Standard & Poor's continued its downgrades of certain European CMBS and today lowered 11 ratings resulting from the real estate market's credit problems.

The rating agency also announced a review of its European CMBS criteria.

Today S&P lowered 11 ratings, after placing European CMBS bonds on CreditWatch negative back in May and June.

“We expect to resolve most CreditWatch placements over the next two months and we anticipate completing the process by the end of January 2010,” S&P said. “Based on available information, we do not currently expect the average downgrade to exceed two rating categories.”

S&P placed about 60% of 996 outstanding European CMBS ratings on CreditWatch negative in May and June. The outstanding volume of European CMBS the agency rates is about €130 billion.

The criteria review the rating agency announced today for selected transactions is intended to promote transparency and to further comparability of ratings across all sectors of the fixed-income markets.  

S&P said it expected new criteria for rating European CMBS will align more closely with the criteria it applies on analysis of CMBS in the U.S. and Asia Pacific.

“This recognizes that investors may invest in CMBS globally and the rating approach, while considering local market and jurisdictional concerns, will, where possible, have a generally common framework,” S&P said.


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