Bifurcation Rules: Irish Bank Credit and Sovereign Market Trading Levels Go Their Own Ways

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1 3 DECEMBER 21 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH MARKET SIGNALS REVIEW Moody s Capital Markets Research, Inc. Author Lisa Hintz, CFA Associate Director About Analyses from Moody s Capital Markets Research, Inc. (CMR) focus on explaining signals from the credit and equity markets. The publications address whether market signals, in the opinion of the group s analysts, accurately reflect the risks and investment opportunities associated with issuers and sectors. CMR research thus complements the fundamentally-oriented research offered by Moody s Investors Service (MIS), the rating agency. CMR is part of Moody s Analytics, which is one of the two operating businesses of Moody s Corporation. Moody s Analytics (including CMR) is legally and organizationally separated from Moody s Investors Service and operates on an arm s length basis from the ratings business. CMR does not provide investment advisory services or products. Read the full CMR FAQ Bifurcation Rules: Irish Bank Credit and Sovereign Market Trading Levels Go Their Own Ways Credit market trading levels for Irish government and bank debt have been volatile since the November 28 announcement of the country s European Union support package, but two principal trends are emerging. One is a divergence between trading activity on government and bank senior obligations, with the latter rallying by significantly more than the former. But even after this, Irish bank spreads are at Greek levels, indicating market concern about whether government support will continue to be forthcoming if the situation worsens. The second development is the continued bifurcation of bank senior and subordinated trading levels. The stronger performance of the senior debt reflects the clear line that s been drawn between government support for different levels of the capital structure. Given the many uncertainties around the sovereign debt crisis we expect Irish bond and CDS market trading to remain very choppy. Non-credit factors, such as an unsterilized intervention in the government bond market by the ECB, could well also have a significant impact on prices. One bit of guidance comes from the positively sloped government yield curve for Ireland, which signals that the markets expect the country s real problems to be crystalized over a longer horizon, if at all. The contrast with Greece is instructive, as we discuss below. Irish sovereign debt rallies Irish sovereign debt has traded better since the announcement of the support package. For example, between November 29 and December 2 the generic three-year yield on Irish sovereign debt has fallen by 73 bp to 6.26%. Ireland s 5-year CDS spread is down by 57 bp over the same period, a move in line with that for other peripheral European sovereigns (Figure 1). It s been stated in the press and elsewhere that one of the primary purposes of the package was to prevent Figure 1. 5-Year CDS Spreads -- Selected European Sovereigns 1,2 1, 8 Ireland Greece Portugal Italy Spain Germany 6 2 Dec-8 Feb-9 Apr-9 Jun-9 Aug-9 Oct-9 Dec-9 Feb-1 Apr-1 Jun-1 Aug-1 Oct-1 Moody s Analytics markets and distributes all Moody s Capital Markets Research, Inc. materials. Moody s Capital Markets Research, Inc. is a subsidiary of Moody s Corporation. Moody s Analytics does not provide investment advisory services or products. For further detail, please see the last page.

2 contagion to other sovereign markets. However, since the aid package was directed specifically toward Ireland, the co-movement of CDS spreads demonstrates the extent to which the fates of European sovereigns are interlinked. It s also noteworthy that Ireland s yield curve remains positively sloped, although it has shifted upwards since the crisis intensified (Figure 2). The positive slope indicates a lower level of concern about the short- to medium-term outlook. We can contrast this with Greece s inverted curve, as we see in Figure 3. In this case, the market s worries over the situation for the next couple of years are clear. The government bond market s views of Greek and Irish risk is in contrast to the similar CDS trading levels for Greek and Irish banks. The latter situation reflects the markets appreciation of the depth of the difficulties among Irish institutions. Figure 2. Irish General Government Yield Curve Figure 3. Greece General Government Yield Curve 1 Ireland-12/2 Ireland-11/2 1 Greece-12/2 Greece-11/ Yield (%) 5 Yield (%) Source:Bloomberg Maturity Source:Bloomberg Maturity While Irish bank senior bank spreads rally more Senior spreads of some of the Irish banks benefited from the November 28 financial aid package (Figure ). This is logical, given that 35 billion of the 85 billion total was dedicated to the banks 1. Also, as in September, statements were made by the Irish authorities that support protecting senior creditors. We see narrower CDS spreads as reflecting the market s belief that the government now has the wherewithal to do so. But while this is a positive point, we cannot escape the fact that spreads are very high in absolute terms. This could well signal market skepticism of the Irish government and EU s willingness, more even than its ability, to continue to support the Irish banks should future events lead to the need for significant additional support. Figure. 5- Year CDS Spreads of Irish Banks and Government of Ireland 1,6 Allied Irish Bank P.L.C Bank of Ireland Ireland Irish Life & Permanent plc 1, 1,2 1, Dec-8 Feb-9 Apr-9 Jun-9 Aug-9 Oct-9 Dec-9 Feb-1 Apr-1 Jun-1 Aug-1 Oct billion was designated for direct capital injection, 25 billion as a standby liquidity facility. For details, see Late Sunday Agreement Confirms EU Support of Ireland and Ireland Support of Banks at and the official statement at 2 3 DECEMBER 21 MOODY S CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH, INC. / MARKET SIGNALS REVIEW / MOODYS.COM

3 As expected, the markets reaction was more negative for Irish bank capital issues (Figure 5). The EU package was silent regarding support for such obligations, resulting in no relief in the spike in spreads on CDS contracts tied to them despite the relief at the senior level. The probable treatment of bank capital obligations has been well flagged by the markets, but spreads have now reached new extremes. We have also written about the senior/bank capital split in the past. 2 The situation around Irish bank capital obligations is recognized by Moody s ratings, which are mostly in the C range. Figure 5. 5-Year CDS Spreads of Selected Irish Banks ALLIED IRISH BANKS, P.L.C. - Senior ALLIED IRISH BANKS, P.L.C. - Sub BANK OF IRELAND - Senior BANK OF IRELAND - Sub IRISH LIFE & PERMANENT PLC - Senior IRISH LIFE & PERMANENT PLC - Sub Jan-1 Feb-1 Mar-1 Apr-1 May-1 Jun-1 Jul-1 Aug-1 Sep-1 Oct-1 Nov-1 Interrelationships rule at the European bank level as well Away from Ireland, European bank spreads narrowed only slightly following the weekend s announcement. Figure 6 contains indices of five-year CDS spreads of banks for six European countries. While a couple of covered bond deals have come to market, the debt capital markets remain largely closed to unsecured bank bond issues. Figure 6. Index of 5-Year CDS Spreads for Major Banks by Country 1, Ireland Italy Portugal Spain Germany UK 1,2 Caa-C 1, 8 6 B3 2 Jan-1 Feb-1 Mar-1 Apr-1 May-1 Jun-1 Jul-1 Aug-1 Sep-1 Oct-1 Nov-1 B2 Ba3 B1 Ba2 Ba1 Baa3 Aaa 2 See Anglo Irish Bank Red Signals from the Market on the Good Bank/Bad Bank Plan 17 September 21 at and Irish Banks Negative Market Signals NotAccurately Discriminating Risk" 12 November 21 at 3 3 DECEMBER 21 MOODY S CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH, INC. / MARKET SIGNALS REVIEW / MOODYS.COM

4 Irish banks already discounting significant risk As mentioned at the outset, Irish bank CDS spreads are at the same level as their Greek bank counterparts, trading in the Caa range (Figure 7). The Irish institutions are trading very cheap to their ratings according to nearly all measures and for nearly all banks. Their cheapness vs. their ratings is partially accounted for by Ireland s Aa2 rating. The large gaps between the banks ratings and trading levels could prove to be transitory, however: the sovereign s rating is under review for downgrade, probably by several notches, although it is expected to remain investment grade 3. Should such a downgrade take place, then the Irish bank ratings would be expected to come down as well. Figure 7: Moody's and Market- s and EDF Data for Irish and Greek Banks Bank Senior Financial Unsecured Strenth Baseline Credit Assessment Notches of Uplift from JDA Gap on Senior Gap on BCA Bond Equity Bank of Ireland A1 D+ Baa3 5 Caa Caa3 Caa2 6.59% Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. A1 D Ba2 7 Caa C Ca 15.29% Irish Life & Permanent A3 D Ba2 5 Caa N/A Caa2 8.7% National Bank of Greece Ba1 D+ Ba1 Caa1 6 6 N/A B3 2.% EFG Eurobank Ergasias Ba1 D Ba2 1 Caa1 6 5 N/A Caa1 5.22% Alpha Bank Ba1 D Ba2 1 Caa2 7 6 N/A B2 1.83% Piraeus Bank Ba1 E+ B1 3 Caa1 6 3 N/A Caa3 1.26% 1 Year EDF Finally, we look at the one-year EDF (Expected Default Frequency ) metrics for the Irish banks. These are quite elevated, reflecting the banks small equity bases and reduced market value of assets. The EDF metric is a particularly useful measure in the case of the Irish banks. Readers should recall that EDF measures capture the risk of default across entities capital structures, rather than at the senior level. Given the Irish government s current stance about being open to allowing losses to be absorbed in the lower tiers of bank capital structures, EDF metrics provide signals of the default risk for the most exposed securities. 3 For Moody s Investors Service most recent comment on Irish sovereign debt, please see Key Drivers of Decision to Review Ireland's Aa2 for Possible Downgrade date 5 October 21 at and Late Sunday Agreement Confirms EU Support of Ireland and Ireland Support of Banks dated 29 November 21 at For Moody s Investors Service most recent comment on Irish bank ratings, please see Moody's extends its review on Irish Banks to further junior securities and to BFSRs dated 2 December 21 at Moody s bond-, equity, and implied ratings are part of the Market s platform. The bond-implied ratings, for example, measure the trading level of an issuer s bonds and compare this to the issuer s Moody s rating. Thus, if an issuer s bonds trade in line with B3-rated bonds, the issuer s bond-implied rating is B3. If the issuer s Moody s rating is B1, the ratings gap is -2. Conversely, issuers whose bonds trade expensively to their Moody s rating have positive ratings gaps. ratings are determined with reference to market-wide credit spreads, which are updated daily. If an issuer s implied rating increases (decreases), this is because its credit spread has tightened (widened) by an amount in excess of any general market movement. Equity-implied ratings are based on Expected Default Frequency (EDF TM ) credit metrics, mapped to the Moody s rating scale. A firm s EDF measure is derived in large part from its capital structure and the trading level and volatility of its equity. For further details, please see our publication Moody s Market s: Description, Methodology, and Analytical Applications (Munves et al., December 27). 3 DECEMBER 21 MOODY S CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH, INC. / MARKET SIGNALS REVIEW / MOODYS.COM

5 Report Number: Author Lisa Hintz, CFA Editor Dana Gordon Contact Us Americas : Europe: + () Asia: Copyright 21, Moody s Capital Markets Research, Inc., and/or its licensors and affiliates (together, "MOODY'S). All rights reserved. ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW AND NONE OF SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED, REPACKAGED, FURTHER TRANSMITTED, TRANSFERRED, DISSEMINATED, REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD, OR STORED FOR SUBSEQUENT USE FOR ANY SUCH PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT MOODY S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT. All information contained herein is obtained by MOODY S from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error as well as other factors, however, such information is provided as is without warranty of any kind and MOODY S, in particular, makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose of any such information. Under no circumstances shall MOODY S have any liability to any person or entity for (a) any loss or damage in whole or in part caused by, resulting from, or relating to, any error (negligent or otherwise) or other circumstance or contingency within or outside the control of MOODY S or any of its directors, officers, employees or agents in connection with the procurement, collection, compilation, analysis, interpretation, communication, publication or delivery of any such information, or (b) any direct, indirect, special, consequential, compensatory or incidental damages whatsoever (including without limitation, lost profits), even if MOODY S is advised in advance of the possibility of such damages, resulting from the use of or inability to use, any such information. The credit ratings and financial reporting analysis observations, if any, constituting part of the information contained herein are, and must be construed solely as, statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, sell or hold any securities. NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY SUCH RATING OR OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY MOODY S IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER. Each rating or other opinion must be weighed solely as one factor in any investment decision made by or on behalf of any user of the information contained herein, and each such user must accordingly make its own study and evaluation of each security and of each issuer and guarantor of, and each provider of credit support for, each security that it may consider purchasing, holding or selling. MOODY S hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MOODY S have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MOODY S for appraisal and rating services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,5 to approximately $2,,. Moody s Corporation (MCO) and its wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary, Moody s Investors Service (MIS), also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually on Moody s website at under the heading Shareholder Relations Corporate Governance Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy. The statements contained in this research report are based solely upon the opinions of Moody s Capital Markets Research, Inc. and the data and information available to the authors at the time of publication of this report. There is no assurance that any predicted results will actually occur. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The analysis in this report has not been made available to any issuer prior to publication. When making an investment decision, investors should use additional sources of information and consult with their investment advisor. Investing in securities involves certain risks including possible fluctuations in investment return and loss of principal. Investing in bonds presents additional risks, including changes in interest rates and credit risk. All Capital Markets Research Group information is provided by Moody's Capital Markets Research, Inc., a subsidiary of Moody s Corporation. Please note that Moody s Analytics, Inc., an affiliate of Moody s Capital Markets Research, Inc. and a subsidiary of MCO, provides a wide range of research and analytical products and services to corporations and participants in the financial markets. Customers of Moody s Analytics, Inc. may include companies mentioned in this report. Please be advised that a conflict may exist and that any investment decisions you make are your own responsibility. The Moody s Analytics logo is used on certain Capital Markets Research Group products for marketing purposes only. Moody s Analytics is not a part of the Capital Markets Research Group nor is it a part of Moody s Capital Markets Research, Inc. 5 3 DECEMBER 21 MOODY S CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH, INC. / MARKET SIGNALS REVIEW / MOODYS.COM

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