Press Release

DBRS Confirms Banco Popular Español Cédulas Hipotecarias at AAA

Covered Bonds
June 22, 2018

DBRS Ratings Limited (DBRS) confirmed its AAA ratings on the Cédulas Hipotecarias (CH; the Spanish Mortgage Covered Bonds) it rates, which are outstanding under the Banco Popular Español S.A. Covered Bonds (Cédulas Hipotecarias - Mortgages) programme (BPE CH or the Programme). The confirmation follows the completion of a full review of the ratings.

Concurrently, DBRS withdrew its ratings from Series 7-2009 (ES0413790066), which matured in July 2017, Series 8-2013 (ES0413790314), which matured in September 2017 and Series 4-2010 (ES0413790074), which matured in April 2018.

There are currently 26 series of CH outstanding under the Programme, with a nominal amount of EUR 14.8 billion. Of the outstanding series of CH, DBRS currently rates 20, with an aggregate notional amount of EUR 13.4 billion.

The ratings reflect the following analytical considerations:

-- A Covered Bonds Attachment Point (CBAP) of AA (low), being the Long-Term Critical Obligations Rating of Banco Popular Español (BPE). BPE is the Issuer and Reference Entity for the Programme. DBRS classifies Spain as a jurisdiction in which covered bonds are a particularly important funding instrument and deems the cover pool strategic for the core activity of the Issuer.
-- A Legal and Structuring Framework (LSF) Assessment of Average associated with the Programme.
-- A Cover Pool Credit Assessment (CPCA) of BBB (high), being the lowest CPCA in line with the LSF-Implied Likelihood (LSF-L).
-- An LSF-L of AA.
-- A two-notch uplift for high recovery prospects.
-- A level of overcollateralisation (OC) of 81.6% to which DBRS gives credit, being the minimum observed OC level during the past 12 months adjusted by a scaling factor of 0.85.

The transaction was analysed using 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 bond ratings.

In addition, all else unchanged, the CH ratings would be downgraded if any of the following were to occur: (1) the CPCA were downgraded below BBB (high); (2) the sovereign rating of the Kingdom of Spain were downgraded below A (low); (3) the LSF assessment associated with the Programme were downgraded; (4) the quality of the CP and the level of OC were no longer sufficient to support a two-notch uplift for high recovery prospects; (5) the relative amortisation profile of the CH and CP were to move adversely; or (6) volatility in the financial markets were to cause the currently estimated market value spreads to increase.

The total outstanding amount of CH is currently EUR 14.8 billion, while the aggregate balance of the mortgages (as of 31 March 2018) in the CP is EUR 31.1 billion, resulting in a total OC of 110.6%. The eligible CP stands at EUR 20.0 billion, resulting in an eligible OC of 35.4%.

As of March 2018, the cover pool comprised 261,446 mortgage loans with a weighted-average current unindexed loan-to-value ratio of 55.6%, split as follows: 59% residential, 34% commercial, 4% land, 3% developers and 1% other loans. It is geographically diversified, with higher concentrations in Andalusia (22.9%), Madrid (22.5%), and Catalonia (15.4%). The pool is 80 months seasoned.

The vast majority of the loans in the cover pool (93%) are floating rate, while 44% of the liabilities pay fixed coupon.

As is usual in Spanish CH, swaps are not for the benefit of the CH holders. This has been accounted for in the DBRS cash flow analysis.

The weighted-average life of the assets is about 9.3 years, while that of the covered bonds is about 5.4 years. The resulting asset-liability maturity mismatch is mitigated by the available OC.

All liabilities are denominated in euros, while 2.5% of the pool assets were originated in a different currency. This residual exposure is mitigated by the OC available and accounted for in the Pass-OC.

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

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

Notes:
All figures are in euros unless otherwise noted.

The principal methodology applicable is “Rating European Covered Bonds.”

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 legal 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: http://dbrs.com/research/319564/rating-sovereign-governments.pdf.

The sources of data and information used for these ratings include stratification tables on the cover pool 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 these ratings 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 23 June 2017 when DBRS confirmed its AAA ratings on the outstanding DBRS-rated BPE CH, following the completion of a full review of the ratings.

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 U.S. regulations only.

Lead Analyst: Antonio Laudani, Vice President
Rating Committee Chair: Christian Aufsatz, Managing Director
Initial Rating Date: 24 April 2013

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 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
-- European RMBS Insight Methodology
-- European RMBS Insight: Spanish Addendum
-- Operational Risk Assessment for European Structured Finance Originators
-- Operational Risk Assessment for European Structured Finance Servicers
-- Rating CLOs Backed by Loans to European SMEs
-- Rating CLOs and CDOs of Large Corporate Credit
-- Interest Rate Stresses for European Structured Finance Transactions
-- 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 [email protected].

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