almost EUR 8.0 billion of covered bonds outstanding under BMPS OBG1 for a total OC of 48.6%, net of the commingling and set-off amounts.
As of June 2019, the mortgage CP comprised 140,890 mortgages backed by residential properties located in Italy. All mortgages were originated by either BMPS or affiliated groups. A small portion of the loans in the pool, 7.2% by loan balance as of the end of May 2019, were granted to individuals not classified as SAE 600 (consumer families) by the Bank of Italy. DBRS received separate default data for these borrowers and calculated a stressed default rate.
As of June 2019, the weighted-average (WA) current loan-to-value of the mortgages was 49.2% with a WA seasoning of 7.1 years. The CP is well distributed across Italy with the highest concentrations in Tuscany (18.8% by outstanding loan balance), Lazio (15.5%) and Lombardy (14.0%).
The CP comprises fixed-rate loans (24.1% by outstanding balance), floating-rate loans (73.2% by outstanding balance) and loans that have the option to switch to either a floating or fixed rate (2.8% by outstanding balance). The floating-rate mortgages are indexed to different plain vanilla bases and reset at different dates. Approximately 68.6% of OBG notional pays a fixed-rate coupon until the expected maturity, and if the maturity is extended, the relevant series becomes a pass-through series paying a floating rate plus a spread on a quarterly basis. DBRS considered interest rate risk mismatch in its cash flow analysis.
All CP assets and OBGs are denominated in euros. As such, investors are not currently exposed to any foreign-exchange risk.
As of 30 June 2019, the WA life of the CP was 9.8 years, which is longer than the 4.1 years WA life on the OBG (calculated as of today) when accounting for the expected maturity. This risk is mitigated by the long extendable maturity date, which falls 38 years after the maturity date.
DBRS has assessed the LSF related to the BMPS OBG1 as “Very Strong” according to its rating methodology. For more information, please refer to the DBRS commentary, “Italian Covered Bonds Legal and Structuring Framework Review,” available at www.dbrs.com.
All figures are in euros unless otherwise noted.
The principal methodology applicable to the ratings is: “Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds”. This can be found at http://www.dbrs.com/about/methodologies.
DBRS has applied the principal methodology consistently and conducted a review of the transaction in accordance with the principal methodology.
A review of the transaction legal documents was not conducted as the 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 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 these ratings include loan-by-loan data, vintage data and stratification tables provided by the Issuer and payments reports provided by Securitisation Services. DBRS considers the information available to it for the purposes of providing these ratings to be of satisfactory quality.
DBRS does not rely upon third-party due diligence in order to conduct its analysis. At the time of initial rating, DBRS was supplied with third-party assessments. However, this did not impact the rating analysis.
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 29 January 2019, when DBRS assigned an AA (low) rating to Series 26 of the BMPS CB1 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 Limited are subject to EU and US regulations only.
Lead Analyst: Alessandra Maggiora, Assistant Vice President
Rating Committee Chair: Christian Aufsatz, Managing Director
Initial Rating Date: 23 September 2015
DBRS Ratings Limited
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Registered in England and Wales: No. 7139960.
The rating methodologies used in the analysis of this transaction can be found at: http://www.dbrs.com/about/methodologies.
-- Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds
-- Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds Addendum: Market Value Spreads
-- Global Methodology for Rating Banks and Banking Organisations
-- Legal 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.