Standard & Poor's Ratings Services published the following criteria articles during December 2011. Articles appear in chronological order. All are available on www.globalcreditportal.com and www.standardandpoors.com. For more information, contact the analysts listed on the articles.
Criteria: Governments: U.S. Public Finance Long-Term Municipal Pools: Methodology And Assumptions (Dec. 1, 2011)
Standard & Poor's requests comments on its proposed changes to its methodology and assumptions for rating U.S. public finance issues and issuers backed by long-term municipal pools. Long-term municipal pool programs vary in structure, funding, and purpose. Examples of municipal pools range from government-supported state revolving funds and bond bank programs to more localized private sector-related economic development programs and pool programs that enjoy only a tangential relationship with a quasigovernmental organization.
Criteria: Structured Finance: Request For Comment: Investment Criteria Methodology (Dec. 8, 2011)
Standard & Poor's requests comments on updates to its criteria for assessing temporary investments in rated securities. The proposed changes would align the current eligible investment criteria with how investments are treated under Standard & Poor's counterparty criteria.
Criteria: Structured Finance: U.K. RMBS Methodology And Assumptions (Dec. 9, 2011)
Standard & Poor's is updating its methodology and assumptions for rating U.K. residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). This update follows our request for comment published on Sept. 15, 2011. The changes align the criteria for U.K. RMBS closely with the global RMBS framework. This article discusses two fundamental principles of structured finance ratings and criteria: the credit quality of the securitized assets, and the payment structure and cash flow mechanics.
Criteria: Structured Finance: RMBS: Outlook Assumptions For The U.K. Residential Mortgage Market (Dec. 9, 2011)
Standard & Poor's is providing its outlook assumptions for the U.K. residential mortgage market. We are publishing this article to help market participants better understand our current approach to reviewing U.K. residential mortgage-backed securities under the criteria in the article U.K. RMBS Methodology And Assumptions. We plan to review outlook assumptions periodically, and update them in response to changes in the local housing market, when we deem necessary.
Criteria: Governments: Guarantee Default: Assessing The Impact On The Guarantor's Issuer Credit Rating (Dec. 9, 2011)
Standard & Poor's requests comments on its proposed methodology for assessing when a guarantor's failure to honor a payment obligation under a guarantee, or any other third-party obligation, would constitute a default and how such a default would affect the guarantor's issuer credit rating. This methodology applies to all guarantors and issuers of commitments to repay the obligation of a third party both rated and not rated.
Criteria: Governments: Request for Comment: Public And Nonprofit Social Housing Providers: Methodology And Assumptions (Dec. 13, 2011)
Standard & Poor's requests comments on its proposed changes to its methodology and assumptions for rating social or public housing providers globally. The assignment of issuer credit ratings (ICRs) for social or public housing providers begins with an assessment of the provider's stand-alone credit profile (SACP). Because of social or public housing providers' public service mission and relationships with government housing goals, the application of our criteria for government-related entities may then raise or lower the final ICR relative to the SACP.
Criteria: Governments: U.S. Federal Future Flow Securitization Methodology (Dec. 14, 2011)
Standard & Poor's requests comments on its proposed methodology for rating obligations secured by future U.S. federal cash flows. The proposed criteria are to help market participants better understand our approach to reviewing transactions where pledged federal cash flows are derived from the U.S. government or U.S. government-related entities. Federal cash flows support various obligations issued in the capital markets. These obligations are neither debt of the U.S. government or U.S. government-related entities. The receipt of such monies depends on statutory formulas or the local fulfillment of program or project requirements.
Criteria: Corporates: Project Finance: Project Finance Construction And Operations Counterparty Methodology (Dec. 20, 2011)
Standard & Poor's is updating its methodology and assumptions for assessing counterparty risk associated with revenue, construction, equipment supply, operations and maintenance, and raw material supply agreements relating to project finance globally. Contract counterparty risk is one of the key factors considered when analyzing and assigning ratings to project finance securities. The reliance on third parties to make payments or perform under a wide range of agreements is a common feature in project finance issues. The proposed criteria will improve the transparency of how we assess construction and operations counterparty risk for project finance.
Criteria: Structured Finance: U.S. Interest Rate Assumptions Revised For January 2012 (Dec. 21, 2011)
In response to continuing changes in interest rates, Standard & Poor's published its revised interest rate assumptions for U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities transactions with a first distribution date in January 2012. The RMBS group and other analytical practices within Standard & Poor's will use these outlined interest rate assumptions in their respective analyses.
Criteria: Structured Finance: Outlook Assumptions For The U.S. Residential Mortgage Market (Dec. 22, 2011)
Standard & Poor's is updating its outlook assumptions for the U.S. residential mortgage market. We are publishing this article to help market participants better understand our approach to reviewing U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities. We update our outlook assumptions periodically in response to changes in the housing market. The article highlights how Standard & Poor's outlook for the U.S. housing market over a three- to five-year period is used to inform our decision on base-case loss projections for the archetypical prime mortgage pool.
Criteria: Advance Notice Of Proposed Criteria Change: Surveillance Methodology And Assumptions For U.S. RMBS Transactions Backed By Second-Lien Mortgage Loans (Dec. 27, 2011)
Standard & Poor's is reviewing its methodologies and assumptions for analyzing U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities transactions backed predominantly by second-lien mortgage loans. These transactions include those in which most loans in the mortgage pool are second-liens, and classified as home equity line of credit, closed-end second-lien, second-lien high-combined-loan-to-value, or home improvement. We are reviewing our methodologies and assumptions in light of the ongoing seasoning and increased longevity that some of these transactions are experiencing.
Criteria: Corporates: Methodology And Assumptions: Standard & Poor's Revises Key Ratios Used In Global Corporate Ratings Analysis (Dec. 28, 2011)
Standard & Poor's is revising its methodology for analyzing corporate profitability when determining issuer credit ratings on global corporate issuers. We are publishing this article to help market participants better understand our approach to reviewing corporate profitability. To establish ratings comparability when evaluating corporate entities, Standard & Poor's uses EBITDA margin as a key ratio.